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HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn | August 24, 2012
A new strain of hand-foot-and-mouth disease has been sickening local children and sending many scared parents to the pediatrician and emergency room, according to Johns Hopkins pediatric dermatologists . But the doctors say most cases are benign and clear up in a little over a week without treatment. Hopkins doctors have seen almost 50 cases in recent months and fielded many more phone calls from parents and doctors, according to Dr. Bernard Cohen, director of pediatric dermatology at Hopkins Children's Center . And he said most cases are probably seen in primary care pediatricians' offices.
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NEWS
October 6, 2014
Your editorial on the Ebola virus' recent appearance in Texas perfectly expressed my fears and concerns regarding the outbreak ( "Ebola hits home," Oct. 2). I would add one more point that should be made: When medical officials say Ebola can only be spread via body fluids, they usually cite blood, vomit, urine and diarrhea. However, bodily fluids also include sweat and saliva, both of which are secreted daily in the most mundane ways. I strongly urge people in Dallas, where I was recently a graduate student at Southern Methodist University, to stock up on bleach-based cleansers and to refrain from unnecessarily touching their faces, especially if their hands have been in contact with objects commonly carried around in crowded public spaces, like laptops and cellphones.
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HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | October 9, 2012
Technicians at the Cape Apothecary compounding pharmacy in Annapolis spend their days mixing drugs that are no longer sold commercially or creating specialized batches of medicine for patients such as children who can't handle the normal dose. Federal officials have linked a compounding pharmacy in New England to a multistate outbreak of meningitis that has infected 119 people, including eight in Maryland. The owner of Cape Apothecary said there is a big difference between his storefront drugstore and the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass.: size.
NEWS
September 16, 2014
President Barack Obama announced today that he will send up to 3,000 health workers and military personnel to Liberia to help stem the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa that has paralyzed the health system there and threatened the lives of millions of people in the region. It's about time. The epidemic represents a crisis of global dimensions, and the fight against it requires the U.S. to take a leadership role if the effort is to succeed. We can only wonder how many lives could have been saved if the Obama administration had taken these steps - and more - weeks ago. The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 20,000 people could be infected by the Ebola virus in the coming months, which would make it the largest outbreak in history.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | December 21, 2012
The pharmacy at the center of a fungal meningitis outbreak that has hit 19 states said Friday it has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Massachusetts. The New England Compounding Center also said it plans to establish a fund to compensate those affected by the outbreak. The outbreak has sickened 620 people and killed 39. In Maryland, 25 people have gotten ill and two have died. The outbreak is linked to three lots of a steroid injection used to treat back pain that clinics and medical facilities bought from New England Compounding Center.
HEALTH
December 1, 2009
The current wave of pandemic H1N1 flu appears to have peaked, with four weeks of declines in several key indicators, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday. Despite those declines, the outbreak is continuing to take a heavy toll of hospitalizations and deaths, especially among children. Widespread activity of swine flu was reported in 32 states in the week ending Nov. 21, down from 43 states in the week before and 48 a month ago. Between Aug. 30 and Nov. 21, there were 29,348 laboratory-confirmed swine flu hospitalizations and 1,224 deaths in the United States, although those numbers are generally assumed to be very low. New figures are expected in a couple of weeks, but two weeks ago the CDC estimated that at least 4,000 people had died from swine flu, 98,000 had been hospitalized and 22 million had contracted the virus.
HEALTH
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | January 6, 2013
A national outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to a tainted steroid killed two Marylanders. Nearly two dozen people living with the disease and hundreds of others who may have been exposed fear they may be next. Sheila Smelkinson began suffering in July from pain in her lower back and right leg that kept the Pikesville resident awake for all but a few hours each night. Cortisone shots, one in August and a second in September, relieved her discomfort - until she received a call informing her the medication was among batches contaminated with fungus in a Massachusetts pharmaceutical facility.
NEWS
By Meredith Cohn and Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | September 29, 2011
Local melon growers and retailers are trying to reassure consumers after listeria linked to cantaloupe from a Colorado farm killed 13 people across the country, including one in Maryland — the deadliest foodborne outbreak in more than a decade. While federal public health officials have warned of the potential for more deaths, state officials are reaching out to retailers to ensure they're aware of the recall, and the produce industry is working to contain the crisis. Meanwhile, some consumers are putting off cantaloupe purchases.
NEWS
By HILLEL W. COHEN | November 3, 2005
Will preparations for pandemic flu incorporate important lessons from Hurricane Katrina? President Bush unveiled a $7.1 billion plan Tuesday that concentrates on expanding production and stockpiles of vaccine and antiviral medicine. It may still fall far short of what is needed. The Bush plan has prioritized protection of pharmaceutical company profits with broad protection against liability suits but did not suggest how low-income families without prescription medicine coverage will pay for medications.
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | April 21, 2000
Baltimore Health Department investigators say they have controlled an outbreak of tuberculosis among gay and bisexual men who belong to African-American social clubs that stage dance competitions along the East Coast. The department found 19 active and 23 dormant cases of TB, a serious respiratory infection. The outbreak came to light in mid-1998 and was contained within a year when health officials traced the disease to members of clubs known as "houses." More than half of the men who contracted tuberculosis were also infected with the AIDS virus, which lowers defenses against disease.
NEWS
August 4, 2014
The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit that officially opened today in Washington is as notable for what isn't on the agenda as for what is. The meeting between President Barack Obama and more than 40 African heads of state has been billed as forum for talks on security issues, foreign investment and economic development on the continent. But so far, at least, the recent outbreak of deadly Ebola virus in three African nations has remained absent from the official agenda. Mr. Obama needs to take this opportunity to strengthen cooperation between the U.S. and its African partners in efforts to bring the epidemic under control and provide the resources needed to prevent its spread.
HEALTH
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | August 1, 2014
Public health officials have just one tactic to battle the unrelenting Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa - quarantine - but as the disease continues to spread, scientists in Maryland are among those close to discovering other weapons. Baltimore companies Profectus BioSciences and Paragon Bioservices, as well as researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Frederick and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, have been part of efforts that have shown a handful of Ebola vaccine candidates are effective in monkeys.
NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | May 6, 2014
A settlement was filed in bankruptcy court Tuesday that could provide $100 million as early as next year to victims of a nationwide meningitis outbreak linked to tainted steroid injections, lawyers said. New England Compounding Center, its owners, related companies and insurers reached the settlement with a steering committee representing patients across the country who received shots of medication found to be contaminated with fungus. The agreement, tentatively reached and announced in December, awaits approval in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts Eastern Division.
NEWS
By Justin George and Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | April 12, 2014
Passengers boarding the Grandeur of the Seas arrived Saturday at the port of Baltimore carrying their luggage, hopes for a relaxing vacation and, in some cases, extra vitamins to ward off illnesses that have plagued the ship's last two voyages. "We're very concerned, especially because it's been onboard twice," said Gwen Rivera of Millersville, Pa., who planned to make her 13-year-old son, Brock, swallow some Vitamin C as soon as they boarded the Royal Caribbean cruiseliner. Her apprehension was shared by many passengers after learning that the Grandeur of the Seas had been struck by a second outbreak of a gastrointestinal illness in the past two voyages.
NEWS
By Sean Welsh, The Baltimore Sun | March 16, 2014
Complaints about stomach aches in Harford County might turn out to be more than a series of bellyaching. The Harford County Health Department and the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene are investigating an outbreak of stomach issues, a spokesman said Sunday night. "I can confirm a collaborative investigation between ourselves and the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene of what we believe at this time to be a restaurant-associated outbreak of gastroenteritis," said Harford County Health Department spokesman William Wiseman.
NEWS
By Graham Dodge | December 2, 2013
In 1998, I had a start-up called NotFilms.com that provided an online platform for home videos.  At that time, online video was the size of a matchbook and very few people had a broadband connection capable of uploading video (let alone watching it), so users sent us their VHS tapes and DVDs via snail mail for us to digitize/encode it in glorious Quicktime, RealPlayer and Windows Media Player formats.  This was obviously a barrier to entry, and the start-up failed along with numerous others during that early dot-com era.  It wasn't until broadband was more widely adopted that a little website called YouTube was then able to succeed at what we had attempted seven years prior.  Broadband has since enabled the success of many streaming video sites and apps.  Its importance cannot be overstated, but today broadband is mostly taken for granted, and may seem less obvious to some in its enabling of other technologies.
NEWS
By Rona Hirsch and Rona Hirsch,Staff writer | April 21, 1991
A statewide outbreak of measles that has been traced to a wrestler at Oakland Mills High School has prompted screenings and re-inoculations at area middle and high schools.Approximately 110 cases, including 20 in Howard County, have been reported in the state since the initial outbreak began and are all linked to the athlete, said officials at the Maryland Department of Health. Statewide cases reported in seven of the 11 years since 1981 were well under 20 per year.Two weeks after the senior developed symptoms in late February, students at 12 schools in five counties came down with measles.
NEWS
By FRANK D. ROYLANCE and FRANK D. ROYLANCE,SUN REPORTER | April 21, 2006
An unusual outbreak of mumps that began last month among college students in Iowa is prompting renewed calls for young people to make sure they've had the recommended two doses of the mumps vaccine. "The college kids in Iowa were in pre-school in the time when the second dose wasn't required there," said Dr. Julia A. McMillan, professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "So there's a relatively large number ... who didn't get their second dose, 20 percent of whom would be susceptible to mumps."
HEALTH
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | November 18, 2013
The Food and Drug Administration would play a broader role in regulating specialty pharmacies, such as the one responsible for last year's deadly outbreak of meningitis, under legislation approved by Congress on Monday and expected to be signed by President Barack Obama. Lawmakers have been negotiating for months over a bill to crack down on so-called compounding pharmacies after a Massachusetts firm distributed contaminated steroids that led to the outbreak last year. Sixty-four people who received the steroid injections died, including three in Maryland, and hundreds more were injured.
HEALTH
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | September 25, 2013
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are closing in on a deal to grant the Food and Drug Administration more authority over the type of drugs that caused a deadly outbreak of meningitis last year, advocates close to the issue said Tuesday. Though details of the proposal remain fluid, House and Senate negotiators have been talking for weeks and appear to be making progress toward stiffer regulations. The effort comes nearly a year after a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy recalled contaminated steroids that led to the outbreak.
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