Health Highlights: Nov. 21, 201111/21/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Woman Mauled by Chimp Gets Compliments on New Face
An American woman who received a face transplant after being
mauled by a chimpanzee says people are complementing her on her new
Charla Nash said on NBC's "Today" show that her new face has
started to mold to her underlying bone structure and she's resuming
more of her normal life, the
Associated Press reported.
People have told her she's beautiful, something that didn't
occur before, Nash said.
In the 2009 attack, the chimp tore off Nash's nose, lips,
eyelids and hands and she was blinded. She had a face and double
hand transplant in May, but complications forced the removal of the
Dog Illnesses May be Linked to Chicken Jerky Treats: FDA
Chicken jerky treats imported from China may be to blame for dog
illnesses and deaths in the United States, the Food and Drug
So far this year, at least 70 dogs have become ill after
reportedly eating the jerky products and some of the dogs have
FDA officials have not been able to pinpoint a specific
contaminant and did not identify a particular brand of the chicken
jerky products, also sold as chicken treats, chicken strips and
Reports from dog owners and vets indicate that dogs may suffer a
variety of illnesses within days or hours of eating the treats,
including kidney failure,
Decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst and
increased urination are among the symptoms. If they are severe or
persist for more than 24 hours, take the dog to a veterinarian, the
HIV/AIDS Epidemic May be Leveling Off: UNAIDS
The 2.7 million new HIV infections reported worldwide last year
is about the same number as in the previous three years, which
suggests that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is leveling off, according to a
UNAIDS report released Monday.
The number of people with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, was
about 34 million at the end of last year. That's slightly more than
in previous years but UNAIDS said it is because people with
HIV/AIDS are surviving longer, the
Associated Press reported.
There were 1.8 million AIDS-related deaths in 2010, down from
1.9 million in 2009.
"It's looking promising, but the numbers are still at a scary level," Sophie Harman, a global health expert at City University in London, told the AP.
Harman, who was not connected to the UNAIDS report, also
expressed doubt about UNAIDS' strategy for the next few years to
work toward eliminating new HIV infections and AIDS-related
"Maybe they need to aim high but if their main goal is eradication, it's highly unlikely that will ever happen," she told the AP.
Antipsychotic Drugs Given to Foster Children: Study
Foster children in the United States are more likely than
mentally-ill children to receive a cocktail of powerful
antipsychotic drugs, according to a new study.
Researchers examined the 2003 Medicaid records of 637,924
children in a mid-Atlantic state who were either in foster care,
receiving disability benefits for a diagnosis such as severe autism
or bipolar disorder, or in a program called Temporary Assistance
for Needy Families,
The New York Times reported.
About 3 percent of all the children (16,969) had received at
least one prescription for an antipsychotic drug. At least 2
percent of foster children took at least one such drug, despite the
fact that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, for which the drugs
are approved, are extremely rare in young children.
The researchers also found that 9.2 percent of foster children
received prescriptions for more than one antipsychotic drug at the
same time, compared with 6.8 children on disability and 2.5 percent
of those in the needy families program,
The Times reported.
The study was published Monday in the journal
"The kids in foster care may come from bad homes, but they do not have the sort of complex medical issues that those in the disabled population do," said lead author Susan dosReis, an associate professor in the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, The Times reported.
The findings suggest that doctors are treating foster children's
behavioral problems with the same powerful antipsychotic drugs
given to patients with schizophrenia and severe bipolar
"We simply don't have evidence to support this kind of use, especially in young children," dosReis said.
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