Health Highlights: Jan. 17, 2020

FDA Warns About Possibly Non-sterile Surgical Gowns U.S. Congresswoman Reveals She Has Alopecia and Is Bald Second Death From New Coronavirus Reported in China Stomach Virus Strikes 170 Yosemite Visitors, Staff

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

FDA Warns About Possibly Non-sterile Surgical Gowns

Certain surgical gowns and surgical packs made by Cardinal Health may not be sterile and should not be used, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

On Jan. 11 and Jan. 15, 2020, the medical device maker alerted its customers about quality issues affecting some of its Level 3 surgical gowns and PreSource procedural packs that contain these gowns.

Level 3 gowns provide moderate protection and are used in a wide-range of surgical procedures, including open heart surgery and knee replacements, the FDA said.

The gowns are worn by both patients and health care providers to protect them from the transfer of microorganisms, body fluids and particulate material.

The FDA said it's working with Cardinal Health to "understand and address the quality issues with these products, including the potential risks to users and patients, which specific product lots are impacted, and the potential impact on the supply chain."

The agency said it's "concerned about possible contamination of the products and agree with the manufacturer's recommendation about not using the affected lots of Level 3 surgical gowns or PreSource procedural packs."

"At this time, we are not aware of any patient harm because of this issue," the FDA noted.

It noted that there are a number of other FDA-approved surgical gowns that provide Level 3 protection.


U.S. Congresswoman Reveals She Has Alopecia and Is Bald

A U.S. congresswoman revealed Thursday that she is bald due to a condition called alopecia.

in a video published on The Root, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said she was making peace with her situation, The New York Times reported.

"This is about acceptance," Pressley said. "I hope this starts a conversation about the personal struggles we navigate, and I hope that it creates awareness about how many people are impacted by alopecia."

Alopecia -- which affects more than 6 million people in the United States -- is an autoimmune disease that causes hair to fall out from the head, face and other parts of the body, The Times reported.


Second Death From New Coronavirus Reported in China

Chinese officials have reported a second death from a new coronavirus responsible for an outbreak of pneumonia in the city of Wuhan.

The 69-year-old man became ill with the respiratory condition on Dec. 31 and died Wednesday, according to the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, the Associated Press reported.

A 61-year-old man who was ill with the virus died last Saturday.

So far, 41 people in Wuhan have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus. As of late Thursday, 12 patients have recovered and been discharged from care, and five were being treated for acute conditions, the AP reported.


Stomach Virus Strikes 170 Yosemite Visitors, Staff

About 170 visitors and employees at Yosemite National Park have been hit by gastrointestinal illness, park officials say.

They said most of the cases occurred around the first week of January, and that the number of new cases has declined in the past several days, CNN reported.

The situation is being investigated by the park, which has improved sanitation measures to prevent further spread of the illness.

Two of the cases are confirmed as norovirus, and most of the others are consistent with the virus, according to the park.

Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States, and causes about 21 million illnesses a year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CNN reported.

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