Health News round-up: Tainted food and Med School tuition

Kathryn Elliott

Chart-topping tuition

The University of Minnesota Medical School ranks third in the nation… for highest tuition.

U.S. News and World Report released a list this week of the top ten public medical schools whose in-state tuition is higher than $34,000. It’s based on tuition and fees for first year, in-state students.

Here are the Top 5:

Public medical school In-state tuition & fees (2010-11)
Oregon Health and Science University $40,684
University of Pittsburgh $39,555
University of Minnesota $38,213
Medical University of South Carolina $38,003
University of Virginia $37,880

SOURCE: U.S. News and World Report

Foodie News

A national E coli outbreak that included at least two Minnesotans has drawn to a close, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced.

The outbreak was connected to romaine lettuce from the salad bar at a grocery store chain based outside of Minnesota. Sixty people infected with the E coli strain were counted from 10 states as of Dec. 4, 2011, but the sicknesses occurred in October. The CDC identified one of the outbreaks as having occurred on a university campus in Minnesota.

Grocery shoppers don’t need to avoid lettuce for now; the outbreak appears to have ended, the CDC advised.

The Minnesota Department of Health is looking into possible food poisoning at the Greysolon Ballroom in Duluth last Saturday, said Buddy Ferguson, an MDH spokesman. The episode has been preliminarily identified as an outbreak of Norovirus — a highly contagious stomach flu.

A recent count cites about 60 people who reported experiencing symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea after eating food served by the ballroom’s caterer, Greysolon Ballroom by Black Woods. As part of its investigation, the MDH will check the venue for refrigerator temperatures and hand-washing sinks, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

This is the “time of year” for Norovirus to spread, Ferguson said. The Department of Health recommends that people take preventative measures like frequent hand-washing, especially after using the bathroom, and avoiding handling food if they have the virus.