Health Highlights: Nov. 28, 2011

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

Ocean Spray Recalls Craisins

Possible contamination with small metal particles has prompted the recall of certain lots of packaged and bulk original flavor Craisins, which are sweetened dried cranberries.

The recall announced late Friday by Ocean Spray covers the following 5-ounce, 10-ounce and 48-ounce packages, as well as 10-pound bulk packages, msnbc.com reported:

  • 5-oz. Craisins UPC: 00293-000 Best By Dates/Letter: Oct 27 2012 M
  • 10-oz. Craisins UPC: 29456-000 and 29464-000 Best By Dates/Letter: Oct 27 2012 M, Oct 28 2012 M, Oct 29 2012 M
  • 48-oz. Craisins UPC: 00678-318 Best By Dates/Letter: Oct 27 2012 M, Oct 28 2012 M, Nov 3 2012 M, Nov 4 2012 M, Nov 5 2012 M, Nov 6 2012 M, Nov 7 2012 M, Nov 10 2012 M, Nov 11 2012 M.
  • 10-lb. bulk ingredient & food service UPC: 03477-000 Best By Dates/Letter: 30 Oct 2013 M, 31 Oct 2013 M, 1 Nov 2013 M, 5 Nov 2013 M.

Ocean Spray said consumers should destroy the recalled products, save the UPC labels and Best By dates and contact the company's consumer hotline at 1-800-662-3263, msnbc.com reported.

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Trial of Anti-HIV Vaginal Gel Halted

A clinical trial of a microbicide vaginal gel to protect women from HIV infection has been canceled after researchers said the gel was not working.

The trial began in 2009 and enrolled more than 5,000 women in South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. It was hoped that it would confirm the findings of an earlier trial that found the vaginal gel containing the drug tenofovir protected 39 percent of women who used it, and that women who used it most often reduce their chances of HIV infection by 54 percent, The New York Times reported.

Researchers have not yet been able to determine why the gel did not work in the second trial.

The news is a setback for HIV/AIDS prevention research. Creating a vaginal gel that protects women against HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) while still enabling them to get pregnant has long been a goal of researchers, The Times reported.

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3 More Cases of New Flu Virus Confirmed by CDC

Three new cases of a new flu virus that originated in pigs but spread from person to person have been confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC has confirmed a total of 18 cases of the virus, an influenza strain called S-OtrH3N2, over two years. The three latest cases involved three Iowa children, USA Today reported.

The low number of cases during the past few years suggests that the virus is not spreading quickly or easily, said William Schaffner, a professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Flu expert Arnold Monto agrees that there's no reason to fear the start of a new flu pandemic.

"I don't think this is anything to worry about for the moment," Monto, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, told USA Today. "We have known that swine viruses get into humans occasionally, transmit for a generation or two and then stop. The issue is whether there will be sustained transmission (from person to person)- and that nearly never happens."

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Posted: November 2011


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