Health Highlights: Sept. 24, 2015

Health Highlights: Sept. 24, 2015

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

FDA Panel Reviews Essure Birth Control Implant

Concerns about the birth control implant Essure will be reviewed Thursday by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel of medical experts.

Problems experienced by women using the implant include bleeding, allergic reactions, chronic pain and headaches. At Thursday’s meeting, the panel will re-examine the safety and effectiveness of the device, the Associated Press reported.

Essure consists of two metallic coils that are inserted into the fallopian tubes, where they prompt the growth of scar tissue that blocks sperm. It is marketed as the only permanent form of birth control that does not require surgery.

The implant has been available in the U.S. for 13 years, but since 2013 the FDA has received a large number of complaints about the device, the AP reported.


Listeriosis Outbreak Linked to Soft Cheeses From Karoun Dairies: CDC

An outbreak of listeria infections among dozens of people in nine states appears to be linked to soft cheeses distributed by Karoun Dairies, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Listeria infection (listeriosis) can cause serious, life-threatening illness.

Since Aug. 8, 2010, 24 people were infected with five closely-related strains of listeria. Twenty-two of those patients were hospitalized. Five illnesses occurred in pregnant women, and one of them had a miscarriage. One death was reported in Ohio.

Additional cases of listeriosis are being investigated by the CDC, the Food and Drug Administration and public health officials in several states.

Information from 23 of the patients shows that 19 (83 percent) of them ate soft cheese in the month before they became ill. Four of the seven patients who were able to name a brand of soft cheese they ate pinpointed brands distributed by Karoun Dairies. No other brand of soft cheese was reported more than once.

A Central Valley Cheese Inc. plant in Turlock, Calif. makes cheese for Karoun Dairies. DNA analysis of samples taken from the plant revealed five closely-related Listeria strains that were genetically similar to those found in the patients, the CDC said.

On Sept. 16, 2015, Karoun Dairies recalled and halted production of 15 types of soft cheeses distributed by the company. These cheeses were sold under the brand names: Karoun, Arz, Gopi, Queso Del Valle, Central Valley Creamery, and Yanni.

The recalled products are vacuum packed in jars or pails, with weights ranging from 5 ounces to 30 pounds. A full list is available on the CDC website. These products should not be sold at stores, served in restaurants or consumed at home.

Updates will be provided when more information from the ongoing investigation is available, the CDC said.

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