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March 21, 2013 | By Paige St. John, This post has been updated. See below for details.
This post has been updated. See the note below for details. California corrections officials are seeking help from other state agencies before moving on recommendations to divert large numbers of inmates from valley fever-stricken prisons. “The health and safety of our employees and of the inmates housed in our prisons is of the utmost importance," the state corrections department said in a statement. It was released after lawyers for inmates on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order California to stop sending at-risk inmates to the two San Joaquin Valley prisons where valley fever has been tied to 43 inmate deaths.
March 11, 2013 | By Amina Khan
A four-year survey of a strange salmonella outbreak in children found that the culprits appear to be pet African dwarf frogs, according to researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study released Monday in the journal Pediatrics is the first to link a nationwide outbreak of Salmonella typhimurium to an amphibian species. Salmonella is typically a food-borne disease: Nontyphoidal salmonella sickens an estimated 1.2 million people per year, hospitalizing 23,000 and resulting in 450 deaths.
March 8, 2013 | Sandy Banks
There's a $200-million hotel on the drawing board for downtown Los Angeles, so tourists from around the globe can kick up their heels at LA Live. And a few miles away on downtown's skid row, there's a TB outbreak brewing in a stew of Third World-style squalor and disorder. It's the yin and yang of our city's clumsily evolving downtown scene: We haven't managed to seal the deal for a professional football team, but we have been able to produce and sustain our own unique tuberculosis strain.
February 22, 2013 | Anna Gorman and Andrew Blankstein
Public health officials have launched a new, coordinated attack to contain a persistent outbreak of tuberculosis on downtown Los Angeles' skid row, including a search for more than 4,500 people who may have been exposed to the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has dispatched scientists to Los Angeles to help local health officials determine why the disease is spreading and how to stop it. Officials say 11 have died since 2007. Sixty of the 78 cases were among homeless people who live on and around skid row. Scientists have recently linked the outbreak to a tuberculosis strain that is unique to Los Angeles, with a few isolated cases outside the area.
February 21, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Several officials at the now-defunct Peanut Corp. of America knew their products may have harbored salmonella bacteria, but they covered up the evidence and sold the food anyway, alleged a 76-count federal indictment unsealed this week. Peanut butter, roasted peanuts and other items prepared at PCA's Blakely, Ga. plant were linked to a 2009 salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 700 people across 46 states and may have contributed to nine deaths. One of the largest food-based recalls in history resulted, affecting thousands of products made since 2007, including cookies, cereal and even pet treats, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
February 1, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
This season's outbreak of flu continues to be high -- especially among the elderly and the young -- but appears to be waning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday. Flu-like illnesses appeared to be falling in the East but rising in the Western states. Forty-five children have died, the CDC reported . This year's flu season began earlier and appeared harsher than in past years. For the week ending Jan. 26, the CDC said, 42 states reported widespread geographic influenza activity while seven reported regional activity.
January 10, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
An early outbreak threatens to makes this year's influenza season one of the most difficult in recent years as public health officials brace for the worst. Hospitals in the Northeast, from New Jersey to Massachusetts, are reporting record numbers of emergency room visits related to flu-like illnesses, and Boston has declared a public health emergency. At least 41 states have reported widespread flu outbreaks, more than 2,250 people have been hospitalized and 18 children have died, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
January 4, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee and Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times
The Food and Drug Administration has proposed sweeping rules to curtail food-borne illnesses that kill thousands of Americans annually - and, in the process, to transform itself into an agency that prevents contamination, not one that merely investigates outbreaks. The rules, drafted with an eye toward strict standards in California and some other states, enable the implementation of the landmark Food Safety Modernization Act that President Obama signed two years ago in response to a string of deadly outbreaks of illness from contaminated spinach, eggs, peanut butter and imported produce.
January 1, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - State regulators are responding to a deadly nationwide meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated drugs by seeking new power to inspect out-of-state pharmacies that sell special-order prescription drugs in California. In September, the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., sent three shipments of contaminated injectable steroid solutions to 76 healthcare facilities and pain-control clinics in 23 states, including four in California. These customized drugs, which were injected into patients' spines and joints, caused 39 deaths among 620 reported cases of fungal meningitis and other infections, according to a Dec. 17 report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
November 29, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - A nomadic medical technician who held hospital jobs from Arizona to New England has been indicted in connection with a hepatitis C outbreak that infected more than 30 patients at a New Hampshire hospital and exposed thousands of others in Pennsylvania, Maryland and other states. David M. Kwiatkowski, a 33-year-old former radiology technician, was charged Wednesday by a federal grand jury with seven counts of tampering with a consumer product and seven counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, the Justice Department said Thursday.
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