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Health Highlights: Nov. 15, 2010

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

Cholera Death Toll Rising in Haiti

The death toll and the number of hospitalizations in Haiti's cholera epidemic continue to rise.

As of Friday, there had been 917 deaths and more than 14,600 hospitalizations, up from the 724 deaths and 11,125 hospitalizations a few days earlier, according to the Ministry of Health, The New York Times reported.

Cholera has been found in six of Haiti's ten provinces, called departments. The situation is most serious in Artibonite, where the epidemic began. The area has accounted for two-thirds of the nation's cholera deaths.

Experts warn that the epidemic has not peaked and will likely worsen and spread to other regions. As many as 270,000 people may be affected by the disease in coming years, according to United Nations health officials, The Times reported.


Tobacco Companies Trying to Intimidate Developing Nations: Expert

Giant tobacco companies are using legal action, lobbying and marketing campaigns to fight tighter restrictions on cigarette marketing in developing nations.

For example, Philip Morris International this year sued the government of Uruguay, alleging that its tobacco regulations were excessive. The company is seeking unspecified damages for lost profits, The New York Times reported.

"Theyre using litigation to threaten low- and middle-income countries," said Dr. Douglas Bettcher, head of the W.H.O.s Tobacco Free Initiative.

Tobacco companies have intensified their efforts in advance of this week's meeting in Uruguay of public health officials from 171 countries who plan to develop guidelines to enforce a worldwide anti-smoking treaty, The Times reported.


Smoked Turkey Breast Products Recalled

Possible contamination with Listera monocytogenes has led to a U.S.-wide recall of about 2,609 pounds of fully cooked, ready-to-eat smoked turkey breast products sold by New Braunfels Smokehouse of Texas.

The bacteria can cause serious and possibly fatal infections in the elderly, young children, and people with weakened immune systems, the Associated Press reported.

The recalled products, produced Aug. 4, include:

  • 4- to 6-pound packages of New Braunfels Honey-Glazed Spiral Sliced Smokehouse Hickory Smoked Boneless Breast of Turkey with package code 2180.
  • 4- to 6-pound whole breast packages of Stegall Spiral Sliced Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast with package code 2180 or 2210.
  • 4- to 6-pound whole breast packages of Stegall Boneless Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast with package code 2210.
  • 1-pound packages of New Braunfels Smokehouse Sliced Smoked Turkey with package code 2210 on the label.

For more information, consumers can contact the company at 800-537-6932, the AP reported.


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Posted: November 2010