Listeria Outbreak Proves Fatal

Hard boiled eggs produced by Georgia processor, Almark Foods, have been found to be contaminated by the deadly bacteria, Listeria. The multi state Listeria outbreak has claimed one fatality already in Texas.

The CDC is currently recommending that anyone that is at a higher risk of infection not purchase, nor consume any store bought or restaurant ordered hard-boiled eggs, or purchase or consume any other products that may contain hard-boiled eggs.  This includes but is not limited to pregnant women and their newborns, adults ages 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems, such as people with cancer or on dialysis.

All hard-boiled eggs that were recently purchased should be thrown out immediately, regardless of packaging, use by date or where they were purchased. The area where they were stored must be thoroughly sanitized, as well as any other surfaces that contacted the eggs. Follow these steps on cleaning your refrigerator, from the CDC.

What is Listeria?

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium commonly found in water, soil, and fecal matter. Humans are most likely to become infected after consuming foods that have been exposed to and are harboring the pathogen.  Foods regularly found to cause listeria outbreaks are deli meats and unpasteurized dairy products.

An estimated 1,600 people get listeriosis each year, and about 260 die. The infection is most likely to sicken pregnant women and their newborns, adults aged 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems.”   –CDC.gov

Symptoms

Listeria can cause fever and diarrhea similar to other foodborne germs, but this type of Listeria infection is rarely diagnosed. Just like any other food related pathogen, Listeria can cause the typical fever and diarrhea, and often, this type of infection will go undiagnosed.

An invasive Listeria infection, such as that in a pregnant woman, may cause flu like symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle weakness. The worst of this type of infection will often lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.

Those with weakened immune systems may experience headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and even convulsions with fever and muscle aches, similar to the flu.

The incubation period, or timeframe before someone with invasive Listeriosis starts to feel symptoms, can be between one to four weeks after eating the food contaminated with Listeria.

Strangely, some people can go as late as a little over two months, seventy days, or the same night as they were exposed to the Listeria bacteria.

If you or a member of your family has become ill, or you would like more information, please feel free to contact us 24/7. You can also reach us on social media or call us at 361.882.8284

Equifax Breach Deadline Looming

In 2017 it was announced that the credit reporting agency, Equifax, had been hacked, leading to the data breach of millions of Americans. January 22, 2020, is the deadline to file a claim for this breach. Time is running out! You can go to the main Equifax website here and follow the link to the settlement page from there, or you can visit directly at https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/ .

Beware! There are several fraudulent websites out there claiming to be created by Equifax for this settlement.

If you would like more information on this matter or help in filing before the deadline, feel free to Contact Us. 361-882-8284

E-Cigarette/Vaping Outbreak Update

CDC.gov As of December 27, 2019, there have been 2,561 hospitalized cases of lung injury or deaths, associated with the use of e-cigarettes and vaping products reported from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. 55 Deaths were confirmed in 27 states and DC.

No state has gone unaffected by this e-cigarette and vaping outbreak.

Emergency department visits suggest that the outbreak of EVALI or e-cigarette, or vaping product use-associated lung injury, began in June of 2019. Cases have been declining since a peak in September., but have yet to go to levels previously seen before June and remain a constant concern.

Laboratory data support previous findings that vitamin e acetate is closely associated with EVALI.

  • The study analyzed samples from 51 EVALI cases from 16 states and a comparison group of samples from 99 healthier people for vitamin E acetate, plant oils, medium-chain triglyceride(MCT)oil, coconut oil, petroleum distillates, and diluent terpenes.
  • Vitamin E acetate was identified in bronchoalveolar lavage(BAL) fluid samples (fluid samples from the lungs) from 48 of the 51 EVALI patients, but not in the BAL fluid from the healthy comparison group.

National data shows that certain groups of EVALI patients released from the hospital are more likely to be rehospitalized or die.

Groups Challenge EPA

Several environmental and animal protection groups are currently suing the Environmental Protection Agency due to the agency not updating the lacking regulations on slaughterhouses and the horrendous polluting of rivers they cause.

Facilities are currently able to discharge processed wastewater directly into rivers and other waterways and the EPA stated in October that it would not revise federal water standards for plants that did so.

The argument is that the lack of regulation allows for the increase of nitrogen in waterways which leads to the boost of algal blooms. Algae suffocate fish and prevent the growth of plants that naturally filtrate and keep the rivers and streams healthy.

The suit asks for judicial review of the decision to not update regulations that were last revised about 15 years ago and date back decades, leaving many requirements outdated and obsolete due to technological advances.

FDA Warning: Gabapentin/Pregabalin

Neurontin, Gralise, Horizant; brand names for gabapentin and Lyrica, Lyrica CR or pregabalin, are currently being targetted by the FDA for causing serious breathing problems.

Gabapentin and pregabalin are prescribed for conditions such as nerve pain, restless legs syndrome and even seizures.

FDA.gov – “FDA is requiring new warnings about the risk of respiratory depression to be added to the prescribing information of the gabapentinoids. FDA has also required the drug manufacturers to conduct clinical trials to further evaluate their abuse potential, particularly in combination with opioids, because misuse and abuse of these products together is increasing, and co-use may increase the risk of respiratory depression.”

Symptoms to keep an eye out for:

  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Unusual dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Extreme sleepiness or lethargy
  • Slowed, shallow, or difficulty breathing
  • Unresponsiveness, which means a person doesn’t answer or react normally or you can’t wake them up
  • Bluish-colored or tinted skin, especially on the lips, fingers, and toes

RECALL: CrossCath Support Catheters by Cook Medical

FDA.gov – Class I Recall – Due to a Manufacturing Error Which May Cause the Marker Bands to Dislodge or Cause Buckling.

Cook Medical has identified that an error occurred during manufacturing which may cause the radiopaque marker bands to be too loose on certain CXC3.0 CrossCath Support Catheters (compatible with 0.014” wire guides) and too tight on certain CXC3.4 CrossCath Support Catheters (compatible with 0.018” wire guides). Marker bands that are too loose can dislodge from their original position and marker bands that are too tight can cause buckling.

Device Use
The CrossCath® Support Catheters are designed to support a wire guide during access of blood vessels, allow for an exchange of wire guides, and provide a pathway for the delivery of saline solutions or diagnostic contrast agents. The catheters have three radiopaque markers spaced equally along the catheter to aid in estimating lengths within the blood vessels (vascular system).