Health Highlights: Dec. 28, 201112/28/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Third Baby Sickened With Bacteria Sometimes Tied to Formula
An infant in Oklahoma is the third reported case of illness tied
to a rare bacterium that has been linked in the past to tainted
baby formula, the
Associated Press reported Wednesday.
Infection with the bacterium,
Cronobacter sakazakaii, is thought to have killed a 10-day-old infant in Missouri. A second child, from Illnios, was sickened but has since recovered, the AP said.
The latest case involves an infant in Tulsa County, Okla., who
fell ill but has also rebounded. Cases of
C. sakazakaii infection have been linked in the past to
contaminated formula, and Enfamil was initially suspected as a
route of infection in the Missouri death. The child in Oklahoma had
not consumed Enfamil, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Officials at the CDC said they are still awaiting results of
tests of the formula and the distilled water used in preparing it,
and they stressed that the three cases may not be related.
Clot After Long Flight May Have Killed Rapper Heavy D
The Los Angeles County coroner's office says that the death last
month of rap musician Heavy D at age 44 was caused by a clot in his
lung that likely formed during a long flight from London to L.A.,
Los Angeles Times reports.
The condition, formally called pulmonary embolism, can arise
when a clot forms in the legs during long periods of inactivity.
The clot can then travel to the lungs where it can prove lethal if
not treated right away.
The rap star, whose real name was Dwight Arrington Myers,
collapsed outside his home in Beverly Hills on Nov. 8 and died
later at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Speaking with the
Times, Dr. Matthew Butteri, an internist at UC Irvine Medical Center, said a pulmonary embolism is "the equivalent of a heart attack. Just like when you have a blockage in your coronary arteries and you have a heart attack. Well, this is an infraction in your lungs, so it's really a lung attack because the blood clot is preventing getting oxygen to critical lung tissue." He recommended that people take short walks or perform in-flight exercises while on long-haul flights, to reduce their risk.
No Link Between HPV Vaccine, Promiscuity for Girls: Study
A new survey appears to discount the notion that receiving a
vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV) will raise rates of
promiscuity among girls aged 15 to 19.
The vaccine is meant to counter strains of sexually transmitted
HPV that are thought to be responsible for most cases of cervical
cancer. But some have worried that the shot might encourage young
girls to become sexually active.
The new survey, published in the January issue of
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found no such link, The New York Times reported. The study also found that
sexually active girls who'd received the shot were also more likely
to consistently use condoms compared to unvaccinated sexually
"This is all preliminary data, but it shows no association between HPV vaccination and sexual risk," lead author Nicole C. Liddon of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Times. "So it should to some degree assuage any concerns that HPV vaccination would lead to increased sexual activity," she said.
According to the report, by the end of 2008, 30 percent of
females ages 15 to 19, and 16 percent of females ages 20 to 24 had
gotten at least one dose of the HPV vaccine.
2nd Study Linking Retrovirus to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is
Yet another study linking retroviral infections to chronic
fatigue syndrome has been called into question, with the findings
of a 2010 study retracted on Monday.
Last week, a study published in
Science a year earlier was retracted by the editors of that
journal. That research found a possible association between the
illness and a mouse leukemia retrovirus known as XMRV. This second
study, published in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was withdrawn by its authors, according to The New York Times.
Although the 2010 study had confirmed the findings of the 2009
research, other scientists had been unable to arrive at the same
conclusion. Some had said that laboratory materials were
contaminated during the course of their work.
Respected researchers from the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and
Harvard Medical School were all involved in the 2010 study. Randy
Schekman, former editor-in-chief of
PNAS, told the
Times that the journal had been "encouraging" the authors to
reconsider their findings in light of subsequent research.
In the retraction, the authors wrote, "It is our current view
that the association of murine gamma retroviruses with [chronic
fatigue syndrome] has not withstood the test of time or of
independent verification and that this association is now
Meanwhile, results expected in March from a large-scale NIH
study should help decide definitively whether chronic fatigue
syndrome is related to these retroviruses, the
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