Health Updates 15 September 2011

  • CDC says the film ‘Contagion’ is ‘plausible’:  “Yikes.  The only bit of relief here is that several experts think the odds are pretty long that a new virus could be both so deadly and contagious at the same time.  The team behind the film used several expert consultants and went to other lengths to get scientific details correct.  That included working with esteemed Columbia University epidemiologist Dr. W. Ian Lipkin to create the fictional MEV-1 virus.  It’s modeled on the Nipah virus – a dangerous bug first seen in Malaysia a dozen years ago that spread from pigs to farmers.” (Associated Press)
  • Drug-resistant TB on the rise in Europe, WHO says: “Europe is facing a wave of drug-resistant TB, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported.  The United Nations agency has launched a five-year plan to contain what it said is an ‘alarming problem’ – the region, mainly eastern Europe, bears more than 18% of the global burden of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB)….’TB is an old disease that never went away, and now is evolving with a vengeance’ Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe said in a statement.” (Michael Smith, MedPage Today)
  • Darden Restaurants joins trend by industry to offer healthier choices: “Encouraged by Michelle Obama’s campaign to reduce childhood obesity, the company that owns the Olive Garden, Red Lobster and four other popular restaurant chains is pledging to cut the calories and sodium in all its meals by 10 percent over five years, and by 20 percent over 10 years.  For children, French fries and sugar-sweetened beverages will become the exception and not the rule.” (Associated Press)
  • Officials slam corn syrup re-branding: “In response to the Corn Refiners Association‘s request to use the term ‘corn syrup’, Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods, told colleagues he was uncomfortable with changing the name and suggested that allowing it would deprive consumers of important information and invite ridicule.” (Associated Press)

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