European E. coli outbreak called deadliest on record (Morning Read)

Current medical news from today, including new assessments of the European E. coli outbreak; discovery of a MRSA strain not detected by standard tests; the federal probe of insider trading at FDA widens; and the American Medical Association gets a new CEO.

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E. coli outbreak: The European E. coli outbreak, which has killed at least 16, is now being called the deadliest bacterial outbreak on record. The more than 1,600 reported cases of sickened individuals is based on hospital records. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota tells Bloomberg News that the number of actual cases could be up to 10 times higher. Meanwhile, two U.S. cases of E. coli are linked to the European outbreak.

New MRSA strain: Two research groups have independently found a new strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, that is not detected by standard tests, MedPage Today reports. Researchers say the finding is cause for alarm because some diagnosis of the disease may be incorrect, leading to inappropriate treatment.

More insider traders at FDA? The U.S. Justice Department’s inquiry into a Food and Drug Administration chemist who traded on inside drug and pharmaceutical information has widened into an investigati0n into other government employees, The Wall Street Journal reports

AMA’s new CEO: The American Medical Association has named Dr. James Madara to be the physicians group’s new executive vice president and CEO. Madara was a professor and dean at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine.

Generic Effexor approved: Mylan has received FDA approval on its generic Effexor extended release capsules. The branded antidepressent generates about $2.3 billion in annual sales for Wyeth.

Dealflow: New York medical diagnostics company Aureon Biosciences raises $8 million; Elan invests $20 million in Proteostasis to develop neurology drugs.