September 2011 Archives

September 28, 2011

Serious Side Effects of Levaquin Reported in the U.S.

The popular antibiotic Levaquin, is available only by prescription, comes in tablet, oral solution and intravenous forms and is prescribed to adults, over the age of 18, to treat infections. These infections include: sinus infections (sinusitis), chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, skin infections or skin-structure infections and various types of urinary track infections.

Levaquin should only be taken by prescription and one must follow physician orders. If taken incorrectly or in high dosages it can have severe side effects and even death. Levaquin has also been associated with an increased risk of tendon rupture or swelling of the tendon (tendinitis). The risk, however, is higher in adults over the age of 60, people who take steroids, and those who have had kidney, heart of lung transplants.

If you experience any weakening of muscles, tendons or any swelling and/or inflammation, please seek medical help immediately. Tendon rupture can occur while you are taking Levaquin or even months after you stop taking it.

Other possible side effects of Levaquin include: liver damage, central nervous system side effects (such as: seizures, hallucinations, confusion, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, etc.), allergic reactions, damage to the nerves in arms, legs and hands, intestinal infections, changes in heart rhythms and changes in blood sugar.

The most common side effects of Levaquin include: nausea, headache, diarrhea, constipation and dizziness. While taking Levaquin you should avoid sunlaps/tanning beds and operating heavy machinery.

In 1996, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the distribution of Levaquin and in 2008 it required that the drug packaging have a black box warning label. The black box warning label is the strongest warning that can be placed on a prescription medication.

Currently, in the United States, there are about 1,900 Levaquin tendon damage cases pending litigation.

For a complete list of symptoms and side effects you may contact your physician and the FDA by visiting www.fda.gov/medwatch, or by calling 1(800)FDA-1088

September 20, 2011

Listeria Outbreak Reported in 17 States Due to Rocky Ford Cantaloupes

Listeria-Cantaloup.jpgThe Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Issued a Rocky Ford Cantaloupe recall on September 14, 2011, following an investigation, due to reports of listeriosis outbreaks that have so far made 22 people in seven states sick. Nine other outbreaks of listeriosis were also reported in New Mexico, of which three resulted in deaths.

The recall was issued in 17 states in connection with this listeria food poisoning outbreak. Listeria infections, also known as listeriosis, pose risks for children, the elderly and those with weak immune systems. For pregnant women, it can cause miscarriages and still births. The fatality rate is about 25%. Listeria can however be treated with antibiotics, once it is diagnosed through blood testing. Symptoms include: muscle aches, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, sever headaches and fever. If the infection spreads to other organs or even in the bloodstream it could cause meningitis and other health complications. Therefore, it is important that you get the necessary blood work done to determine whether what you are experiencing is listeriosis or not.

This Jensen Farms Rocky Ford Cantaloupe Recall affects the following states: Illinois, Wyoming, Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact the FDA, the CDC and your local state health department.

September 14, 2011

Fatal Crashes on the Rise In Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Anne Arundel County, Maryland has had eight pedestrians and one bicyclist killed by motor vehicles so far this year. A study conducted by the State Highway Administration between 2006 and 2010 reported that 9 pedestrians were killed in 2006, 13 in 2009 and 12 in 2010. None were killed in 2007 or 2008. The number of pedestrians injured between 2006 and 2010 was reported to be 197.

The Anne Arundel Police will therefore start to stop drivers and pedestrians who violate the rules of the road, which include; jaywalkers, hit and run drivers, drivers who ignore bicycle lanes and drivers who run red lights and stop signs. Justin Mulcahy, Anne Arundel Police spokesman, said, "The goal is education and enforcement." The most troubling of these situations are hit-and-run drivers, because the drivers who flee the scene after a pedestrian is hit may be able to aid the pedestrian and keep the person from dying.

The roads where vehicle have struck pedestrians and bicyclists will be targeted, mostly. These areas include Hospital Driver near Crain Highway in Glen Burnie, Maryland, Fort Smallwood Road in Pasadena, Maryland and Jumpers Hole Road and Ritchie Highway. Other areas will also be in routes of patrol, but these are the major areas were fatal accidents have occurred in Anne Arundel and Baltimore City, Maryland.

September 6, 2011

Jaywalkers Will Be Given Tickets in Montgomery County as of September 2011

Pedestrian Walking.jpgCrosswalk.jpg
It was announced Friday, September 2, 2011 by Montgomery County, Maryland officials that there will be a zero-tolerance program to crack down on minor moving violations for drivers and for pedestrians. Such moving violations include: failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and jaywalking.

Drivers who block pedestrian crosswalks, fail to yield to pedestrians, run red lights, do not use turn signals and fail to use their windshield wipers in the rain will be ticketed. Pedestrians, on the other hand will be ticketed if they jaywalk, which is failing to cross at marked crosswalks, fail to obey crosswalk signals and for walking diagonally across intersections.

Each violation will have a fine of $50. The citations/tickets will be issued in high traffic areas and high incident areas, were police officers are more likely to enforce the law. The high incident areas include Piney Branch Road, Wisconsin Avenue, Georgia Avenue, Rockville Pike, Four Corners, Reedie Drive, Randolph Road and Connecticut Avenue.

This crack-down comes due to the fact that between January and June of this year, four pedestrians were killed and 174 collisions involved pedestrians in Montgomery County. In 2010, CountyStat (an oversight department for the county government) reported that there were 436 vehicle collisions with pedestrians and 13 pedestrians were killed. Montgomery County officials also distributed brochures and warned pedestrians of jaywalking in order to improve pedestrian safety. In 2010 alone, Montgomery County spent $8.5 million on pedestrian safety. Therefore, follow the law and remember that your safety on the road, be it as a driver or pedestrian, is your responsibility.