Health Highlights: Dec. 8, 2015

Health Highlights: Dec. 8, 2015

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

Seattle Norovirus Outbreak Sickens Hundreds

A norovirus outbreak linked to a downtown Seattle office building has sickened hundreds of people.

Between 175 to 200 cases have been reported, but that number is likely low, Dr. Meagan Kay, medical epidemiologist for communicable diseases, Seattle and King County Public Health Department, told the AP.

The number of cases rose sharply after a catered event at the Russell Investments Center last Tuesday, but several cases were reported before that gathering.

Norovirus causes nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Eight people were treated in emergency rooms over the past week, and two spent one night in hospital, the AP reported.

All food service in the building has been closed and the building underwent extensive cleaning over the weekend. The health department is still investigating the outbreak.


Boston College Students Become Ill After Eating at Chipotle Restaurant

Digestive illnesses were reported by 30 Boston College students after they ate at a nearby Chipotle restaurant.

The incident is under investigation by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and it’s unknown if the illnesses are associated with the national E. coli outbreak linked to the restaurant chain, the Associated Press reported.

“We cannot confirm a cause of the illness at this time, but we are coordinating with Boston public health officials to determine the cause,” department spokesman Scott Zoback said.

A Chipotle spokesman said the Boston restaurant has been closed temporarily while the company works with health officials to investigate the illnesses, the AP reported.


Weight Watchers Launches New Program, With Oprah On Board

A new program called “Beyond the Scale” was announced Monday by Weight Watchers, with a familiar face — Oprah Winfrey — playing a key role.

The updated approach is meant to help clients change their mindset, Lisa Straub, a Weight Watchers leader, told ABC News.

“People would really spend a lot of time trying to figure out, ‘How do I get my Doritos in? Oh, I can do it if I kind of adjust this and adjust that,’ ” Straub said of the previous program. “Now it’s not as important for them to make sure how they’re getting their Doritos in.”

With the new program it’s “much more important for them to say, ‘What am I putting in my body?’ ” she told ABC News.

Winfrey, 61, recently acquired a 10 percent stake in Weight Watchers and is now on its board. In an essay she penned for her magzine O, Winfrey said she supports the new approach.

“I’ve wishy-washed with diets and exercise my whole life. Now I’m ready to go beyond the scale and declare a new way of being in the world,” Winfrey wrote. “The folks at Weight Watchers called me in July and asked if I’d join their team and help spread the message about taking a holistic approach to health and fitness.”

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