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Health Highlights: Sept. 14, 2012

Last Updated: September 14, 2012.

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

FDA Warns of Salmonella-Tainted Mangoes From Mexico

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers to avoid mangoes from Agricola Daniella of Mexico, citing possible contamination with salmonella.

"Testing by the FDA has found Salmonella in several samples of mangoes from this producer," the FDA said in a statement issued Friday.

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported an outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup which has infected 105 people in 16 states," the agency explained, and "the California Department of Public Health has traced several illnesses of the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup through the supply chain to Agricola Daniella."

The FDA said the company has been placed on its "Import Alert" list, meaning that mangoes from Agricola Daniella will not be allowed entry into the United States until the importer can prove they are not contaminated with salmonella.

In the meantime, consumers should not consume Agricola Daniella mangoes, which are identified by their product sticker, the FDA said. Washing the fruit may not rid it of salmonella, since the germ can be both outside and inside the mango, the agency added.


Yosemite Officials Confirm 9th Case of Hantavirus

Another case of hantavirus has been confirmed in a person who stayed overnight at California's Yosemite National Park this summer, bringing the number of cases of the rodent-borne respiratory disease to nine.

The update was posted on the National Park Service's website Thursday afternoon.

Eight of the infected visitors have developed hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Three people have died of the disease while the other six have recovered, officials said. Seven of those infected are from California, one is from Pennsylvania and one from West Virginia, officials said.

The announcement comes just as park officials expanded their notifications of the outbreak to 230,000 summer visitors.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the 230,000 people who were sent the informational letter via email on Wednesday did not stay in the area of the park where the hantavirus outbreak was reported, but park officials wanted to quell the fears of any concerned guests.

Thousands of letters have already been sent to visitors who did stay in the affected area, in tent cabins in Curry Village in the High Sierra Loop.

According to the newspaper, the new letter tells recipients that "your recent overnight visit to Yosemite did not include a stay in lodging where the known hantavirus infections might have occurred; however, we wanted to take this opportunity to increase public awareness about hantavirus."

"Public health officials have no evidence at this time to indicate that persons who stayed elsewhere in the park this summer were at increased risk of exposure to hantavirus," the letter added. "Nevertheless, we want to ensure that all our guests have accurate and current information on hantavirus."

Hantavirus can take up to six weeks to surface with symptoms, and it is spread through the urine, droppings or saliva of infected rodents, officials have said.

Park officials said Wednesday that an exceptionally large deer mouse population may have contributed to the hantavirus outbreak, the newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has notified 39 countries whose citizens might be at risk and the World Health Organization has issued a global alert about the outbreak.


NYC Mandates Parental Consent for Ritual Circumcision

The deaths of two children who contracted the herpes virus via an ultra-orthodox form of ritual circumcision have prompted the New York City Board of Health to require parents to sign a consent form warning them of the danger.

According to ABC News, the board's vote Thursday centers on a controversial part of Jewish ritual in which the circumcision practitioner, or mohel, puts his mouth on the infant's penis to suck the blood and "cleanse" the wound.

However, 70 percent of the general population is thought to carry type 1 herpes virus, which can be passed during the ritual from the mohel's mouth to the child. Neonatal herpes infections almost always prove deadly for newborns, and two babies have died from herpes infections linked to the ritual since 2003, ABC News said.

"There is no safe way to perform oral suction on an open wound in a newborn," Dr. Jay Varma, the New York City deputy commissioner for disease control, told the New York Times.

But some rabbis have strongly condemned the city's move. "This is the government forcing a rabbi practicing a religious ritual to tell his congregants it could hurt their child," Rabbi David Niederman, executive director of the United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg, told He and other rabbis claim the procedure is performed safely thousands of times a year and maintaining child safety is of paramount importance to the Jewish faith.


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