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Salmonella cases down, but watch out for other foodborne bacteria
Foodborne illnesses often found in raw or undercooked shellfish have increased by 75% since 2006-2008, the CDC says.
April 17th, 2014
03:33 PM ET

Salmonella cases down, but watch out for other foodborne bacteria

You might want to think twice before heading out to your favorite oyster bar.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual report card on foodborne illnesses, vibrio infections – most frequently found in raw or undercooked shellfish - have increased by 75% since the CDC's previous analysis period, 2006-2008.

That's about 6,600 cases for every 100,000 people - and for every case that is reported, the CDC estimates there 142 more that aren't diagnosed.

The microbe that causes vibrio is found naturally in coastal saltwater. It only represents 1% of foodborne illness in the United States, according to the CDC, but that's still 35,000 cases of food poisoning each year. Vibrio infections are at their highest rate since the CDC started tracking nine foodborne illness-related microorganisms in 1996, according to the new report. FULL POST


Banned pesticides linked to endometriosis
The EPA now restricts the use of organochlorine pesticides, along with the United Nations’ Stockholm Convention.
November 5th, 2013
11:49 AM ET

Banned pesticides linked to endometriosis

Women with higher levels of pesticides in their blood are also more likely to have endometriosis, according to a new study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Endometriosis is a chronic condition in which tissue normally lining the uterus’ interior walls also grows outside the uterus, commonly to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or pelvis –- causing pelvic pain and infertility.

“It affects women during their reproductive years and it could be that as many as 10% of women during reproductive ages have endometriosis,” says Victoria Holt, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington and lead study author.

More than 5 million women have endometriosis, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Women's Health.

“What we know about endometriosis is that it's an estrogen-driven disease. Women who have more estrogen are more likely to have it," Holt says.

Once in the body, some organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) are believed to mimic estrogen, possibly contributing to endometriosis. FULL POST


Pet frogs carrying Salmonella make kids sick
Investigators traced the salmonella outbreak to contact with African dwarf frogs.
March 11th, 2013
12:01 AM ET

Pet frogs carrying Salmonella make kids sick

Raw meat is a notorious Salmonella carrier. It can also be found on unclean kitchen counters. An investigation published this week in the journal of Pediatrics suggests we should also look for the deadly bacteria in pet frogs.

Investigators from public health agencies across the United States found that African dwarf frogs are causing a nationwide outbreak of a specific Salmonella strain in children.

A group of health professionals make up the Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak Investigation Team, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recently, the team has been examining the effects of African dwarf frogs on people’s health.

“Amphibians and reptiles should never be kept in homes with children less than 5 years old or with people who have immune deficiencies,” said lead author and CDC public health advisor Shauna Mettee Zarecki. This includes day care settings and nursing homes, she said.
FULL POST


Pesticides in tap water, produce linked to food allergies
December 4th, 2012
01:59 PM ET

Pesticides in tap water, produce linked to food allergies

Pesticides in produce and drinking water may be playing a role in the increasing prevalence of food allergies, according to a new study.

Researchers looked at 2,211 people and found those in the top 25% for urine concentrations of chemical dichlorophenols – used to chlorinate tap water and keep pests off produce - were also 80% more likely to have a food allergy.

"Adults can develop food allergies even though they're not kids anymore," says allergist and study author Dr. Elina Jerschow. "Adult allergies to foods are on the rise. That certainly includes shellfish and fish allergies, but also peanuts. We don't know what influences this development. But having been exposed to dichlorophenols in our study suggests there could be some link." FULL POST


FDA: Several violations uncovered at Sunland's peanut plant
November 16th, 2012
01:00 PM ET

FDA: Several violations uncovered at Sunland's peanut plant

Health officials have found more clues about the nut product contamination that lead to at least 41 people getting sick this summer.

Conditions at the Sunland, Inc. facility in Portales, New Mexico, may have contributed to the contamination of peanut butter and almond butter products with salmonella bredeney, according to new observations posted on the Food and Drug Administration website Thursday. These conditions were observed during inspections of the facility that took place between September 17 and October 16.

Federal investigators determined that between June 2009 and August 2012, Sunland cleared - and in some cases distributed - peanut or almond butter products from 11 different lots, even though internal testing showed the presence of the salmonella bacteria.
FULL POST


7 health risks in the wake of Superstorm Sandy
An aerial view of flooded homes in Tuckerton, New Jersey, after Superstorm Sandy.
November 2nd, 2012
05:49 PM ET

7 health risks in the wake of Superstorm Sandy

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, cold weather could put people returning to their homes at risk. Here is a bit about some of the health risks victims of the storm may face.

1. Carbon monoxide exposure

Dr. Howard Mell, spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physicians, lists carbon monoxide exposure as the No. 1 risk for people returning to their homes. If they lack power, and the weather is cold, they should stay somewhere else before risking a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning by using appliances such as generators or stoves indoors to heat their homes.

"A lot of these injuries come about because some of these people are in such a rush to get back into their homes,"  says Mell.   FULL POST


Peanut, nut butter recall expanded
October 5th, 2012
01:39 PM ET

Peanut, nut butter recall expanded

If you were checking the peanut butter in your pantry after a large recall was announced a couple of weeks ago, you may want to take another peek. More products are being recalled.

On September 24, Sunland, Inc. recalled all products manufactured at their Portales, New Mexico, processing plant with a "best if used by" date between May 1, 2012, and September 24, 2012. Now all products made at this peanut butter and nut manufacturing facility going back as far as March 2010 and September 24, when the plant was shut, are being recalled. 

The CDC is reporting that the number of people sickened by these products has risen to 35, up from 30 last week.
FULL POST


Popcorn recalled due to possible Listeria contamination
October 2nd, 2012
10:30 AM ET

Popcorn recalled due to possible Listeria contamination

Dale and Thomas Popcorn is voluntarily recalling bags of its flavored, ready-to-eat Indiana-brand products due to a possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that is pathogenic –- meaning that it is infectious to humans, causing the illness listeriosis. It is most dangerous to young children, the elderly, people with a weakened immune system and pregnant women. Listeria can cause a high fever, severe headaches, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

What you need to know about Listeria monocytogenes

The recalled popcorn bags were distributed after August 8 and have "best by" dates of February 4, 2013 to March 12, 2013, according to the FDA. Consumers can check specific UPC codes from this list.
FULL POST


FDA launches campaign against fake Internet pharmacies
The FDA is aiming to raise awareness about fake Internet pharmacies and the risk they pose to consumer health.
September 28th, 2012
12:16 PM ET

FDA launches campaign against fake Internet pharmacies

Buyers beware when it comes to buying medicine online, the Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers.  On Friday, the agency launched "BeSafeRx: Know Your Online Pharmacy," a national campaign to raise awareness about fake Internet pharmacies and their potential risk to consumer health.

“Buying medicines from rogue online pharmacies can be risky because they may sell fake, expired, contaminated, not approved by FDA, or otherwise unsafe products that are dangerous to patients,” said FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg.  “Fraudulent and illegal online pharmacies often offer deeply discounted products.  If the low prices seem too good to be true, they probably are.  FDA’s BeSafeRx campaign is designed to help patients learn how to avoid these risks.”

FULL POST


Voluntary recall expanded due to possible Salmonella contamination
Sunland, Inc., has expanded a voluntary recall to include all products made at its peanut butter and nut manufacturing plant.
September 26th, 2012
04:59 PM ET

Voluntary recall expanded due to possible Salmonella contamination

Sunland, Inc., has expanded its voluntary recall to include all of the products manufactured at its peanut butter and nut manufacturing plant in Portales, New Mexico.

The plant was shut down on Saturday, after Trader Joe's recalled its Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter because it was linked to potential contamination with Salmonella, according to Katalin Coburn, Sunland's vice president for media relations.

Two days ago, the company expanded its voluntary recall to include all the peanut and almond butter products it makes. Now the remaining Cashew Butter, Tahini and Roasted Blanched Peanut Products, which are also manufactured at this plant, are being recalled too. FULL POST


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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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