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Directors receive Lifetime Achievement Award
July 3, 2018 --- The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) announced on June 4 at their annual meeting in Pasadena, Calif., that State Hygienic Laboratory Director Michael Pentella and Director Emeritus Christopher Atchison received its Lifetime Achievement Award. Pentella and Atchison share the 2018 award for their contributions to the advancement of laboratory science and public health leadership, and for positively influencing public health policy.

Iowa part of Cyclospora outbreak in veggie trays
July 3, 2018 --- Iowa is part of a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora linked to pre-packaged veggie trays distributed by Del Monte Fresh Produce. The Food and Drug Administration announced on June 21 that laboratory testing confirmed a total of 144 people became ill from eating the products, primarily in Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

State’s largest river cleanup to begin July 8
July 3, 2018 --- It’s not every day that hundreds of strangers from across the country converge on one stretch of river with a simple, yet shared, goal of picking up garbage. That, however, is what will happen every day from July 8-13, when more than 350 volunteers will give their time to clean up, learn about and explore 63 miles of the Maquoketa River between Manchester and Canton in Delaware, Jones and Jackson counties.

Drug resistant gene identified in Iowa Salmonella case
July 3, 2018 --- The Centers for Disease Control recently detected mcr-1, a drug-resistant gene, in the DNA of a Salmonella isolate sequenced by the State Hygienic Laboratory. The mcr-1 gene causes resistance to colistin, a last-resort antibiotic used for treating infections with known resistance to other antibiotics.

Publication highlights importance of lead testing
July 3, 2018 --- In April 2011, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) began investigating a cluster of lead poisoning cases in rural Iowa related to Ayurvedic medicines. The State Hygienic Laboratory contributed to the investigation by testing samples of the medicines for heavy metals, and found high levels of lead, mercury, arsenic and other heavy metals in the medications.

Staff research explores public health lab science
July 3, 2018 --- SHL staff routinely share their public health laboratory research and collaborations in publications, presentations and posters. In the second quarter of 2018, topics ranged from Legionella in hospital plumbing systems to the history of SHL, antibiotic resistance and biosafety, among many others.

Officials add Iowa to recall of fruit linked to Salmonella
July 3, 2018 --- Iowa has been added to the list of states that received pre-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe and fruit medley products linked to a Salmonella outbreak. The FDA and CDC made the announcement on June 12, warning consumers to throw away any recalled products and retailers to remove them from their shelves. There have been no illnesses associated with the outbreak reported in Iowa.