Health Highlights: Aug. 24, 2018
Former CDC Head Charged With Sex Abuse Arkansas Law Restricting Abortion Pills Remains on Hold Illnesses Linked to McDonald's Salads Reach 507 Cases in 15 States and NYC: FDA Nature Valley Granola Bars Will No Longer Carry '100 Percent Natural' Claim
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Former CDC Head Charged With Sex Abuse
Dr. Thomas Frieden, who headed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for eight years, was arrested on sex abuse charges in Brooklyn on Friday.
The charges, which include forcible touching, sex abuse and harassment, stem from an October 2017 incident in his home, where he allegedly groped a woman, NBC News reported. The woman reported the incident in July.
From 2009 to 2017, Frieden shepherded the CDC through the Ebola epidemic and an outbreak of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. He was also New York City Health Commissioner from 2002 and 2009, NBC News reported. He resigned from the agency in January 2017. He now serves as president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, a global health non-profit.
Arkansas Law Restricting Abortion Pills Remains on Hold
An Arkansas law that would severely limit the use of abortion pills must remain on hold, a federal appeals court says.
Under the law, doctors who provide the pills must have a contract with a doctor who has admitting privileges at a hospital and agrees to treat any complications, the Associated Press reported.
Two Planned Parenthood facilities and another unaffiliated clinic in Little Rock have not been able to find a doctor willing to contract with them.
Critics say the law would make Arkansas the first state in the U.S. to effectively ban abortion pills.
The state's request to quash a district court judge's order preventing Arkansas from enforcing the law was denied Wednesday by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the AP reported.
A preliminary injunction issued in July by U.S. District Court Judge Kristine Baker said the abortion clinics must continue trying to find contracting physicians, but said the state cannot penalize them for continuing to provide the abortion pills.
Illnesses Linked to McDonald's Salads Reach 507 Cases in 15 States and NYC: FDA
The number of confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection linked to salads from McDonald's restaurants was 507 in 15 states and New York City as of Aug. 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday.
The source of the intestinal parasite was a Fresh Express salad mix used at McDonald's restaurants in the affected states. McDonald's says it stopped using the Fresh Express salad mix on July 13 and has replaced the supplier of salads in those states.
Anyone who consumed salads from McDonald's in IL, IA, IN, WI, MI, OH, MN, NE, SD, MT, ND, KY, WV, and MO could have been exposed to the parasite, the FDA said.
Also possibly at risk are people who ate beef, pork and poultry salad and wrap products distributed by Caito Foods LLC, of Indianapolis. The products were produced between July 15 and 18, 2018, with either "Best By," "Enjoy by," "Best if Sold By" or "Sell By" dates ranging from July 18 through July 23, 2018.
Caito Foods was told by Fresh Express that the chopped romaine in these products was being recalled due to possible Cyclopsora contamination.
Most people Cyclospora infection (cyclocyclosporiasis) develop diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may occur, the FDA said.
Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not develop any symptoms.
If not treated, the illness may last between a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times.
People with symptoms of cyclocyclosporiasis should contact their health care provider, the FDA said.
It's continuing its investigation into the outbreak.
Nature Valley Granola Bars Will No Longer Carry '100 Percent Natural' Claim
The claim that Nature Valley granola bars are made with "made with 100 percent Natural Whole Grain Oats" is being removed from the product's label by General Mills as part of a settlement in a lawsuit by consumer groups alleging that the snacks contain traces of the pesticide glyphosate.
The settlement to the lawsuit launched in 2016 was announced Thursday, CBS MoneyWatch reported.
The consumer groups said testing of Nature Valley granola bars revealed the presence of the weed killer Roundup. The main ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate, which some experts have linked to cancer, MoneyWatch reported.
"Nature Valley is confident in the accuracy of its label," a General Mills spokesperson said in an email. "We made the decision to settle this case to avoid the cost and distraction of litigation."
Last summer, a class-action suit against General Mills involving the company's use of the word "natural" was dismissed because the judge said it wasn't plausible to conclude the label meant the product contained no chemicals, MoneyWatch reported.
A study released earlier this month said a number of breakfast foods and cereals marketed to children contained glyphosate.
Recently, Roundup maker Monsanto was ordered to pay $289 million in damages to a California man who said the weed killer caused his cancer. That was the first ruling in thousands of similar lawsuits against Monsanto.