CDC

CDC

LANSING – Gov. Rick Snyder has named two health officials to lead the state's efforts against the threat of Ebola.

In a statement Friday, the Michigan governor says he has designated Department of Community Health Director Nick Lyon and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Matthew Davis for the job.

Lyon and Davis will be asked to coordinate with the state's health and medical community to ensure adequate training, education and equipment for health care workers.

CDC

Michigan nurses say state hospitals are not ready to handle a case of Ebola.

Despite recent assurances by Michigan hospital administrators and Gov. Rick Snyder that the state is prepared for a case of Ebola, the state’s largest nurses union disagrees.

Two Texas nurses have tested positive for Ebola, after treating a patient from West Africa, who recently died from the disease.

DETROIT (AP) - A toddler is the first person in Michigan to die from the virus that has caused severe respiratory illness across the country.

Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit says 21-month-old Madeline Reid died Friday afternoon from enterovirus D68.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rudolph Valentini said in a statement that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the illness after the Clinton Township girl's arrival, but did not specify which day.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Federal health officials have confirmed three Michigan cases of an unusual respiratory illness in children.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said Friday that 160 lab-confirmed cases of enterovirus 68 were reported in Michigan and 21 other states. They are the state's first positive cases for the uncommon virus.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

There is some good news in Michigan’s battle with obesity.  

Fewer Michigan children qualify as obese. 

More than 30% of Michiganders are considered obese.   Michigan ranks as the 5th fattest state in the union.

But there may be hope for the future.

A new Centers for Disease Control report finds a slight decline in obesity rates for “low-income” pre-school children in Michigan.  

The rate dropped from 13.9% to 13.2 % between 2008 and 2011.

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

This is the first in a two-part series. Click here to hear part two.

Fifteen people from Michigan have died from fungal meningitis, more than in any other state.

It’s tough to know for sure why Michigan wound up with a full third of all cases nationwide. Bad luck? A graying population seeking pain relief medication that, in this case, turned out to be contaminated? Or a bustling, privatized network of pain clinics spread across the state?

3 new infections in Michigan from bad steroids

Jan 20, 2013
cdc.gov

Michigan health officials have reported three more infections in the past week linked to contaminated steroids supplied by a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says at least 244 people have been infected with illnesses including fungal meningitis that are part of a national disease outbreak. The steroids are used in injections to treat neck and back pain.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The number of abscesses linked to contaminated steroids is continuing to rise in Michigan, with four fresh cases reported in recent days.

The infections are linked to a national outbreak of disease blamed for 67 fungal meningitis cases and 13 deaths in Michigan.

The meningitis cases have remained stable in recent weeks, but the number of related non-meningitis infections has continued to grow in the state.

Michigan health officials say the number of state residents infected during a national outbreak of fungal meningitis has risen by nine to 197, with 13 deaths.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says that as of Friday, there have been 68 meningitis cases, 116 epidural abscesses, one stroke and 13 joint infections. The total of 197 infections is up from 188 in Wednesday's count.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Officials say an 88-year-old Ingham County woman is the ninth Michigan resident to die in a national meningitis outbreak.

The woman was added to the meningitis update Wednesday by the state Department of Community Health. No other details about her were released.

There have been 64 Michigan cases of meningitis, including the nine deaths. In addition, there have been 54 epidural abscesses, one stroke and six joint infections.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Officials say two more Michigan residents have died as a result of the national meningitis outbreak.

The victims are an 81-year-old woman from Charlevoix County and a 64-year-old woman from Wayne County. The Department of Community Health said Tuesday that there have been 62 Michigan meningitis cases, including eight deaths.

The illness has been linked to contaminated steroids made by a Massachusetts pharmacy and shipped to at least four Michigan clinics.

Centers for Disease Control

The number of Michiganders affected by the national meningitis outbreak continues to rise.

The Centers for Disease Control now lists 82 patients in Michigan infected by tainted steroid injections intended to relieve back pain.   Six people from Michigan have died.

Angela Minicuci is with the Michigan Department of Community Health. She expects the number will continue to rise, as some patients are still waiting to see symptoms develop.

Centers for Disease Control

Another death has been linked to a tainted steroid injection in Michigan.

The Centers for Disease Control says five people in Michigan have now died as part of a fungal meningitis outbreak tied to the tainted injections. A sixth person from Michigan died in Indiana.

Angela Minicuci is with the Michigan Department of Community Health. She says state health officials have made contact with almost all the 1927 people who received the injections at four Michigan clinics.

Current case count from the fungal meningitis outbreak. Michigan has reached 46 cases.
CDC

The Michigan Department of Community Health said the number of meningitis cases associated with the recent outbreak reached 46 yesterday. Three deaths in Michigan are linked to the outbreak.

In the meantime, the New York Times reports the FDA warns other drugs could be involved:

Weekly influenza activity across the U.S. and its territories. Michigan is listed as "sporadic."
CDC

Flu season is officially underway.

Michigan Department of Community Health officials said today that 12 influenza cases are the first seasonal flu reports they have confirmed in Michigan during the 2012-2013 season.

They  said the illnesses occurred in children and adults in lower Michigan.

Two people were hospitalized. Nine cases have been confirmed as influenza B viruses, two as influenza A (H3N2) virus and one as influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus.

Officials say it's too early to tell what influenza viruses will circulate this influenza season or how severe it might be.

Officials recommend flu shots as a way to prevent the disease.

Michigan's flu activity is listed as "sporadic," the lowest of four levels of influenza activity.

Several years ago I interviewed Peter Palese, a microbiologist and Chair of the Department of Microbiology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

They were researching why the flu virus spreads in cold weather.

They found that once the flu virus is airborne, it survives longer in cold air and low humidity. It doesn't survive as long in higher temperatures and higher humidity.

Palese said age old maternal advice held up in their research:

They tested guinea pigs infected with the flu virus - and found that the animals are more contagious when they're in a colder environment. They believe that's because their bodies don't get rid of the virus as fast in cold temperatures...

"So that makes sense when your grandmother told you 'don't go out when it's cold, and stay warm and you might get the flu,' she was probably right," said Palese.

Centers for Disease Control

There’s been a big jump in the number of people in Michigan affected by that national fungal meningitis outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control says 39 people in Michigan have contracted fungal meningitis from tainted steroid injections.  Just Wednesday, the CDC listed only 28 confirmed cases in Michigan.

Three Michigan women have died since receiving the injections, which were intended to treat back pain.

CDC

The Centers for Disease Control reports a third fatality in Michigan tied to a nationwide meningitis outbreak.

A 78 year old Washtenaw County woman is the latest fatality.   Previously,  a 56 year old woman from Genesee County and a 67 year old woman from Livingston County were the only known fatalities in Michigan.

The CDC now says 25 patients in Michigan are linked to the outbreak tied to tainted steroid injections.   

Persons with meningitis linked to epidural steroid injections, as of October 7, 2012.
CDC

Update Monday, October 8, 5:04 p.m.

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) now reports 22 confirmed cases of fungal meningitis in Michigan.

From the MDCH:

Officials say there are at least eight confirmed cases of meningitis in Michigan, including two deaths.

The Michigan Department of Community Health said Saturday it won't be able to release any details about the deaths until after the weekend.

The meningitis outbreak has been linked to a steroid produced by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts. The steroid has been recalled, and officials have been scrambling to notify anyone who may have been injected with it.

A CDC graph showing the number of people infected by the current Salmonella outbreak by date. 28 cases on shown on this graph.
CDC

Michigan state health officials are warning consumers that Trader Joe's Valencia Creamy Peanut Butter made with sea salt and a variety of almond butter and peanut butter products from Sunland Inc. might be  linked to a multi-state bacterial outbreak of "Salmonella Bredeney."

The Michigan Department of Community Health says so far, one child in Michigan has been affected along with 28 people in 18 other states (as of Sept. 22). 

More from a press release from the Michigan Department of Community Health:

The product comes in a 16 ounce, plastic jar and was sold in Trader Joe’s stores nationwide as well as on the Internet. Testing of the product is under way. Customers with questions may contact Trader Joe’s Customer Relations at (626) 599-3817 Monday through Friday, 7 am to 5 pm Pacific Time....

Most individuals infected with Salmonella bacteria often experience diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after infection.  The duration of illness is typically 4-7 days and most people recover without treatment. Sometimes a Salmonella infection can be more severe and may spread to the bloodstream, resulting in hospitalization. Young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness from Salmonella infection.

You can also check the Sunland Inc. recall online. The PDF document contains a list of products, the UPC codes, and best-if-used-by dates. Or consumers can contact Sunland Inc. at (866) 837-1018.


The Food and Drug Administration encourages consumers with questions about food safety to call 1-888-SAFEFOOD or consult the www.fda.gov website.

The CDC has more about the ongoing CDC investigation on its website.

user Julo / Wikimedia Commons

The Kent County Health Department today reported that the first case of H3N2v influenza infection has been identified in a child from Washtenaw County.

The press release says the child was reportedly around swine at the Ingham County Fair this August, where the child may have contracted the infection.  The H3N2v flu was mild in this case, and did not require hospitalization.

user Jonathunder / Wikimedia Commons

In a recent Michigan Radio Facebook post, we asked followers:

If you could only eat three basic foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Responses filled up our wall, ranging from the responsible:

Alison- Kale, eggs, and nuts...if I had to chose one I would say almonds

...to the indulgent:

Kyle- Pizza, Donuts, and McDonalds

...to the bizarre:

Paul- Bacon, wrapped in ham, wrapped in bacon

Bacon, it turns out, was the most popular food item with 13 votes.

public-domain-image.com

A new federal study says universal motorcycle helmet laws increase helmet use and can lead to cost savings.

Motorcyclists that died in crashes between 2008 and 2010 in states with partial helmet laws were 5-times less likely to be wearing a helmet compared to riders in states with universal helmet laws. 

Rebecca Naumann is an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control, and is the lead author of the study.  She says the old helmet law in Michigan was a cost-saver.

CDC / wikimedia commons

Health officials have confirmed a case of  tuberculosis at a high school in suburban Detroit.

WXYZ-TV reports that a student at Northville High School was diagnosed with an active case of the disease and local health officials are working to determine the extent of possible exposure.

From WXYZ:

Parents were notified Monday by a letter from Principal Robert E. Watson, “The protocol followed by the Health Department is to identify other individuals who may be at higher risk of exposure to Tuberculosis during the infectious time period… and to provide an opportunity for testing the identified individuals. ” The infectious time period in this case was January 2012 through April 2012.

Active TB, unlike the latent form of the disease, causes symptoms, is transmittable, and can be fatal if untreated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, TB bacteria are primarily spread through the air from person to person (e.g. through coughing or sneezing and inhaling bacteria) but not through physical contact like shaking hands.

Data from the CDC show Michigan as having a relatively low incidence rate of TB - 184 cases in 2010 (or 1.9 per 100,000 people). That compares to 11,182 cases nationwide (or 3.6 per 100,00o).

U.S. rates, which have declined steadily for the past 20 years, are dwarfed by the roughly 9 million global cases  in 2010 estimated by the World Health Organization.

-John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom

flickr - Jennifer Durfey

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control released a report today identifying another increase in asthma rates across the country.

They looked at data from 2009 and pegged the rate at 8.2%. That's up from 7.8% in 2008.

The report says the rate has grown, on average, by 1.2% since 2001.

A Los Angeles Times report says improvements in identifying the disease could account for some of the increase:

Better diagnostic efforts could be part of the reason for the increase. They were believed to be a main reason for an increase in asthma seen from 1980 through 1995, said Dr. Lara Akinbami, a medical officer at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

The asthma rate in the Midwest is higher than the national average at 8.8% (that's more than 6 million asthma sufferers in the region). 

The northeast has the highest rate at 9.9%.

Blacks, Puerto Ricans, and those living below the poverty level have higher than average rates as well (all higher than 11%).

A report from the European Respiratory Journal says asthma is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

The CDC say sufferers of asthma are more at risk when these triggers are present:

  • tobacco smoke
  • dust mites
  • outdoor air pollution
  • cockroach allergen
  • pets
  • mold
  • and other things like colds, viruses, chemicals, and strenuous exercise