Health Highlights: Jan. 4, 201301/04/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
U.S. Whooping Cough Cases Highest in More Than 50 Years: CDC
Almost 42,000 cases of whooping cough were reported in the
United States last year, the most since 1955, according to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And the final tally could climb even higher, perhaps reaching
50,000 when all the CDC data is in, the
Associated Pressreported. On a positive note, deaths from
the bacterial infection dropped to 18 for the year, probably
because of better diagnosis and treatment during outbreaks, experts
told the news agency.
The severity of whooping cough (pertussis) varies over periods
of several years, and experts said it was particularly virulent in
2012. Also, the current whooping cough vaccine has a shorter
lifespan than an earlier version, which could help explain the rise
Anyone can get whopping cough, but it is especially dangerous
and potentially deadly in infants.
FDA Sends Warning to Cantaloupe Farm Behind Salmonella
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sent a warning letter
to the cantaloupe farm tied to a deadly salmonella outbreak last
The outbreak sickened at least 260 people across 24 states,
killing three people in Kentucky,
CBS/APreported, and the FDA has now warned Chamberlain Farms
of Owensville, Ind., to fix unsanitary conditions at its
According to the FDA, investigators found "accumulated organic
material" on conveyors and algae-filled standing water on floors at
Chamberlain Farms. Bird droppings were discovered on rafters
directly above food products, the FDA added.
According to the FDA letter, "allowing birds to roost in your
packing facility could allow them to defecate directly on to food
products during conveyance, grading and sorting,"
In August, the salmonella outbreak caused federal health
officials to warn consumers away from cantaloupes grown in
southwestern Indiana, and a DNA test later confirmed Chamberlain
Farms as the source. The farm voluntarily recalled its watermelons
from the market last September,
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