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Health Highlights: Sept. 30, 2019


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

CVS Halts Sales of OTC Zantac

CVS becomes the latest drugstore chain to stop selling over-the-counter Zantac, and its own generic brand of the popular heartburn medicine, because of contamination with a cancer-causing chemical.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers earlier in September not to use prescription and over-the-counter versions of Zantac, the Associated Press reported.

CVS says it will take back any Zantac products and refund the money. In the meantime, CVS continues to sell other heartburn medications.

If you're concerned, health officials advise talking over your heartburn treatment with your doctor, the AP says.

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Washington State Bans Flavored E-Cigarettes

Washington has become the fourth state to ban flavored vaping products, joining Michigan, New York and Rhode Island, CBS News reports.

If the state's health department uses its emergency power, the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes, including those that contain cannabinoid will be stopped for 120 days. The ban can be extended after that.

The ban, initiated by Governor Jay Inslee, comes amid a spate of lung infections and deaths from vaping. Washington as seven such cases.

In a similar executive action, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has banned all vaping products for four months, CBS News reports.

To date, more than 800 people have come down with respiratory disease, including 12 deaths, according to the U.S,. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Deer Can Give You Tuberculosis: CDC

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention people can get a rare type of tuberculosis, called bovine tuberculosis, from deer.

Such was the case of one 77 year-old Michigan hunter, who most likely got sick by inhaling the germ while removing a dead deer's infected organs, CNN reports.

The patient had been hunting in an area where two other hunters were infected more than 15 years ago.

Bovine tuberculosis makes up under 2% of all tuberculosis cases in the U.S. Although mostly eliminated in cattle, it's still found in wild bison, elk and deer, the CDC said.

The infection is usually gotten by eating or drinking unpasteurized dairy products or having direct contact though an open wound while hunting or slaughtering an infected animal, CNN reports.

Symptoms include severe cough, fever, weight loss and chest pain. The treatment is antibiotics, the CDC said.

Although rare, anyone working closely with animals that might carry the germ or eating raw dairy should get screened for TB, CNN said.

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