Health Highlights: Oct. 29, 2016

By on October 29, 2016

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

First Baby With Zika-Linked Microcephaly Born in Puerto Rico

The first baby born with Zika-linked microcephaly has been born in Puerto Rico, health officials there said Friday.

Born within the past two weeks, the newborn suffered severe birth defects and is still in the hospital, the Associated Press reported.

Microcephaly, a birth defect where a baby is born with an abnormally small head and underdeveloped brain, was not detected in the fetus until the eighth month of pregnancy. The infant also has hearing and vision problems, Dr. Ana Rius, Puerto Rico’s Secretary of Health, told the wire service.

Authorities are investigating why the case was identified so late although the mother showed Zika symptoms in the first trimester of her pregnancy, Rius told the AP. She added that the mother did not receive continuous prenatal care until late in her second trimester.

There are at least least five other pregnant women in Puerto Rico whose fetuses have microcephaly, Rius added. They are expected to give birth between November and January.

Zika, typically a mosquito-borne infection, was first reported in Puerto Rico last December, but the number of cases began to skyrocket last summer. The child will be monitored until he or she reaches the age of 3, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

The agency expects a surge of babies being born with severe deformities in Puerto Rico in upcoming months, the AP reported. A recent study estimated that up to 10,300 pregnant women on the island could be infected with Zika and that between 100 to 270 babies could be born with microcephaly, the wire service said.


Soylent Halts Sales of Liquid Meal Powder After Illnesses

Sales of a powder to make liquid meals have been halted by Soylent due to customer complaints about stomach illness.

The Los Angeles-based company previously stopped sales of its nutrition bar after customers said they suffered diarrhea, vomiting and upset stomachs, the LA Times reported.

Soylent said Thursday that a common ingredient may be causing trouble with the two products and that an investigation is underway.

The powder is mixed with water or other liquids and contains enough fats, carbohydrates and other nutrients to replace a traditional meal, according to the company.

It said there are no problems with its premade drinks, the Times reported.


Woman Awarded $70 Million in Baby Powder/Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit

A California woman was awarded $70 million in her lawsuit alleging that long-term use of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder caused her ovarian cancer.

The decision in favor of Deborah Giannecchini by a St. Louis jury was announced Thursday. Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal, the Associated Press reported.

This verdict follows two similar lawsuits in St. Louis in which juries awarded plaintiffs a combined $127 million. However, two other lawsuits in New Jersey were dismissed by a judge who said there wasn’t reliable evidence that talc leads to ovarian cancer.

Similar lawsuits have been filed by about 2,000 women and lawyers are reviewing thousands of other potential cases, the AP reported.

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