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Health Highlights: Aug 6, 2015

Plague Claims Second Victim in Colorado Yelp Now Offering Info on Hospitals, Doctors

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

Plague Claims Second Victim in Colorado

Another person in Colorado has died of the plague, the second such death in the state this year.

Health officials believe the unidentified adult from the southern part of the state was infected by fleas from a dead rodent or another animal, and died of the relatively rare septicemic form of the plague, the Associated Press reported.

Septicemic plague is difficult to diagnose because it doesn't feature the swelling of lymph nodes that occurs in most plague cases.

In June, a 16-year-old male in northern Colorado died of septicemic plague that wasn't diagnosed until after he died, the AP reported.

Human plague cases are rare in the United States and deaths are even rarer. Typically, about seven cases of plague reported nationwide each year. However, Colorado had eight cases on its own last year.


Yelp Now Offering Info on Hospitals, Doctors

Yelp now offers information about the quality of care provided by doctors, nursing homes and hospitals.

The website and app partnered with nonprofit newsroom ProPublica to gather Centers for Medicare and Medicaid data about health care providers. Users can search specific categories for information about 25,000 health care facilities across the country, ABC News reported.

For example, users can check average wait times at emergency departments, find out how communicative doctors are, or check the number of beds or reported problems at nursing homes.

Six percent of reviewed businesses on the site are health-related, according to Luther Lowe, vice president of Public Policy at Yelp.

"I think the goal here is to augment information that consumers are already using," Lowe told ABC News, and added that it provides consumers with "supplemental information" to make health care decisions.

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