Physicians in the U.S. write more than 250 million prescriptions a year for opioid painkillers — and that’s not including all the painkiller prescriptions written for patients with cancer or acute/chronic pain. That’s enough for every adult in the U.S. to have their own bottle of pills. Meanwhile, every day more than 40 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging primary care physicians — who prescribe about half of all opioids — to rethink how generous they are with their prescriptions. [More]
Even if you’re not pouring mountains of salt over everything you eat, you still might be consuming more sodium than the recommended 2,300 milligrams per day. It’s easy to see why, the Centers for Disease Control says, when food companies and restaurants are pouring salt into their products. [More]
When last we discussed the recently announced outbreak of E. Coli illnesses tied to chicken salad sold at Costco, the sick customers had been limited to four states — Washington, Colorado, Utah, and Montana. Last night, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that the outbreak is more widespread, sickening Costco customers on both coasts. [More]
After linking a number of cases of E. coli poisoning back to chicken salad bought at Costco, the warehouse chain has pulled the product from its shelves in the western portion of the U.S. [More]
The question of who is in charge of a given foodborne outbreak can become complicated in the United States: responsibility for testing and recalling different food types and for tracing infectious diseases is split between three federal government and numerous state and local government agencies. Yet there is one great tool that the infectious disease experts over at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have given us: The FOOD database. [More]
While most doctors try to honor their oath to do no harm, some physicians just want to be paid (or are really, really, just horrible at their jobs). Take, for example, the 1-in-10 doctors responsible for writing the majority of painkiller prescriptions. [More]
Did you tie one on last night and have a few too many whiskeys/margaritas/beers? And are you at work right now, bleary-eyed and slow, or perhaps “sick” at home with a raging hangover? Your excessive drinking habits aren’t just a drain on your body, they’re costing the American economy hundreds of billions of dollars every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For decades, livestock farmers inadvertently encouraged the development of drug-resistant bacteria by providing a continuous stream of medically unnecessary antibiotics to their cows, pigs, and chickens — primarily to end up with bigger animals — while the Food and Drug Administration kept the issue on the back-burner. Meanwhile, antibiotic-resistant pathogens sicken more than two million people in the U.S. each year, resulting in at least 23,000 deaths. Now that everyone from consumers to lawmakers to public health advocates to McDonald’s and even Walmart are starting to care about the topic, the FDA is starting to listen. [More]
If you wear contact lenses, you’ve probably had that moment when you wake up and realize you fell asleep with your lenses in, making your eyes feel gluey and dry. Or perhaps you’ve got extended wear contacts and have gotten accustomed to leaving them in for long periods of time. The Centers for Disease Control says you’re not alone — most contact lens wearers aren’t always so great with hygiene, and many wear their lenses for longer periods than they’re supposed to.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration imposed a partial import ban on cilantro grown in Mexico after an outbreak of the parasitic gastrointestinal illness Cyclosporiasis was traced to specific fields and processing facilities in that country. So far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, government agencies have been able to confirm 358 cases of the illness, in 26 states. [More]
Stewart Parnell is the former owner of Peanut Corporation of America, the company behind a salmonella outbreak that sickened hundreds and killed nine people in 2008 and 2009. Last year, a federal jury convicted him of knowingly shipping tainted peanut butter, and this week prosecutors in the case recommended he receive a life sentence for his crimes. [More]
Though there are surely those of you health-conscious readers out there who undoubtedly consume bucketloads of fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, the truth is most of us aren’t eating enough of that good, healthy stuff. That’s according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC Says Its Investigation Into Blue Bell Listeria Outbreak Is Over (But People Could Still Get Sick)
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its final report on the recent outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes linked to contaminated Blue Bell Creameries ice cream products and deemed it over, we might not be out of the woods yet: Consumers could still get sick from eating contaminated ice cream that’s hanging out in their freezers, which is something some people are apparently doing.
Raw seafood might be delicious, but there’s always that chance that it could make you sick: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that while it hasn’t conclusively determined the cause of a recent salmonella outbreak that’s spread to nine states and infected up to 53 people, it could be linked to sushi made with raw tuna.
White House Acknowledges Health Risk Of Antibiotics Overuse; Critics Say It Fails To Fully Address Problem
In a new White House report on antibiotic resistance, the Obama administration acknowledges the serious public health risk posed by the over-prescription and overuse of antibiotics, and details multi-agency plans to combat the problem. However, many critics of the report say that these plans fail to close a loophole that will allow farmers to continue using medically unnecessary antibiotics on farm animals (who consume 80% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S.) primarily for the purpose of growth promotion. [More]
Federal safety agencies and poison control centers have continuously expressed concern that the ever-popular, and convenient detergent pods are extremely dangerous to children, with more than 17,000 kids being poisoned by ingesting the detergent since they came on the scene three years ago. Today, the House and Senate took steps to ensure the single-serve detergent packs no long threaten childrens’ safety by introducing legislation that would enact stricter packaging standards for liquid detergent. [More]
There are three different agencies in the federal government that handle different types of foodborne illnesses and separate aspects of those illnesses. While two outbreaks might be caused by the same pathogen, which agency handles them depends on whether the food contains meat or not. This is sort of inefficient. [More]
While the ease of pre-packaged meals for the wee set is surely tempting, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says parents should be aware that many contain worrisome amounts of salt and sugar.