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Health Highlights: Oct. 18, 2012

Last Updated: October 18, 2012.

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

George McGovern 'No Longer Responsive': Daughter

Former U.S. senator and presidential candidate George McGovern is "no longer responsive" in hospice care, his family said in a statement released through Avera McKennan Hospital in South Dakota.

Earlier, daughter Ann McGovern told the Associated Press that her 90-year-old father is "nearing the end" and appears restful and peaceful.

McGovern was the Democratic candidate against President Richard Nixon in 1972 and lost in an historic landslide. He was a member of the U.S. House from 1957 to 1961 and a U.S. senator from 1963 to 1981.

In recent years, he devoted his efforts to world hunger, the AP reported.


Dole American Salad Mix Recalled

Bags of Dole American ready-to-eat salad mix are being recalled after a sample tested positive for a type of bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause serious illness.

The recalled 12-ounce bags were distributed in in Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The bags are coded A275298A or B and have a use-by date of Oct. 17 and a UPC code of 714300093, the Wall Street Journal reported.

No illnesses have been reported in connection with the recalled salad mix, according to Dole Fresh Vegetables.

The company said the contamination was found in a random sample test conducted by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. Listeria can cause serious infections and is especially dangerous in pregnant women, newborns, seniors and people with weakened immune systems, the WSJ reported.


TB Cases, Deaths Fall: WHO

The number of people worldwide newly diagnosed with tuberculosis fell from 8.8 million in 2010 to 8.7 million in 2011, while deaths from the disease fell from 1.45 million to 1.4 million, the World Health Organization says.

Even though the number of new TB cases and deaths declined in all six WHO regions, the agency said that Africa and Europe are not on track to meet the goal of halving 1990 levels of TB death in the next three years, Bloomberg News reported.

The WHO said only 20 percent of patients with multi-drug resistant TB have been diagnosed, and also said that the first new TB medicines in more than 40 years may become available in 2013.

"We are now at a crossroads between TB elimination within our lifetime, and millions more TB deaths," Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO's Stop TB Partnership, said in a statement, Bloomberg reported.


Study Callenges Cranberry Juice Claims

Claims that cranberry juice prevents or treats bladder and urinary tract infections (UTIs) have been exaggerated, according to a new study.

Researchers reviewed 24 studies that included nearly 5,000 people and found that cranberry juice may be helpful only in women with recurrent UTIs, ABC News reported.

Typical women would need to drink at least two glasses of cranberry juice a day over a long period of time to prevent a UTI, said the study authors, who added that it's unclear whether cranberry-based products such as pills would prove more beneficial than juice.

"More studies of other cranberry products such as tablets and capsules may be justified, but only for women with recurrent UTIs, and only if these products contain the recommended amount of active ingredient," said lead researcher Ruth Jepson of the University of Stirling in the U.K., ABC News reported.

The study was published Oct. 16 in The Cochrane Library.


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