Apr 25 2012
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Public Health News Roundup: April 25

US Confirms Single Case of “Mad Cow”

The Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed the detection of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a dairy cow from central California. The USDA says the animal will be destroyed and had not been for slaughtered for human consumption, so at no time presented a risk to the food supply or human health. Additionally, according to USDA, milk does not transmit BSE.

Read more about the USDA.

Lung Association: US Air Quality Improving, Still Poses Health Risks

The American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2012 report, released today, finds that in America’s most polluted cities, air quality was at its cleanest since the organization began releasing the report thirteen years ago as efforts continue to make environmental hazards.

However, the report shows that more than 40 percent of people in the U.S. live in areas where air pollution continues to threaten their health--127 million people are living in counties with dangerous levels of either ozone or particle pollution that can cause serious health problems such as wheezing and coughing, asthma attacks, heart attacks, and premature death.

Read more on pollution.

Implanted Heart Devices May Pose Infection Risk

Implantable pacemakers or defibrillators may pose a risk for developing deadly infections, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study shows that more than 4.2 million people in the US had a permanent pacemaker or defibrillator implanted between 1993 and 2008, and that infections related to heart devices infections increased 210 percent during that time, according to the study.

The study authors say a contributing factor may be that some patients may have other medical conditions and be particularly vulnerable to developing infections.

Read more on heart disease.

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Tags: Public health, Environmental health, Infectious diseases, Asthma, Food Safety, Heart Health, News roundups, USDA