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Health Highlights: Oct. 31, 2016

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

1st Baby With Zika-Linked Microcephaly Born in Puerto Rico

The first baby born with microcephaly tied to the Zika virus has been born in Puerto Rico, health officials there said Friday.

Born within the past two weeks, the baby suffered severe birth defects and is still in the hospital, the Associated Press reported.

Microcephaly, a birth defect where a baby is born with an abnormally small head and underdeveloped brain, was not detected in the fetus until the eighth month of pregnancy. The infant also has hearing and vision problems, Dr. Ana Rius, Puerto Rico's Secretary of Health, told the wire service.

The child will be monitored until the age of 3, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

Authorities are investigating why the case was identified so late although the mother showed Zika symptoms in the first trimester of her pregnancy, Rius told the AP. She added that the mother did not receive continuous prenatal care until late in her second trimester.

There are at least five other pregnant women in Puerto Rico whose fetuses have microcephaly, Rius said. They are expected to give birth between November and January.

Zika, typically a mosquito-borne infection, was first reported in Puerto Rico last December, but the number of cases began to skyrocket this past summer.

The CDC expects a surge in the number of babies born with severe deformities in Puerto Rico in upcoming months. A recent study estimated that up to 10,300 pregnant women on the island could be infected with Zika and that between 100 to 270 babies could be born with microcephaly, the AP said.

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Most Children Worldwide Breathe Unhealthy Air: UNICEF

Two billion of the world's 2.26 billion children breathe unhealthy air, and 300 million are exposed to air pollution levels more than six times higher than World Health Organization standards, according to a new UNICEF report.

About one-third of children who breathe toxic air are in northern India and neighboring countries, and 220 million of those exposed to extremely high levels of air pollution are in South Asia, the Associated Press reported.

Each year, air pollution-related diseases kill 600,000 children younger than 5 worldwide, and millions more develop respiratory diseases that harm their physical and mental development, UNICEF said.

Air pollution poses a greater risk to children than adults because children breathe twice as fast and take in more air in relation to their body weight, and their brains and immune systems are still developing and vulnerable, the AP reported.

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Oreo Fudge Creme Cookies Recalled

Oreo Fudge Creme cookies, Original and Mint varieties, are being recalled across the United States due to milk allergen not being declared on the label's ingredient list.

People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk may suffer a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they eat the cookies, Mondelez Global LLC warned.

So far, there has been one report of an allergic reaction linked to the recalled cookies, according to the company.

Consumers who bought the cookies should throw them away. For more information about the recall, contact the company at 1-855-535-5948, 24 hours a day.

Posted: October 2016


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