News & Perspective

Feb 27, 2004

Feb 27, 2004

McKee leaves top job at USDA food safety branch

(CIDRAP News) – Dr. Garry L. McKee is leaving his post as administrator of the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to take a position at the FSIS Technical Service Center in Omaha, Neb., USDA officials announced yesterday.

Feb 27, 2004

Feb 27, 2004

Dengue epidemic hits Indonesia

(CIDRAP News) – Indonesia has been hit by an unusually large dengue fever epidemic this year, with more than 300 deaths among more than 17,000 cases so far, according to news service reports.

Feb 27, 2004

Thailand confirms 10th human case of avian flu

(CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today reported Thailand's 10th confirmed human case of H5N1 avian influenza, marking the first new case confirmation anywhere since Feb 23.

The case involved a 47-year-old woman who has already recovered, the WHO said. She became ill Feb 3 after exposure to diseased and dead chickens at her home and was discharged from a hospital Feb 25, the agency said.

Feb 26, 2004

Feb 26, 2004

Studies suggest blood transfusions could spread vCJD

(CIDRAP News) – A pair of recent studies on variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) raises warning flags about the risk of spreading the disease through blood given by people who are carrying the illness but have no symptoms.

Feb 25, 2004

Feb 25, 2004

Drugs offered little help for avian flu patients

(CIDRAP News) – A detailed report on 10 Vietnamese patients who had H5N1 avian influenza, including eight who died, suggests that no currently available drugs are very effective against the disease.

Feb 25, 2004

FBI offers details on ricin-laced letter to White House

(CIDRAP News) – The FBI this week released a photo of a letter addressed to the White House last fall that contained ricin and threatened to "turn D.C. into a ghost town" if new trucking regulations went into effect.

The letter stated, "If you change the hours of service on January 4, 2004 I will turn D.C. into a ghost town. The powder on the letter is RICIN have a nice day Fallen Angel."

Feb 24, 2004

Feb 24, 2004

Y pseudotuberculosis infections traced to lettuce

(CIDRAP News) – An unusual intestinal infection that is often mistaken for appendicitis has been traced to a specific food source, iceberg lettuce, for the first time, according to a report in the Mar 1 Journal of Infectious Diseases (JID).

Feb 24, 2004

USDA probing reports that BSE-infected cow could walk

(CIDRAP News) – The inspector general of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investigating allegations that the nation's first cow with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was not a "downer" when it arrived at a slaughter plant in December.

Feb 23, 2004

Feb 23, 2004

USDA advisors seek to sort out BSE risk estimates

(CIDRAP News) – A US Department of Agriculture (USDA) advisory committee says it needs help resolving different assessments of the nation's risk for more cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) before it can complete its recommendations for further steps to prevent the disease.

Feb 23, 2004

Feb 23, 2004

Avian flu in Texas is highly pathogenic

(CIDRAP News) – Genetic analysis has shown that an avian influenza outbreak at a poultry farm in Texas involves a highly pathogenic H5N2 virus, but it poses little risk to humans, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today.

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