Health Highlights: July 19, 201307/19/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Legal Challenge Over Vitaminwater Health Claims to Proceed as
An advocacy group's lawsuit against Coca-Cola Co. over
misleading health claims on Vitaminwater beverages can move forward
as a class-action lawsuit, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and
consumers from several states accuse Coca-Cola of using deceptive
labeling on Vitaminwater products, including claims that the drinks
boost the immune system and reduce disease risk,
CBS News/Associated Pressreported.
In his ruling, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Levy said the
plaintiffs can seek injunctive relief, which would prevent
Coca-Cola from making certain claims for Vitaminwater. The
plaintiffs cannot seek financial damages, the judge said.
The CSPI first sued Coca-Cola in 2009 over Vitaminwater health
claims. In 2010, a judge denied the company's attempts to have the
lawsuit dismissed on technical grounds,
Cyclospora Outbreak Likely Caused by Raw Vegetables:
An outbreak of cyclospora infections that has sickened at least
81 people in Iowa and 53 in Nebraska may have been caused by a raw
vegetable product, investigators say.
Cases of the illness began in early June and stopped occurring
past mid-June. The culprit was likely a widely-distributed shipment
of produce that's no longer on the market, according to
"There are still several vegetables we're investigating," said Patricia Quinlisk, an epidemiologist for the Iowa Department of Public Health, FoxNews.comreported. "We're looking for something that could have exposed people in a multitude of settings, so we're doing a lot of food traceback. Whatever it was, it's not still on the market in Iowa."
Investigators are also trying to determine if 37 people sickened
by cyclospora in Texas and other cases in Wisconsin and Illinois
are linked to the outbreak in Nebraska and Iowa,
Cyclospora infection typically occurs after consuming food or
water contaminated with human or animal feces containing the
cyclospora parasite. Symptoms include diarrhea, loss of appetite,
nausea, fatigue, weight loss, stomach cramps and body aches.
HPV Vaccine Protects Against Throat Cancers: Study
The cervical cancer vaccine Cervarix also appears to protect
women against throat cancers caused by performing oral sex, and
would likely offer the same protection to men, a new study
The vaccine targets cancer-causing strains of
sexually-transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV). It had been
assumed that along with preventing cervical cancer, the vaccine
would also protect against throat cancer. This is the first study
to provide evidence of that,
The New York Timesreported.
The study of more than 5,800 sexually active women, ages 18-25,
in Costa Rica found that only one woman who received Cervarix had
cancer-causing HPV 16 or HPV 18 in her throat four years after
being vaccinated, compared with 15 women who had received a
Cervarix provided 93 percent protection against the two HPV
strains that cause most throat cancers, the researchers
"We were surprised at how big the effect was," study lead author Dr. Rolando Herrero, head of prevention for the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, told The Times. "It's a very powerful vaccine."
These type of findings were expected and "that's why we want
everyone to vaccinate both boys and girls. But there's been no
proof," said Dr. Marshall Posner, medical director for head and
neck cancer at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. He was not
involved in the study.
Rates of throat cancers linked to oral sex have surged in the
past 30 years, particularly among heterosexual middle-aged men.
About 70 percent of oropharyngeal cancers are now caused by
sexually transmitted viruses, compared with 16 percent in the
The issue came to the public's attention last month when actor
Michael Douglas told a newspaper that his throat cancer was linked
to performing oral sex.
Salmonella Outbreak in 26 States Linked to Live Poultry: CDC
A salmonella outbreak that has sickened 125 people in 26 states
has been linked to live poultry from an Ohio hatchery, the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
Nearly one-third of the patients have been hospitalized but
there have been no deaths. Children ages 10 and younger account for
41 percent of the patients.
The number of cases in each state are: Alabama (3), Arizona (3),
California (1), Colorado (2), Connecticut (3), Delaware (1),
Georgia (1), Illinois (4), Indiana (1), Kentucky (4), Maine (1),
Maryland (1), Massachusetts (7), Minnesota (3), Mississippi (2),
Nebraska (1), New Jersey (2), New York (10), North Carolina (10),
Ohio (19), Pennsylvania (8), Tennessee (12), Vermont (2), Virginia
(3), West Virginia (15), and Wisconsin (6).
Investigators have traced the outbreak to live poultry from the
Mt. Healthy Hatchery in Ohio.
The CDC reminds people to always wash hands thoroughly with soap
and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area
where they live and roam, and never to let live poultry inside the
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