- Cattle Vaccines May Reduce E. coli Outbreaks in Humans
- U.S. Needs More Minority Doctors: Surgeon General
- Toxic Chemicals Found in Many Popular Toys: Report
- Cluster of Rare Breast Disease in Indiana: Report
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Cattle Vaccines May Reduce E. coli Outbreaks in Humans
Vaccinating cattle against E. coli bacteria could significantly improve the safety of beef and reduce the number of people who become sick and die from tainted beef, according to scientists.
It's believed that E. coli vaccines for cattle could reduce the number of animals carrying the dangerous bacteria by 65 to 75 percent, The New York Times reported.
Two vaccines have been developed commercially, including one made by Minnesota-based Epitopix that received preliminary approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in March. The approval means the vaccine can be sold while research continues. About 300,000 head of cattle will be given the vaccine in the coming months as part of a series of studies, said Epitopix general manager James. D. Sandstrom.
The second vaccine, made by a Canadian company, was approved for use in Canada last year and is awaiting approval in the United States, the Times reported.
U.S. Needs More Minority Doctors: Surgeon General
More needs to be done to increase the number of minority physicians in the United States, Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin said Thursday in a speech at a health disparities conference in Atlanta.
She noted that minorities account for only 6 percent of U.S. physicians, the same percentage as a century ago, even though minorities make up 34 percent of the population, the Associated Press reported.
"There's something wrong with that," Benjamin said in her speech.
She said health leaders need to encourage young members of minorities to pursue careers in medicine, the AP reported.
Toxic Chemicals Found in Many Popular Toys: Report
Arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury and other harmful chemicals were found in a third of the most popular children's toys in the United States, says a new study by the Ecology Center consumer organization.
Of the 700 toys tested by the Michigan-based group, 32 percent contained one or more toxic chemicals, Agence France Presse reported.
Seven percent of the toys contained more than 40 parts per million (ppm) of lead, the highest level recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2007. Lead levels in 3 percent of the toys exceeded 300 ppm, the U.S.-mandated limit.
Toys with detectable lead levels included the Barbie Bike Flair Accesory Kit, the Dora the Explorer Activity Tote and the Kid's Poncho sold by Wal-Mart, AFP reported.
Cluster of Rare Breast Disease in Indiana: Report
Seven young Hispanic women in Indiana were diagnosed with a rare breast disease called idiopathic granulomatous mastitis (IGM) between 2006 and 2009, making it the largest cluster of the disease ever reported in the United States, says a report released Thursday.
IGM features symptoms similar to breast cancer. The cause is unknown.
The cluster of cases among Hispanic women in Indiana is the first time in the United States that a higher prevalence of IGM has been identified in a particular ethnic group, researchers said.
All of the patients experienced delays in receiving care, with an average of five months between symptom onset and diagnostic biopsy. The women had a number of significant risk factors, including low education levels, positive tuberculin skin test results and medication allergies.
The researchers suggested that identifying barriers to prompt health care access may lead to earlier diagnosis of IGM.
The article appears in this week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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