News & Perspective

Jan 30, 2009

Jan 30, 2009

FDA starts criminal probe in Salmonella outbreak

(CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration said today it is starting a criminal investigation of Peanut Corp. of America (PCA), the company whose peanut processing plant in Georgia has been linked with a Salmonella outbreak involving more than 500 cases nationwide.

The FDA announcement came amid a flurry of other developments related to the outbreak:

Jan 30, 2009

Minnesota groups issue reports on allocating pandemic resources

(CIDRAP News) – Minnesota health groups today unveiled two preliminary guidance reports designed to help the state make and implement difficult decisions about allocating scare resources such as antivirals, respirators, ventilators, and vaccines during a severe influenza pandemic.

Jan 29, 2009

Jan 29, 2009

House-passed stimulus bill includes pandemic funding

(CIDRAP News) – Yesterday the US House of Representatives passed an $819 billion economic stimulus bill that included funding for pandemic influenza and bioterrorism countermeasures, and now the Senate will debate its version of the measure, which also includes spending on some of the same items.

Jan 28, 2009

Jan 28, 2009

FDA cites problems at peanut butter plant; recall expanded

(CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today released its inspection findings on the Georgia peanut butter plant that has been linked to a nationwide Salmonella outbreak, saying the company shipped products that had initially tested positive for Salmonella and citing various other questionable practices.

Jan 27, 2009

Jan 27, 2009

Tests reveal pig worker has Ebola antibodies

(CIDRAP News) – Health officials in the Philippines recently announced that a worker who had contact with sick pigs tested positive for antibodies to the Ebola Reston virus, a pathogen that was discovered about a month ago for the first time in pigs.

Eric Tayag, head of the National Epidemiology Centre, said the case represent the first known pig-to-human Ebola Reston virus transmission, according to a Jan 24 Associated Press (AP) report.

Jan 27, 2009

CDC's preparedness chief named acting director

(CIDRAP News) – Richard E. Besser, MD, who formerly directed terrorism preparedness and emergency response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was named last week as the agency's acting director.

Besser replaces Julie L. Gerberding, MD, MPH, who had led the agency since July 2002 and stepped down as President Barack Obama took office last week.

Jan 26, 2009

Jan 26, 2009

Four new cases push H5N1 total past 400

(CIDRAP News) – Health ministries in China and Egypt reported four new human H5N1 avian influenza cases over the past few days, including three from different parts of China, two of which were fatal.

Today's World Health Organization (WHO) confirmation of a case in a 2-year-old Egyptian girl pushed the global H5N1 case count to 400. If the WHO confirms all of the new cases and deaths, the total will rise to 403 cases, 254 of them fatal.

Jan 26, 2009

Canada confirms avian flu outbreak on turkey farm

(CIDRAP News) – Canadian authorities have confirmed that an H5 avian influenza virus, probably low-pathogenic, has surfaced on a turkey farm in southern British Columbia.

Canadian news agencies said authorities were preparing to cull up to 60,000 turkeys on the farm near Abbotsford, southeast of Vancouver in the Fraser Valley.

Jan 23, 2009

Jan 23, 2009

Nursing home cases were key in Minnesota Salmonella probe

(CIDRAP News) – A physician's report of diarrhea cases in a nursing home, followed by the discovery of cases in several other institutions, provided the key that enabled Minnesota disease detectives to figure out before anyone else that peanut butter was the culprit in the current nationwide Salmonella outbreak.

Jan 23, 2009

Canada suspects avian flu outbreak; H5N1 hits more Bangladeshi farms

(CIDRAP News) – Canadian officials are investigating the possibility of an avian influenza outbreak at a turkey farm in British Columbia (BC), a day after animal health officials in Bangladesh reported the H5N1 virus struck three more sites.

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