Health Highlights: Oct. 3, 2018
Suspected Ricin Found in Envelope Addressed to Trump Eating Processed Meats Increases Risk of Breast Cancer: Study More Illnesses in Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Gravel Ridge Farms Eggs: CDC FDA Seizes Documents from E-Cigarette Maker Juul Texas Surf Facility Closes After Man Dies From Brain-Eating Amoeba Man Who Lost Limbs From Dog Saliva Infection Vows to Walk Again Red Tide May Be Cause of Florida Beachgoers' Breathing Problems Ricin Detected in Mail Sent to Pentagon
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Suspected Ricin Found in Envelope Addressed to Trump
A substance suspected to the deadly toxin ricin has been found in an envelope addressed to U.S. President Donald Trump, according to law enforcement officials.
The envelope appears to be connected to two similar envelopes that were delivered to the Pentagon mail facility on Monday and initially tested positive for ricin, CNN reported.
A Secret Service spokesman said "the Secret Service can confirm receipt of a suspicious envelope addressed to the President on Oct. 1, 2018."
"The envelope was not received at the White House, nor did it ever enter the White House," the spokesman told CNN.
The Secret Service is working with law enforcement partners to investigate the envelopes addressed to Trump, the spokesman said.
Further tests are being conducted on the envelopes sent to the Pentagon and White House. The envelopes sent to the Pentagon were detected in a mail facility in a separate building on the grounds of the Pentagon, and they never entered the Pentagon building, CNN reported.
Eating Processed Meats Increases Risk of Breast Cancer: Study
Women who eat processed meats such as bacon, sausages and ham have an increased risk of breast cancer, researchers say.
They analyzed studies that included more than 1.2 million women and found that those who regularly ate processed meats were 9 percent more likely to develop breast cancer, CNN reported.
"This systematic review and meta-analysis study reports significant positive associations between processed meat consumption with risk of breast cancer," the authors wrote.
"Cutting down processed meat seems beneficial for the prevention of breast cancer," according to lead author Dr. Maryam Farvid, School of Public Health, Harvard University, CNN reported.
However, experts said the findings should be regarded with caution.
The paper leaves "many questions unanswered" and does not prove that higher consumption of processed meats led directly to breast cancer, Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics, Open University, U.K., told CNN.
The World Health Organization categorizes processed meat as a carcinogen.
But "while the evidence for classifying processed meat as a carcinogen is strong, the actual risk to the individual is very small and it is more relevant on a population level," Gunter Kuhnle, associate professor in nutrition and health, University of Reading, U.K., told CNN.
More Illnesses in Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Gravel Ridge Farms Eggs: CDC
The multi-state salmonella outbreak linked to Gravel Ridge Farms cage-free large eggs has grown and consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not to eat, serve, or sell the eggs, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
In an update Wednesday, the CDC said 24 more illnesses have been reported since the last update on Sept. 10, bringing the total to 38 cases in seven states. Ten people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Illnesses in the outbreak began on dates ranging from June 17 to Aug. 16, 2018. Gravel Ridge Farms recalled packages of a dozen and 2.5 dozen eggs in cardboard containers that were sold in grocery stores and to restaurants in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee.
The investigation is continuing, the CDC said. People who think they got sick from eating the recalled eggs should contact a healthcare provider, the agency advised.
Symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps begin 12 to 72 hours after swallowing the germ. Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe, the CDC said.
FDA Seizes Documents from E-Cigarette Maker Juul
Thousands of pages of documents were seized from e-cigarette maker Juul by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration during a surprise inspection last week as part of the agency's investigation into the company's marketing practices.
Juul controls 73 percent of the e-cigarette market and has come into the FDA's crosshairs as teen e-cigarette use has skyrocketed, CNBC reported.
The surprise inspection at Juul's San Francisco headquarters last week occurred a few weeks after the FDA told e-cigarette makers they have 60 days to submit plans on how to reduce youth use of their products.
The FDA also said it's considering banning some flavored nicotine liquids that critics say entice youngsters to use e-cigarettes, CNBC reported.
Over the past year, the number of U.S. high school students who have used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days rose by about 75 percent, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual National Youth Tobacco Survey, people familiar with the data say.
That means that about 3 million, or 20 percent of high school students, are using e-cigarettes, compared with 1.73 million (11.7) percent in the last survey.
The sources did not to be identified because the latest survey isn't yet public. It's expected to be published later this year, CNBC reported.
Texas Surf Facility Closes After Man Dies From Brain-Eating Amoeba
A landlocked surf resort in Texas has closed after a man who visited it died from a rare brain-eating amoeba.
Fabrizio Stabile, 29, of New Jersey, died on Sept. 21 after falling ill with Naegleria fowleri. Infection typically occurs when contaminated water enters the body through the nose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It's not clear when Stabile visited the BSR Cable Park's Surf Resort in Waco, but the facility voluntarily closed Friday, CBS News/Associated Press reported.
"The CDC collected water samples and are currently investigating to find the source," Waco-McLennan County Public Health District spokesman Kelly Craine said. "We hope to have results by the end of the week."
"They got samples, but they also looked at how the park actually operates: where the water's coming from, how the water's filtered, how the water's treated," Craine added.
The CDC does not know of any other cases of infection linked to the Texas facility, said agency spokeswoman Brittany Behm, CBS/AP reported.
The amoeba is usually found in warm freshwater, such as lakes, rivers or hot springs, according to the CDC. Only four of the 143 people known to have been infected in the U.S. between 1962 and 2017 have survived.
Man Who Lost Limbs From Dog Saliva Infection Vows to Walk Again
A 48-year-old Wisconsin man who lost his hands, feet and parts of his arms and legs to a rare blood infection contracted through dog saliva is determined to walk again with prosthetics.
Greg Manteufel was discharged two weeks ago from the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee after having at least 10 surgeries during which parts of each of his limbs were amputated due to circulation problems caused by the infection, the Associated Press reported.
Manteufel developed a fever and pain and his legs in late June and was diagnosed with a rare blood infection caused by capnocytophaga bacteria that are commonly found in the saliva of cats and dogs, and rarely cause illness in people.
Manteufel has a dog, but doctors don't know if his infection was caused by his pet or another dog.
Despite his ordeal, Manteufel said he still likes dogs and that his main goal is to walk and drive again "so I can get back on with life, not just be stuck somewhere," the AP reported.
Red Tide May Be Cause of Florida Beachgoers' Breathing Problems
Red tide may be the reason why some beachgoers on Florida's Atlantic cost have suffered breathing problems, according to Palm Beach County officials.
They said preliminary water tests found the algae that causes red tide, but further testing is needed to determine its concentrations, CBS News/Associated Press reported.
At least six beaches in Palm Beach County were closed to swimming as a precaution, but officials said they planned to reopen them Wednesday.
Red tide is a harmful algal bloom that occurs "when colonies of algae-simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater-grow out of control while producing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, and birds" according to the National Ocean Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Red tide has caused a massive die-off of fish and other sea life on Florida's Gulf Coast this summer. Red tide can cause symptoms such as breathing problems and skin irritation in some people, CBS/AP reported.
"Throat irritation is a pretty classic one. People talk about the red tide tickle, sort of a scratchiness or soreness in the throat as a well as a cough," according to Dr. Acey Albert.
People who develop symptoms should leave the beach and find someplace cool.
"Symptoms do tend to get better in air conditioned situations. That includes the car. If you're on the beach and you develop any symptoms getting in the car and turning that recirculation button on and just getting in the air can actually help quite a bit," Albert told CBS affiliate WPEC-TV.
Ricin Detected in Mail Sent to Pentagon
The deadly poison Ricin was detected in two pieces of mail delivered to the Pentagon mail facility on Monday, an official says.
The envelopes were addressed to Secretary of Defense James Mattis and to Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson, the official told CNN.
"On Monday, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency detected a suspicious substance during mail screening at the Pentagon's remote screening facility," Pentagon spokesperson Col. Rob Manning said in a statement.
"The envelopes were taken by the FBI this morning for further analysis," he added.
The FBI said the two envelopes are undergoing more testing, CNN reported.
The mail facility is in a separate building on the grounds of the Pentagon. All U.S. Postal Service mail received at the facility on Monday is currently under quarantine and poses no threat to Pentagon staff, Manning said.