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Health Highlights: Aug. 15, 2014

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

Applegate Chicken Nuggets Recalled

About 15,000 pounds of frozen, fully cooked chicken nuggets are being recalled by Perdue after it received complaints from people who found small pieces of plastic in the products.

The recall involves 8-oz. boxes of "Applegate Naturals Chicken Nuggets" that were produced on Feb. 5, 2014 and have a "best before" data of Feb. 5, 2015, and the establishment number "P2617" inside the USDA Mark of Inspection, CBS News reported.

There have been no reports of injury or illness from the recalled products, according to the company and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The products were taken off the market on Aug. 8, but the recall was announced because consumers may still have them in their freezers, CBS News reported.

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Overdoses From Synthetic Drug Spur State of Emergency in New Hampshire

New Hampshire has declared a state of emergency after 44 overdoses linked to a synthetic marijuana-like product sold in convenience stores as potpourri.

Nearly all of the overdoses that occurred in people who smoked or ingested a product called "Smacked" occurred in the Manchester area. None of overdose patients died, NBC News reported.

Under the state of emergency, public health authorities have the power to investigate stores and quarantine the product. So far, police have found Smacked in three convenience stores, which had their business licenses revoked.

Smacked is a potpourri-like substance sprayed with artificial substances similar to tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana, officials said.

In 2012, the federal government introduced a ban on compounds found in synthetic marijuana products and bath salts, and New Hampshire and most other states implemented similar bans. However, the laws are difficult to enforce because makers can make slight alterations to the chemical make-up of their products, NBC News reported.

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U.S. Committed to Fighting Ebola Outbreak: Obama

The United States is committed to helping contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, President Barack Obama told the leaders of Liberia and Sierra Leone on Thursday.

In his phone call with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma, Obama talked about the work being done by the U.S. Disaster Assistance Response Team based in Liberia's capital, Monrovia, USA Today reported.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has teams in both countries.

Obama also expressed his condolences for the victims of the outbreak, and told the two leaders that he understood their reasons for not taking part in this month's Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., USA Today reported.

As of Thursday, there have been 1,975 Ebola cases in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization. The death toll since the outbreak began in March is 1,069.

Posted: August 2014


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