Health Highlights: Feb. 11, 2015
New Stroke Treatment Boosts Patients' Chances of Survival, Recovery Two More Measles Cases Linked to Chicago Day Care Center Most U.S. Military Personnel Being Withdrawn from Ebola Zone Whole Food Markets Recalls Products With Undeclared Peanut Ingredients
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
New Stroke Treatment Boosts Patients' Chances of Survival, Recovery
A minimally invasive procedure to remove blood clots from stroke patients' brains is highly effective, according to two new studies.
The procedure may prove to be a breakthrough in stroke treatment, according to experts.
One study found that 53 percent of patients with blood clot-caused (ischemic) strokes were functionally independent three months after undergoing the clot retrieval procedure, compared with 29 percent who were given clot-busting drugs only, Bloomberg News reported.
Death rates were 10 percent in the clot retrieval group and 19 percent in the drug group.
The second study found that the clot retrieval procedure restored blood flow in 100 percent of patients, compared with 37 percent of patients who received clot-busting drugs only.
It also said that 71 percent of patients in the clot retrieval group were independent after 90 days, compared with 40 percent of those in the drug group, Bloomberg reported.
The studies -- which were halted early due to their better-than-expected results -- were presented at the International Stroke Conference in Nashville, Tenn., and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
"It seems to me that this is as close to a home run as you are ever going to see," Patrick Lyden, chairman of neurology and director of the stroke program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, told Bloomberg.
He wasn't involved in either of the studies.
"I'm a big skeptic, but these data change everything. I'm ready to believe that we have the data now to strongly recommend the therapies," Lyden said.
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., and as many as 80 percent of ischemic stroke patients with clots in the largest arteries of the brain die within three months or never regain their independence, Bloomberg reported.
Two More Measles Cases Linked to Chicago Day Care Center
The total number of measles cases in Illinois is now 10 after two more infants from a suburban Chicago day care center were found to have the disease, local health officials said Tuesday.
Nine of the cases are associated with a KinderCare Learning Center in Palatine, and all 10 infant and adult patients were unvaccinated, according to Chicago and Cook County officials, the Associated Press reported.
Public health nurses are closely monitoring families of infants who attend the day care and may have been exposed to the measles virus.
The situation highlights the importance of high levels of vaccination, according to Dr. Julie Morita of the Chicago Department of Health, the AP reported.
Nationwide, there have been 121 measles cases in 17 states and D.C., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most U.S. Military Personnel Being Withdrawn from Ebola Zone
Nearly all of the American military personnel sent to West Africa to help contain the Ebola outbreak will return home within a few months, according to White House officials.
The announcement is to be made Wednesday by President Barack Obama, who will also outline new measures to eradicate the deadly disease, the administration officials told The New York Times.
By the end of April, all but 100 of the 3,000 U.S. military personnel involved in the fight against Ebola in West Africa will be home.
The announcement will be made at a White House ceremony where Obama will meet with six of the eight American Ebola survivors, along with health care workers, civilians, and soldiers involved in the effort to contain the Ebola outbreak that began last year, The Times reported.
Whole Food Markets Recalls Products With Undeclared Peanut Ingredients
About 33,000 pounds of chili and other ready-to-eat products are being recalled by Whole Food Markets, Inc. because they could trigger a deadly allergic reaction in some people.
The products contain peanut, but the ingredient is not listed on their labels, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said. A full list of the recalled products can be found on the FSIS website.
The products were produced between Jan. 14, 2015 and Feb. 5, 2015, and have the establishment number "20234" and "18768" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were distributed to retail outlets in Connecticut, Kentucky, Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
So far, FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses caused by these products.