Health Highlights: Dec. 14, 2015

Health Highlights: Dec. 14, 2015

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

More Than 1,000 People May Have Been Exposed to TB at California Hospital

Officials at a California hospital say more than 1,000 people, including 350 infants, may have been exposed to tuberculosis.

In mid-November, the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose learned that a nurse who worked in the maternity wing had been diagnosed with tuberculosis, The New York Times reported.

As many as 1,026 people may have been exposed to the infectious disease, including 368 patients, 350 infants and 308 employees. The hospital said all those who might have been exposed are being contacted.

The risk of infection is low but “the consequences of a tuberculosis infection in infants can be severe,” said Dr. Stephen Harris, chair of pediatrics at the hospital, The Times reported.

The hospital will offer preventive treatment to the exposed infants “as soon as possible,” he added.

The infected nurse tested negative for tuberculosis during an annual check in September, but was later diagnosed with the disease by her personal physician. The nurse has been placed on leave, The Times reported.


Turing Plans to Hike Price of Drug for Chagas Disease

The same company that sharply boosted the price of one drug plans to do the same with another drug.

Turing Pharmaceuticals has acquired the worldwide rights to one version of benznidazole, the standard treatment in South and Central America for Chagas disease, a parasitic infection that can cause potentially deadly heart problems, The New York Times reported.

The drug is not approved for sale in the United States but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides it free to patients on an experimental basis.

“It’s caused a lot of angst in the Chagas community,” Dr. Sheba Meymandi, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and director of a Chagas treatment center at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, told The Times. “Everyone’s in an uproar.”

In September, Turing increased the price of Daraprim – used to treat another parasitic infection called toxoplasmosis — from $13.50 to $750 a pill.


Sweet Leaf Tea Recalls 1.5 Million Bottles of Iced Tea

About 1.5 million bottles of iced tea have been recalled by Sweet Leaf Tea after glass was found in the product.

Four customers said they found glass fragments in bottles of the tea. The first complaint was received in July, and three others more recently. No one was injured, according to a statement from the company, NBC News reported.

The recall covers 16-ounce bottles of flavored iced tea produced between Feb. 27, 2015 and Dec. 6, 2015.

Sweet Leaf said the glass got into the tea as a “result of glass breakage during the filling process,” and that the problem has been corrected, NBC News reported.

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