Food and Drug Administration news

April 30, 2007

The FDA has cleared a viral meningitis test, the Xpert EV, for marketing. Results of the test can be obtained in two and one half hour, giving practitioners an opportunity to quickly diagnose the illness, and to distinguish it from the more dangerous bacterial meningitis.

The FDA has cleared a viral meningitis test, the Xpert EV, for marketing. Results of the test can be obtained in two and one half hour, giving practitioners an opportunity to quickly diagnose the illness, and to distinguish it from the more dangerous bacterial meningitis.

The Xpert EV test isolates and amplifies viral genetic material present in the cerebrospinal fluid, identifying infections from the class of Enterovirus, which is responsible for about 90 percent of all viral meningitis cases.

An urgent appeal has been released by the FDA reminding the public that contact with baby turtles can pose a serious health threat to infants, small children, and adults with impaired immune systems since they can be carriers of the Salmonella bacteria. The agency reports that a four-week-old infant recently died of infection traced to Salmonella pomona, which was also discovered in a pet turtle in the home.

The agency reminds parents and caregivers of the following important points:

  • The sale of turtles with a shell less than four inches long is illegal
  • Salmonella infection can be caused by contact with turtles in petting zoos, parks, child day care facilities and other locations; and
  • It is important to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling or touching turtles and their housing