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Health Highlights: April 17, 2012

141 Now Sickened in Tuna-Linked Salmonella Outbreak New Prostate Cancer Treatment Causes Fewer Side Effects: Study Calming Technique Eases Infants' Vaccination Pain

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

141 Now Sickened in Tuna-Linked Salmonella Outbreak

A salmonella outbreak linked to a frozen yellowfin tuna product has now sickened 141 people in 20 states and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Tuesday.

In a statement, the agency said 21 people have been hospitalized but there have been no deaths reported.

On Monday, nearly 59,000 pounds of the product, labeled Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA, was recalled by Moon Marine USA Corp. of Cupertino, Calif. The product, which is scraped off fish bones, was sold to grocery stores and restaurants to make dishes such as sushi, sashimi and ceviche.

As reported by the Associated Press, many people who became ill reported eating raw tuna in sushi as "spicy tuna."

As of Tuesday, the CDC said illnesses linked to the recalled product had been reported in: Alabama (2), Arkansas (1), Connecticut (6), District of Columbia (2), Florida (1), Georgia (6), Illinois (13), Louisiana (3), Maryland (14), Massachusetts (9), Mississippi (2), Missouri (4), New Jersey (8), New York (28), North Carolina (2), Pennsylvania (6), Rhode Island (5), South Carolina (3), Texas (4), Virginia (8) and Wisconsin (14).

The CDC noted that salmonella illness is often serious for infants, older adults, pregnant women and persons with impaired immune systems, and these individuals should not eat raw or partially cooked fish or shellfish.


New Prostate Cancer Treatment Causes Fewer Side Effects: Study

A new ultrasound treatment for early prostate cancer may be less likely to cause impotence and incontinence than surgery or radiotherapy, a new U.K. study suggests.

In the new treatment, a probe placed close to the prostate emits sound waves that heat targeted cancer cells to 80 degrees Celsius (176 degrees Fahrenheit). There is minimal damage to surrounding nerves and muscles, BBC News reported.

The study included 41 patients and the results 12 months after treatment are encouraging, according to study leader Hashim Ahmed, a urological surgeon at University College Hospital in London.

"We've shown in this study that focal therapy -- by targeting the individual areas of cancer -- can avoid the collateral damage. We've shown that nine in 10 men had no impotence and none of the men in the study had incontinence of urine," Ahmed said.

The researcher added that early evidence suggests that the ultrasound technique also provides good cancer control, but this needs to be evaluated in much larger studies, BBC News reported.

The study was published in the journal Lancet Oncology.


Calming Technique Eases Infants' Vaccination Pain

A popular technique for calming fussy babies appears to help reduce infants' pain and tears when receiving routine immunizations, according to a new study.

The "Five S's" include: swaddling tightly in a blanket; being laid sideways or on the stomach while awake; shushing; swinging back and forth; and sucking on something, often a pacifier, USA Today reported.

This U.S. study of 230 infants found that those who received the Five S's immediately after being vaccinated had less pain and stopped crying sooner than those who received a concentrated sugar solution, one of the most common pain relief remedies in such situations.

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.

The Five S's was developed a decade ago by Harvey Karp, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the USC School of Medicine. He said the technique calms infants by imitating the "symphony of sensations, noise, jiggly movements and touching," in the womb, USA Today reported.


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