Health Highlights: May 14, 2019

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

California Couple Awarded $2 Billion in Roundup Lawsuit

A elderly California couple who said their cancer was caused by Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup was awarded just over $2 billion by a jury in Oakland on Monday.

The verdict includes more than $55 million in compensatory damages and $2 billion in punitive damages, CNN reported.

Plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod of Livermore said they used Roundup on their property for more than three decades and were diagnosed with the same type of cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, four years apart, their lawyers said.

The company has had several recent losses in court cases concerning Roundup, and faces thousands more cases in the United States, CNN reported.

Bayer, the parent company of Monsanto, says glyphosate — the main ingredient in Roundup — is safe and plans to appeal the verdict.


Locking Up Guns Could Save Many Children, Teens: Study

Up to one-third of all gun-related suicides and accidental deaths among American children and teens could be prevented if parents locked up their guns, a new study says.

In 2015, there were 2,800 gun-related deaths among children and teens in the United States. Of those, 782 were due to unlocked guns in households, CNN reported.

Using data on household gun ownership in 2015, the researchers created a model showing that if just 10% more households with children had locked up their guns, 50 of those deaths would have been prevented.

At 20%, 99 of those deaths would have been prevented. At 50%, 251 of those deaths would have been prevented, CNN reported.

The model also showed that locked-up guns would have prevented 235 to 323 fatal and non-fatal shootings of children and teens, according to the study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

“Even a relatively modest increase” in locked-up firearms could lead to “substantial reductions in firearm suicide and unintentional fatalities among U.S. youth,” lead author Michael Monuteaux, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, told CNN.

Doctors and public health professionals “need to communicate to parents that storing guns in a way that makes them inaccessible to children [that is, locked and unloaded] can reduce the number of children who die from firearm injuries, especially suicide,” Monuteaux said.

In 2015, there were guns in 13 million U.S. households with children, a national survey found, CNN reported.


U.S. Measles Cases in 2019 Reach 839: CDC

The number of reported measles cases in the United States climbed to 839 as of last week, the highest yearly total in 25 years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

That’s the most since 1994, when 963 cases were reported in the entire year, according to the Associated Press.

Measles have been reported in 23 states so far this year. Many of the cases have been among unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities in New York, the CDC said.

Last week, most of the 75 new cases were in New York, the AP reported.


Screen Legend Doris Day Dies at Age 97

Legendary American singer and actress Doris Day died Monday at age 97.

She died at her home in Carmel Valley, Calif. The Doris Day Animal Foundation announced her death, The New York Times reported.

Day was born Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff in Cincinnati on April 3, 1922.

She began her singing career as a big-band vocalist in the 1940s. One of her first records was “Sentimental Journey,” released in 1945. It sold more than a million copies and Day went on to have numerous other hits, The Times reported.

She got into movies in the late 1940s and starred in nearly 40 films. She was America’s top box-office star in the early 1960s.

Two movie songs that she sang, “Secret Love,” from “Calamity Jane,” and “Que Sera, Sera,” from “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” won Oscars. “It’s Magic,” which she sang in “Romance on the High Seas,” and “I’ll Never Stop Loving You,” which she sang in “Love Me or Leave Me,” were nominated for Academy Awards for best song, The Times reported.

Through her animal foundation, Day spent much of her time during the last few decades rescuing and finding homes for stray dogs, going so far as to personally assess the backyards and fencing of people who wanted to adopt, The Times reported.

She also worked to stop the use of animals in cosmetic and household-products research.

Day was married four times. Her only child, Terry Melcher, became a successful record producer. He died in 2004.