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Health Highlights: Nov. 7, 2012

Subpoena for Director of Pharmacy Linked to Meningitis Outbreak 2nd Person Infected With SARS-Like Virus in Saudi Arabia

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

Subpoena for Director of Pharmacy Linked to Meningitis Outbreak

A subpoena for the director of the pharmacy linked to the deadly meningitis outbreak has been issued by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.

More than 400 people in 19 states have been sickened by contaminated steroid shots distributed by the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts. Thirty deaths have been reported, according to the Associated Press.

The subpoena was issued after the compounding pharmacy's co-founder, Barry Cadden, indicated through his lawyer that he would not voluntarily attend a House committee hearing scheduled for Nov. 14, the news service reported.

"Since Mr. Cadden has indicated he will not appear voluntarily, we are left with no choice but to issue a subpoena," said committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., the AP reported. "We urge Barry Cadden to put the public health first and answer the committee's questions about the deadly outbreak."

On Tuesday, a Senate health committee staff member said Cadden had not confirmed whether he would attend a Senate hearing scheduled for Nov. 15, the AP reported.


2nd Person Infected With SARS-Like Virus in Saudi Arabia

A second person in Saudi Arabia has been infected with a new respiratory virus related to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), government officials confirmed Monday.

In a statement, Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry said the patient was hospitalized with "pneumonia caused by the new virus known as novel Coronavirus," the Associated Press reported.

The patient had not traveled outside the capital city of Riyadh and has since recovered from his pneumonia, according to the statement. It did not say when, where or how the patient contracted the virus.

The case brings to three the number of people sickened by the virus in the Gulf region in recent weeks, the AP reported.

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