Health Highlights: Oct. 25, 2013

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency discovered the problem and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration then conducted follow-up testing and an investigation, CBS News reported.

Listeria is a bacteria that can cause serious illness in seniors, pregnant women, newborns and adults with weakened immune systems.


CDC Issues Guidelines for Use of New TB Drug

Guidelines for the use of a new tuberculosis drug were released Thursday by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The drug Sirturo (bedaquiline fumarate) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration late last year and belongs to the first new class of TB drugs approved by the agency in more than 40 years.

Sirturo may be used in the first 24 weeks of treatment in adults with laboratory-confirmed pulmonary multi-drug resistant TB, when there are no other effective treatment options. Due to the potential for serious adverse events, the drug is not recommended for all TB patients, the CDC said.

The drug may also be used on a case-by-cased basis for other patients or for durations longer than 24 weeks when no other effective treatments are available. Sirturo should be part of combination therapy administered by directly observed therapy.

Patients taking the drug must be closely monitored for adverse reactions, the CDC said.

The guidelines appear in the latest issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the CDC.

Overall TB rates in the United States are at an all-time low (9,945 cases in 2012), but drug-resistant TB is a growing threat. The new drug is an important advance in the fight against TB, but more new treatment options are needed to eliminate the disease in the U..S., the CDC said.

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