Health Highlights: Nov. 21, 2017
Raw Milk From 'Udder Milk' Co. Poses Health Risk: CDC Conjoined Twins Go Home for Thanksgiving Tobacco Industry Anti-Smoking Ads Begin on U.S. TV This Weekend U.S. Will Have More Severe Thunderstorms, Floods Due to Climate Change: Study Saliva Test Could Diagnose Concussion: Study Poultry Salads Recalled by Trader Joe's
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Raw Milk From 'Udder Milk' Co. Poses Health Risk: CDC
People in four states who drank raw milk or consumed raw milk products from a company called Udder Milk in the past six months should see their doctor because they might be infected with a rare but potentially serious germ called Brucella abortus RB51 and should take antibiotics, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
The agency said the germ can cause anyone to become sick, but it can cause pregnant women to suffer miscarriage and other pregnancy complications and they should seek immediate medical care if they've consumed raw milk from Udder Milk.
It's believed that Udder Milk delivers milk in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island, according to the CDC.
In late September, a New Jersey woman became ill after drinking raw milk from the company, and she was confirmed to have Brucella RB51 in late October. Udder Milk has not provided information about the farms that supply their milk, so the CDC has not been able to pinpoint the source of the woman's infection.
The CDC, Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration are working with state health and agriculture officials to locate the source of the contaminated raw milk and raw milk products.
This is the second time in three months that the CDC has told people who might have consumed raw milk or raw milk products to see their doctor.
Conjoined Twins Go Home for Thanksgiving
Just in time for Thanksgiving, conjoined twins Erin and Abby Delaney left the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on Monday, more than five months after surgery to separate them.
When they were born on July 24, 2016, they were 10 weeks premature and joined at the top of their heads. They were 10 months old when they had the 11-hour separation surgery on June 6 this year.
The girls spent a total of 485 days in the hospital.
Doctors will continue to monitor the twins after they return home to North Carolina and they will require further surgeries as they get older, the hospital said.
Conjoined twins occur once in every 50,000 to 60,000 births, and most are stillborn. Connection at the head is the least common type of conjoined twins, accounting for 2 percent of cases.
Tobacco Industry Anti-Smoking Ads Begin on U.S. TV This Weekend
Tobacco industry ads about the addictive and deadly effects of smoking will start appearing on U.S. network television this weekend.
That's more than 11 years after the ads were ordered by a judge who found that the companies misled the public about the dangers of smoking. During that time, the tobacco industry launched a number of legal challenges against the ruling, the Associated Press reported.
The TV ads begin on Sunday and will include text and voiceover statements: "More people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes and alcohol, combined." The campaign will also include newspaper ads.
TV ads promoting tobacco products were banned in the U.S. decades ago.
Some tobacco control experts question whether the anti-smoking ads will fail to reach people who are young and most likely to start smoking.
"Their legal strategy is always obstruct, delay, create confusion and buy more time," Ruth Malone, University of California, San Francisco, told the AP. "So by the time this was finally settled, newspapers have a much smaller readership, and nowadays, who watches network TV?"
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and illness in the United States, causing more than 480,000 deaths each year. However, government figures show that adult smoking rates reached a new low of 15 percent last year, compared with 42 percent in the mid-1960s, the AP reported.
U.S. Will Have More Severe Thunderstorms, Floods Due to Climate Change: Study
Climate change will lead to more severe summer thunderstorms and flooding in North America, a new study warns.
It said larger, wetter, and more frequent thunderstorms will drop 80 percent more rain in some areas, resulting in entire cities and large portions of states being drenched, the Associated Press reported.
The U.S. government-funded study was published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
"We see increases that are beyond our expectations ... far beyond our expectations," said study leader Andreas Prein, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.
"It looks (like) everything that can go wrong does go wrong concerning flooding," he told the AP.
The researchers calculated that the total amount of rain in the U.S. South will increase 80 percent between now and the end of the century, with increases of 70 percent in Mexico, 60 percent in the U.S. Southwest, and 40 percent in the rest of the U.S. and Canada.
Saliva Test Could Diagnose Concussion: Study
It may someday be possible to use a saliva test to diagnose a concussion in young people and predict how long symptoms will last, researchers say.
The Penn State College of Medicine team identified five small molecules called microRNAs in saliva that hold potential for diagnosing concussion in children, teens and young adults, CNN reported.
The study was published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
Some of the funding for the study came from biotech company Quadrant Biosciences, which hopes to make saliva test for concussion available within the next 12 to 24 months, CNN reported.
Poultry Salads Recalled by Trader Joe's
The possible presence of pieces of glass or hard plastic has triggered the recall of some packaged poultry salads sold by Trader Joe's.
The recalled salads have use-by dates 11/10 through to 11/21 and the USDA inspected code P-40299, CNN reported.
White Meat Chicken and Curried White Chicken Deli salads have been recalled in Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Turkey Cranberry Apple salads have been recalled in Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington states.
The company said that customers with the recalled salads should either throw them away or return them to any Trader Joe's for a full refund, CNN reported.