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Health Highlights: Sept. 2, 2015

Rare Poliovirus Cases in Ukraine Concern WHO Man's Severely Burned Hand Saved by Implanting It in His Belly Frozen Corn Recalled Due to Possible Listeria

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

Rare Poliovirus Cases in Ukraine Concern WHO

After a five-year absence, a rare poliovirus has resurfaced in Europe, leaving a 4-year-old and an 11-year-old in the Ukraine paralyzed.

The World Health Organization said the two cases involving vaccine-derived poliovirus type 1 (cVDPV1) occurred in the southwestern area of the Ukraine, which borders Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland, the Washington Post reported.

The virus may still pose a threat to the region, according to the WHO.

The agency said it is in discussions with Ukrainian health officials to implement "an urgent outbreak response," which typically involves a vaccination program to protect at least 2 million children under age 5, the Post reported.

"[T]he risk of further spread of this strain within the country is deemed to be high," the WHO warned.


Man's Severely Burned Hand Saved by Implanting It in His Belly

Surgeons saved a man's badly burned hand by implanting it in his belly for three weeks in order to give it time to heal and develop a new blood supply.

The surgery to tuck 87-year-old Frank Reyes' hand under a pocket of tissue in his abdomen was conducted at Houston Methodist Hospital. Last Thursday, doctors freed the hand and used some abdominal tissue and skin to cover it, the Associated Press reported.

Reyes was changing a tire on a trailer in late June when the jack slipped and his hand was pinned against a fender. The temperature was more than 100 degrees and it took half an hour before help arrived.

The hot metal burned through Reyes' thick glove and then through his hand's skin, tendons and tissue. Doctors cleaned and bandaged the hand, but it became infected and most of the index finger had to be amputated. However, Reyes' hand continued to grow worse, the AP reported.

Reyes was referred to plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Echo, who realized that a skin graft or flap of tissue from another part of Reyes' body would not work because the damage was down to the bone and a graft or flap would die without a good blood supply.

So Echo decided to tuck Reyes' hand inside his abdomen.

"The abdominal skin actually sticks to the hand" and new blood vessels form to connect them, Echo told the AP. Without this treatment, it's likely Reyes "would have lost all of his fingers," the doctor said.

Reyes said he hopes to regain nearly full-use of the hand.

While not new, this type of surgery is uncommon. It is sometimes used to treat combat and other trauma injuries, as well as in research to incubate lab-grown body parts from scaffold-like materials, the AP reported.


Frozen Corn Recalled Due to Possible Listeria

More than 9,300 cases of frozen cut corn are being recalled in 14 states due to possible listeria contamination.

The recall includes Wylwood Super Sweet Whole Kernel Corn, Market Basket Cut Corn, Bountiful Harvest Whole Kernel Cut Corn, and West Creek Frozen Vegetables Cut Corn, according to Bonduelle USA Inc. of Brockport, N.Y.

The products were distributed to stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana.

The company said it has not received any reports of illnesses associated with the recalled products, and advised consumers with the products to throw them away.

For more information, contact the company at 1-877-990-2662, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. EST.

Listeria infection can cause serious and sometimes deadly infections in young children, seniors and people with weakened immune systems, and can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women.

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