Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2018 16:14:43 +0200

Vienna, July 10, 2018 (AFP) - An American tourist brought an unexploded World War Two shell to Vienna airport in her luggage, Austrian police said on Tuesday.   The 24-year-old had found the bomb on Sunday while walking in the Dachstein mountains, according to police in Lower Austria state.

She kept the shell in her belongings as a souvenir and declared it to customs officers when she came to the airport on Monday, who immediately rang the police.   A bomb disposal unit was called and in order to safely remove the device, the baggage hall and parts of the arrivals area were closed for around 15 minutes.   There was no danger to passengers and no delays as a result, according to police.

The tourist was charged with public endangerment through negligence and given a four-figure fine.   More than 70 years after World War II and a century after World War I, unexploded bombs still regularly turn up across Austria and Germany, often during construction work.
Date: Mon 25 Jun 2018
Source: AGES (The Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety) press release [in German, trans. submitter SZ, edited]

On [Fri 22 Jun 2018] AGES confirmed brucellosis in a dairy herd in the Rohrbach district in Upper Austria.

Since January [2018], increased number of abortions in cows and calf deaths have occurred on the affected farm. The farm's veterinarian investigated and collected blood samples. AGES confirmed brucellosis on [Fri 22 Jun 2018].

The competent authority acted without delay and has already taken all relevant measures. The dairy farm affected is currently restricted from selling milk and moving animals.

Brucellosis is a disease caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella. The infection of humans usually takes place via foods such as raw milk. Infection of farmers or veterinarians is also possible when assisting cows during parturition or when handling aborted material. In Austria, during the last decade, between 1 and 7 imported cases per year were found in humans. In 2018, 2 cases of brucellosis have been reported in humans.

Brucellosis is a very rare disease in humans and animals in Austria. The incubation period of brucellosis is usually 1 to 2 months. Up to 90 percent of all infections are without disease symptoms; infection can only be detected by testing for specific antibodies in the patient, they are an expression of an effective immune defense.

In acute [human] brucellosis, early symptoms are fatigue, mild fever, headache and body aches. After a short, symptom-free interval, flu-like symptoms may appear, which do not stop after 7 to 10 days, as is usual with influenza.

A typical indicator of brucellosis infection are elevated evening temperature (up to 40 C [104 F]) associated with excessive sweating. The disease can be treated with antibiotics.

In Austria, the cattle population (since 1999) and the sheep and goat populations (since 2001) are officially recognized free of this pathogen. The control of this animal disease in the present case focuses on the detection, isolation and culling of the infected animals as well as on the control of animal movements in order to avoid the spread of the pathogen. The milk from the affected farm has not caused any risk to consumers, since it is consistently undergone the compulsory pasteurization.
Communicated by:
Sabine Zentis
Castleview English Longhorns
Gut Laach
D-52385 Nideggen
[According to the media, about 50 percent of the 100 milking cows on the affected holding are infected. ('Top agrar online' dated 29 Jun 2018, in German, at <>).

According to Austria's most recent periodic report to the OIE (Jun-Dec 2017), the last identification of Brucellosis (Brucella abortus) in Austria took place in March 2008.

Hopefully the epidemiological investigation undertaken by Austria's animal health authorities will discover soon the source of infection, and identify/test any other animal holding(s) which may have been in contact with the affected farm during recent months.

AGES is a company of the Republic of Austria, owned by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism. AGES was founded on 1st June, 2002.

Further exhaustive information on Brucellosis in animals is available in OIE's terrestrial Manual at

A map of Upper Austria, Austria: <>. - ProMED Mod.AS]
Date: Tue 13 Mar 2017
From: Christian Lenard <> [edited]

A 42-year-old woman and her 87-year-old mother came to the emergency ward of our hospital suffering from diplopia and hoarseness since the previous day. 4 days earlier, both ate a pork spread, which was already expired for 1.5 months. The spread was kept in a bottled jar. It is not known whether the jar had previously been opened or not.

Two days after consumption, both women experienced a dry feeling in their throats in the morning and difficulties in swallowing by the afternoon. On the 3rd day, both reported hoarseness, leading them to consult their general physician who didn't find any clinical aberrations. Since both women suffered from diplopia the following day, they decided to visit the emergency ward. As the mother also suffered from a swollen leg, a deep vein thrombosis was ruled out. A CT scan of the head was negative in both cases. As the interval of symptoms had prolonged, we did not deliver a botulism antitoxin.

After having the patients transferred to the neurological ward, the women's symptoms worsened. On the 10th day, the mother had to be intubated due to respiratory insufficiency. She was suffering from hypercapnia [high concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood] but improved rapidly with controlled ventilation. A chest X-ray showed signs of pneumonia due to aspiration and she was treated first with amoxicillin/clavulanate and then with meropenem. Due to circulation insufficiency, catecholamines were administered. A paralytic ileus was treated with neostigmine. The patient was tracheostomized 2 weeks later, followed by successful sedation and weaning.

The patient is now conscious, awake, and breathing on her own, but still being treated in the ICU. Her daughter showed much milder symptoms, with comparatively only symptoms of dysphagia, and neither a danger of aspiration nor the need for parenteral feeding. She was discharged after 3 weeks.

In both patients, a serological test was positive for _Clostridium botulinum_ toxin. The confirmation was a result of a mouse bioassay performed by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) in Graz.

The Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) in Graz has been the reference centre for botulism in Austria since 2008. The statistics show 28 cases of botulism in Austria since 2000, with the majority stemming from foodborne toxin.
Dr Christian Lenart
Department of Emergency Medicine
Krankenhaus Hietzing (Municipal Hospital Vienna-Hietzing)
[ProMED thanks Dr Lenard for this report.  Most cases of foodborne botulism are not associated with commercially prepared food and it is not clear if the product was indeed commercially prepared. The spread was past expiration time but it is also possible that the cases occurred related to poor storage with lack of refrigeration after purchase. - ProMED Mod.LL]

[HealthMap/ProMED-mail map
Vienna, Austria: <>]
Date: Thu 21 Dec 2017
From: Daniela Schmid <> [edited]

Detection of a pertussis outbreak at an early stage allows prompt action including chemoprophylaxis and vaccination of close contacts, in order to limit spread and reduce further transmission to those who are most at risk of severe or complicated infection.

We inform you of an outbreak of _Bordetella pertussis_ in a kindergarten in Styria, Austria, in November 2017. 4 clinically suspected cases among a total of 27 kindergarten children were confirmed through detection of _B. pertussis_ DNA from nasopharyngeal swabs and notified to the public health authorities. 2 other cases were identified among siblings of the kindergarten children-cases.

Cases occurred between [4 and 25 Nov 2017]. The case-patients are aged between 3 and 8 years (male to female ratio 1:1), including 5 unvaccinated with pertussis containing vaccine and 1 patient with an unknown vaccination history.

Nasopharyngeal secretion, collected by swabs from 23 kindergarten children (17 vaccinated with at 2+1 doses schemata, 2 unvaccinated, 4 unknown) and 3 supervisors (all 3 vaccinated), defined as contact persons of the outbreak cases, were tested for _B. pertussis_ by PCR and routine culture technique. 3 children and 1 supervisor tested positive by pertussis-PCR and negative by culture. 3 of these 4 contact persons were vaccinated against pertussis. It is well known that is more difficult to recover the organism in vaccinated compared with unvaccinated children (Bamberger ES, Srugo I. What is new in pertussis? Eur J Pediatr 2008; 167(2): 133-9; <>).

The public health authority offered antibiotic chemoprophylaxis to pertussis-PCR positive contact persons and vaccination with pertussis containing vaccine to the unvaccinated. 3 of the 4 pertussis positive contact persons accepted the prophylactic antibiotic treatment, the other decided to stay at home until the end of the maximum incubation period following latest contagious exposure.

No further cases have been reported since the onset of the last case on [25 Nov 2017].

This outbreak is occurring in the context of a continuously increasing trend of _B. pertussis_ infections in Austria (179 cases in 2009; 1291 cases in 2016). Based on a survey conducted in 2013 on vaccine uptake of birth cohorts, we assume that vaccine coverage in children and adolescents in Austria is below the recommended threshold of 90 per cent.
Daniela Schmid
Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Surveillance
Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety
[ProMED-mail thanks Daniels Schmid for this firsthand report.

Styria is one of 9 states located in south eastern Austria; the capital is Graz, with a population of 276 526 residents in 2015

Styria can be found on a map at
<,+Austria>. - ProMED Mod.ML]

[HealthMap/ProMED-mail map
Styria, Austria: <>]
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2017 22:23:28 +0200

Vienna, June 7, 2017 (AFP) - A hiker in the Austrian Alps was fatally gored on Wednesday when a cow charged at her, local police and media said.   The victim and a friend were walking their dogs in pasture land in the Tyrol region when the attack happened, the daily Tiroler Tageszeitung reported.   "One or several cows" charged, a police source told the Austria Press Agency (APA), killing the local hiker while her companion was unharmed.   The incident recalls the 2014 death of a 45-year-old German holidaymaker, gored by a cow in another Tyrolean valley while walking in a group that included children.

After her death, the woman's husband and son sought 360,000 euros ($405,400) from the cow's owner in a civil case which has not yet been decided.   That case has upset the Austrian farming community which fears a legal precedent could be created in the mountainous region which is a popular tourist attraction.   Summer tourism accounted for 20.8 million hotel nights in the Tyrol region last year,a 5.5 percent increase over 2015 and not that far short of the 26.8 million total the prosperous Alpine region enjoyed in the winter skiing season.   The exact circumstances of Wednesday's incident were not immediately known. 
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