If you're planning on taking a salad to your Thanksgiving potluck this year, be wicked careful of what you throw into it: The Centers for Disease Control is currently warning everyone, frigging everywhere to avoid romaine lettuce as if eating it could dose you with E Coli... because there's a pretty decent chance that it will. According to the CDC's Twitter feed for the time being we none of us should be eating "...any romaine lettuce, including whole heads and hearts, chopped, organic and salad mixes with romaine" until they figure out what the source of E Coli is and how much of the romaine supply chain has been contaminated by it. For the complete lowdown on what the CDC knows so far, you'll want to check out their E coli alert page.
For those unfamiliar with it, E coli (Escherichia coli,) bacteria can be found in the guts of healthy folks and many animals. It's fine, for the most part! Some strains of the bug, however, are not so fine. Should one of these strains of E coli get into our systems, typically via the ingestion of contaminated water or food, those stricken by the bug can suffer symptoms ranging fa quick bout of the trots to serious issues with symptoms including severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
So, maybe serve up a kale, iceberg or coleslaw salad this year, instead. It'll give everyone gathered around your table one more reason to be thankful.
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You may have heard that an Emirates flight EK 203 was quarantined by the Center for Disease Control at John F. Kennedy Airport immediately after landing earlier this week. At first, it was crazy town: ABC news reported that 100 people on the flight were sick with fevers and uncontrollable coughing. Vanilla Ice was on board! But as the CDC and the NYPD began to get a handle on what was going on, things felt a little less scary. Only 10 people in total--maybe--were sick. Only 11 of the 100 sick individuals were taken to the hospital. More than half of the passengers were found to be healthy. Those who were healthy enough to forgo medical attention were released to go about their lives, provided they reported any worsening systems to the CDC. Also, Vanilla Ice is just fine. According to the CDC, all signs point to the illness being a flu.
Knowing this doesn't make me feel any better about the fact that two more planes landing in the United States were placed under heavy scrutiny by health officials.
From The Verge:
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Both of today’s flights were on American Airlines: one from Munich and another from Paris. They landed at Philadelphia International Airport with about a dozen people in total on board who felt sick, according to a statement from the airport. That in itself is not that unusual because of the dry air and the prevalence of cat dander on planes, Allen Parmet, an aerospace medicine expert, told The Verge in an interview yesterday: “It’s actually pretty common to have somebody coughing in a plane.”
But to be safe, “all passengers on the two flights — totaling about 250 plus crew — were held for a medical review and the CDC was notified,” the Philadelphia International Airport said in a statement.
Brenda Fitzgerald was Donald Trump's Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, charged with reducing smoking among Americans and doing work that directly affected the financial fortunes of tobacco companies when she bought a stake in Japan Tobacco.
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Epidemiology is intrinsically at odds with right-wing ideology: the idea that all humans have a shared microbial and viral destiny, one that entwines the poorest and richest among us, which cannot be severed by the highest walls or all the private security in the world is a significant barrier to anyone who dreams of Going Galt and declaring themselves to be responsible only to themselves -- there is no Ayn Rand novel thick enough to stop you from getting antibiotic resistant TB.
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Motor vehicle deaths continue to drop in the US this century. Firearm deaths continue to rise. If the CDC's WISQARS data holds its path since 2013, guns will soon be America's top killing machine. The 17 states (and one district) in order are: Read the rest
The Epidemic Intelligence Service is the crack CDC team that investigates new diseases. (If you want to read more about them, I'd recommend checking out Maryn McKenna's Beating Back the Devil.) Now, you can play Epidemic Intelligence operative at home, with the CDC's new iPad app game, Solve the Outbreak. Fulfill all your childhood, Hot Zone-induced fantasies! Read the rest
Yes, bedbugs are gross. But before you go all Conan on any creepy creatures living in your mattress, please be aware that pesticides are both helpful and potentially dangerous. With bedbug infestations on the rise in many American cities, the Centers for Disease Control is trying to make people aware of the dangers of using too much pesticide, using the wrong types of pesticide, or not carefully following directions. Know what you're using on your home and know what any company you hire to spray is using, too. (Via Jen Gunter) Read the rest