Health Highlights: July 6, 2018
Pruitt Resigns as EPA Administrator TB Release at Johns Hopkins Poses No Threat: Officials Tick-Caused Meat Allergy on Rise in U.S.
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Pruitt Resigns as EPA Administrator
Scott Pruitt has resigned as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under a cloud of allegations about legal and ethical violations.
They include questions about his spending abuses, close ties with lobbyists, seeking favors for him and his family, and deleting sensitive information about his meetings from his public schedule, a potential violation of the law, The New York Times reported.
Pruitt's resignation was announced Thursday in a tweet by President Trump.
Since being appointed by Trump, Pruitt has moved to rollback many EPA regulations, including those meant to reduce climate-change linked emissions from power plants and vehicles.
Pruitt played a major role in Trump's decision to withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and questioned the established science of human caused-climate change despite decades of research by scientists, including those in the EPA, The Times reported.
EPA officials have denied any wrongdoing by Pruitt, but several senior staff members resigned earlier this year, and many more high-level staff are said to be thinking about leaving the agency.
The EPA's deputy, Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, will take over as acting administrator on Monday.
TB Release at Johns Hopkins Poses No Threat: Officials
The release of a "small sample of frozen tuberculosis" at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore poses no threat of illness, according to hospital officials.
They said the sample was accidentally released in an internal bridge between two research buildings in a non-patient area, CBS News reported.
Out "of an abundance of caution" both research buildings were evacuated. Public safety officials and infectious disease experts later cleared the buildings and the evacuation was lifted, Landon King, Executive Vice Dean for JHU School of Medicine, said at a news conference Thursday.
"We have determined that there is actually no risk, meaning zero risk to anyone involved," and no additional testing of people who were in the buildings or in the general area is needed, Kind said.
Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that can be spread through the air when an infected person speaks or coughs. It typically attacks the lungs, but can damage other organs too, CBS News reported.
Tick-Caused Meat Allergy on Rise in U.S.
Red meat allergy caused by a bite from the lone star tick appears to be on the rise in the United States, a researcher says.
More than 5,000 cases have been reported in the U.S., up from 3,500 two years ago, according to Dr. Tara Narula, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CBS News reported.
It's only been within the last decade that medical experts have started to understand the condition, Narula said on CBS This Morning Thursday.
"In some cases it could be [permanent]," Narula said, "But in most cases we think it will dissipate over time, usually within a couple years. But if you get tick bites again, it's going to make the condition take longer to go away."
Hives, skin rash, stomach problems, headaches and trouble breathing are among the symptoms of the meat allergy. There is no treatment or cure. The only way to prevent symptoms is to avoid red meat, CBS News reported.
The lone star tick is most common in the South, but is also found in much of the eastern U.S. The ticks may be spreading to new areas as temperatures rise due to climate change, research suggests.
"The important thing is to do tick checks," Narula said. "When you come in from the outdoors, take a shower, put your clothes in the dryer on high-heat for ten minutes, avoid high grassy areas, stay on trails and treat your dogs."