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Health Highlights: Nov. 26, 2019


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

Trump Donates Salary to Fight Opioid Crisis

U.S. President Donald Trump has donated his third-quarter salary of $100,000 to help fight the nation's opioid epidemic, a White House official says.

The money was given to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, which is in charge of federal public health offices and programs, including the surgeon general's office, the Associated Press reported.

The money will be used "to continue the ongoing fight against the opioid crisis," according to the White House.

Opioids were involved in most of the more than 70,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2017, the AP reported.

Trump has pledged to donate his salary while in office to worthy causes, and donated his second-quarter salary to the surgeon general's office.

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Death Toll in Samoa Measles Epidemic Reaches 25

The death toll in a measles epidemic sweeping Samoa has reached 25, and all but one of the victims have been young children, an official said Monday.

More than 140 new cases were reported within the past day, bringing the total to about 2,200 since the epidemic began last month, Samoa's Director General of Health Leausa Take Naseri said in a video statement, the Associated Press reported.

So far, 679 people have been admitted to hospital during the outbreak, and about 183 remain hospitalized. About 20 critically ill children are in hospital intensive care units.

Samoa declared a state of emergency nine days ago, closed all schools, banned children from public gatherings and ordered all people to get vaccinated. Teams have been administering thousands of vaccines, the AP reported.

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Potentially Tainted Marijuana Sold in Colorado

A warning about possibly contaminated and moldy recreational and medical marijuana has been issued by Colorado officials.

The affected marijuana was mistakenly distributed due to a technical error, according to Colorado Department of Revenue news release. It said the error has been corrected, CNN reported.

The error occurred between Oct. 21 and Nov. 13, 2019 and the affected marijuana was sold between Oct. 21 and Nov. 14, 2019.

The affected medical marijuana strains are Blue Dream, 9LB Hammer, and Super Lemon Haze, which were sold by the medical marijuana dispensaries Tweedleaf, Cross Genetics and Elevations, the news release said.

The affected retail strains are Ghost Cake Killah, Grape Ape and Snowball, sold at Mighty Tree, Natural Alternatives for Health, Doctors Garden and Green Dragon, CNN reported.

People who bought the affected marijuana strains should return them to stores or health outlets for disposal, officials said.

No reports of health problems associated with the affected marijuana have been received, according to Shannon Gray, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Revenue's Marijuana Enforcement division, CNN reported.

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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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