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November 18, 2013
Vibriosis includes “Vibrio vulnificus,” the bacteria commonly dubbed “flesh-eating.” It’s rare but tends to be underreported, the CDC says on its website. The CDC data on vibriosis includes all vibrio species except cholera, so it’s unclear how much of the increase in the past five years is due to infection by the flesh-eating bacteria that can cause death. One researcher who studies Vibrio vulnificus found it highly concentrated in tar balls that appeared along the Gulf Coast after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Covadonga Arias, a professor of microbial genomics at Auburn University in Alabama, found that Vibrio vulnificus was 10 times higher in tar balls than in sand and up to 10 times higher than in seawater.
Study: Tar balls found in Gulf teeming with ‘flesh-eating’ bacteria - Houston Chronicle 

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9:30 // 11 months ago
October 12, 2013
We’re fundamentally outraged that the USDA is not requiring a recall. This isn’t regular Salmonella. It’s resistant to multiple antibiotics.
Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumer Reports • Expressing outrage, in his own words, at the USDA for not forcing Foster Farms to issue a recall on its chicken products linked to an outbreak of Salmonella (predominantly in California, but spanning 20 states, as well as Puerto Rico). The strain he refers to is Salmonella Heidelberg, which the CDC described as “resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics” in an update on their website yesterday — incidentally, the CDC began managing this outbreak shorthanded, thanks to shutdown furloughs, but have since been reconstituted to address the public health crisis. source
21:47 // 1 year ago
September 16, 2013

Drug-resistant “superbugs” are on the rise, CDC says in new report

  • 2M the number of people sickened each year by antibiotic-resistant bugs, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention.
  • 23k the number of people who die because of illnesses related to such bugs. This is actually a lower number than previous estimates, because it removes people who have died while ill with the bug, but for unrelated reasons. Nonetheless, that’s a lot of people. source
20:23 // 1 year ago
September 7, 2013

High schoolers, middle schoolers using e-cigarettes, but the FDA may spoil the party

  • 10% the percentage of high school students that used electronic cigarettes in 2012, a sharp increase from the 4.7 percent that said they used them in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • 2.7% the percentage of middle school students that said they have done the same, according to the study. The Food and Drug Administration is considering regulations on the battery-powered nicotine devices, something that the findings could directly influence. source
14:12 // 1 year ago
March 30, 2013
I certainly hope that a carefully conducted study like this will get a lot of play, and that some people will find this convincing. The sad part is, by focusing on the question of whether vaccines cause autism spectrum disorders, they’re missing the opportunity to look at what the real causes are. It’s not vaccines.
Ellen Wright Clayton, professor at Vanderbilt University • Speaking on new research into childhood vaccination, spearheaded by the Center for Disease Control’s Frank DeStefano. The researchers assessed possible adverse health effects as a result of antigens, a component of vaccines that provokes a response from the body’s immune system. They found that despite children receiving more vaccinations now than in decades past, the total load of antigens is lower (antigens are not uncommon to childhood, either, coming in the form of viruses), thanks to refinements in medical science. Perhaps most consequentially, they found no link between vaccination and the onset of autism in young children. Anti-vaccination activism has been on the rise over the last couple decades, both on the right and left, with the claim (based largely on an infamously discredited British study from the 1980s) that they carry risk of autism spurring parents to eschew the process — weakening collective immunities of child populations to other serious diseases. source
15:00 // 1 year ago
February 16, 2013
Synthetic cannabinoids are not safe alternatives to marijuana. There are unexpected and unpredictable health problems that can occur. The availability of the synthetic cannabinoid products, coupled with how rapidly the chemicals present in the various products change, really creates a recipe for a public health disaster.
Michael Schwartz, medical officer for the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health • Discussing a report he co-authored, claiming a link between the use of synthetic cannabinoids (products such as Spice, plant blends treated with a synthetic drug solvent, sold legally in smoke shops) and kidney failure, as well as some other undesirable side effects. Such products are sold ostensibly as incense, and with printed warnings against consumption, but the widespread understanding of their use is another matter. source
19:27 // 1 year ago
December 1, 2012

Meningitis outbreak spurs grand jury subpoenas of Massachusetts pharmacy

  • 36 people killed at least, across nineteen states, from steroid injections carrying fungal meningitis. Reports today reveal that a federal grand jury has issued subpoenas to employees of the New England Compounding Center (NECC), the pharmacy where the tainted vials were produced. Employees of Medical Sales Management of Framingham, the company which managed the NECC’s sales, have reportedly also received subpoenas. source
15:39 // 1 year ago
October 11, 2012

CDC: Thousands at risk of contracting meningitis

  • 14,000 people may have meningitis due to tainted steroid injections
  • 170 have already contracted it, up from 33 yesterday
  • 14 deaths have been reported thus far. Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling for a criminal probe into the facility that produced the tainted steroid, speculating that it may have misled regulators. source
16:34 // 2 years ago
October 6, 2012

Death toll from fungal meningitis outbreak on the rise

60 afflicted by fungal meningitis in U.S. outbreak

7 people killed by the outbreak to date

To date, the meningitis has been detected in nine states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia. The CDC says the outbreak has been linked to steroid shots intended for back pain, and urges proactive steps by those who received the medication: “All patients who may have received these medications need to be tracked down immediately. It is possible that if patients with infection are identified soon and put on appropriate antifungal therapy, lives may be saved,” said the CDC’s Dr. Benjamin Park. source

17:36 // 2 years ago
September 6, 2012

CDC report: Millions have high blood pressure, aren’t trying to stop it

  • 36 million Americans have high, unchecked blood pressure source

» Top reading above 140. Bottom reading above 90. A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that millions of people have high blood pressure but aren’t doing anything to keep it under control — something that puts them in increased danger of stroke or heart attack, according to a report released Tuesday. “Some of these patients had mediations that weren’t working,” according to CDC Director Thomas Frieden, “while some had multiple high blood pressure readings but were never diagnosed with high blood pressure based on their medical records. Clearly we can do better.” The CDC says that the unchecked blood pressure problem caused 1,000 deaths in the U.S. daily and costs the country $131 billion yearly.

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22:00 // 2 years ago