Health Highlights: Aug 13, 2015
Sandra Lee Returns Home After Surgery Pennsylvania Beauty Queen Faked Cancer: Police Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills Oklahoma Resident Pork Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in Washington State N.C. Glaxo Plant Closed After Discovery of Legionella Bacteria
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Sandra Lee Returns Home After Surgery
TV cooking show host Sandra Lee returned home Wednesday night, two days after having surgery to treat complications from a double mastectomy she underwent two months ago.
Lee, 49, has portable IVs and 24-hour nursing care at home, her team said on Facebook, ABC News reported.
"Like her first surgery, day one after the operation, Sandra is up and energized, and it was the third and fourth days that were the toughest last time, but she is determined to go home later on today, even if that means 'hosting' a pick line or med line for IV infusions, as she must stay on massive antibiotics for a couple of weeks to fight against infection," they wrote Wednesday.
Pennsylvania Beauty Queen Faked Cancer: Police
A Pennsylvania beauty queen is accused of faking cancer in order to scam donors out of thousands of dollars.
Police said 23-year-old Brandi Lee Weaver-Gates was arrested Tuesday and charged with theft by deception and receiving stolen property. They allege she pretended to have chronic lymphocytic leukemia and took part in several fundraisers for her fictional medical bills, NBC News reported.
Gates shaved her head and claimed to have received treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital, but authorities were alerted to her alleged scheme by an anonymous letter.
"There were some inconsistencies such as Miss Gates's hair was always there and never falling out, and she did not know the name of her doctors and other things like that,'' said Pennsylvania state trooper Thomas Stock, NBC News reported.
Gates was the reigning Miss Pennsylvania U.S. International, but has been stripped of her title.
Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills Oklahoma Resident
A person in Oklahoma died this week of a rare brain-eating amoeba caught while swimming in a lake, state health officials.
State health officials did not disclose when the unidentified patient was infected while swimming in Lake Murray in Ardmore, Okla., near the Texas border, USA Today reported.
The amoeba is called Naegleria fowleri and is found in fresh bodies of water. It typically thrives in the summer and infections usually occur in southern and southwestern states, but is extremely rare. Since 1998, only seven cases have occurred in Oklahoma.
The amoeba travels to the brain after entering the body through the nose, typically from jumping or diving into water, Jessica Sheehy, a physician assistant and infectious diseases specialist at Mayo Clinic Health System, told USA Today.
"You have to have water go up into your nose to get an amoeba," she said.
Infection is almost always fatal.
Pork Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in Washington State
A salmonella outbreak linked to pork products has sickened 134 people in Washington state, health officials say.
The state health department and federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating the outbreak, and initial tests show a connection to a slaughter facility in Graham, Washington, the Associated Press reported.
Many of the patients became ill after eating whole roasted pigs served at restaurants and private events, according to health officials. Salmonella bacteria can cause fever, abdominal discomfort and vomiting.
People are being advised to cook pork thoroughly, the AP reported.
N.C. Glaxo Plant Closed After Discovery of Legionella Bacteria
A GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical plant in North Carolina was closed after the discovery of bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease, but the company says drugs made at the plant are safe.
The plant in Zebulon, about 25 miles east of Raleigh, was closed Tuesday after routine testing found legionella bacteria in two external cooling towers, The New York Times reported.
Glaxo said it plans to reopen the plant, which makes inhaled medications, in a few days.
"No employees are sick, and no products have been compromised," company spokeswoman Jenni Brewer Ligday wrote in an email, The Times reported. "Medicines were not exposed to the bacteria," Ligday wrote.
No cases of Legionnaires' disease linked to the Glaxo plant have been reported, state health officials said Wednesday.