FDA

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Fungi in Medicine

By | October 9th, 2012|Preparedness|

You’ve no doubt heard about the multi-state outbreak of fungal meningitis among patients who received an epidural steroid injections recently.  Here’s what we know right now:  Starting sometime in September some shipments of a steroid sometimes used to relieve back pain were contaminated with a fungus called Aspergillus fumigatus. Shortly thereafter patients in 23 states [...]

STAND

By | September 19th, 2012|Prevention|

Our chronic disease prevention team and the county health departments, community partners, and Pima Prevention Partnership, officially launched STAND last week.  It’s a coalition of local youth groups that have banded together in a common cause against tobacco use.  It’s the culmination of a three-year effort to engage more youth in the actual planning and [...]

Political Convention Food Tested by Our Lab

By | September 11th, 2012|General|

Our State Lab performed chemical and biological surveillance testing on food samples from the Republican National Convention.  We were selected to participate in the testing because of our reputation and previous experience working with the Food Safety Inspection Service for the detection of biological and chemical agents in food.  The samples arrived at the State Laboratory [...]

Breastfeeding & Cannabis

By | September 4th, 2012|General|

Some AZ health care providers and parents have asked questions about whether medical marijuana is safe for use while breastfeeding.  The short answer is no, because the active chemical in marijuana is passed to the baby through breast milk. For this reason, most experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC advise moms not to use marijuana [...]

Arizona’s Food Safety Network

By | October 11th, 2011|General, Prevention|

The Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has captured the public’s attention these days- so I thought I’d do a piece on Arizona’s food safety network. Let’s start at the farm & ranch.  The Arizona Department of Agriculture is responsible for ensuring that the base of the food safety pyramid is solid in Arizona.  They have several divisions that are [...]

Flu Down Under

By | August 4th, 2011|General|

This is the time of year that public health folks start watching the flu reports from the southern hemisphere.  We’re watching for a couple of things – the circulating strains and how it’s spreading.  The Australian Government Department of Health is reporting 6 times as many cases as they had at this time last season.  [...]

FDA Approves Vaccines for the 2011-2012 Influenza Season

By | July 25th, 2011|General, Prevention|

The FDA approved the 2011-2012 influenza vaccine this week. The strains in this year’s vaccine were recommended by the CDC and the World Healthy Organization after studying virus samples collected from around the world to find the influenza viruses that are the most likely to cause illness during the upcoming flu season.  The strains selected [...]

New Cigarette Warning Labels launched today

By | June 21st, 2011|Prevention|

Today the FDA released the new, graphic warning labels that will be on cigarette packs.  The labels educate smokers and others, including kids, about the dangers of tobacco use and encourage smokers to quit.  Using this proven techique, the U.S. joins 43 other countries that already require pictures or images on cigarette packs. The warning [...]

New Proposed Food Labeling Rules

By | April 20th, 2011|Prevention|

The FDA issued proposed regulations regarding calorie labeling on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants, retail food establishments, and vending machines this week. They’re inviting the public to comment on the new rules at: http://www.regulations.gov.  Their objective is to provide information so that consumers have more information when they make their own food choices [...]

AZ Public Health Laboratory Capacity

By | December 21st, 2010|Preparedness|

A few years ago it became pretty clear that we were facing some budget reductions.  At the time, we had no idea that our budget reductions would be as extensive as they turned out to be.  However, we did know that if we were going to maintain our laboratory capacity to protect the folks of [...]