NEWS SCAN: Avian flu, tainted Baxter flu materials, anthrax attack findings , drug-resistant malaria, homeland security, E coli in well water

first_imgFeb 26, 2009Avian flu detected in Vietnam, EnglandThe H5N1 virus struck poultry in another Vietnamese province, Dien Bien in the northern part of the country, raising the number of affected provinces to 11, Xinhua, China’s state news agency, reported today. Authorities culled about 1,460 ducks and destroyed more than 1,000 eggs to stop the spread of the virus. Elsewhere, British officials have detected avian influenza at two small Bernard Matthews turkey-breeding farms in England, but have so far ruled out H5 and H7 strains, the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said today[Feb 26 Xinhua story][Feb 26 DEFRA press release]Czech lab incident updateNew details about H5N1-contaminated virus samples that caused a scare at a Czech Republic lab emerged today in a report from the Canadian Press (CP). The tainted Baxter International product was an “experimental virus material” that was supposed to contain the H3N2 virus. The product was distributed to an Austrian company to subcontractors in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Germany. Officials continue to investigate.[Feb 26 CP story]Scientists share anthrax investigation findingsThe chemical components of the Bacillus anthracis spores sent in letters in the 2001 bioterrorism incidents don’t match the bacteria in a flask linked to Bruce Ivins, according to experts who presented their findings at an American Society for Microbiology biodefense meeting on Feb 24, Nature News reported yesterday. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) Jason Bannan, however, said that spores from the flask could have been removed and grown under different conditions that exposed them to different chemicals. The FBI has alleged that Ivins, who committed suicide, mailed letters in 2001 that contained the deadly pathogen.[Feb 25 Nature News story]WHO says drug resistance could stonewall malaria controlParasite resistance to artemisinin detected at the Thailand-Cambodian border could undermine global efforts to control malaria, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement yesterday. The parasite can adapt more easily to monotherapies, so health officials have instead supported treating uncomplicated infections with a combination therapy containing artemisinin. The WHO said it has received a $22.5 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help contain the spread of the resistant parasites.[Feb 25 WHO statement]White House orders homeland security reviewThe Obama administration issued its first presidential study directive (PSD) in Feb 23 ordering an interagency team to review how the White House coordinates its homeland security and counterterrorism capacities, Federal News Radio (FNR) reported yesterday. The White House has replaced homeland security directives with PSDs, FNR reported.[Feb 25 FNR story]E coli turns up in wells near outbreak siteSeventeen of 74 private wells in Locust Grove, Okla., tested positive for Escherichia coli, a pathogen that caused an outbreak linked to a local restaurant, the Tulsa World reported yesterday. The state’s attorney general has said poultry litter from area farms may have contaminated the restaurant’s water supply, which was found to contain poultry DNA earlier this month.[Feb 25 Tulsa World story]last_img read more

Wolf Administration Approves First Medical Marijuana Dispensary to Begin Serving Patients

first_img January 04, 2018 Wolf Administration Approves First Medical Marijuana Dispensary to Begin Serving Patients SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Human Services,  Medical Marijuana,  Press Release,  Public Health Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced the Pennsylvania Department of Health has approved the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary authorized to begin serving patients. GuadCo LLC’s dispensary, Keystone Canna Remedies in Bethlehem, Northampton County, has received final approval to begin serving patients as soon as medical marijuana is available from approved growers.“This is tremendous news for patients and the people who care for them,” Governor Wolf said. “We are one step closer to providing medical marijuana to patients with serious medical conditions who desperately need this medication. Once the growing process is completed and the dispensary receives medication, patients with medical marijuana identification cards will be able to purchase medication at Keystone Canna Remedies.”Keystone Canna Remedies will be able to sell medical marijuana to Pennsylvanians with medical marijuana identification cards once grower/processors begin distribution, sometime in the next four months.To date, the Department of Health has approved nine grower/processors to begin operations:Cresco Yeltrah, Jefferson County;Franklin Labs, Berks County;GTI Pennsylvania, Montour County;Ilera Healthcare, Fulton County;Pennsylvania Medical Solutions, Lackawanna County;Prime Wellness, LLC, Berks County;PurePenn LLC, Allegheny County;Standard Farms, Luzerne County; andTerrapin Investment Fund 1, Clinton County.In order to become operational, the dispensaries and grower/processors underwent several inspections from the Department of Health. The facilities also are fully integrated with the seed-to-sale tracking system. The grower/processors will now be able to begin accepting seeds and clones to grow medical marijuana.“Our team is working to make sure that all of the remaining grower/processors are ready to operate safely and according to the law,” Acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We anticipate more dispensaries to be able to open their doors in the coming weeks. Our medical marijuana program will be ready for full operation within the 18 to 24-month time-frame Governor Wolf set out when he signed the legislation into law.”Physicians continue to register to participate in the program. To date, 573 have registered and of those, nearly 250 have completed the training to become certified practitioners.“Physicians play a critical role in this medically focused program,” Gov. Wolf said. “The response has been encouraging from the medical community as more doctors are becoming educated on how medical marijuana can help their patients.”The Medical Marijuana Program was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on April 17, 2016. Since that time, the department has:Completed the Safe Harbor temporary guidelines and Safe Harbor Letter application process, as well as approved more than 340 applications;Completed temporary regulations for growers/processors, dispensaries, physicians, patients and laboratories, all which have been published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin;Issued permits to grower/processors and dispensaries;Developed the Medical Marijuana Physician Workgroup;Convened the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board;Approved five training providers for physician continuing-education;Approved two laboratories to test medication before it is delivered to patients;Launched registries for patients and caregivers, as well as physicians; andContinued to work with permittees to ensure they will be operational.The Medical Marijuana Program became effective on May 17, 2016, and is expected to be fully implemented sometime in 2018. The program will offer medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and under a practitioner’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition as defined by the Medical Marijuana Law.Questions about the Medical Marijuana Program can be emailed to RA-DHMedMarijuana@pa.gov. Information is also available at www.medicalmarijuana.pa.gov .For more information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.last_img read more

Small plane bound for Ft Lauderdale crashes, Pilot missing

first_imgThe U.S. Coastguard is currently searching for a missing pilot as an investigation into how a small plane heading for Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport crashed.The Federal Aviation of Administration says a Cessna Citation V went down Friday evening around 6 p.m. 310 miles east of Fort Lauderdale.It is believed only the pilot was on board the flight that started at St. Louis Regional Airport.According to the FAA,  air traffic controllers lost communication with the pilot for over an hour before the plane crashed.FAA air traffic controllers then tracked the flight on radar during that time.U.S. Air Force F-15s reportedly intercepted the plane shortly before it went down.Unconfirmed reports are surfacing that the plane went down after confronted by fighter jets.It is unclear at this time how the plane crashed or if the pilot is alive.This story is developing.last_img read more