Health Highlights: Aug. 14, 2020

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

Zoom Meetings Driving Surge in Face-Lifts

Peoples whose only contact with the outside world is Zoom are taking a close look at themselves and flocking to plastic surgeons for face and eye lifts, the New York Times reported Thursday.

“I have never done so many face-lifts in a summer as I’ve done this year,” Dr. Diane Alexander, a plastic surgeon in Atlanta, told the Times.

She had done more than 250 procedures from May 18 through the end of July. “Pretty much every face-lift patient that comes in says: ‘I’ve been doing these Zoom calls and I don’t know what happened but I look terrible.'”

“This is the weirdest world I live in,” Alexander added. “The world is shut down, we’re all worried about global crisis, the economy is completely crashing and people come in and still want to feel good about themselves.”

The trend is surprising in a bad economy, because cosmetic surgery isn’t covered by insurance and procedures can cost up to $25,000 for a full body makeover, $3,300 for eyelid surgery and $10,000 for breast lift and enhancement, the Times reported.

Patients report they’re using money they would have spent on travel, concerts, sports tickets and the like.

Dr. Lynn Jeffers, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, told the Times that the nationwide “demand is definitely busier than what we had expected,” though she added: “What we don’t know is if the pent-up demand is transitory, and will go back to normal, or will even dip.”

Dr. Amy Alderman, a plastic surgeon in Atlanta, said that many of her patients have put on 10 to 20 pounds during lockdown. “It’s a common theme,” she told the Times. “I don’t know if that’s what’s driving them here. They’re saying: ‘As long as you’re doing my breasts, could you do a little lipo?'”

Alderman is surprised that her practice is thriving in this economy. She thought “patients would be a little hesitant spending between $6,000 and $25,000.”

“But I can’t keep up with the demand. I haven’t had an unfilled minute in the operating room. And I’m booked through September,” she told the Times.


Biden Calls for U.S. Mask Mandate

Presidential candidate Joe Biden wants a nationwide mask mandate, saying it could save 40,000 lives over the next three months, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

“Wearing the mask is less about you contracting the virus,” Biden said. “It’s about preventing other people from getting sick.”

He also called out those who are against such mandates.

“This is America. Be a patriot. Protect your fellow citizens. Step up, do the right thing. Every single American should be wearing a mask when they’re outside for the next three months at a minimum — every governor should mandate mandatory mask-wearing,” Biden said.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump urged Americans to wear masks. But he opposes a national mandate and wouldn’t wear one for months. Recently, he’s occasionally worn one, the AP reported.


Brazilian Chicken Wings Sent to China Infected With COVID-19

Frozen chicken wings sent to China from Brazil tested positive for the coronavirus, Chinese officials said Thursday, CBS News reported.

Not only were the wings sent to Shenzhen tainted, but the packaging of frozen Ecuadorian shrimp sold in Xian was also infected with the virus, Reuters reported.

Also, on Wednesday, traces of the virus were found on a package of frozen shrimp in Anhui province. The shrimp also came from Ecuador, CBS said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no evidence eating or handling food is linked with COVID-19, but China has been beefing up screenings over concerns about imported food.

The risk of getting COVID-19 from food is very low, the CDC says. “The virus that causes COVID-19 cannot grow on food. Although bacteria can grow on food, a virus requires a living host like a person or an animal to multiply,” the CDC says.

The CDC, however, recommends washing your hands with soap and water after handling food, or before cooking and eating food.

Anyone who might have come in contact with the possibly contaminated food in Shenzhen was traced and tested by health authorities. All results were negative, the city said, according to Reuters.

People who may have come in contact with the contaminated shrimp in Xian are also being tested for COVID-19, CBS reported.


Don’t Use Hand Sanitizers Tainted With 1-Propanol: FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to use hand sanitizers made by Harmonic Nature S de RL de MI in Mexico.

These products say they contain ethanol or isopropyl alcohol but are contaminated with 1-propanol, which is not approved for hand sanitizer sold in the United States and can be toxic and life-threatening if ingested.

Young children who accidentally drink these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol substitute are those most at risk. Drinking 1-propanol can cause central nervous system depression that can be fatal.

Symptoms of 1-propanol exposure can include confusion, decreased consciousness, and slowed pulse and breathing. People with these symptoms should get immediate medical care.

When skin or eyes are exposed to 1-propanol they can become irritated, and some cases of allergic skin reactions can occur.

Consumers who have these products should stop using them and throw them out in a hazardous waste container, the FDA said.

Don’t pour these products down the drain or flush them, the agency noted.

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