Health Highlights: March 16, 2009

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

Radio Host Imus Says He Has Prostate Cancer

Controversial radio host Don Imus has revealed that he has stage 2 prostate cancer.

He made the announcement on his radio show Monday, but didn't reveal any details about his prognosis, Fox News reported. Imus did say he had full confidence "his doctors will beat it."

"The day you find out is fine. But the next morning when you get up, your knees are shaking. I didn't think I could make it to work," he told listeners.

Imus suggested that his prostate cancer could be the result of stress, Fox News reported. After a 2007 scandal in which he used a racially insensitive comment to describe the championship-winning Rutger's Women's Basketball Team, Imus was fired from CBS. He was hired by ABC later that year.

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Airline Passenger Has TB: CDC

Tuberculosis has been confirmed in a passenger who took a flight from Frankfurt, Germany, to Detroit last Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

The passenger on the Northwest Airlines Flight was taken to a local hospital and is responding to treatment, according to the CDC, MSNBC reported.

Federal health officials are contacting other passengers who were on the flight.

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Obama Names New FDA Chief

Calling the U.S. food safety system a "hazard to public health," President Barack Obama on Saturday named a new head of the Food and Drug Administration to start overhauling it.

Obama, in his weekly radio address, nominated former New York City Health Commissioner Margaret Hamburg as FDA commissioner and Baltimore Health Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein as her deputy, the Associated Press reported.

The president said he would also create a Food Safety Working Group to coordinate food safety laws throughout government and advise him on how to update them. Many of these laws have been untouched since President Theodore Roosevelt's era, he added.

Obama called the current food safety system too spread out, and noted that recent underfunding and understaffing has left the FDA unable to inspect more than a fraction of the 150,000 food processing plants and warehouses in the country.

"That is a hazard to public health. It is unacceptable. And it will change under the leadership of Dr. Margaret Hamburg," Obama said, according to AP.

Posted: March 2009


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