Health Highlights: Aug 26, 2015
Experts Call for Wider Access to Hepatitis C Drugs Over 2 Million Lbs of Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon Products Recalled Texas Teen May Be Infected With Brain-Eating Amoeba
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Experts Call for Wider Access to Hepatitis C Drugs
Federal and state Medicaid programs need to expand access to prescription drugs that could cure thousands of Americans with hepatitis C, according to an expert panel.
Restrictions on the drugs imposed by many states are inconsistent with sound medical practice, according to the experts from the Public Health Service and President Obama's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, The New York Times reported.
The drugs cost $84,000 for the recommended 84-day treatment. While states can get discounts, the prices of the drugs are still more than $600 a pill.
The panel did not suggest how wider access to the drugs should be funded, but did say Medicaid and other public programs should reveal the prices they paid, and also said manufacturers should have to disclose the costs of developing and making the drugs, The Times reported.
Hepatitis C kills nearly 20,000 people a year in the United States, more than die from AIDS.
Over 2 Million Lbs of Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon Products Recalled
More than two million pounds of Oscar Mayer turkey bacon products have been recalled by Kraft Heinz Foods because the products may go bad before their "Best When Used By" date.
The products were produced between May 31,2015 and Aug. 6, 2015 and have the establishment number "P-9070" inside the USDA mark of inspection, as well as the line number "RS19," the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said.
The products were distributed across the United States and exported to the Bahamas and St. Martin.
The company has received reports of illness among people who ate the recalled products, according to FSIS. However, the agency said it has not received any confirmed reports of illness.
More information about the recall is available at the FSIS website, or consumers can contact Kraft Heinz at 1-800-278-3403.
Texas Teen May Be Infected With Brain-Eating Amoeba
A Junior Olympian in Texas believed to be infected with a brain-eating amoeba is fighting for his life, his family says.
It's thought that 14-year-old Michael Riley was infected with the naegleria fowleri amoeba on Aug. 13 while swimming in a lake, ABC News reported. The amoeba occurs naturally in fresh water and enters the body through the nose, then travels to the brain.
About a week after going swimming, the teen developed a headache and fever. Within 24 hours, he was confused and disoriented, according to his family's website.
A suspected case of naegleria fowleri infection was reported to the Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services on Aug. 22, but officials could not confirm that Michael Riley was the patient due to privacy reasons.
Texas Children's Hospital doctors put Michael in an induced coma, drilled a hole in his skull to ease pressure, and cooled his body in an effort to preserve his body functions, his father, Mike Riley, told ABC News affiliate KTRK-TV.
Michael qualified for the Junior Olympics three times.