October 31st, 2012
05:48 PM ET
A sister company to the Massachusetts compounding pharmacy linked to a multistate meningitis outbreak on Tuesday announced a voluntary recall of any products remaining in circulation.
Ameridose, a drug manufacturer and compounder with the same ownership as the New England Compounding Center, said in a statement the move was voluntary "and represents an expansion of our cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy."
The company said during the FDA's ongoing inspection of its facility, it was notified the FDA would be "seeking improvements in Ameridose's sterility testing process. ... Ameridose has not received any adverse reports related to the products subject to this recall and neither Ameridose nor the FDA has identified impurities in any Ameridose products." FULL POST
October 30th, 2012
12:21 PM ET
Ever heard the line, “Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink?" Never is that more true than during a hurricane.
Superstorm Sandy came ashore Monday night, flooding parts of the East Coast. After a natural disaster, your water may not be safe for use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes any water used for drinking, cooking, food preparation and/or personal hygiene.
Residents in Sandy’s path should be on the lookout for boil water advisories from their local and state departments of health, as well as from utility companies. These signify that your water may be contaminated.
October 24th, 2012
03:26 PM ET
A federal advisory committee is recommending all pregnant women be immunized for pertussis or whooping cough.
The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention met Wednesday and voted 14 to 0, with one abstention, to recommend health care providers begin immunizations programs for Tdap. This is a vaccine that provides protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).
The committee says the vaccine should be administered during each pregnancy in the late second or third trimester (27 to 36 weeks gestation), regardless of whether the patient has had Tdap in the past. If that's not possible, the mother should receive the vaccine immediately after childbirth or before leaving the hospital or birthing center. Jennifer Liang, a member of the ACIP pertussis vaccine working group, told the committee the vaccine is very safe in all trimesters and could be given at any time during pregnancy.
October 23rd, 2012
09:02 PM ET
Editors' note: Tom Colicchio talks about food and your vote on "Sanjay Gupta MD," Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET.
Jobs… Obamacare… Iran… and food?
Voters looking for a reason to support or oppose a candidate will find new ammunition in the first-ever “National Food Policy Scorecard,” created by a coalition of non-profits including environmental advocates, anti-hunger groups and activists including “Top Chef’s” lead judge and restauranteur Tom Colicchio.
“I don’t think the average person thinks this stuff through,” says Colicchio, who sees a link between government policy and what families put on the table. “When you see people who are struggling, and buying fast food for kids, it’s not because they think it’s great for you. It’s because it’s cheap. And it’s cheap because the government subsidizes corn, wheat and soy. That’s what we’re supporting with our tax dollars. What if we took that money and put it towards farmers growing fresh, organic vegetables?”
October 10th, 2012
05:01 PM ET
Ever gone to the grocery story intending to buy apples and milk and left with a jar of queso dip, a gallon of ice cream and an enormous bag of Halloween candy? Impulse shopping can wreak havoc on your healthy eating plans, but experts say it may not be entirely your fault.
An editorial published in this week's New England Journal of Medicine blames part of the obesity epidemic on our food environment. Dr. Deborah Cohen and Dr. Susan Babey collaborated to write the article "Candy at the Cash Register - A Risk Factor for Obesity and Chronic Disease."
"The reality is that food choices are often automatic and made without full conscious awareness," the authors write. "In many cases they may even be the opposite of what the person deciding would consciously prefer."
October 2nd, 2012
10:30 AM ET
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.
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.
October 1st, 2012
09:56 AM ET
When the American College of Surgeons was formed in 1913, "infection rates were high, blood supplies were almost non-existent, tools were fairly crude, standards were lax, and patients were rightfully scared," according to an announcement of the organization's 100th anniversary.
Since then, surgery has made significant strides - many of which are shown in the interactive timeline launched by ACS this week in celebration of the centennial milestone.
The ACS was founded to improve the quality of care for surgical patients by setting better standards for education and practices, says president-elect Dr. Brent Eastman. More than 78,000 surgeons worldwide are members of the professional group.
From the first blood bank opening in Chicago in 1937 to the first complete face transplant surgery in Boston in 2011, the ACS has been at the forefront of many medical breakthroughs. But Eastman and the ACS fellows aren't dwelling on the past; even as they celebrate their history, they're looking to the future.
September 25th, 2012
09:02 AM ET
Childhood obesity isn't just a health issue, according to a group of retired military leaders. It's also a national security issue.
One in four young adults are too overweight to join the U.S. military, a new report from the advocacy group Mission: Readiness says. And the U.S. Department of Defense spends an estimated $1 billion each year on medical care related to obesity issues for active duty members, their dependents and veterans.
"No other major country's military forces face the challenges of weight gain confronting America's armed forces," according to the report.
"At the end of the day, the reason America is safe and sound is not because of its tanks," adds retired Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, spokesman for Mission: Readiness. "It’s really the men and women who volunteer and so proudly serve."
Kids on average consume 130 "empty" calories a day from candy, cookies and chips, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Mission: Readiness has been working to get rid of junk food in schools since 2010, when it supported the passing of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The act requires the USDA to update nutrition standards in schools.
Mission: Readiness believes having healthier food in the cafeteria and in vending machines will help slow - or even reverse - rising childhood obesity rates. And healthy children are more likely to grow up to be healthy adults who can serve their country.
"We’re not picking on the schools," Seip says. "The schools are part of the solution. We like to think that this obesity problem... is one that’s going to require all of America to tackle."
September 18th, 2012
03:24 PM ET
The chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA, has a long and controversial history.
Used to manufacture some plastics – like the kinds in soda or water bottles – and as an anti-corrosive in aluminum cans, BPA has been under fire for some time from consumer advocacy groups.
The FDA recently banned BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups after concerns were raised about potential side effects on the “brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children,” according to the FDA website.
Still, the organization has stood by the overall safety of the chemical; in March the FDA denied the Natural Resources Defense Council’s petition to ban BPA outright.
Now a new study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association is adding more fuel to the flames. The paper shows an association between BPA levels in children’s urine and obesity prevalence.
August 30th, 2012
10:55 AM ET
It started with fever, fatigue, diarrhea and loss of appetite.
But for two farmers in northwestern Missouri, the severe illness that followed a tick bite led epidemiologists on a journey to a new viral discovery.
"It's brand new to the world," said William Nicholson with the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"It's unique in that it's never been found elsewhere and it is the first phlebovirus found to cause illness in humans in the Western Hemisphere. At this point we don't know how widespread it may be, or whether it's found in other states. We don't know how many people in Missouri may have had this virus, as the finding of a completely new virus was a surprise to us."
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.