- Infant Deaths Spur Recall of 2.1 Million Stork Craft Cribs
- Swine Flu Batch Pulled in Canada
- Global HIV Infection Rate Stable: Report
- Law Offers Genetic Testing Protections
- Common Skin Germs May Protect Against Allergies
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Infant Deaths Spur Recall of 2.1 Million Stork Craft Cribs
Reports of four infant suffocations have led to the North American recall of about 2.1 million Stork Craft drop-side cribs. The recall covers cribs sold since 1993 and includes nearly 150,000 with the Fisher-Price logo.
The cribs have a side that moves up and down to allow parents to lift children from the cribs more easily. Hardware on the cribs can break, deform or get lost after years of use. In addition, owners may make mistakes while assembling the cribs. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said it received 110 reports of drop-sides detaching from the cribs, the Associated Press reported.
When the drop-side detaches, it creates a space between the drop-side and crib mattress where a child can become trapped.
The CPSC said the cribs were distributed between January 1993 and October 2009 and sold at major retailers and online for between $100 and $400, the AP reported.
Parents with the cribs should stop using them until they receive a free repair kit from Stork Craft Manufacturing, which is based in Canada. The kit converts the drop-side into a fixed side.
To order the free repair kit, phone Stork Craft 877-274-0277 or go to the company's Web site.
Earlier this year, Stork Craft recalled about 500,000 cribs because of problems with the metal brackets that support the mattress, the AP reported. Some of the same models in the earlier recall are also part of the new recall, CPSC said.
Swine Flu Batch Pulled in Canada
Health workers in Canada have been told to stop using a batch of H1N1 swine flu vaccine that may trigger life-threatening allergies.
GlaxoSmithKline PLC issued the advice because people receiving shots from the vaccine batch suffered more allergic reactions than normal, the Associated Press reported.
The batch was distributed across Canada and contains 172,000 doses of the vaccine, company spokeswoman Gwenan White said Tuesday. She didn't say how many doses had been administered before the company told health workers on Nov. 18 to stop using the batch.
White said GlaxoSmithKline and Canadian health authorities are investigating the matter, the AP reported.
Global HIV Infection Rate Stable: Report
Over the last two years, the number of people worldwide infected with HIV has remained at about 33 million, according to a report released Tuesday by the World Health Organization and UNAIDS, the United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
The document said about 33.4 million people currently have HIV, compared with 33.2 million in 2007, the Associated Press reported. The disease appears stable in most regions of the world, except for Africa. In 2008, 72 percent of the 2.7 million new HIV cases worldwide were in sub-Saharan Africa.
The experts who prepared the report also said the global HIV epidemic probably peaked in 1996.
The findings should change the funding priorities of international donors, according to some experts. HIV causes about 4 percent of deaths worldwide but receives about 23 cents of every public health dollar, the AP reported.
"We shouldn't let this single disease continue to distort overall global funding, especially when bigger killers like pneumonia and diarrhea in developing countries are far easier and cheaper to treat," Philip Stevens of International Policy Network, a London-based think tank, told the news service.
Law Offers Genetic Testing Protections
A new law that took effect Saturday protects Americans from being forced by employers or health insurers to undergo genetic testing.
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act prohibits employers from requesting genetic testing or using someone's genetic background when making decisions about hiring, firing or promotions, The New York Times reported.