Health Highlights: Jan. 16, 2013

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

Woman Who Advocated for Others With Gigantism Dies

A Las Vegas woman with a rare disorder that caused her to keep growing died Monday.

Tanya Angus, 34, was 7 feet 2 inches tall and weighed about 400 pounds when she died. It appears she died after catching a cold and developing a tear in her heart, according to her mother Karen Strutynski, the Associated Press reported.

Angus had a condition called acromegaly, or gigantism. A non-cancerous tumor on the pituitary gland causes overproduction of growth hormone.

"Mom, I don't know why I got it,'" Karen Strutynski recalled her daughter saying, the AP reported. "But I guess God decided that I could handle it.'"

Angus became an advocate for people with the disease and appeared on news programs and television specials in order to increase public awareness and understanding about the condition.

She worked to help others get diagnosed and receive treatment before the disease got out of control, her mother said. Angus corresponded with people from about 60 countries struggling with the disease.

Strutynski said she plans to maintain her daughter's website and to continue corresponding with patients who have the disease, the AP reported.

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Eleven Infected at U.S. Biological Labs Between 2004 and 2010: Report

At least 11 staff members at U.S. biological laboratories were infected with dangerous pathogens between 2004 and 2010, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

None of the infected workers died.

The CDC said the infection rate of 1.6 per 100,000 workers was far lower than the rate of general occupational illnesses in scientific and research sites, the Associated Press reported.

"If you look at the report as a whole, it's a success story," report co-author Robbin Weyant told the AP. Weyant oversees CDC regulation of about 70 "select agents and toxins" considered a severe threat to human, animal or plant health.

"We have about 10,000 people a year working in these laboratories. To have such a small number of confirmed infections over nearly a decade, I think, is quite good," Weyant said.

The report was published in the January issue of the journal Applied Biosafety.

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Bikini Waxing Credited With Decline in Pubic Lice

The rising popularity of bikini waxing may be the reason why the number of people with pubic lice is declining, according to experts.

Bikini waxing -- which involves clipping, waxing and shaving the groin area -- destroys the most favorable habitat of pubic lice, Bloomberg News reported.

More than 80 percent of U.S. college students remove all or some of their pubic hair, a trend that's increasing in western nations. The main sexual health clinic in Sydney, Australia hasn't treated a woman with public lice since 2008, and male cases have fallen about 80 percent in the last decade.

"It used to be extremely common; it's now rarely seen," said Basil Donovan, head of sexual health at the University of New South Wales's Kirby Institute and a doctor at the Sydney Sexual Health Centre, Bloomberg reported. "Without doubt, it's better grooming."

Pubic lice are typically treated with topical insecticides.

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Posted: January 2013


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