Health Highlights: Sept. 9, 2019

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

Opioid Maker Purdue Pharma Expected to File for Bankruptcy

Settlement talks with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma over its role in the United States’ opioid crisis have reached a stalemate and the company is expected to file for bankruptcy, according to state attorneys general involved in the negotiations.

The talks have been underway for months in an attempt to determine Purdue’s responsibility for the opioid epidemic that has resulted in 400,000 deaths over the past two decades, the Associated Press reported.

The “negotiations are at an impasse, and we expect Purdue to file for bankruptcy protection imminently,” Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein wrote in an update to attorneys general.

“Purdue declines to comment on that in its entirety,” Purdue spokeswoman Josephine Martin told the AP.

The first federal trial over the opioid epidemic could begin next month and involve nearly every state and hundreds of local governments.


Two More Cases of EEE Virus Confirmed in Massachusetts

Two new human cases of mosquito-borne Eastern equine encephalitis were confirmed on Friday by the Massachusetts Department of Health.

They include a woman in her 60s and a 5-year-old girl and are in addition to five cases previously reported in the state, including one death, according to State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown, CNN reported.

The 5-year-old girl, who is from the town of Sudbury, is in critical condition in hospital.

Thirty-six Massachusetts communities are now at critical risk, 42 are now at high risk and 115 are now at moderate risk for Eastern equine encephalitis , according to the state health department, CNN reported.

More cases and more deaths are possible before the season ends, according to Brown.

Typically, only 5 to 10 human cases of Eastern equine encephalitis are reported in a year, but about 30% of cases result in death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CNN reported.


Kroger Yellowfin Tuna Steaks Linked to Scombroid Poisoning Outbreak: FDA

Multiple people in more than dozen states developed scombroid poisoning after eating yellowfin tuna steaks bought at Kroger stores, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

People who bought yellowfin tuna steaks from Kroger stores in AL, AR, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MO, MS, NE, OH, SC, TN, VA and WV with sell by dates from Aug. 29, 2019 to Sept. 14, 2019 should throw them away or return them to the store, the FDA advised.

It said that Kroger removed all yellowfin tuna steaks from stores in those states on Sept. 5 and began notifying customers about the problem.

Scombroid poisoning is caused by eating fish that has not been properly refrigerated or preserved, resulting in high levels of histamine. Symptoms usually develop within a few minutes to an hour after eating contaminated fish and usually resemble an allergic reaction, such as flushing of the face, headache, heart palpitations, itching, blurred vision, cramps, and diarrhea.

Symptoms can be treated with antihistamines. Even without treatment, people usually get better within 12 hours, according to the FDA.

If you suspect scombroid poisoning, contact a health care providers, the agency advised.


73-Year-Old Woman in India Has Twins

A 73-year-old woman in India who had twin girls is believed to be the oldest person ever to give birth.

Erramatti Mangayamma, a farmer from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, became pregnant through IVF and the babies were delivered via cesarean section.

“The surgery went well … the mother and the babies are all healthy with no complications,” Dr. Sanakayyala Umashankar, the director of Ahalya IVF, who performed the c-section, told CNN.

Mangayamma and her 80-year-old husband have been married since 1962 but were never able to conceive naturally. In 2018, Umashankar agreed to give them one round of IVF treatment.

Mangayamma will keep her under observation for the next 21 days.

“We are not allowing the mother to breastfeed and the babies will be fed through the milk bank,” Umashankar told CNN.