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Health Highlights: June 12, 2020


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

Black Americans Much More Likely to Have Lost Loved Ones to COVID-19

Black Americans are much more likely than other Americans to say a relative or close friend has died of COVID-19, surveys reveal.

While 11% of black adults say someone close to them has died, the rates are 5% among Americans overall and 4% among whites, the Associated Press reported.

The racial differences are especially significant in some cities and states hit especially hard by the new coronavirus. In Louisiana, 16% of black adults say someone close to them has died, compared with 6% of white adults.

Blacks represent about 33% of the state's population but account for 53% of the state's nearly 3,000 COVID-19 deaths, state health department data show, the AP reported.

The surveys also showed that 14% of black adults in Atlanta say a family member or close friend has died of COVID-19, compared with 4% of white adults. The rates are 12% vs. 4% in Baltimore, 15% vs. 2% in Birmingham, Alabama, and 12% vs. 4% in Chicago.

In New York City, 26% of black adults say a family member or close friend has died from COVID-19, compared with 10% of white adults, according to the three COVID-19 impact surveys conducted between April and June by NORC at the University of Chicago for the Data Foundation.

Experts say reasons why black Americans have been particularly susceptible to COVID-19 include pre-existing conditions and limited access to health care, the AP reported.

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Proposed Trump Rally 'Extraordinarily Dangerous' for Coronavirus Spread, Expert Says

U.S. President Donald Trump's planned rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma next Saturday is "extraordinarily dangerous," public health experts warned.

Even the Trump campaign appears to recognize the risk of holding the rally during the coronavirus pandemic, and wants attendees to sign a waiver absolving Trump's team of any responsibility if people get sick, the Associated Press noted.

There's a danger that coronavirus infection will spread among the attendees, who could spark outbreaks in their communities when they return home, experts say.

The Trump rally is "an extraordinarily dangerous move for the people participating and the people who may know them and love them and see them afterward," Dr. Ashish Jha, director of Harvard's Global Health Institute, told the AP.

The director of the Tulsa City-County Health Department is among those worried about the rally.

"I'm concerned about our ability to protect anyone who attends a large, indoor event, and I'm also concerned about our ability to ensure the president stays safe as well," Dr. Bruce Dart told the Tulsa World newspaper, the AP reported.

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Nearly 43,000 Lbs. of Ground Beef Products Recalled

Nearly 43,000 pounds of ground beef products have been recalled by New Jersey-based Lakeside Refrigerated Services due to possible contamination with potentially deadly E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service says.

The products were produced on June 1, 2020 and sold across the U.S. under the labels Marketside Butcher and Thomas Farms.

There haven't been any confirmed reports of illness due to consumption of these products, according to FSIS.

E. coli O157:H7 can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 28 days (34 days, on average) after exposure to the organism. Most people recover within a week, but some develop kidney failure, FSIS said.

For more information about the recall, consumers can call Lakeside at (856) 832-3881.

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