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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Oysters Recalled in Massachusetts

Oyster beds in Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, and Marshfield are closed until further notice because a pathogen that can cause nausea, fever, and other ailments has been linked to those areas, state officials said Friday.
The pathogen, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, has been tied to oysters harvested in the beds, the state Department of Public Health and Division of Marine Fisheries said in a joint statement.
Officials said the shuttered beds are in Plymouth Harbor, Kingston Bay, Duxbury Bay, Bluefish River, and Back River.
Harvesting oysters in these areas is prohibited during the closure, and officials have launched a recall of oysters collected from the affected spots since July 22, according to the statement. It is the first Vibrio outbreak linked to a specific harvest area in the Bay State, officials said.
Public health officials have linked three cases of Vibrio illness to oysters consumed from the affected areas, including two cases where oysters were eaten outside Massachusetts, the statement said. All three victims recovered.
Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The illness usually lasts for three days, but people with weak immune systems may experience serious health problems, the CDC said on its website.
About 10 percent of victims may require hospitalization for blood infections, state officials said.
In Massachusetts, officials have received 50 confirmed reports of the infection in residents since May 31, compared with 27 cases during the same time period last year, authorities said.
“Vibrio is an emerging, naturally occurring bacterial pathogen often found in oysters harvested from warmer waters,” said the statement from the Massachusetts agencies. “It is not related to pollution of Massachusetts shellfish.”

Wellness Pharmacy Recalls 6 more Drugs

 Wellness Pharmacy, Inc. is voluntarily recalling the following medications:
Product Name
Dexpanthenol 250mg/ml130605@5212/2/2013
Magnesium sulfate 50%130613@3812/10/2013
Methylcobalamin 1mg/ml130612@4912/9/2013
Sodium Phenylbutyrate 200mg/ml SDV PF130621@2810/19/2013
R.L. Glutathione 100mg/ml SUV PF130710@271/6/2014
Ascorbic acid (cassava) 500mg/ml PF SUV130711@131/7/2014

This recall was initiated after Wellness Pharmacy was notified that in a recent inspection of Front Range Labs, FDA investigators observed methods used by Front Range Labs to assess sterility and other qualities (e.g., strength and stability) may have resulted in Wellness Pharmacy receiving inaccurate sterility test results on these lots. FDA has concerns that test results obtained from Front Range Labs may not be reliable.

If there is microbial contamination in medications intended to be sterile, patients are at risk of serious infections which may be life threatening. To date Wellness Pharmacy has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall.

Recalled medications were distributed to individual patients and to physician offices nationwide. These liquid medications are in either clear or amber sterile vials ranging in size from 1ml to 50ml. The medications can be identified by the label on each vial, which will have the name of the drug, strength or concentration, lot number, use by date, and vial size.

Wellness Pharmacy is notifying its customers by telephone and regular mail of this recall. Patients and physicians should immediately discontinue use of these lots of medications, and return the recalled unexpired medications to Wellness Pharmacy.

To return medication or request assistance related to this recall, patients and physicians should contact Wellness Pharmacy at 205-879-6551 or 800-227-2627, Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. CDT.

Patients should contact their physician or health care provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to taking these medications.

Adverse reactions experienced with the use of these medications may be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

Regular Mail: use postage-paid, pre-addressed Form FDA 3500 available at Mail to address on the pre-addressed form.
Fax: 1-800-FDA-0178 

Travel Alert Poland Rubella (German Measles} Outbreak

As of August 15, 2013, a total of 36,087 cases of rubella have been reported in Poland since the beginning of 2013. The entire country is affected, but the western region (Malopolskie and Wielkopolskie provinces) has the highest number of cases. Other provinces with high numbers of cases include Lublin, Lubusz, Kuyavian-Pomeranian, Podkarpackie, Pomeranian, and Zachodniopomorskie (West Pomeranian).
CDC recommends that all travelers to Poland protect themselves from rubella by being up-to-date on their rubella vaccine.  Pregnant women who are not protected against rubella either through vaccination or previous rubella infection should avoid traveling to Poland during this outbreak. This is especially important during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.Talk to your healthcare provider if you are pregnant:
  • Before traveling to Poland, all pregnant women should talk with their health care providers to make sure they are protected against rubella and if it is advisable to travel.
  • Pregnant women who are not protected against rubella either through vaccination or previous rubella infection should avoid traveling to Poland during this outbreak. This is especially important during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.
  • MMR vaccine is contraindicated during pregnancy.
  • When rubella infection occurs during early pregnancy serious consequences—such as miscarriages, stillbirths, and a severe birth defects in infants (Congenital rubella syndrome, CRS) can result. As many as 85 of 100 babies born to mothers who had rubella in the first 3 months of her pregnancy will have a birth defect.

Great Britain: More Smoked Salmon Recalled

Loch Duart Artisan Smokehouse has recalled further batch codes of Smoked Salmon due to detection of Listeria monocytogenes, which may pose a risk to health. Listeria monocytogenes can cause illness in certain groups of people, such as pregnant women, unborn and newborn babies, and anyone with reduced immunity, particularly the over-60s.
The recall is for  Loch Duart Artisan Smokehouse Oak Smoked Salmon with batch codes: 07082, 15082, 13082 and 21082. They are packed in  sizes: 125g, 200g, 500g and include  whole sides (sliced and unsliced salmon. There were Pack sizes: 125g, 200g, 500g, whole sides (sliced and unsliced) and included  various 'use by' dates between 3 September 2013 and 21 September 2013
t.Product recall notices have been supplied to retailers to be displayed in store, advising consumers of the recall and what they can do if they have purchased the affected product. No other Loch Duart Artisan Smokehouse products are known to be affected.
If you have bought this product, with the above batch codes, please do not eat it. Instead, return it to the store it was purchased from or contact Loch Duart Artisan Smokehouse.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Polio in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia

According to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, as of August 20, 2013, 108 cases of polio have been reported from Somalia since April 2013. These are the first wild poliovirus cases reported in Somalia since 2007.
Also, 12 polio cases have been reported from Kenya. These are the first wild poliovirus cases confirmed in Kenya since July 2011. One case from July has been reported from the Somali Region of Ethiopia. This is the first wild poliovirus case reported in Ethiopia since 2008.
CDC recommends that all travelers to Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia be fully vaccinated against polio. In addition, adults should receive a one-time booster dose of polio vaccine.
Because of the risk of cross-border transmission, CDC recommends a one-time booster dose of polio vaccine for adults who are traveling to Djibouti, Eritrea, South Sudan, and Yemen and who are working in health care facilities, refugee camps, or other humanitarian aid settings. This kind of work might put people in contact with someone who has polio.
What is polio?
Polio is a disease caused by a virus that is mainly spread by person-to-person contact and eating or drinking items contaminated with the feces of an infected person. Polio can also be spread through water, other drinks, and raw or undercooked food.
Most people with polio do not feel sick. Some people have only minor symptoms, such as fever, tiredness, nausea, headache, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, stiffness in the neck and back, and pain in the arms and legs. Most people recover completely. In rare cases, polio causes permanent loss of muscle function in the arms or legs (usually the legs) or death.
What can travelers do to prevent polio?
  • Get the polio vaccine:
    • Ask your doctor or nurse to find out if you are up-to-date with your polio vaccination and whether you need a booster dose before traveling. Even if you were vaccinated as a child or have been sick with polio before, you may need a booster dose to make sure that you are protected. See individual destination pages for vaccine recommendation information.
    • Make sure children are vaccinated.
    • See Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) for more information.
  • Eat Safe Foods:
    • Food that is cooked and served hot
    • Hard-cooked eggs
    • Fruits and vegetables you have washed in clean water or peeled yourself
    • Pasteurized dairy products
  • Don’t Eat:
    • Food served at room temperature
    • Food from street vendors
    • Raw or soft-cooked (runny) eggs
    • Raw or undercooked (rare) meat or fish
    • Unwashed or unpeeled raw fruits and vegetables
    • Peelings from fruit or vegetables
    • Condiments (such as salsa) made with fresh ingredients
    • Salads
    • Unpasteurized dairy products
    • ”Bushmeat” (monkeys, bats, or other wild game)
  • Drink Safe Beverages:
    • Bottled water that is sealed (carbonated is safer)
    • Water that has been disinfected (boiled, filtered, treated)
    • Ice made with bottled or disinfected water
    • Carbonated drinks
    • Hot coffee or tea
    • Pasteurized milk
  • Don’t Drink:
    • Tap or well water
    • Ice made with tap or well water
    • Drinks made with tap or well water (such as reconstituted juice)
    • Flavored ice and popsicles
    • Unpasteurized milk
  • For more information, see Food and Water Safety.
  • Practice hygiene and cleanliness:
    • Wash your hands often.
    • If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
    • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
    • Try to avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with people who are sick.
Total polio cases Worldwide

Year-to-date 2013

Year-to-date 2012

Total in
Date of most  
recent case





Total in endemic countries     
Total outbreak