Health Highlights: Sept. 24, 2019

By on September 24, 2019

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

Exposure to Insecticide Might Explain Cuba ‘Sonic Attack’

In 2016, American and Canadian diplomats in Cuba complained of vertigo, ringing in the ears, pain, blurred vision, dizziness and memory and concentration problems.

The U.S. feared a Cuban directed ‘sonic attack.’ Cuba denied it. Now a new study posits that the baffling illness was caused by exposure to an insecticide sprayed to kill mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus, CNN reports.

Researchers speculated that the problem might be caused by overexposure to the enzyme cholinesterase, which the nervous systems needs to function.

An examination of 26 Canadian diplomats found traces cholinesterase-inhibiting insecticides, which were used in Cuba. Researchers also found traces of Temephos, another compound used in insecticides, in some of those tested.

“There is a lot we don’t know about how much we can expose people to these chemicals and what are toxic levels, or if the damage in the brain is reversible,” researcher Dr. Alon Friedman, a professor of neuroscience at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, told CNN. “But it’s not called a neurotoxin for nothing. The hint is in the name.”


More Blood Pressure Drugs Recalled

The recall of the commonly prescribed blood pressure drug losartan has been expanded once again to include an additional five lots.

The drug made by Torrent Pharmaceuticals has been recalled because some lots are contaminated with the cancer-causing chemical N-Methylnitrosobutyric acid, according to a company press release.

These drugs added to the recall include lots of Losartan Potassium Tablets, USP and Losartan Potassium / Hydrochlorothiazide Tablets, USP, all of which have amounts of the contaminate that exceed FDA recommend levels.

This is the fifth recall of losartan Torrent has announced this year.

Losartan used to lower blood pressure and treat heart failure is in a class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers.

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