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Life-threatening risk associated with cocaine contaminated with veterinary anti-parasitic drug


Mon, Jun 7th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Health officials at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Minnesota Poison Control System and Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) have identified three confirmed and two suspect cases of neutropenia associated with recent use of cocaine tainted with levamisole. Neutropenia is a significant decrease in the body's neutrophil count which is a blood cell important for protecting the body from infection. Levamisole also causes other adverse side effects including damaging other cells such as red blood cells and platelets.

All cases were diagnosed by health care providers during March through May 2010 with severe, unexplained neutropenia. The age of the patients ranged from 25-60 years. Three were females and two were males. All were residing in the metro area when they became ill. Two of the patients died but also had other significant contributing conditions. Symptoms can include fever, darkened or "dead-looking" skin, and other severe infections associated with low white cell counts.

Levamisole is an anti-worm medication approved for use in veterinary medicine in the United States and South America. It is commonly added to cocaine as a diluting agent and as of July 2009 was detected by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in 69 percent of cocaine lots coming into the United States.

These are the first cases of this condition to be identified in Minnesota. However, the association between levamisole and unexplained neutropenia was first identified in April 2008 from a cluster of 11 cases in New Mexico. Since then, there have been cases identified throughout the U.S. as well as a cluster in Alberta, Canada. More information on this topic can be found online in the December 2009 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review (MMWR) released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5849a3.htm.

Anyone experiencing fever or acute infection onset with a history of cocaine use should see their provider immediately. For 24/7 medical information, contact the Minnesota Poison Control System at 1-800-222-1222. For additional information, contact the Minnesota Department of Human Services Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division at (651) 431-2460 or DHS.ADAD@state.mn.us.

ECI Family Walk

Fri, Jun 4th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

The Fillmore County Early Childhood Initiative (ECI) would like to invite you to attend the Fillmore County ECI Family Walk on June 13th at Bass Pond Parking Lot in Lanesboro. The walk is open to all families. Each family participating must have a m ..... 
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RINTek brings cyclists to region

Fri, Jun 4th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Rushford Institute of Nanotechnology (RINTek) is hosting an exhilarating new bike tour, Saturday, June 12th, in Rushford. In this inaugural year, organizers expect to have an estimated 50-100 registered participants in the event, designed for bicycl ..... 
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Be a lifesaver this summer by donating blood through the American Red Cross

Fri, Jun 4th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Blood donations often decline during the summer due to donors being on vacation or busy with summer activities, while the need for blood remains constant. Approximately every two seconds a patient needs a blood transfusion in the United States. This ..... 
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HHS Awards More Than $2.4 Million in Recovery Act Funds in Minnesota to Expand the Use of Health Information Technology

Thu, Jun 3rd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced a $2,452,568 Million grant to an organization in Minnesota to help networks of health centers adopt electronic health records (EHR) and other health information technology (HIT) systems. The funds are p ..... 
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Health care spending in Minnesota rose to $35 billion in 2008

Wed, Jun 2nd, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Health care spending in Minnesota rose from $33 billion in 2007 to $35 billion in 2008, according to a new report by the Health Economics Program at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The report projects that health care spending in the state ..... 
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Co-ed softball in Preston

Fri, May 28th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Sally Gibson has gathered enough interest to form four co-ed softball teams playing at the Preston softball fields every Sunday starting at 6:00 p.m.

The league will begin regular double-headers on Sunday, June 6 at 6:00 p.m. For more inform ..... 
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E. coli illnesses traced to raw milk from Gibbon dairy farm

Wed, May 26th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

State health officials have linked three cases of E. coli O157:H7 illness with raw milk from a dairy farm in Gibbon, Minn. The Minnesota Department of Health urges anyone who may have recently purchased milk from the Hartmann Dairy Farm, also known a ..... 
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IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO RIDE IN THE NANOTEK TREK BIKE EVENT!

Tue, May 25th, 2010
Posted in Health & Wellness

Bicyclists from Wisconsin and Minnesotwill set out to tackle the hills and valleys of Rushford, MN

Rushford, MN: JUNE 12, 2010 - www.rintek.org - that's where you'll find all the information you need to get on the Nanotek Trek in beautiful Rus ..... 
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