Malaria eradication efforts could be stalled: A new, drug-resistant strain of malaria, impervious to artemisinin and the piperaquine with which it is frequently paired, threatens to upend years of worldwide malaria eradication efforts. In recent years, public health officials have tracked the spread of deadly falciparum malaria parasites from western Cambodia to Thailand and Laos, and most recently into Vietnam. A much bigger worry is that resistance could spread to sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria kills nearly 3,000 children a day despite the widespread use of artemisinin. Artemisinin resistance began emerging in Southeast Asia about a decade ago, soon after unregulated pharmaceutical companies began selling pills that contained only artemisinin, failing to pair it with another drug. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEALTH

Prions detected in skin: National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and collaborators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have detected abnormal prion protein in the skin of nearly two dozen people who died from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). The scientists also exposed a dozen healthy mice to skin extracts from two of the CJD patients, and all developed prion disease. READ MORE

FDA advises stopping Limbrel use: The FDA  is advising consumers to stop use immediately of a prescription drug called Limbrel, which is manufactured as a medical food to manage the metabolic processes associated with osteoarthritis. The FDA says 194 adverse cases have been reported, including serious liver injury and lung damage. READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

Fake olive oil: A Greek prosecutor on Sunday charged seven people for fraudulently selling large quantities of adulterated sunflower oil as olive oil in Greece and abroad. The seven, a family of four and three of their relatives, were arrested by police and they are also charged with forming a criminal gang, defrauding the state, falsifying documents and money laundering. READ MORE

Another threat to vineyards: Flavescence dorée (FD) has been detected for the first time in the Department of Puy-de-Dome in the wine-producing region of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes in southeastern France, bordering Switzerland and northwestern Italy. The disease had previously been reported from other departments in that region. FD, one of the most important and destructive diseases of grapevines, was first reported in 1954 in southern France and has been spreading in southern Europe after apparently having been introduced from the U.S. FD is caused by a bacterial parasite called Candidatus Phytoplasma vitis. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Oh no! Think twice before licking that spoon as you prepare cake batter or cookie dough for holiday treats. Salmonella from raw eggs is no longer the only concern in baking. A study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine details an outbreak of E. coli in 2016 linked to flour and found that the problem may be more common than previously thought. Other foods are more commonly associated with E. coli outbreaks, including undercooked or uncooked meat, produce such as lettuce, and unpasteurized milk and cider. READ MORE

If you drank milk from Udder Milk, see a doctor: Anyone who consumed raw milk or raw milk products from New Jersey’s Udder Milk in the past six months, especially pregnant women, should immediately seek medical care and start antibiotic therapy for brucellosis. Public health investigators have not yet been able to find out what dairies supply Udder Milk. That is complicating traceback efforts and making it impossible to narrow the number of people potentially exposed to Brucella bacteria in the suspect milk. READ MORE

CYBER SECURITY

Uber may have paid $100,000 ransom: Uber last week admitted that hackers accessed the personal data of 57 million of its users in a breach the company covered up for more than a year. Attackers are believed to have obtained credentials from a private GitHub site used by Uber’s software developers; the credentials were then used to access data stored on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account. The company was said to have paid $100,000 to the hackers as a ransom to limit fallout from the breach. READ MORE