Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Norovirus in Massachusetts

Via Universal Hub: the Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services reports a rise in norovirus infections in the state.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has seen a significant number of gastrointestinal illness outbreaks across the state this winter, which are likely caused by norovirus infections. Noroviruses are a group of particularly strong viruses that cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in people who get infected.
Noroviruses are easily spread through food, by person-to-person contact, or though contact with contaminated surfaces such as countertops and door knobs. The virus is spread through an infected person’s stool or vomit -- contamination that can be spread further without careful attention to hand washing and environmental cleaning.

There's a list of tips for avoiding infection, but they may not go far enough. In particular, PlagueBlog recommends avoiding dirty diapers and oysters altogether. There is no safe handling procedure for such items.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cold on the Trail of the Tylenol Killer

Via Universal Hub: Boston.com reports that the FBI and state police searched a Cambridge condo today in connection with the 1982 Tylenol tampering deaths.

The first-floor condominium belongs to James W. Lewis, 62, of 170 Gore St., who spent 12 years in federal prison for trying to extort $1 million from the painkiller's manufacturers but was never charged in the murders. The authorities spent most of the day inside the six-story blonde brick building and also searched a storage facility at an undisclosed location in the city.
The Chicago office of the FBI said in a statement late today that agents, the Illinois State Police, and several local police departments were "conducting a complete review of all evidence developed in connection with the 1982 Tylenol murders," which prompted dramatic changes in the way almost all food and medical products are packaged.