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US-HEALTH Summary

Oct 1, 2011, 8:21 a.m.

California lettuce recalled over listeria concerns

By Alina Selyukh California-based True Leaf Farms is recalling 90 cartons of chopped romaine lettuce as it may be contaminated with listeria, though no related illnesses have been reported.

Firm recalls beef for possible E. coli taint

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - California-based Manning Beef is recalling 80,000 pounds of beef products over possible E. coli contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. "The establishment is recalling a variety of beef primal and subprimal cuts ... and manufacturing trimmings due, in part, to insanitary conditions as reflected by an unusually high number of confirmed positive E. coli" test results, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said on Friday.

Governor scraps medical marijuana plan for Rhode Island

CONWAY, Mass (Reuters) - State-run medical marijuana dispensaries will not be coming to Rhode Island after Governor Lincoln Chafee scrapped the plan for fear it was illegal under federal law. Chafee, who had earlier vowed support for the measure, said he decided the state's planned dispensaries could violate superseding federal law and become a target of federal law enforcement efforts.

Listeria outbreak from cantaloupes kills 15, infects 84: CDC

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A listeria outbreak caused by tainted cantaloupes has killed 15 people in the United States and infected 84, U.S. health officials said on Friday. So far, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 19 states have reported infections from one of the four strains of listeria involved in the outbreak.

Delaware bans drugs known as "bath salts"

(Reuters) - Delaware issued an emergency order on Friday banning drugs known as bath salts, powerful stimulants that can mimic the effects of cocaine, LSD or methamphetamine, Governor Jack Markell said. Secretary of State Jeff Bullock signed an "emergency rule" that makes the compound of drugs illegal for 120 days in Delaware.

Virginia to take healthcare suit to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The state of Virginia plans to ask the Supreme Court to overturn a recent decision in its challenge to the federal healthcare reform law, its attorney general said on Friday. The announcement comes after President Barack Obama on Wednesday asked the country's highest court to rule on the law he championed in appealing a decision made in a lawsuit filed by 26 states and a major business group.

U.S. health benefits recommendations coming October 7

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A key recommendation for medical coverage standards under President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul will be released on October 7, according to the organization preparing the report. The Department of Health and Human Services has asked the influential Institute of Medicine, an independent agency in Washington, to recommend how HHS should determine the basic health benefits for millions of Americans who will qualify for coverage sold through insurance exchanges beginning in 2014.

Doctors' support for MMR key to halting measles in EU

LONDON (Reuters) - With almost 30,000 cases of measles and eight deaths from the disease recorded in the European Union so far this year, a leading health official is urging doctors to do more to ensure parents have their children vaccinated with MMR. Doctors' support for the triple measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is vital if Europe is to halt the measles outbreaks and have a chance of beating the highly contagious disease, Marc Sprenger, director of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), said.

Fewer orthopedic surgeons seeing kids

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Orthopedic surgeons are much more hesitant to see kids with broken bones than they were a decade ago, suggests new research from California. When contacted by telephone, more than half of orthopedic practices wouldn't schedule an appointment for a kid with a recently-broken arm who had private insurance. What's more, almost all refused appointments to kids covered by Medicaid, the government-run health insurance program for the poor.

Daily aspirin tied to risk of vision loss

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Seniors who take aspirin daily are twice as likely to have late stage macular degeneration, an age-related loss of vision, than people who never take the pain reliever, a new European study reports. The data do not show that aspirin causes vision loss. But the findings are of concern if aspirin somehow exacerbates the eye disorder, researchers say, given how many seniors take it daily for heart disease.

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