GE Healthcare Unveils a Plan to Stop Epidemics

In late March, thanks to a random safety check by Kraft Foods (KFT) and calls to the Food & Drug Administration from two ill people, health officials learned of salmonella-contaminated pistachios, and were able to alert the public. No one died from the tainted nuts, but that isn't always the case. The salmonella-contaminated peanuts detected in September 2008 have caused at least nine deaths, and in general, 5,000 people die every year in the U.S. as a result of food-borne illnesses. But on Apr. 6 GE Healthcare (GE), a a General Electric subsidiary that makes health information technologies, announced a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and Johns Hopkins University to develop a rapid-response public health alert system to stop influenza and other public health threats before they spread.

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