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03 Aug 2011 20:23


Biz: Latest salmonella outbreak forces recall of lots of freaking turkey

  • 36 million pounds of ground turkey; no word on how many giblets source
  • » One person killed, 76 sickened: Salmonella is no laughing matter, and Cargill is responding quickly to the crisis. “It is regrettable that people may have become ill from eating one of our ground turkey products and, for anyone who did, we are truly sorry,” said Steve Willardsen, who’s in charge of the company’s turkey-processing business. Ground turkey is particularly susceptible to salmonella contamination — at any given time, federal research says that 10 to 15 percent of all ground turkey is contaminated with salmonella. In the case of the Cargill outbreak, the meat was infected with a antibiotic-resistant variety called Salmonella Heidelberg. While cooking the meat at 165° F kills the salmonella, the problem arises when handling the meat, which can infect other foods nearby. Might want to be careful, carnivores.

21 Jul 2011 14:26


World: Bill Gates wants to bring some big changes to the toilet

  • No innovation in the past 200 years has done more to save lives and improve health than the sanitation revolution triggered by invention of the toilet. But it did not go far enough. It only reached one-third of the world. What we need are new approaches. New ideas. In short, we need to reinvent the toilet.
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation global development program president Sylvia Mathews Burwell • Offering two things: One, an opportunity for toilet humor (we’ll pass), and two, an honest argument by Bill Gates’ group that perhaps the sanitation industry hasn’t gone far enough in the third world. So they want to figure out a way to take a device which the first world has taken for granted and improve its weaknesses, so that it works without a nearby sanitation mechanism, it’s cheap and human waste is treated and somehow recycled or changed into a form which is harmless and doesn’t spread disease. He has the money to do it, guys — let’s just hope there aren’t any blue screens of death that hit when you have to go. source

13 Jul 2011 23:04


Tech: New AIDS prevention drug shows promising results

  • Headway in the fight against HIV: A drug called Truvada is effective in preventing AIDS contraction up to 73% of the time, according to two new studies carried out in Africa. The drug has been tested before with less stellar results, but researchers now suspect the earlier study may have been flawed. The catch with preventative drugs, of course, is that you have to remember to take them before the risk presents itself, but still, this is great news. source

12 Jun 2011 20:31


Culture: Bill Gates explains his philosophy on philanthropy

  • The motto of the foundation is that every life has equal value. There are more people dying of malaria than any specific cancer. When you die of malaria aged three it’s different from being in your seventies, when you might die of a heart attack or you might die of cancer. And the world is putting massive amounts into cancer, so my wealth would have had a meaningless impact on that.
  • Bill Gates • Discussing his philanthropy organization, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and why it chooses to focus on malaria over cancer. Gates, the world’s second-richest man, doesn’t give a lot of interviews, but when he does, he makes them count. In this Daily Mail piece, he avoids focusing too much on his past and more on what he’s doing now — working to ensure his money gets used in ways that can positively affect people’s lives. His 85-year-old dad even helps. And he doesn’t do it from a distance, either: “It is important to see places. When you go into a ward with kids who have cholera, it’s horrific. They are losing their vital fluids and their brains are shutting down. As a father, as a human, it’s just horrific.” Gates’ work as a philanthropist could one day overshadow his work with Microsoft. It’s that important. source

10 Jun 2011 14:12


World: Blame bean sprouts: Source of E.coli outbreak finally found

  • The whole thing is a big scandal. People were very unsettled. Every day something difference was announced. Now I hear on the radio that it was the sprouts. But people were living buying less fruit. That is simply insane.
  • Riza Cetinkaya, a grocery store worker in Germany • It seems like German officials have finally found the source of the deadly E coli outbreak that’s been sweeping Germany, and it’s not the Spanish cucumber. The virus bacterium is coming from bean sprouts produced at an organic farm in Germany. They’re almost positive they’ve found the right source this time, and they’ve stopped the farm from producing anything until they get it figured out. However, lab tests have given them nothing but negatives on the sprouts … so they still don’t know how it happened to begin with. Definitely a story we’re going to keep watching. source

02 Jun 2011 10:37


World: Rare German strain of E.coli “more virulent and toxin-producing”

  • This is a unique strain that has never been isolated from patients before … [it has] various characteristics that make it more virulent and toxin-producing.
  • World Health Organization food safety expert Hilde Kruse • Describing what makes the mutant strain of E.coli — the one found mostly in Germany at this point — much more dangerous than previous versions. The disease, which sickened more than 1,500 and left nearly 500 with a rare type of kidney failure, is the third-largest outbreak of E.coli ever. So, where did it come from? “One should think of an animal source,” Kruse suggested. “Many animals are hosts of various types of toxin-producing E. coli.” source

27 Mar 2011 21:03


U.S.: Tuberculosis cases reach their lowest level ever in the U.S.

  • 11,181 total number of tuberculosis cases found in the U.S. in 2010
  • 3.9% the decline in that number from 2009 — an already low year
  • 3.6 number of cases of TB per 100,000 people — it’s almost beat source
  • » Some clouds on that silver lining: While levels are at their lowest in recorded history, officials hoped to have killed TB for good in the U.S. by 2010, by having less than 1 case per 100,000 people. “The rate we have now is 36 times higher than that,” said Dr. Kenneth G. Castro, who is in charge of the CDC’s tuberculosis-defeating efforts. And certain groups — particularly minorities, AIDS sufferers and immigrants from other countries — are much more susceptible to TB. Over time, some strains of tuberculosis have gotten more resistant, too.

27 Feb 2011 22:15


U.S.: Have you traveled lately? Bad news; there’s a measles threat, guys.

  • one New Mexico woman with a possible case of measles
  • three big-city airports she went through last week after leaving London
  • 1000’s of people could’ve gotten measles from her (yikes!) source

14 Nov 2010 12:09


World: Haiti’s cholera outbreak tops 900, spreads throughout country

  • 917 the current death toll from waterborne cholera in Haiti as of Friday
  • 14.7k the number of hospitalizations caused by the outbreak
  • six of the country’s ten provinces have had cholera outbreaks source

07 Nov 2010 12:07


World: Haiti’s cholera outbreak gets much larger after Hurricane Tomas

  • 500+ people have died in Haiti’s recent cholera outbreak
  • 7,000+ have fallen ill to the very scary waterborne disease source