- Three deaths from flu complications stun a Calvert family and their community — In Calvert County, MD three family members died from flu complications. One was an elderly woman; the other two were her middle-aged children. Flu complications can be severe and potentially fatal for anyone, but especially for the elderly or others with compromised immune systems. That’s where things got confusing… why did the two middle-aged adults die from the flu? That’s not expected. Turns out they all ALSO had a terrible staph infection, likely MRSA! It is a terrible story. The Maryland lab was heavily involved in testing samples and making sure this was not an outbreak of some sort. Luckily it was not. But still… our thoughts are with the family that just lost three loved ones.
- Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis Associated with a Firefighting Response — Indiana and Michigan, June 2011 — This is another crazy story, but fortunately no one died. So there was a fire in a barn and 34 firefighters responded. Most of them came down with a gastrointestinal illness a few days later. Investigators went to the farm and found Cryptosporidium parvum in the pond water (which had been used to extinguish the fire) and in calf stool samples, among other places. The firefighters got sick from fighting the fire! You should read the full story here. It is really crazy.
- Hands-on science events set for Michigan students — How about a more uplifting kind of story? The Michigan public health lab is holding a series of events for K-12th graders to explore laboratory careers. One of the events is this: Isolate Your Own DNA from Your Saliva and Take it Home in a Necklace. How cool is that?! Can I go if my school never did anything that awesome?
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