Health Highlights: Dec. 5, 2016

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

Michael Bloomberg Donates Another $360 Million to Anti-Tobacco Fight

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is praising former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s announcement that he will provide an additional $360 million to the worldwide fight against tobacco, bringing his total contribution to nearly $1 billion.

“Since its launch 10 years ago, the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco has changed the trajectory of the tobacco epidemic, saving the lives and improving the health of millions of people. It has supported the implementation of proven tobacco control laws and policies in 59 countries, reaching 3.5 billion people and saving an estimated 30 million lives. After rising inexorably, cigarette sales worldwide have finally started to fall,” campaign president Matthew Myers said in a news release from the group.

“The Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use is likely to have saved more lives, more quickly, and have as great an impact on the health of people around the world as any other public health initiative ever carried out,” he added.

Tobacco use currently kills six million people worldwide each year.

The new commitment from Bloomberg “will expand and accelerate implementation of proven, evidence-based strategies to reduce tobacco use, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries that will account for 80 percent of the world’s tobacco-related deaths by 2030. Particular emphasis will be on reducing the affordability of tobacco products, which is one of the most effective ways to prevent kids from starting to use tobacco and encourage tobacco users to quit,” Myers said.


VA Medical Staff Resign After Maggots Found in Patient’s Wound

After a resident of an Oklahoma veterans facility was found to have maggots in a wound, four medical staff at the center resigned instead of possibly being fired.

The patient, identified by his son as 73-year-old Owen Reese Peterson, died Oct. 3. The maggots were found while he was alive at the facility, but the maggots did not cause his death, according to Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs executive director Myles Deering, the Associated Press reported.

She said the patient came to the center in Talihina, about 130 miles southeast of Tulsa, with an infection and died of sepsis.

A physician’s assistant and three nurses, including the director of nursing, resigned after an investigation was completed, according to the agency. Spokesman Shane Faulkner said all four resigned before the termination process began, the AP reported.

The case was reported to the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the local district attorney to determine if any charges should be filed.


Nearly 2 Million Lbs of Chicken Recalled

A expanded recall of nearly 2 million pounds of ready-to-eat chicken products that may be undercooked has been announced by Oklahoma-based National Steak and Poultry, the U.S. Food & Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) says.

The initial recall announced on Nov. 23, 2016 was for 17,439 pounds of product. The expanded recall includes an additional 1,976,089 pounds of product. The recall now includes products produced between Aug. 20, 2016 and Nov. 30, 2016.

The recall is for:

  • 5 lb. bags packed 2 bags per case; product labeled “Distributed by National Steak and Poultry, Owasso, OK Fully Cooked, Diced, Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast Meat with Rib Meat” with Lot code 100416 and Case Code: 70020.
  • 5 lb. bags packed 2 bags per case; product labeled “Hormel Natural Choice 100% Natural No Preservatives Fully Cooked Roasted Chicken Breast Strips with Rib Meat Natural Smoke Flavor Added” with Lot code 100416 and Case code 702113.

The cases containing the recalled products have establishment number “P-6010T” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were distributed to food service locations nationwide and sold directly to consumers at the company’s monthly dock sale.

The FSIS classified this recall as a high health risk because the undercooked products could contain potentially harmful bacteria. To date, there have been no confirmed reports of illnesses associated with the recalled products.

Consumers who bought the products should throw them away or return them to the place of purchase.