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Health Highlights: May 13, 2011

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

Chives Recalled Due to Listeria Concerns

Possible listeria contamination has prompted the recall of chives distributed in nine states, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The chives were distributed by Goodness Gardens Inc. of New Hampton, N.Y. and sold primarily through stores in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Alabama, Illinois and Virginia, the Associated Press reported.

The recalled chives -- lot number 0201111, dated May 6 -- were packaged in plastic clamshell containers, 1-pound bags and twist tie bunches. Consumers can return the chives to retailers for a refund.

The FDA said there have been no reports of illness associated with the recalled chives, the AP reported.


Drug Helps Children With Sickle Cell Anemia: Study

The drug hydroxycarbamide reduces pain and other complications in young children with sickle cell anemia, according to a new study.

The study involving about 200 babies in the United States appears in The Lancet. The drug is already used to treat adults with sickle cell anemia. The researchers said these results suggest that it should be approved to treat children with the disease, BBC News reported.

One U.K. expert called the findings "extremely encouraging."

"Hydroxycarbamide is inexpensive and could certainly be made available in low-income countries in which sickle-cell anaemia is so common," Professor David Weatherall, from the University of Oxford, told BBC News.

"In view of the early deaths that result from this disease in sub-Saharan Africa, the success of this trial in early infancy is particularly encouraging," he said.


Rural Residents More Apt to Need ER Treatment for Eye Injuries

Rural residents of the United States are five times more likely than city dwellers to be treated in emergency departments for eye injuries, according to a federal government study.

In 2008, the rates of eye injury-related emergency departments visits were 646 per 100,000 for rural residents and 120 per 100,000 for urban residents, says the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

When looked at by region, rates of eye injury-related emergency department visits were 256 per 100,000 in the Northeast, 242 per 100,000 in the Midwest, 200 per 100,000 in the South, and 156 per 100,000 in the West.

The three most common types of the approximately 637,000 eye injuries in the U.S. in 2008 were cornea scratches (50 percent), cuts to the eyelid or around the eye (9 percent), and bruises around the eye (7 percent).

The causes of these types of injuries included being hit in the eye by something or someone (32 percent), falling down (9 percent), getting a caustic substance in the eye (4 percent), being in a motor vehicle crash (3 percent), and insect bites or other reasons (3 percent).


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Posted: May 2011