NEW SPRINGFIELD COMBINED LABORATORY ADDITION UNVEILED
Officials from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois State Police and the Capital Development Board joined Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard to unveil the Springfield Combined Laboratory Addition, a new facility that expands vital testing space for homestead security, public safety, and medical research.
The 105,000 square foot five-story addition to the SIU School of Medicine building features the recently completed Bio-Safety Level 3 Enhanced Lab operated by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the School of Medicine on the third floor. The second floor includes medical research laboratories used by the School of Medicine. The facility will also feature space for a new State Police Forensic Lab on the top two floors.
The Illinois Department of Public Health operates the only downstate Bio-Safety Level 3 Enhanced Lab from the building. Here, carefully controlled testing is done to identify and fight bio-terrorism agents, pandemics, and many communicable diseases.
ILLINOIS E COLI SCARE LINKED TO BAGGED SPINACH
Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, State Public Health Director, announced Tuesday a sample of bagged spinach collected from Illinois’ first case of E. Coli tested positive. Last week an elderly woman from LaSalle County was the first state resident whose tests matched the national outbreak strain associated with spinach consumption.
The Food and Drug Administration has determined the spinach implicated in the outbreak was grown in three counties in California: Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Clara. Spinach grown in the rest of the United States has not been implicated in the current E. Coli outbreak. The FDA has advised that spinach grown in non-implicated areas can be consumed.
Dr. Whitaker said that when you buy spinach, you need to look for labeling on the package that says where the spinach is produced and make sure it is not one of the three implicated counties in California. Frozen or canned spinach and spinach sold in local farm markets from local growers is safe to consume and is not part of the national outbreak.
LAGANT HOME FROM AFGHANISTAN
If you've driven around Greenville in recent days, you may have noticed that billboards at some businesses are welcoming local soldier Dan Lagant home. Lagant, who was wounded September 3rd while serving in Afghanistan, returned to Bond County on a ten-day leave last Thursday. He was shot in the arm when snipers ambushed his unit. Linda Lagant told WGEL that her son looks great and has been spending a lot of time with family and friends. She thanks everyone for their prayers for Dan and all of the signs that have been posted welcoming him back. Lagant is a 2005 graduate of Greenville High School. He returns to New York on Saturday where his medical condition will be assessed. Linda said that at this time they are not sure if or when her son will be sent back to Afghanistan.