Two deaths probed as E coli cases reach 166

first_img CDC update A sample from a Maryland woman and some of the spinach she ate before she got sick are being tested at a Maryland state lab, and results may not be known for several days, Washington County Health Department spokesman Rod MacRae told the Associated Press (AP) today. Once investigators pinpoint the cause of the outbreak, federal officials will evaluate what went wrong, David Acheson, MD, chief medical officer for the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said at a news conference yesterday. Officials will first determine if food safety rules were followed properly, he said. If spinach contamination occurred despite good compliance by farmers and producers, the FDA will consider issuing additional mandates, Acheson said. See also: The CDC said the woman died Sep 13 and had recently consumed fresh spinach. E coli O157:H7 was cultured from her stool, but DNA fingerprinting to determine if it is the outbreak strain has not been possible, the agency said. The CDC said today that 31% of children under 18 in the outbreak suffered HUS. For adults aged 18 to 59, the HUS rate was 7%, and for those 60 and older the rate was 16%. Teams from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and the state of California have narrowed their investigation of the outbreak to nine farms in California’s greater Salinas Valley area, on the basis of information from spinach bags found in the homes of some patients and records from three companies that recalled fresh spinach products. “This is a very suspicious association at this point, there’s no question about it,” MacRae said. He said the woman was a Washington County resident in her 80s. A 2-year-old Idaho boy with HUS died Sep 20, but E coli O157:H7 has not been detected in his samples, the CDC said. Christine Hahn, MD, an epidemiologist at the Idaho Department of Health, told the AP that the boy had bloody diarrhea and that family members said he had eaten packaged spinach. At an FDA press briefing yesterday, Acheson said one possibility would be labeling spinach with the place of origin.center_img Sep 22, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Nine more cases were found in a nationwide outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections linked to fresh spinach, raising the total to 166, and two more deaths are suspected to be part of the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today. Food growers have held meetings this week on how to strengthen their food safety processes. After a meeting yesterday between regulators and 200 industry members, Tom Nassif, president and chief executive officer of the Western Growers Association, told reporters that regulators said investigation findings and new industry-produced food safety guidelines are needed before the FDA will lift its warning against eating raw spinach. Nassif was quoted in the Monterey County (Calif.) Herald. Michael Doyle, director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety, told the Washington Post, “I liken this to Jack in the Box all over again.” He referred to a 1993 E coli outbreak linked to the chain’s hamburgers, which sickened 700 people and killed four children. The outbreak prompted the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue tougher processing standards. An article in the Los Angeles Times said today that regulatory oversight for fresh produce isn’t as rigorous as it is for beef, poultry, and seafood. Safety guidelines for the handling of fresh produce are voluntary, and the number of inspections of processing facilities has been declining for years, the article said. State health officials in Maryland and Idaho are awaiting test results to determine if two patients who died from known or suspected E coli infections this week have the same strain implicated in the outbreak. The outbreak has now affected people in 25 states, two more than yesterday, the CDC said. Eighty-eight people (53%) were hospitalized. Cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of the illness, remain at 27. One death was previously confirmed to be linked to the outbreak. The FDA issued its fresh spinach alert on Sep 14 after the CDC announced that 50 patients in eight states had been diagnosed with E coli infections and that fresh or raw spinach was the food most of them had in common. “We know that if he had that kidney disease, it makes it very probable that he had E coli,” Hahn said. She added that test results would likely be available next week.last_img read more


Uruguay rides out COVID threat without imposing a lockdown

first_imgTopics : Uruguay’s president was recently photographed surfing in the early morning ahead of a cabinet meeting, symbolizing his government’s relief that a policy of “freedom with responsibility” in containing the COVID-19 pandemic is succeeding.Photos of 47-year-old Luis Lacalle Pou emerging from the South Atlantic in a wetsuit with a board under his arm and a smile on his lips hit the newsstands on Tuesday, as Europe reopened its borders to 15 countries. The list included only one Latin American country: Uruguay. Gradual easing Uruguay chose to ease back to normal gradually, beginning in April with the return of 45,000 construction workers. Later, cafes and restaurants reopened, followed by gyms in May. Shopping centers reopened in mid-June and football, the national passion, is due to resume on August 15, though in empty stadiums.The economic shock however has been considerable: 200,000 people are unemployed, a massive spike from the 10,000 at the start of the pandemic. Exports fell 16 percent in the first half of the year, and GDP is expected to fall by 3.0 percent this year. The IMF is forecasting a 9.4 percent contraction for all of Latin America this year.The government is also relaxing requirements in a bid to attract foreign investment.This week, Uruguay became the first country in the region to allow schools, colleges and universities to reopen.The government however is refusing to declare victory, fearing flare-ups or even a second wave. Meanwhile, after three months of voluntary confinement, Uruguayans are easing back into a semblance of normality.In February work started on the first tests to screen for the virus, said Henry Cohen, a specialist on the government’s COVID-19 advisory board. “Today we have more than the country needs,” he said.Spanish carrier Iberia is to resume direct flights between Madrid and Montevideo on Sunday, though land borders with Brazil and Argentina remain closed.Facundo Caballero, 29, has been waiting to join his girlfriend in Europe since his flight to Paris was canceled in March.”I’ve been waiting for someone to tell me ‘go ahead’ and I’ll go for it. You never know if there is a second wave and I have to stay here longer,” he said. Closures, but no lockdown Instead, amid industry furloughs and school and border closures, officials  urged people to stay indoors and strictly adhere to social distancing.The message was drilled home in the media and by police helicopters flying overhead.The center-right president, who took office in early March as the pandemic was heating up, has said he opted for “individual freedom” rather than “a police regime.” The calls for self-isolation were widely followed.Infectious diseases specialist Alvaro Galiana attributes Uruguay’s success to early tracing.”The early appearance of well known cases, at a time when the circulation of the virus within the population was very limited, led to adequate measures being implemented — even if at the time they seemed exaggerated — right at the start of the school year,” Galiana said, referring to the southern hemisphere’s school year.Uruguay’s demographics were also in its favor, given a low population density and the absence of large urban centers outside of the capital Montevideo. With less than 1,000 registered novel coronavirus cases and just 27 deaths, the country of 3.4 million is a notable exception in a region that has become the epicenter of the global health crisis. Uruguay currently has just 83 active cases, while its giant neighbor Brazil is the world’s worst-hit country after the United States.This success is especially remarkable as there never was an official lockdown.last_img read more



first_imgNo one questions a football or basketball coach putting substitutes into a game.  It is a regular practice.  Think what these games would be like if you had to designate before the game only an exact number of players you were going to use–like 11 in football or 5 in basketball.  That is the rule in track.  You may list alternates in each event for a meet, but you must designate before the meet begins who will run in that event.  After the meet starts, you may not substitute–even if one of your runners gets hurt.  You are allowed to list more than 4 for a relay.The Track and Field Association has tried for years to get this rule rescinded.  The IHSAA always replies that it would be too confusing during the meet and would prolong the time it would take to complete the meet.  Track coaches know that this is not the case with the technology that is available today.  The meet timing system can replace a name on its sheet in the time it takes for the operator to type in the name.  This is no time at all.last_img read more


Austin Rivers decides against rest before Clippers’ loss

first_imgFor whatever reason, no one got Sunday night off to rest before a 111-102 loss to the Pacers.“Everybody’s good,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said pregame.Whether they are or not, it might be hard to get an honest self-evaluation from Clipper players.Paul and Crawford were both asked Friday how they’d react if they were next to sit, and neither player seemed thrilled with the idea. Still, the Clippers have invested in the biomedical department, and Crawford said he understood why the team would want to utilize the technologies. “We hired a lot of people this summer. And, you know, from a coaching point you just got to trust them,” Rivers said. “They clearly know more than me. A lot of teams are doing it, a lot of teams have raved about him. Honestly, some teams and some of the players on other teams have not liked it. But it’s done for the good of the player and obviously the team, so you just got to trust the process.”Griffin and Redick both had discussions with the Clippers’ player performance staff before ultimately accepting the decision.“You want pushback,” Rivers said.It just probably won’t matter.“No, I can’t be convinced,” he said. “I can be convinced if both sides are willing to negotiate. But I can’t be convinced if the scientists say no. Then that’s no. That’s a fact, and that won’t change.”Pierce playing for defensive purposesThe Clippers’ five-man unit of Austin Rivers, Crawford, Marreese Speights, Raymond Felton and Wesley Johnson, statistically, is the second best defensive group in the NBA. Opponents have scored only 91.1 points per 100 possessions against that lineup – second among 5-man groups that have played at least 100 minutes this season. So, it stands to reason that Rivers has decided to use veteran Paul Pierce instead of Johnson for an offensive boost, right?“And that’s where you’re wrong actually,” Rivers said. “Because actually I think Paul probably knows the positioning better than anyone. Like the Cleveland game, he had two plays where he was in the right spot defensively. “That was more of a defensive decision.”The 5-man lineup with Pierce, Rivers, Crawford, Speights and Felton is allowing 109.6 points per 100 possessions in 31 minutes prior to Sunday’s game. Johnson replaced Pierce in the rotation in the second half after another poor defensive stretch for the bench in the second quarter. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img LOS ANGELES >> Playing for the 22nd time in just 36 days, Sunday night against Indiana might’ve been the night to tap Chris Paul or Jamal Crawford on the shoulder and tell them it’s time.J.J. Redick had to do it on Friday in New Orleans. Blake Griffin had to do it in Brooklyn.And soon, it’ll be someone else’s turn.Maybe it’s because the Clippers get two days off before the game. Maybe it’s because the workload for Paul and DeAndre Jordan has been a little lighter.last_img read more