One hundred forty eight people across four states were sickened in January 2012 with camphylobacter bacteria that was traced back to raw, or unpasteurized milk sold by a Pennsylvania dairy farm. As MSNBC.com reports, the milk outbreak affected people from ages 2 to 74, and is particularly alarming because the dairy had all its proper permits, and had passed all inspections required for selling unpasteurized milk:
The [CDC] report, which details what happened during the outbreak, said the dairy that sold the milk had a permit for selling unpasteurized milk, and had passed all inspections. The farm was among the largest sellers of unpasteurized milk in the state.
The dairy also tested its own milk for E. coli bacteria more often than was required. The vast majority of the sick people drank the milk before its “best by” date.
The only deficiencies that investigators found were that a mechanical milk bottle capper was broken, so employees had capped the bottles by hand, and that the water used to clean equipment was cooler than recommended (110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, instead of 160 to 170 degrees F).
But these issues were “minimal,” and this campylobacter outbreak demonstrates “the ongoing hazards of unpasteurized dairy products,” according to the report authors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments. The findings were detailed online April 26 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
“Raw milk is riskier than most foods,” said Douglas Powell, a professor of food safety at Kansas State University. While certainly a larger number of people get sick yearly from eating tainted tomatoes or lettuce, there are many more consumers of those foods than consumers of raw milk, he said.
Bacteria commonly found in the digestive tracts of farm animals, including campylobacter and E. coli O157, can easily find their way into milk as it is pumped and bottled on a farm, Powell said.
“Fecal matter just ends up in the milk — it’s not like you can see it,” he said. “No inspectors can see it — this isn’t CSI, where the bacteria just magically line up.”
Nearly a third of those sickened in the outbreak were children, the report said. Children, along with pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems, are at high risk of complications from campylobacter infections.
Powell said he advises that raw milk not be given to children. “As adults, you’re free to choose,” he said. “But don’t give it to your kids.”
Image: Milk via Shutterstock
As many as one in 20 American kids are affected by either skin or respiratory allergies, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found. CNN.com has more:
Food allergy prevalence increased from 3.4% to 5.1% between 1997 and 2011, while skin allergy prevalence more than doubled in the same time period. That means 1 in every 20 children will develop a food allergy and 1 in every 8 children will have a skin allergy. According to the CDC, respiratory allergies are still the most common for children younger than 18.
The new report, which looked at data from the National Health Interview Survey, found that skin allergies decreased with age, while respiratory allergies increased as children got older.
Both food and respiratory allergies also increased with income level, meaning richer families had higher rates of childhood allergies. Hispanic children had lower rates than non-Hispanic white and black children in the survey. The report did not look into the potential reasons for this.
Scientists are still trying to figure out where allergies come from, and why they’re on the rise in the United States. Internal bacteria, genetics and environment may all play a role, says Dr. Edward Zoratti, head of the allergy and immunology division at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
Image: Girl scratching her arm, via Shutterstock
The actress Jamie King, who was a model before she became a movie and television actress, is expecting her first child with husband Kyle Newman later this year, PEOPLE.com reports:
King worked as a model before jumping to the big screen for roles in Pearl Harbor, Bulletproof Monk, Sin City and My Bloody Valentine 3D.
She currently plays Lemon Breeland on the CW hit ["Hart of Dixie"], which was recently picked up for a third season.
King married the filmmaker, 37, in November 2007 at Greystone Park and Manor, the site of their first date.
The nation of New Zealand has a government agency dedicated to approving parents’ name choices for their newborns, and it has released an updated list of names that are barred in that country. The names, which include Lucifer, Christ, or Messiah, and the agency told CNN that acceptable names must not cause offense to a reasonable person, not be unreasonably long and should not resemble an official title and rank. More from CNN.com:
It’s no surprise then that the names nixed most often since 2001 are “Justice” (62 times) and “King” (31 times).
Some of the other entries scored points in the creativity department — but clearly didn’t take into account the lifetime of pain they’d bring.
“Mafia No Fear.” “4Real.” “Anal.”
Oh, come on!
Then there were the parents who preferred brevity through punctuation. The ones who picked ‘”*” (the asterisk) or ‘”.”(period).
Still, some quirky names do make it through.
In 2008, the country made made international news when the naming agency allowed a set of twins to be named ‘
“Benson” and “Hedges” — a popular cigarette brand — and OK’d the names “Violence” and “Number 16 Bus Shelter.”
Asked about those examples, Michael Mead of the Internal Affairs Department (under which the agency falls) said, “All names registered with the Department since 1995 have conformed to these rules.”
And what happens when parents don’t conform?
Four years ago, a 9-year-old girl was taken away from her parents by the state so that her name could be changed from “Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii.”
Image: Name tag, via Shutterstock
American-born children have a higher risk of developing allergies to foods or airborne particles like pollen or dust, a new study has found. Though researchers have not identified a definitive reason for the findings, The New York Times reports that the risk is elevated across a number of variables:
After adjusting for age, race, sex, ethnicity and other variables, the scientists found that children born outside the United States were 48 percent less likely to suffer from allergic diseases like asthma, eczema, hay fever and food allergies. The researchers reported their findings in an online article Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.
Children with American-born parents had higher rates of allergies than children with foreign-born parents, and having two foreign-born parents reduced the risk for allergy even more than having one.
Just living in the United States appeared to increase the risk — foreign-born children who lived in the United States for 10 years or more were more than three times as likely to have allergies as those who lived here for two years or less.
Image: Child with hay fever, via Shutterstock