Health Highlights: Nov. 9, 2015
Pamela Anderson Says She's Cured of Hepatitis C FDA Should Investigate Caffeinated Peanut Butter: Senator New Compound Shows Promise Against Cataracts High Levels of Toxin Delay California Crab Season Sierra Leone Declared Ebola-Free
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Pamela Anderson Says She's Cured of Hepatitis C
Model and actress Pamela Anderson says she's been cured of hepatitis C after taking a new anti-viral medication.
She was diagnosed with the infection in 2002 and began a new FDA-approved drug regimen in the summer, People magazine reported.
"I am CURED!!! I just found out," Anderson, 48, wrote on Instagram Saturday. "I pray anyone living with Hep C can qualify or afford treatment. It will be more available soon. I know treatment is hard to get still...#dontlosehope."
She tried a number of alternative medicines before beginning treatment with the new anti-viral drug, People reported.
"I don't have any liver damage and I don't have any side effects," Anderson said. "I'm living my life the way I want to but it could have eventually have caused me some problems and so it was a real blessing that I was able to get the medicine."
FDA Should Investigate Caffeinated Peanut Butter: Senator
A new caffeinated peanut butter aimed at the fitness and athletic market should be investigated by the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says.
Each two-tablespoon serving of STEEM Peanut Butter contains as much caffeine as two cups of coffee, the Associated Press reported.
Currently, the product is sold mostly online and at a few small shops and fitness centers in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Schumer said the peanut butter may pose a health risk, especially to children.
"Caffeinated peanut butter should spur the agency to address the issue of caffeine," he told journalists Sunday, the AP reported. "They should put limits on how much is allowed, particularly in snack foods ... And they should certainly require warning labels."
New Compound Shows Promise Against Cataracts
A chemical that shows promise in clearing cataracts is being developed for use as an eye drop, researchers say.
The chemical -- called compound 29 -- cleared cataracts in the eyes of mice and in human eye lens tissue in laboratory tests, said the scientists at the University of California, San Francisco and the University of Michigan, United Press International reported.
The study was published in the journal Science.
The compound has been licensed to a company to develop it into an eye drop for people with cataracts, UPI reported.
High Levels of Toxin Delay California Crab Season
California's harvesting season for the Dungeness crab has been delayed due to high levels of a dangerous neurotoxin associated with warmer water temperatures.
State health officials are finding high levels of Domoic acid in crab meat and said the crabs will remain toxic if the Pacific Ocean waters remain warm, CBS News reported.
The problem is putting California's crab season in jeopardy and could have a huge financial impact on fishermen and restaurants.
"This is out of the fishermen's hands. We have to wait until the product is safe," fisherman Frank Sousa told CBS News. "I have kids and I wouldn't want to bring that product home to them so I can't bring it home to anybody else."
Sierra Leone Declared Ebola-Free
Sierra Leone was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization on Saturday after the nation went 42 days without a new Ebola case.
That amount of time covers two incubation periods for the deadly virus, The New York Times reported.
A 90-day period of enhanced surveillance will continue in Sierra Leone until Feb. 5 with the goal of rapidly detecting any new potential cases of Ebola. Sierra Leone was hardest hit in the Ebola outbreak centered in West Africa, with about 14,000 infections and nearly 4,000 deaths.
In total, the outbreak killed more than 11,300 people.
Liberia was declared Ebola-free about two months ago, but new cases continue to occur in Guinea, where the outbreak began, The Times reported.