Health Highlights: Feb. 9, 201202/09/12
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Dozens Ill in N.J. University Outbreak
Norovirus is the suspected cause of an outbreak at Rider
University in New Jersey that's resulted in about 40 students being
taken to hospitals.
The university said the students from the school's Lawrenceville
campus were taken to hospitals late Wednesday night. As of
Thursday, some of the students had been discharged and returned to
A similar outbreak began a week ago at nearby Princeton
University and is still underway.
"We are coordinating treatment information with that university. We have also informed neighboring institutions," Rider said on its website, CNN reported.
Norovirus causes symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and stomach
New Rules Require Health Insurers to Use Plain Language
Private health insurers must use plain language in describing
health plan benefits and coverage, according to final health reform
law regulations published today by the federal government.
Technical or confusing language will have to be eliminated from
marketing materials. The new rules will make it easier for people
to understand exactly what they are buying and to directly compare
one plan to another, officials said.
The new forms will be available beginning, or soon after, Sept.
23 for the approximately 150 million Americans with private health
"Consumers, for the first time, will really be able to clearly comprehend the sometimes confusing language insurance plans often use in marketing," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in an HHS news release. "This will give them a new edge in deciding which plan will best suit their needs and those of their families or employees."
Americans Need to Reduce Salt Intake: CDC
Americans eat too much salt and it's a serious public health
issue, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Consuming too much salt leads to high blood pressure, which is a
major factor in cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death
and disability in the U.S., the CDC says in the latest
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Average daily sodium intake for the majority of U.S. adults is
more than double the recommended dietary limit. Most of the sodium
intake is from processed and prepared foods, which makes it
difficult for people to control their sodium intake.
Reducing sodium levels across the food supply would help lower
Americans' sodium intake, and such interventions would require food
industry participation, the CDC says.
Expanded Use of Xgeva Rejected by FDA Panel
The bone drug Xgeva should not be approved to prevent the spread
of prostate cancer into the bones, a U.S. Food and Drug
Administration advisory panel said Wednesday.
In a 12-1 vote, the panel decided that the drug did not
demonstrate "a favorable risk/benefit" in prostate cancer patients
with a high risk of having their cancer spread to the bones, the
Wall Street Journal reported.
Amgen Inc.'s Xgeva is currently approved to delay fractures and
other bone injuries in patients whose cancer has already spread to
While not required to do so, the FDA usually follows the
recommendations of its advisory committees,
Measles Patient Visited Super Bowl Village
People at Indianapolis' Super Bowl Village may have been exposed
to a person with measles, but there are no current concerns about a
widespread outbreak, Indiana health officials say.
A person confirmed to have measles visited the outdoor Super
Bowl Village on Friday afternoon. More than 200,000 people visited
the village that day, the
Associated Press reported.
The person with measles did not go into the NFL Experience
interactive fan exhibit at the Indiana Convention Center, health
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been
notified about the situation, but it could be a week before there
are any new cases of measles related to the Super Bowl Village
exposure, according to the Indiana State Department of Health, the
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