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Health Highlights: Dec. 13, 2018

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

More Cases in Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Recalled Beef

The number of illnesses in a salmonella outbreak linked to beef products from Arizona-based JBS Tolleson, Inc. now stands at 333 in 28 states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

Since the CDC's last update on Nov. 15, three more states have reported illnesses and there have been 87 new cases, including 32 people who have been hospitalized.

In total, 91 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Illnesses began between Aug. 5, 2018 to Nov. 9, 2018.

JBS Tolleson, Inc. has recalled 12.1 million pounds of beef products that were produced and packaged between July 26, 2018 and Sept. 7, 2018 and distributed to more than 100 retailers nationwide under many brand names.

The recalled beef carries the establishment number "EST. 267." A list of the stores and states where the recalled beef products were sold is on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service website.

Consumers with the recalled beef should throw it away or return it to the store. For more information call the company at 1-800-727-2333.

Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12-72 hours after eating contaminated food. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment, according to the CDC.

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U.S. Embassy Staff in Cuba Had Inner Ear Damage: Study

Early medical exams showed that U.S. embassy personnel in Cuba who developed mysterious health problems after complaining of strange noises and sensations had inner ear damage, researchers say.

However, many questions remain about what the U.S. calls "health attacks" that have damaged U.S.-Cuba relations. Cuba says it is not responsible, the Associated Press reported.

"What caused it, who did it, why it was done -- we don't know any of those things," said Dr. Michael Hoffer of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

He led the first medical exams of 25 of 26 people at the U.S. embassy in Havana who have complained of health issues such as dizziness, ear pain and ringing, and thinking problems since late 2016, the AP reported.

The findings were published Wednesday in the journal Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology.

University of Pennsylvania doctors who examined many of these patients months after Hoffer's team said that the patients had a concussion-like brain injury, even though they didn't suffer a blow to the head. Those findings were released earlier this year, the AP reported.

The new study offers crucial new information, according to Dr. Maura Cosetti, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, who isn't involved with research related to the Cuba incidents.

"This provides an important step in creating a picture of the injury that people sustained," Cosetti told the AP. People with long-term balance problems often also experience a "brain fog," Cosetti noted.

U.S. authorities initially suspected a form of sonic attack, but an interim FBI report released last January found no evidence that sound waves could have caused the damage, the AP reported.

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Posted: December 2018

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