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HealthDay News - Health Highlights: Aug. 9, 2017

August 09, 2017

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

Mexican Papayas Linked to U.S. Salmonella Outbreak

Papayas from a farm in southern Mexico are the cause of a salmonella outbreak in the United States that's sickened 109 people in 16 states, U.S. health officials say.

Thirty-five people have been hospitalized, and one person in New York City died, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Associated Pressreported.

The outbreak, which began more than two weeks ago, has been traced to papaya from the Carica de Campeche farm in Campeche, Mexico, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

Papayas from the Carica de Campeche farm tested positive for five different strains of salmonella bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and fever, the APreported.

Since July 21, cases in New York have nearly tripled to 36 and cases in New Jersey have more than doubled to 26. There have been 11 cases in Virginia, seven in Pennsylvania, six in Maryland.

Connecticut and Minnesota have each had four cases, Massachusetts has had three, Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina and Oklahoma have each had two cases, and Delaware, Louisiana Michigan and Wisconsin have each one one case.

The FDA said it is working on the outbreak with Mexican food safety officials, the APreported.


New Hampshire Sues Purdue Pharma Over OxyContin

The New Hampshire attorney general's office filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Purdue Pharma over what the state called the company's role in the opioid epidemic.

The lawsuit charges that New Jersey-based Purdue has continued its deceptive marketing of OxyContin in New Hampshire, which has been called the "ground zero" of the opioid epidemic, the Associated Pressreported.

This is the latest in a number of lawsuits by state, county and local governments in the United States accusing prescription opioid makers of fraud and deceptive marketing.

The New Hampshire lawsuit alleges that Purdue minimized the risk of addiction posed by OxyContin, exaggerated its effectiveness, claimed the drug is virtually abuse-proof and did not report suspicious prescribers, the APreported.

New Hampshire had nearly 500 overdose deaths in 2016, nearly 10 times higher than in 2000. For the past two years, the state's attorney general's office has been investigating half a dozen drug companies and their marketing practices.

"To defeat the epidemic, we must stop creating new users, and part of that is making sure these highly addictive and dangerous drugs are marketed truthfully and without deception, and in such a way as not to minimize addiction risks or overstate benefits to patients," said Deputy Attorney General Ann Rice, the APreported.

Purdue denies the allegations in New Hampshire's lawsuit, but said it shares the state's concerns about the opioid crisis and is committed to finding solutions, according to company spokesman Robert Josephson, the APreported.

In 2007, Purdue and three of its executives pleaded guilty to criminal charges for deceptive conduct. However, the New Hampshire lawsuit alleges that Purdue has not halted those practices.

In recent months, Missouri's attorney general sued Purdue and two other drug companies, Ohio's attorney general sued five companies in May, and three district attorneys and the guardians of a baby born dependent on drugs sued three companies in Tennessee, the APreported.


Glen Campbell Dies at Age 81

Country music legend Glen Campbell had died at age 81.

The singer and guitarist had suffered from Alzheimer's disease in recent years, NBC Newsreported.

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather," Campbell's family said in a statement posted on his website. No cause of death was given.

Campbell, the son of an Arkansas sharecropper, had a number of hits, including "Rhinestone Cowboy," "Gentle on My Mind," "Wichita Lineman," and "Galveston."