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By News Service of Florida

The Florida Department of Health is working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address a hepatitis A outbreak and hopes the “partnership” will help expand vaccinations, state officials said Wednesday.

Parasites In The Pool? CDC Says Cases Are On The Rise

Jul 3, 2019

By Danielle Prieur / WMFE

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study shows that the number of cases of one pool-borne illnesses is growing.

Two men recently contracted flesh-eating bacterial infections through water in the Tampa Bay area.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Two men recently contracted flesh-eating bacterial infections through water in the Tampa Bay area. Doctors are encouraging residents and visitors to the region to be cautious, especially around brackish water.

Barry Briggs, a tourist from Ohio, was infected in March while boating near Weedon Island. He needed immediate surgery to save his foot.

Doctor holding a stethascope.
iStock

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency visits climbed to a record high of 146 million patients nationally in 2016 - the most recent year available.

8.3 million of those patients were seen in Florida emergency rooms.

Over the last couple of decades, the opioid epidemic has hit the U.S. hard in a series of waves.

USF College of Public Health

With Florida being an international travel destination, there could be a risk for infectious diseases from foreign countries. And the risk of bioterrorism remains a possibility as well.

These and other topics will be the focus as the University of South Florida hosts the first ever Global Health, Diplomacy and National Security Symposium Feb. 28 in Tampa.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A new study suggests that many Florida men are still having unprotected sex despite telling their partners they're HIV positive.

The number of people who got sick in the United States from an infected mosquito, tick, or flea tripled between 2004 and 2016. More than 640,000 cases over that time, according to the CDC. In Florida, changing climate and a lack of good diagnostic tools, make it easier for insect-borne diseases like Eastern Equine Encephalitis to spread. 

Climate Change Means A Rise In Mosquito-Borne Illness

Jan 17, 2019

The sunlight coming through the picture window of Debbie Casey’s room at a nursing home in Daytona Beach falls on a message board covered with pictures from her life. 

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport temporarily shut down water fountains in its Concourse A and is sanitizing them after several passengers became ill aboard a Tampa-bound Frontier Airlines flight on Tuesday.

At least six passengers were stricken and "the primary symptom was vomiting," Janet Scherberger, spokeswoman for Tampa International Airport, told NPR in an email. "It appears the six individuals did not have any connection to each other."

Go Ahead, You Can Eat That Florida Romaine Lettuce

Nov 28, 2018

Florida-grown romaine lettuce has been cleared in the recent E. coli outbreak, state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Tuesday.

“While the federal investigation is ongoing, I’m encouraged that Florida-grown romaine lettuce is not linked to the outbreak and has been cleared to re-enter the marketplace,” Putnam said in a prepared statement.

Late Monday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention narrowed an earlier warning about the outbreak to romaine lettuce harvested in coastal areas of northern and central California.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has traced an ongoing E. coli outbreak to romaine lettuce grown in the Central Coastal region of California.

Lettuce from other parts of the U.S. and Mexico is safe to eat, the CDC says. However, if you're not sure where your romaine lettuce came from, err on the side of caution and throw it out, health experts say.

A total of 43 people in 12 states have been infected in this outbreak. No deaths have been reported.

Investigators who are trying to track down the source of E. coli contamination in romaine lettuce are feeling that they've seen this movie before.

Over the past six weeks, at least 50 people in the U.S. and Canada have gone to the doctor suffering from the symptoms of food poisoning. They were infected with an identical strain of E. coli bacteria. Most of them remembered eating romaine lettuce.

Cut Caesar salad off the menu this week: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a multistate E. coli outbreak is underway, and romaine lettuce is to blame.

Thirty-two people are sick, including 13 who were hospitalized; no deaths have been reported. An additional 18 people were sickened in Canada.

Evidence points toward romaine lettuce as the likely source, but the CDC can't get more specific than that.

Experts say the number of flu cases could rise over the holidays as people share germs along with turkey dinners. A flu shot and good hygiene practices are crucial to staying healthy.

A second E. coli outbreak associated with romaine lettuce has public health officials warning against eating the leafy green vegetable.

The flu season is not yet in full swing, but more than one-third of U.S. parents already plan to skip flu shots for their kids this year, according to a report published Monday by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital of the University of Michigan.

According to the study, 34 percent of parents are “unlikely” to get the flu vaccine for their children.

Updated at 4:37 p.m. ET

The American opioid crisis is far from over, but early data indicate the number of deaths are beginning to level off, according to Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, citing "encouraging" results in overdose trends.

In a speech on Tuesday at a Milken Institute health summit, Azar walked through statistics suggesting deaths were plateauing and he highlighted efforts he says may be turning the tide in the drug epidemic.

Mysterious Polio-Like Illness Baffles Medical Experts While Frightening Parents

Oct 18, 2018

A spike in the number of children with a rare neurological disease that causes polio-like symptoms has health officials across the country scrambling to understand the illness. Yet, more than four years after health officials first recorded the most recent uptick in cases, much about the national outbreak remains a mystery.

A government study has found that 1 in 3 U.S. adults eat fast food on any given day. That's about 85 million people.

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about the flu shot.

But following a winter in which more than 80,000 people died from flu-related illnesses in the U.S. — the highest death toll in more than 40 years — infectious disease experts are ramping up efforts to get the word out.

80,000 People Died Of Flu Last Winter In U.S.

Sep 27, 2018

An estimated 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter — the disease's highest death toll in at least four decades.

Figures from a U.S. government survey released Friday show some progress in the fight against the ongoing opioid addiction crisis with fewer people in 2017 using heroin for the first time compared to the previous year.

Matt Arteaga, 51, is one of about 500 people who got sick this summer in an outbreak linked to McDonald's salads. The cause was a parasite, cyclospora.

Arteaga fell ill on a Thursday afternoon in June. He was in his office in Danville, Ill., when he says the symptoms came on quickly. "The chills, and body aches, severe cramping, sharp pain in my stomach," Arteaga recalls.

It's almost flu season, and young Floridians are not as protected as they should be. According to a new analysis, almost half of Florida's high school students reported they didn't get a flu shot within the past year.

"I would say I'm a bit frustrated," said Dr. Wissam Al Khoury, the lead researcher on the study, Demographic Differences in Flu Vaccination among Florida’s High School Students: Evidence from 2017 Florida Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which he recently presented at a conference at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

For the fourth year in a row, federal health officials report that there has been a sharp increase in sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tallied nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in 2017 — an increase of 200,000 cases over the previous year, and a record high.

Health officials are urging parents to make sure their children are vaccinated against measles after three cases of the disease were reported in Pinellas County, among more than 100 cases throughout the U.S. this year.

One out of every seven babies born to U.S. mothers who were infected with Zika during pregnancy developed some kind of health problem, according to the first long-term look at those children.

A Florida official has proposed using bats to reduce mosquito populations.

We all hope for a little peace at the end of life, for ourselves and for our loved ones. Hospice services can play a big role, relieving pain and providing spiritual and emotional support. But a federal report published Tuesday synthesized patient and Medicare payment data going back to 2005 and found that, while patients generally can count on hospice to relieve their suffering, some hospice providers are bilking Medicare and neglecting patients.

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