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Health Highlights: June 8, 2018

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

Travel Host and Author Anthony Bourdain Dead at 61

Travel host and author Anthony Bourdain died Friday at age 61 in what appears to be a suicide.

Bourdain was in Strasbourg, France working on an episode of his CNN show "Parts Unknown" when he died. He killed himself in a hotel room, according to the network, The New York Times reported.

"It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague," CNN said in a statement.

Bourdain's career in television began after he published a memoir called "Kitchen Confidential," which revealed secrets about New York's restaurants, The Times reported.


U.S. Will No Longer Defend Key Parts of Affordable Care Act

The U.S. Justice Department says it will no longer defend major parts of the Affordable Care Act in court.

That includes the requirement that people have health insurance and sections that guarantee access to coverage regardless of any medical conditions, the Associated Press reported.

The Justice Department's decision was announced Thursday in a filing in federal court in Texas. Typically, the department defends federal laws in court.

Texas and other Republican-led states are suing to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act, while California and other Democrat-led states want to protect the law, the AP reported.


MRSA Infections Double Among IV Drug Users

MRSA superbug infections doubled among injection drug users in the United States over five years, according to a federal government study released Thursday.

The study also said injection drug users are 16 times more likely to develop serious illness from MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria, the Associated Press reported.

Rates of invasive, bloodstream-infecting MRSA cases among injection drug users rose from 4 percent of all cases in 2011 to 9 percent in 2016, the study reported.

The findings are based on 2005 to 2016 data from hospitals across Connecticut and in parts of California, Georgia, Minnesota, New York and Tennessee, the AP reported.

There were about 39,000 recorded cases of invasive MRSA, including about 2,100 among people who inject drugs.

MRSA often live on the skin without causing symptoms, but can pose a threat if they enter the bloodstream. Health officials say MRSA may cause as many as 11,000 deaths a year in the United States, the AP reported.

MRSA "is on the skin, and as the needle goes into the skin it brings the bacteria with it," study co-author Dr. Isaac See, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, explained.

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Posted: June 2018