A listeria outbreak that has caused 16 infections and one death across six states has been linked to deli meats and cheeses, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Florida, and Georgia.
- District of Columbia: A new investigation from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found "forever chemicals" linked to certain cancers in a wide range of pet food packaging and textile products for young children. The toxins, known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), can wear off as dust over time. According to the researchers, even when the PFAS are not directly ingested, exposure to dust can harm individuals who spend a significant amount of time on the floor. To understand how prevalent the issue is, researchers conducted a series of independent lab tests. "It's almost impossible to avoid PFAS, because as these tests confirm, they're prevalent in all aspects of our daily lives," said project leader Sydney Evans, a science analyst at EWG. (Udasin, The Hill, 11/3)
- Florida: Hospitals and health systems across Florida earlier this week prepared for Hurricane Nicole, which was downgraded to a tropical storm shortly after it made landfall in Florida. Before the storm made landfall, Health First in Rockledge closed its offices at noon on Wednesday. Their offices remained closed through Thursday, with only hospitals and essential services remaining open. As of Wednesday morning, Memorial Healthcare System said all hospitals, urgent care centers, and medical offices were operating normally. Similarly, AdventHealth equipped its hospitals in Central Florida with generators, fuel, and bottled water. However, the health system said it had no plans to close any hospitals in anticipation of the storm. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration granting federal aid to support the state's response. (Bean, Becker's Hospital Review, 11/9)
- Georgia: CDC on Wednesday announced that a listeria outbreak that has caused 16 infections and one death across six states is linked to deli meats and cheeses. From April 2021 to September 2022, seven people were infected in New York, three in Maryland, one in New Jersey, two in Massachusetts, two in Illinois, and one in California. Of the seven individuals infected in New York, five bought deli meat at a NetCost Market. However, health officials believe more delis may be involved in the outbreak. Currently, CDC, local public health officials, FDA, and the Department of Agriculture, are conducting an investigation to identify additional delis and products contaminated with the bacteria. Infected individuals ranged from age 38 to 92, with a median age of 72. While CDC reported 16 confirmed cases, officials believe the actual number of infected individuals is likely higher. (Archie, NPR, 11/10)