Health Highlights: Oct. 5, 2015

Health Highlights: Oct. 5, 2015

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

Almost 2 Million Boxes of Cheerios Recalled

Almost 2 million boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios have been recalled by General Mills Inc. because of an incident where wheat might have been introduced into products that were labeled gluten-free.

Cereals produced on certain dates in July at the company’s Lodi, Calif., plant could trigger reactions in people with wheat allergies, celiac disease or gluten intolerance, the company said in a statement Monday.

“In an isolated incident involving purely human error, wheat flour was inadvertently introduced into our gluten-free oat flour system at Lodi,” Jim Murphy, president of General Mills’ cereal business, said in a statement on a company blog.

“This mistake occurred at just one plant, and the Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios produced at our other plants were not affected,” Murphy added.

The voluntary recall includes four days of production of Cheerios and thirteen days of production of Honey Nut Cheerios, the company said.

Consumers with questions or concerns should contact General Mills Consumer Services at 1-800-775-8370, the company said.


Nobel Prize in Medicine Awarded for Parasitic Disease Treatments

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three scientists who made breakthroughs in efforts to fight parasitic diseases.

Youyou Tu discovered a drug called artemisinin, which has significantly reduced death rates from malaria. William Campbell and Satoshi Omura developed a drug called avermectin, which has greatly lowered the incidence of river blindness and elephantiasis (lymphatic filariasis) caused by parasitic worms, The New York Times reported.

“These two discoveries have provided humankind with powerful new means to combat these debilitating diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people annually,” the prize committee said in a statement. “The consequences in terms of improved human health and reduced suffering are immeasurable.”

Malaria kills more than 450,000 people worldwide each year and parasitic worms that cause river blindness, elephantiasis and other diseases afflict one-third of the world’s population, The Times reported.

“After decades of limited progress in developing durable therapies for parasitic diseases, the discoveries by this year’s laureates radically changed the situation,” according to the committee.

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