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Health Highlights: Nov. 25, 2019


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

Polio Vaccines Causing Polio Cases

More children worldwide are being paralyzed by polio viruses from vaccines than from viruses in the wild, according to new data.

The World Health Organization and partners last week noted nine new vaccine-linked polio cases in Nigeria, Congo, Central African Republic and Angola, the Associated Press reported.

Seven other African countries have similar outbreaks and there have also been cases in Asia.

It's rare, but the live virus in oral polio vaccine can mutate into a form that can cause new cases. All the current vaccine-related cases have been caused by a Type 2 virus in the vaccine. The wild version of the virus was eliminated years ago, the AP reported.

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German Dies of Infection from Dog's Lick

Pet owners should seek immediate medical care if they develop unusual flu-like symptoms, doctors say after a case study about a 63-year-old man in Germany who died of a rare infection contracted when he was licked by his dog.

The infection was caused by capnocytophaga canimorsus bacteria, which is commonly found in the mouths of dogs and cats, but rarely transmitted to humans, CNN reported.

The case study was published in the Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine.

In May, doctors amputated an Ohio woman's legs and hands after she contracted a capnocytophaga canimorsus infection, likely caused when her puppy licked an open cut, CNN reported.

Last year, a Wisconsin's man nose and limbs were amputated after he contracted the same type of infection.

Capnocytophaga canimorsus is "completely normal flora of a dog's mouth and usually doesn't cause any sort of significant disease. However, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, in the wrong patient ... it can lead to severe infections -- but very, very rarely," Dr. Stephen Cole, lecturer in veterinary microbiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, told CNN.

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No Federal Money for Marijuana Treatment of Opioid Addiction

Medical marijuana does not qualify for U.S. government funding of opioid addiction treatment under a newly-announced restriction.

The move targets policies in some states that allow patients with opioid addiction to use marijuana as a treatment, the Associated Press reported.

"There's zero evidence for that," treatment approach, according to Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, whose federal agency provides money to states for treatment programs.

"We felt that it was time to make it clear we did not want individuals receiving funds for treatment services to be exposed to marijuana and somehow given the impression that it's a treatment," she told the AP.

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Trump Claims E-Cig Flavor Ban Would Trigger Illegal Sales

Restrictions on the sale of most flavored e-cigarette products in the United States would lead to illegal sales of the products, President Donald Trump claimed at a meeting held Friday to discuss the nation's youth vaping crisis.

Trump announced two months ago that he planned to ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarette products, but has since seemed to back away from that pledge.

A survey this year found that more than one-fourth of high school students said that they'd used e-cigarettes within the previous 30 days, triggering worries that a new generation is becoming hooked on nicotine, The New York Times reported.

At Friday's meeting with health leaders and tobacco and vaping industry executives, Trump kept going back to the risk of illegal sales if there was a ban on most flavored e-cigarette products.

"If you don't give it to them, it's going to come here illegally," from places such as China and Mexico, Trump claimed, The Times reported.

"You just have to look at the history of it. Now, instead of having a flavor that's at least safe, they're going to be having a flavor that's poison," Trump said.

He did repeat at the meeting that his administration would support raising the age for sales of e-cigarettes to 21, The Times reported.

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