An Illinois meat producer recalled nearly 96,000 pounds of potentially contaminated beef, the federal government announced Thursday.
The Department of Agriculture designated as "Class One" the recall of 95,898 pounds of ground beef products from Valley Meats LLC of Coal Valley, Illinois, meaning the health risk associated with eating the meat is high.
The Ohio Department of Health first reported an outbreak of illness linked to the potentially deadly bacterium E. coli 0157:H7 to federal authorities on May 13, and clusters of illnesses have also been reported in Pennsylvania and Illinois, the department said in a news release.
The bacterium can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and kidney failure. Those most vulnerable include the very young, the aged and people with weak immune systems, according to USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service.
A list of the recalled products - all of which were produced on March 10 and packaged under a variety of labels - is posted at www.fsis.usda.gov
Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more on the status of the H1N1 influenza from Dr. Sanjay Gupta on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.
The number of confirmed H1N1 flu cases worldwide is nearing 10,000, the World Health Organization said Tuesday morning.
Commonly known as swine flu, the outbreak has sickened 9,830 people and caused at least 79 deaths - mostly in Mexico, the organization said. The actual number of people affected may be higher, as it takes time for national governments to confirm cases and report them to the global body.
In the United States, at least 5,469 cases of swine flu have been reported, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has linked six deaths to the outbreak; health officials in New York have connected a seventh death to the disease.
Go to the CDC site to find more information about the H1N1 outbreak, by location.
Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more about the H1N1 influenza from Dr. Sanjay Gupta on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.
The World Health Organization
As of 06:00 GMT, 17 May 2009, 39 countries have officially reported 8480 cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection.
Mexico has reported 2895 laboratory confirmed human cases of infection, including 66 deaths. The United States has reported 4714 laboratory confirmed human cases, including four deaths. Canada has reported 496 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death. Costa Rica has reported nine laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death.
Click here to see the number of reported cases in the United States, by state.
The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths – Argentina (1), Australia (1), Austria (1), Belgium (4), Brazil (8), China (5), Colombia (11), Cuba (3), Denmark (1), Ecuador (1), El Salvador (4), Finland (2), France (14), Germany (14), Guatemala (3), India (1), Ireland (1), Israel (7), Italy (9), Japan (7), Malaysia (2), Netherlands (3), New Zealand (9), Norway (2), Panama (54), Peru (1), Poland (1), Portugal (1), Republic of Korea (3), Spain (103), Sweden (3), Switzerland (1), Thailand (2), Turkey (1), and the United Kingdom (82).
Program Note: Watch Randi Kaye's full report tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.
Randi Kaye | Bio
This is not an easy subject. Cancer. I hate to even write the word. The only comfort in it, strange as it is, is that practically everyone has been touched by it. Practically everyone knows someone who had it or maybe even has it.
Nearly 9 million people watch the documentary "Farrah's Story" Friday night on NBC. I was not one of them. Why?
My grandmother died of cancer just before I graduated college. She had colon cancer which then moved into her stomach and spread throughout her body. I can still remember visiting her in the nursing home. She was so small and frail in her bed. She passed away just days before my college graduation. She was such a no-nonsense tough woman. Hard to believe anything could beat her but cancer did.
A couple years before my grandmother got sick my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. She had been smoking since she was 12. I will never forget the message I got on the answering machine in my college apartment. It was my mom telling me "I'm dying."
After numerous operations, doctors managed to save my mom. Incredible! She spent five months in the hospital without a cigarette and made all kinds of promises that she'd never smoke again.
It didn't last. I'm not sure how long it took but my mother started puffing away again. I've never smoked myself, so I can only imagine how addictive nicotine can be. She tried hypnosis and the nicotine patch. No luck.
Sure enough, my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer again last year. This time it was her other lung. It had been twenty years since her original diagnosis and she'd been smoking all that time. Secretly mostly. She was so scared this time would be it. Death seemed to be on her doorstep like it seems it is for Farrah Fawcett now. She went through chemotherapy and radiation. She lost all her hair.
AC360° Associate Producer
The swine flu hysteria appears to be fading – at least for now.
Despite news this week that a second person in the United States, Judy Trunnell of Texas, died while infected with the H1N1 virus, U.S. and Mexican officials hope the worst may be over.
The latest World Health Organization count puts the total number of confirmed cases at 1,516 in 22 countries and 30 deaths. Officials are still recommending that individuals take precautions, but in the U.S. schools were urged not to close. Newly appointed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said scientists believe that the flu strain is no more dangerous than seasonal flu, and that schools should act accordingly.
And flu fears, stirred up by daily updates from the WHO, the Obama administration and news media, now appear to be waning.
But even a few days of flu frenzy can be fodder for the most brazen of entrepreneurs.
Last week in New York, Alan Wolan – who runs a marketing agency – was taking his son to school on the subway, when he noticed a commuter wearing a surgical mask.
And he immediately had an idea.
Stephen Flynn and Irwin Redlener
We may have dodged a bullet – for now. If the strain of Swine Flu virus that is currently circulating the United States remains mild, our plans and capabilities for responding to a nationwide health care crisis will not be put to the test. That is a good thing because if our pandemic preparedness were to undergo a stress test today, it would fail.
Because panic can lead to misdirected energies that result in harmful outcomes, the Obama Administration and local leaders like New York's mayor Michael Bloomberg deserve high marks for providing a measured and reassuring tone in the face of the initial fear and uncertainty surrounding the H1N1 outbreak.
But now the hard work must begin.
President Obama needs to quickly seize upon this crisis to mobilize state and local governments and everyday Americans to better prepare our hospitals, communities, and homes for the task of protecting and saving lives during a virulent pandemic.
CNN National Desk Assignment Editor
You've heard of the swine flu but have you heard of the "swinefighter"? It's a new online game based on the latest worldwide epidemic.
It's easy to play. Just aim a giant syringe at green pigs flying around the screen and beat the virus.
The site www.swinefighter.com not only lets you play the game, but also gives you advise from the Center for Disease Control on the virus.
Millions of people world wide are already tuning in to play.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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