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Health Highlights: Jan. 24, 2019

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

Gold Medal Flour Recalled Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination

Possible salmonella contamination has led to a U.S.-wide recall of five-pound bags of Gold Medal Unbleached Flour, General Mills says.

The company said the voluntary recall is restricted to bags with a "better if used by" date of April 20, 2020, CBS News reported.

The recall was issued after sampling of the five-pound bags revealed "the potential presence" of the bacteria, according to General Mills.

The company said the "recall is being issued out of an abundance of care as General Mills has not received any direct consumer reports of confirmed illnesses related to this product," CBS News reported.

Consumers with the recalled flour should throw it out. For more information, call General Mills at 1-800-230-8103 or go to its website.

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Measles a Public Health Emergency in 'Anti-Vax' Hotspot Near Portland, Ore.

An ongoing measles outbreak has led to a public health emergency being declared in Clark County, Washington.

The outbreak is in an anti-vaccination hotspot near Portland, Ore., according to CBS News.

The latest update from the county's health department said that 23 measles cases have been confirmed and two more suspected cases are under investigation, CBS News reported.

Most cases involve children aged 1 to 10. Four cases are in youngsters aged 11 to 18, and one case in a person between ages 19 and 29.

While measles is highly contagious, it's also one of the most preventable diseases, according to Dr. Jonathan Mou, at Adventist Health in Portland.

"Once it sets into a community, the likelihood of it getting beyond that community or more widespread within that community is high, especially when vaccination rates are low," Mou told CBS News.

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Climate Change Could Alter Proportion of Male/Female Babies: Study

Climate change could alter the proportion of male and female babies, according to researchers.

They said more boys could be born in regions where temperatures rise and fewer boys born in areas with other climate change-caused environmental changes, such as droughts or wildfires, CNN reported.

A recent Japanese study found a connection between temperature fluctuations and a lower male-to-female sex ratio at birth, with conceptions of boys especially vulnerable to external stress factors, wrote study lead author Misao Fukuda, founder of the M&K Health Institute.

In a study published last summer, Fukuda and his colleagues found a decline in male babies born in Japan after earthquakes. Nine months after the earthquakes, the proportion of male babies born in affected areas were 6 percent to 14 percent lower than in the previous year, CNN reported.

Those findings supports the theory that major stress affects gestation, which in turn alters the newborn sex ratio, Fukuda and his co-authors wrote.

Stress stemming directly from "climate events caused by global warming" might also affect the sex ratio, Fukuda wrote in an email, CNN reported.

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Nurse Arrested in Case Involving Incapacitated Woman Who Gave Birth

A male nurse has been arrested in an investigation launched after an incapacitated woman at a long-term care facility in Phoenix had a baby boy late last year.

Nathan Sutherland, 36, was a licensed practical nurse who looked after the woman. The licensed practical nurse was arrested on suspicion of one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.

"We owed this arrest to the victim. We owed this arrest to the newest member of our community -- that innocent baby," Williams said.

The 29-year-old victim has been in long-term care since the age of 3 and gave birth at the Hacienda HealthCare facility on Dec. 29. Employees said they had no idea she was pregnant.

As part of their investigation, police tested the DNA of all the men who worked at the facility. Sutherland was charged after his DNA was found to match the baby's, said police spokesman Tommy Thompson, the AP reported.

The case prompted reviews by state agencies and put the spotlight on safety concerns for patients who are severely disabled or incapacitated.

One doctor who had cared for the woman resigned and another had been suspended, Hacienda HealthCare said Sunday. The CEO of the company at the time of the birth resigned earlier this month.

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Hare Today Gone Tomorrow Pet Food Contaminated with Salmonella, Listeria

Samples from one lot of Hare Today Gone Tomorrow Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs pet food tested positive for salmonella and listeria and should not be given to pets, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

Salmonella and listeria pose a significant health risk to both pets and people.

The affected lot has a processing date of 12.04.2018 on the back of the bag and was sold in four sizes and varieties: Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, 1lb, Fine Ground; Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, 2lb, Fine Ground; Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, 3lb, Coarse Ground; and Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs, 5lb, Fine Ground.

Consumers with products from the affected lot should throw them away in a secure container where other animals, including wildlife, can't get at it, the FDA said.

Those who've had the products in their home should clean refrigerators/freezers where the product was stored, and clean and disinfect all bowls, utensils, food prep surfaces, pet bedding, toys, floors, and any other surfaces that the food or pet may have had contact with.

Clean up the pet's feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed, the FDA advised.

The agency said it is working with Hare Today Gone Tomorrow to recall the affected lot.

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Insulin Price More Than Doubles in U.S.

Some Americans with type 1 diabetes have cut back on their insulin usage as the cost of the lifesaving drug nearly doubled over a five-year period.

The annual amount that people with type 1 diabetes spent on the drug rose from about $2,900 in 2012 to about $5,700 in 2016, according to a new analysis from the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI), CBS News reported.

Those are gross amounts and don't factor in the use of rebates or coupons, which can reduce costs for some people.

The cost of living rose 6.5 percent between 2012 and 2016.

A study published last year found that more than one-quarter of people with diabetes said they reduced their use of insulin due to the rising cost. Doctors warn against cutting back on insulin usage, CBS News reported.

"There has been a flurry of news reports sharing stories of individuals with diabetes rationing their insulin because they cannot afford higher and higher prices," according to HCCI.

"These anecdotes are consistent with findings of researchers documenting price increases on diabetic therapies, specifically insulin, over the last several years," the institute said.

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Posted: January 2019

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