Health Highlights: May 3, 201205/03/12
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
U.S. Health Officials Link Outbreak of Rare Eye Infection to
Thirty-three cases of a rare eye infection spanning seven states
were reported Thursday by U.S. health officials, who say they have
traced the products linked with the outbreak to a Florida
Many of the eye infections have been traced to a dye and an
injection including the corticosteroid triamcinolone from Franck's
Compounding Lab, in Ocala. According to a report from the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that was published
Thursday, 20 of the cases appear to be linked to the dye and 13 are
connected with triamcinolone. All the products involved were bought
from Franck's, the report stated.
Some type of eye procedure that included surgery or injections
was involved in all 33 cases; 23 of the patients suffered vision
loss and 24 had to have another surgical procedure, the CDC report
indicated. California health officials first alerted the CDC in
March after nine patients treated at one center in that state
developed the rare eye infection late last year. Meanwhile,
Franck's recalled the dye lots and a single lot of triamcinolone in
The ongoing investigation has involved numerous state and local
health departments, the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration. When FDA officials tested unopened bottles of dye
and unused syringes at Franck's, numerous species of bacteria and
funguses were found, according to the CDC report.
Officials from Franck's said in a statement that several changes
have been made at the lab to assure product safety, including
hiring a pharmacist to oversee quality assurance, the
Associated Press reported.
While the investigation is continuing, federal health officials
advise doctors and patients to avoid "compounded products labeled
as sterile from Franck's," the CDC report stated.
According to the
AP, health officials noted that Franck's had mixed supplements in 2009 that wound up killing 21 elite polo horses. The owners of the ponies have since filed a lawsuit against the company, which admitted to putting too much selenium in the horse supplement mix, the wire service reported.
Ex-NFL Star's Death Likely to Spur Questions About
The apparent suicide of retired NFL star linebacker Junior Seau
is likely to raise questions about the possible role of a brain
disorder that results from repeated concussions, according to
Seau, 43, was found dead Wednesday in his California home after
reportedly shooting himself in the chest. It's unknown what may
have prompted him to commit suicide, authorities said.
Repeated concussions can cause a condition called chronic
traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which can produce dementia and
other types of cognitive dysfunction. The National Football League
has had to contend with a growing incidence of CTE,
Scientific American noted.
In 2011, former NFL safety Dave Duerson committed suicide by
shooting himself in the chest and left instructions that his brain
be used for research on CTE.
No reports have emerged so far that Seau suffered from
dementia-like symptoms. Tests will be needed to determine if he had
Scientific American reported.
California Researcher's Death Under Investigation
A rare strain of bacteria may have caused the death of a
researcher at a Veteran's Affairs infectious diseases lab in
San Jose Mercury News said that the unnamed 25-year-old man
died over the weekend shortly after he asked friends to take him to
a hospital, the
Associated Press reported.
Health officials are investigation the case and trying to locate
everyone who had close contact with the researcher during the time
he may have been infected.
Antibiotic were being given to the man's friends and co-workers,
as well as about 60 health workers involved in his treatment, said
San Francisco Department of Public Health spokeswoman Eileen
Offspring of Cow With Mad Cow Disease Was Healthy: USDA
An offspring of the California cow with mad cow disease tested
negative for the illness, U.S. Department of Agriculture officials
The animal was found in another state, euthanized, and brain
samples were sent to the national laboratory. Officials did not
name the state where the offspring was found, the
Associated Press reported.
It was part of the ongoing investigation into the discovery of
bovine spongiform encephalopathy in a 10-year-old cow that was
euthanized at a Tulane County dairy in mid-April. That dairy and
another associated with it are under quarantine.
The calf ranch where the diseased cow was raised before being
sold into dairy production is being investigated, but officials
said they haven't located for testing the cattle that were raised
with the cow that became sick, the
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