May 15, 2009 | 1
Heads up, America, the wave-making health commissioner from the Big Apple is heading to Atlanta to run the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The White House tapped Tom Frieden, controversial commish of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as head of the CDC, where he'll start working early next month.
He's been a tough guy on public health issues in New York, pushing past opposition to ban transfats in restaurants and require calorie counts on the menus of chains, and raising an alarm (some say prematurely) about a multidrug resistant strain of HIV.
Supporters say he gets results. Critics say his focus on ends has justified some questionable means. “He doesn’t hesitate to use public health policy to kind of step all over civil liberties," a spokesperson for Housing Works, a nonprofit agency for homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV and AIDS, told The New York Times.
Apr 26, 2009 | 17
U.S. officials declared a public health emergency today over swine flu, now that 20 cases of the illness have been confirmed in the country, with 80 dead and 1,300 infected in Mexico.
Twenty cases—in California, Kansas, New York State and Texas, although none fatal—may not sound like a lot, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acting director Richard Besser told reporters in Washington, D.C., that is probably just the beginning. “We are seeing more cases of swine flu,” Besser said. “We expect to see more cases of swine flu. As we continue to look for cases, I expect we’re going to find them.”
Jan 11, 2009 | 2
The source of the salmonella outbreak that has sickened 399 people in 42 states since September may be peanut butter, Minnesota health officials said Friday. The Washington Post reports that the officials found salmonella in a five-pound container of King Nut brand creamy peanut butter. The product is sold to "long-term care facilities, hospitals, schools, universities, restaurants, delis, cafeterias and bakeries, but is not sold retail in grocery stores."
King Nut, of Solon, Ohio, said in a statement yesterday that it was recalling all of its peanut butter manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America, of Lynchburg, Va., including the Parnell's Pride brand.
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