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Safety

There’s a lizard in my lettuce: Illinois study spotlights surprising finds in salads

URBANA, Ill. – When a dead bat was found in a package of salad greens in 2017, the Florida story spurred product recalls and national media attention. The incident, assumed to be rare, was one of dozens of cases of consumers finding animals – live, dead, or severed – in fresh produce over the past 15 years. A University of Illinois study catalogues and analyzes these incidents as part of a larger effort towards greater food safety and quality improvements in the fresh produce industry.

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Monkeypox: The New Virus on the Street

Monkeypox, a virus hailing from the rainforests of central and west Africa, recently crossed the Atlantic and appeared for the first time in the Western Hemisphere, infecting prairie dogs and people primarily in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana. Pet owners and veterinarians became infected after handling prairie dogs that had been in close contact with Gambian giant rats—believed to be the source of the outbreak—at an exotic pet distributor in Illinois.

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Fleas Can Make Your Pet Very, Very Itchy

Fleas are tiny wingless critters that annoy pets and disgust owners. Most pet owners will battle fleas or the allergic response fleas can cause. Flea allergy dermatitis—an inflammation and irritation of the skin—is the most common skin allergy in dogs and cats.

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West Nile Virus: For Horse Owners, the Focus Shifts to Prevention

The panic surrounding West Nile virus has quieted down, but the virus is still a cause for concern among horse owners. This crafty virus crossed the Atlantic in 1999 and has made a rapid progress westward. Over 9,000 equine West Nile cases were reported last year, including 431 Illinois cases. With a new vaccine available and an increased vigilance against mosquitoes, veterinarians and horse owners alike hope these numbers will be lower in 2003.

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Anthrax and Crypto: Prime Suspects in Water

June 5, 2003

Urbana - In Russia, scientists have found anthrax bacteria that are close to 100 years old still lurking in the soil. In its spore state, anthrax bacteria are tough, resilient creatures. This is why they have also become one of the most feared biological weapons today, said Benito Mariñas, University of Illinois professor of civil and environmental engineering.

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Tapwater and Terrorists: UI Finds Ways to Protect Water

June 5, 2003

Urbana - When President Bush began his campaign for a homeland security agency, he did so from a Kansas City location with an ominous backdrop--a water treatment facility on a busy street that was protected by only a rusty chain-link fence.

It was symbolism at work. But real concerns lie behind this symbolism--concerns that our tapwater constitutes a large, vulnerable target for terrorists.

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Soak Up Indiana Beach Closing Info on New Web Site

June 5, 2003

Before you pack up your fun-in-the-sun supplies and hit Indiana’s Lake Michigan beaches this summer, you might want to hit the Internet first. A new Web site can tell you whether any of these beaches are closed due to E.coli contamination.

“Last year, Indiana beaches were closed nearly 20 times over the course of the summer,” said Leslie Dorworth, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant aquatic ecology specialist.

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Common Worms Your Pet May Have Picked Up

Intestinal parasites, or worms, are a plague to both dogs and cats. Most pets will harbor worms at some point in their lifetime. Puppies and kittens have a high incidence of intestinal parasites, and most receive de-worming treatment as part of their routine care. Roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms are the most common culprits of these infections.

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