Fewer People Got Food Poisoning In 2020, But The Reasons Why Are Murky
More handwashing, less international travel and restaurant closures may have contributed to the decrease, CIDRAP reports. On the flip side, cases may have been underreported because fewer people may have sought medical help during lockdown.
Foodborne Illnesses Decreased In 2020, Study Finds
Foodborne illnesses decreased by 26% in 2020 compared with the average from 2017-19, according to a report today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly (MMWR). In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's FoodNet surveillance system, which covers 10 US states and about 15% of the US population, identified 18,462 infections—26% lower than the 2017-19 average—including 4,788 hospitalizations and 118 deaths. ... The researchers speculated that pandemic-related behaviors, such as more handwashing, less international travel, and restaurant closures, may have contributed to the decrease in foodborne illnesses, but they note that changes in healthcare delivery and healthcare-seeking behaviors may have caused underreporting. (9/24)
Salmonella Outbreak From Mystery Food Source Climbs To 279 Cases
A Salmonella Oranienburg outbreak tied to a still-unknown food source has sickened 152 more people with 4 more states reporting cases, pushing the total to 279 cases from 29 states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday in an update. So far, 26 patients have been hospitalized, reflecting an increase of 8. No deaths have been reported. The latest illness onset was Sep 13. States reporting the most cases include Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Virginia, and Minnesota. (9/24)
In other public health news —
The Wall Street Journal:
Apple’s IOS 15 Has A Fall-Prevention Feature Everyone Should Use
Wearable devices are good at detecting if you’ve fallen down, but now it’s possible to figure out if your walking is unsteady, well before you take a tumble. Apple’s latest iPhone operating system, iOS 15, takes the walking metrics previously rolled out in the Health app—walking asymmetry, double support time, step length and walking speed—and assesses them to rate a person’s overall walking steadiness. After a few days of collecting data as you walk around, preferably carrying or wearing your iPhone at hip level, you’ll receive a notification that your walking steadiness is OK, low or very low. (Jargon, 9/25)
Some Cannabis Firms See ‘Disaster’ In Federal Legalization
Cannabis entrepreneurs spent decades longing for Washington’s blessing — but now a vocal corner of the industry is afraid federal marijuana legalization poses an existential threat. Two in three Americans live in a state that has approved the sale of recreational weed. What has evolved in the policy gap with federal law over the past decade is a patchwork of state-sanctioned fiefdoms where cannabis markets have largely developed locally and extend just to the border. (Fertig, 9/26)
The New York Times:
As Covid Wave Pushes Up Demand, Costco Limits Purchases Of Toilet Paper And Water.
Last year, a frantic run on toilet paper that left store shelves bare across the United States became a symbol of the panic that seized Americans in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, at least one big-box retailer is trying to prevent a repeat of that frenzy as the Delta variant has driven caseloads higher in many parts of the country. The retailer, Costco, which is known for its bargains on bulk food and cleaning supplies, confirmed in a fourth-quarter earnings call on Thursday that it was “putting some limitations on key items” such as toilet paper, cleaning products and Kirkland Signature water. (Levenson, 9/27)
The Washington Post:
Linda Evangelista Says CoolSculpting ‘Disfigured’ Her. Here’s What Experts Say About The Procedure.
Danielle Venuto isn’t a supermodel, but she can relate to runway icon Linda Evangelista, who revealed this week that she had become “brutally disfigured” and “unrecognizable” following a cosmetic body-sculpting procedure more than five years ago that, instead of reducing areas of fat, increased them. Venuto, a 32-year-old who lives in New York City, underwent the same procedure, CoolSculpting, in May 2019. She’s small — 114 pounds — and said she just wanted help with stubborn areas on her lower abdomen and flanks. By July of that year, she said, she knew something was wrong with the area on her stomach. “I was like, ‘It’s not looking right, this is weird, it’s protruding out more,’ ” she said. “And then by December it looked like a complete stick of butter. It was legitimately horrible. I was extremely self-conscious and insecure about it. It looked like I had a little kangaroo pouch.” (Haupt, 9/25)
The New York Times:
What Is CoolSculpting?
On Wednesday, Linda Evangelista, the ’90s-era supermodel, shared on Instagram that she had been disfigured by a fat-reducing procedure called CoolSculpting that did the opposite of what it promised: Instead of reducing the amount of fat she had, CoolSculpting increased it, she said. After treatment, Evangelista said, she developed a condition known as paradoxical adipose hyperplasia, or PAH, in which the tissue in the treated area grows larger and hardens and stays that way. PAH is sometimes referred to as the “stick of butter effect,” because it can look like a stick of butter hidden under the skin; the enlarged tissue matches the long, thin shape of the CoolSculpting applicator. (Moyer, 9/25)