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Illinois House gives PANDAS-PANS a code

Thomas Clatterbuck



In its last day of veto session, the Illinois House voted to give a code to cover PANDA-PANS.  Despite its cute sounding name, PANDAS-PANS is no joke.  PANDAS, or Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections, is a potential side effect of a normal strep throat infection.  During a strep infection, the body’s natural defenses hunt down the strep bacteria, which can mimic normal cells.  Sometimes, when strep mimics brain cells, that can cause the body to attack healthy brain cells by mistake.  The result is a sudden onset of conditions such as ODC or anxiety disorders.  PANS (Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome) describes the same effect, but from any source, not just strep.

In July, HB 2721, better known as “Charlie’s Law,” required insurance companies in Illinois to cover the disorders.  Illinois was the first state to make such a requirement.  There was only one problem: PANDAS-PANS are relatively new disorders.  As such, there is no code for either disorder, so there was no way to bill for it or record that someone had it.  To fix this problem, HB 1277 allows PANDAS-PANS to be coded as autoimmune encephalitis until the disorders get unique codes.

Technical bills like HB 1277 often get ignored as boring or unimportant.  HB 1277 is only three sentences long.  But when it comes to keeping our state’s medial system on the cutting edge, small changes can be critical.

To learn more about PANDAS-PANS, visit the PANDAS Network.

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Illinois Govt

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s speech at Springfield Women’s March

Staff Contributor



Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza gave the keynote address at the 2018 Women’s March in Springfield, IL.

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Illinois unemployment rate down, but still lags behind national average



Illinois’ unemployment rate for December ticked down a tenth of a percent to 4.8, but the state’s jobs climate still lags behind the nation’s average of 4.1 percent. For the year, the state gained nearly 30,000 jobs.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security released state jobs data Friday afternoon that shows Illinois’ nonfarm payrolls increased by 1,500 over the month. Novembers’ numbers were revised to show a gain of 3,100 jobs rather than a loss of 1,100. In 2017, Illinois gained 29,600 jobs.

“The unemployment rate dropped in December, even as the labor force increased in the final quarter of the year,” IDES Director Jeff Mays said in a news release. “Payrolls overall have now increased by about a half-percent over the year to date.”

“The fourth quarter trend is certainly promising,” Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Sean McCarthy said in a news release. “Illinois is beginning to see results from investments made in securing businesses by this administration.”

But Illinois’ monthly payroll gains for December kept job growth for the year well below the national average.

There were 7,700 more manufacturing sector jobs created in all of 2017, according to IDES, but that was after more than 8,000 financial services sector jobs gained. Government jobs took a hit of 4,100 while transportation and utility jobs were down more than 2,000 in 2017.

IDES also reported the state’s labor force increased by 0.3 percent over the month but declined by -0.6 percent in December of the prior year.


Article by Greg Bishop. For more Illinois News Network content, visit 

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Salmonella outbreak associated with sprouts served at Jimmy John’s in Illinois, announced by the IDPH

Eric Broughton



SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and other state and local health departments, is investigating a recent cluster of Salmonella ser. Montevideo infections. Two cases have been identified in Illinois residents. People in Illinois reported becoming ill on December 20 and 26, 2017. Based on a review of produce, suppliers, and items consumed, investigators believe the most likely source of the infection is sprouts from multiple Jimmy John’s locations.

To reduce the risk to additional customers, IDPH has requested that all Jimmy John’s restaurants in Illinois remove sprouts from their menus until the investigation is complete. IDPH is also reminding restaurants not to let food handlers with diarrhea work. If you have developed symptoms of Salmonella infection after eating food at a Jimmy John’s restaurant please contact your health care provider or local health department. Symptoms of Salmonella may include headache, muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, chills, fever, nausea, and dehydration.

Symptoms usually appear 6 to 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria, but can be longer. Most illnesses resolve on their own and do not require treatment other than drinking fluids to stay hydrated. If your symptoms persist or are severe, promptly contact your health care provider.

If you have developed symptoms after eating food at Jimmy John’s, contact your health care provider or local health department especially if your symptoms persist or are severe.

The IDPH says salmonella bacteria live in the intestinal tracts of humans and animals and that any food can be contaminated with the bacteria. Person to person transmission happens when infected feces, from unwashed hands, contaminates food or comes into direct contact with another person.

The IDPH did not release the locations of specific Jimmy John’s restaurants. Sprouts are an optional add-on topping at some Jimmy John’s, and the locations in Springfield and Chatham don’t currently offer sprouts as a topping —  Official Press Release from the IDPH

Jimmy John’s Franchise, LLC is a franchised sandwich restaurant chain, specializing in delivery. Founded by Jimmy John Liautaud in 1983 and headquartered in Champaign, Illinois, in 30 years, the company has grown to more than 2,500 locations in all states except Alaska, Hawaii, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Jimmy John’s has opened approximately 200 locations per year over the past three years. As of 2014, nearly all of the locations are franchise-owned.



Jimmy John’s today announced it has directed all locations chain-wide to temporarily stop serving sprouts as a precautionary measure while it investigates seven consumer complaints in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Jimmy John’s made the decision after an investigation in the last 24-hours indicated that sprouts purchased from two growers in Minnesota, originating from two common seed sub-lots, could be linked to seven food safety complaints received over a one-week period in December in Illinois and Wisconsin.

“Food safety and the welfare of our customers are our top priorities and not negotiable in our business,” said James North, President and CEO. “We have been working closely with the Departments of Health in Illinois and Wisconsin, as well as their federal counterparts, as they investigate the claims. While the results of the investigation are not conclusive and we are still gathering more information, we have voluntarily directed all franchisees to remove sprouts as a precautionary measure from all supply and distribution.”

North added, “Customers can have complete confidence that all of our ingredients are of the quality they have come to know and expect from our brand.”





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