Health Highlights: Dec. 22, 2011
Wal-Mart Pulls Infant Formula From Stores After Newborn's Death Faulty French-Made Breast Implants Not Sold in U.S. Motrin Coated Caplets Recalled Chicken Cull Ordered After Discovery of H5N1 Bird Flu Virus
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Wal-Mart Pulls Infant Formula From Stores After Newborn's Death
A batch of Enfamil Newborn powdered infant formula has been removed from more than 3,000 Wal-Mart stores in the United States after a newborn who consumed the formula died.
Health officials have not yet determined if the infant's death is linked to the formula and there is no recall. But Wal-Mart decided to remove 12.5-ounce cans of the powdered infant formula with the lot number ZP1K7G from its shelves "out of an abundance of caution," company spokeswoman Dianna Gee told the Associated Press.
The 10-day-old Missouri boy became seriously ill with a suspected bacterial infection and died after he was taken off life support. Samples of the formula consumed by the infant were sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration for testing. The manufacturer said tests showed no traces of the bacteria in the batch before it was shipped, the news service said.
"At this point it has not been determined whether the illness is linked to the formula or an outside source," Gena Terlizzi, spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said in a statement, the AP reported.
Faulty French-Made Breast Implants Not Sold in U.S.
French-made breast implants that contain substandard silicone and have unusually high rupture rates were sold in at least a half-dozen countries other than France, but none appear to have been sold in the United States.
The situation is causing extreme anxiety for tens of thousands of women and health officials in countries where the breast implants were sold are trying to calm fears, The New York Times reported.
For example, British health officials said Wednesday that there is no evidence that the implants manufactured by Poly Implant Prothese had caused cancer. They suggested that women with the implants talk to their surgeons, but also said there "is currently no evidence to support routine removal" of the implants.
More than 40,000 British women are believed to have the implants, which were also sold in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela.
The French government is considering whether to require as many as 30,000 women in that country to have their implants removed, the Times reported.
Motrin Coated Caplets Recalled
Batches of Motrin coated caplets that were distributed in the United States and a number of other countries have been recalled, Johnson & Johnson announced Wednesday.
The company said "testing of product samples showed that some caplets may not dissolve as quickly as intended when nearing their expiration date," CNN reported.
The pain reliever caplets were distributed in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Belize, Fiji, Jamaica and St. Lucia.
"This is not a consumer level recall, which means that consumers do not need to dispose of or return the product," according to a news release from J&J's McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division, CNN reported.
"There is no safety concern if consumers continue taking the product in accordance with its label; however, it is possible there may be a delay in experiencing relief," the company said.
Chicken Cull Ordered After Discovery of H5N1 Bird Flu Virus
More than 17,000 chickens are being slaughtered in Hong Kong after a chicken carcass infected with H5N1 bird flu was discovered at a poultry market, government officials said Wednesday.
Officials also raised the territory's bird flu alert to "serious," increased monitoring for influenza at hospitals, close the market where the carcass was found, and suspended the sale and import of live poultry for 21 days, The New York Times reported.
It still hasn't been determined whether the infected carcass came from a local source or was imported, officials said.
The world's first major outbreak of bird flu among humans occurred in Hong Kong in 1997. The H5N1 outbreak was linked to chickens and killed six people, the Times reported.