Beautiful young woman smoking pot on a street in Amsterdam.

This syndrome may not be rare: Mrs. X knew something was wrong when she burned herself in the bath for the third time. The Australian woman—whose experience was documented anonymously in a published case study—had experienced sudden and severe episodes of illness for nine years. She’d get nauseous and feel like the room was spinning, which was followed by violent vomiting and severe stomach pains. As it turned out, she had a mysterious syndrome that doctors are only now beginning to recognize—cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or CHS. Although previously assumed to be very rare, CHS may affect a large number of frequent marijuana users, a new study suggests. Read more HERE, HERE and HERE.

ANIMAL HEALTH

No more eggs from French caged hens: French Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert has announced that the Government is to ban the sale of shell eggs in supermarkets from cages by 2022. While the move has the backing of nearly nine of out of ten French voters, according to a recent poll, it has attracted criticism. Travert’s announcement has angered the French poultry sector, which is the largest in the EU and produced 14.3 billion eggs in 2016. Currently, around two thirds of eggs sold in France come from 32 million caged hens. READ MORE

Facial recognition for cows?? Cargill Inc. is backing an Irish startup that uses facial recognition software to help increase the productivity of dairy cows, the latest move by the largest closely held U.S. company to bolster its agricultural-technology efforts. Cargill has taken a minority stake in Cainthus, which harnesses machine-learning and imaging techniques to identify cows and glean information on everything from their behavior to appetite. READ MORE

WATER SAFETY

Communities struggle to provide safe water: To ensure that tap water in the United States is safe to drink, the federal government has been steadily tightening the health standards for the nation’s water supplies for decades. But over and over again, local water systems around the country have failed to meet these requirements. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that, since 1982, between 3 and 10 percent of the country’s water systems have been in violation of federal Safe Drinking Water Act health standards each year. In 2015 alone, as many as 21 million Americans may have been exposed to unsafe drinking water. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Contaminated kratom: A coast-to-coast outbreak of Salmonella infections has been linked to kratom products, spurring a warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kratom, a plant native to southeast Asia, is consumed for its stimulant effects and as an opioid substitute. It is typically brewed in a tea, chewed, smoked, or ingested in capsules. The CDC  had received confirmation of 28 people across 20 states with Salmonella infections, with 11 of them sick enough to be admitted to hospitals. READ MORE

Chicken patties recalled: Waco, Texas-based Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., is recalling more than 100,000 pounds of  ready-to-eat breaded chicken patties that may be contaminated with rubber, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced last week. The chicken patties were shipped to institutions, including schools, nationwide through the USDA commodity program. The introduction of the foreign material was due to an equipment failure at the facility. READ MORE 

Norovirus affects Swiss athletes: Last week, the Swiss Olympic team announced that a previously existing norovirus outbreak that had sickened security workers at the 2018 Winter Olympics had spread to its own athletes. The statement said that two freestyle skiers had contracted norovirus while at the Olympic games in North Korea. Although the outbreak occurred at a youth training center in Pyeongchang where the affected security workers had been residing, the two Swiss athletes were staying at a different site. They were also said to have had minimal contact with other athletes and had never visited the Olympic Village. Since just before the games opened on Feb. 9, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 232 individuals with norovirus. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEALTH

Kentucky Hep A cases linked clusters in other states: Homeless people and drug users are apparently experiencing the brunt of Kentucky’s uptick in hepatitis A virus cases, which has occurred since Aug. 1, 2017, according to the Kentucky Department of Public Health (KDPH). Viral sequencing has linked Kentucky’s cluster with hepatitis A outbreaks in California, Utah, Michigan and other states. The agency has confirmed 103 cases, including 78 hospitalizations. Most of the cases are in Louisville, with nearly 90 cases in a city that usually sees only one to four cases in a typical year. READ MORE

RESTAURANT SECURITY

Spike in armed robberies at Cleveland restaurants: Yet another armed robbery struck the Cleveland Subway restaurant on Lakeshore Boulevard,  the fourth time that location has been victimized in nine months. Cleveland Councilman Michael Polensek said major corporations have to do more to improve security. “I can show you stores that have been robbed on the east side 5 and 6 times, it’s insanity,” he said. READ MORE