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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2013 | By Anna Gorman and Ari Bloomekatz
Two more men died from bacterial  meningitis  late last year, according to the  AIDS  Healthcare Foundation. The organization said Tuesday that a 30-year-old Los Angeles man and a 30-year-old San Diego student both died in December from the disease. Public health officials have not said whether the cases are the same strain that caused the death of a 33-year-old West Hollywood lawyer over the weekend, or even confirmed the cases at all.  The death of West Hollywood resident Brett Shaad, who died less than a week after becoming ill, has prompted concern among some health advocates about the start of a possible outbreak of the contagious  disease . An outbreak in New York, primarily among gay men, has infected nearly two dozen people and killed seven victims in recent years.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2013 | By Anna Gorman and Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
Two more men died from bacterial meningitis late last year, according to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The organization said Tuesday that a 30-year-old Los Angeles man and a 30-year-old San Diego student both died in December from the disease. Public health officials have not said whether the cases were the same strain as the one that caused the death of a 33-year-old West Hollywood lawyer last weekend. State officials said they were investigating the additional deaths and would report their findings if bacterial meningitis is confirmed.
SCIENCE
April 4, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
The number of people sickened by the H7N9 bird flu virus climbed to 14 on Thursday -- and the death count jumped to five -- as the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture reported that it may have detected the virus in pigeon samples at a Shanghai poultry market. Officials in Shanghai began slaughtering birds at the market to slow spread of the disease, which so far has infected only people who come in close contact with birds and does not appear to pass from person to person.  That a place like Shanghai appears to be a center for the spread of H7N9, which wasn't known to sicken people before this outbreak, makes sense, said Trevon Fuller, a research fellow at UCLA's Center for Tropical Research . Fuller and colleagues recently published a study (see related items at left for Los Angeles Times coverage)
NEWS
April 4, 2013 | By Monte Morin
Following an outbreak of E. coli cases in 15 states, Rich Products has expanded its recall to include all food products made at its Waycross, Ga., plant, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Buffalo, N.Y., company recalled almost 200,000 pounds of frozen chicken quesadillas and other frozen meals on March 28 after local health officials linked the outbreak to a package of quesadillas. "Testing conducted by the New York State Department of Health, Wadsworth Center Laboratory, identified the outbreak strain of STEC O121 in an open package of Farm Rich brand frozen quesadillas from an ill person's home," said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The expanded recall includes all products produced at the Waycross plant with "Best by" dates that range from Jan. 1, 2013, to Sept.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
SCIENCE
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
BUSINESS
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.
NATIONAL
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.
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