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Health Highlights: Sept. 1, 2015

Death Toll Reaches 7 in Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak at Illinois Veterans' Home Pure Powdered Caffeine a Serious Health Risk: FDA

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

Death Toll Reaches 7 in Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak at Illinois Veterans' Home

Three more deaths from Legionnaires' disease at a veterans' home in Illinois have increased the death toll to seven.

So far, 39 residents of the facility in Quincy have been sickened and test results for others are still pending, the Associated Press reported.

All seven victims were elderly and had underlying medical conditions, according to state health officials.

The death toll and the number of infected residents are likely to increase because Legionnaires' disease has a two-week incubation period, said Dr. Nirav Shah, state public health director, the AP reported.


Pure Powdered Caffeine a Serious Health Risk: FDA

Pure powdered caffeine poses a serious health risk and is known to have caused the death of two teens in 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

One teaspoon of pure powdered caffeine contains the same amount of caffeine as in about 28 cups of coffee. Use of this product can cause health problems such as rapid or erratic heartbeat, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, disorientation and stupor, and even result in death.

The risk from these products is especially high among people with pre-existing health problems.

Due to the threat posed by pure powdered caffeine, the FDA sent warning letters to five distributors of the product.

The difference between a safe amount and toxic dose of caffeine in these products is very small, and safe amounts of the products can be nearly impossible to measure accurately with common kitchen measuring tools such as teaspoons, according to the FDA.

It said it will monitor sales of pure powdered caffeine and take action if it discovers any violations. Possible enforcement measures include seizure of the product or an injunction to stop a company from making or selling the product.

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