Apr 9, 2009
Cases of food-borne illnesses, including infections such as salmonella and Escherichia coli that have been at the center of recent outbreaks, have held steady for the past four years, federal health officials said today.
Salmonella was the most common bacteria transmitted by contaminated food last year, according to today's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Rates of the infection, which has sickened 691 people and possibly killed nine in a recent outbreak via tainted peanut butter, have decreased the least of the nine illnesses that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documents in the report.
Mar 14, 2009
President Barack Obama today tapped former New York City Public Health Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, 54, to head the embattled U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and announced creation of a new panel to examine and update food safety laws in the wake of an outbreak of salmonella that sickened hundreds.
Obama announced the moves during his weekly radio address in which he blamed a lack of food inspections and antiquated laws and regs for creating a "demoralized" FDA as well as conditions ripe for a string of food-borne infections over the past few years, including the recent salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter and paste churned out at a contaminated Georgia plant.
Mar 5, 2009 | 1
CNN is reporting that its chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta today withdrew from consideration as the nation's surgeon general. The network said that its go-to health guy declined to comment.
News outlets reported in January that President Obama had offered Gupta, 39, a practicing neurosurgeon, the top health slot after a face-to-face in November.
The correspondent, who is known for reporting on public health crises from around the world, also has some political cred: he served as a White House fellow in 1997 and as a special adviser to then- first lady Hillary Clinton.
Last we checked, Gupta was reportedly weighing whether he could afford (or wanted) to trade in his lucrative TV and medical gigs for a government job -- and move his pregnant wife and two kids from his base in Atlanta to Washington, D.C.
Jan 15, 2009 | 19
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new med to treat fibromyalgia, a mysterious disease characterized by chronic widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances and depression.
The agency yesterday gave its nod to Savella (milnacipran HCL), a type of antidepressant known as a dual selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI), according to drug makers New York City–based Forest Laboratories and Cypress Bioscience in San Diego. SSNRIs work by making it easier for neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to use the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine to send signals to one another. Both of these neurotransmitters are known to play a key role in regulating pain and mood.
Nov 13, 2008 | 4
Stephen Colbert does not have an MD. But he apparently has a keen understanding of clinical trials, perhaps because of his DFA – doctor of fine arts.
Colbert—or should we say Dr. Colbert?—reviewed the results of the JUPITER trial last night in the latest installment of “Cheating Death with Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA.” That trial, you may recall, suggested that even people with normal cholesterol levels may benefit from the drug Crestor (rosuvastatin), if their C-reactive protein (CRP) levels (inflammation markers) were high.
Colbert’s analysis cut right to the chase: “This is a great breakthrough in the battle to find things to prescribe to people who don’t need them.”
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