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Health Highlights: Feb. 26, 2020

Last Updated: February 26, 2020.

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

Brazil Reports First Confirmed Coronavirus Case in Latin America

Latin America's first confirmed case of the new coronavirus has been reported in Brazil.

The patient is a 61-year-old Brazilian man who traveled to Italy this month, officials said Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.

The man contracted the virus during a two-week work trip in northern Italy's Lombardy region, according to the health ministry.

"We will now see how this virus behaves in a tropical country in the middle of summer, how its behavior pattern will be," Brazil's Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta told the media, the AP reported.

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Jimmy John's Must Correct Food Safety Violations: FDA

Immediate action must be taken by fast-food chain Jimmy John's on food safety violations that have caused multiple outbreaks of E. coli and salmonella, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a warning letter to the company.

The agency said that since 2012, four outbreaks of E. coli and one outbreak of salmonella have been linked to Jimmy John's, sickening nearly 90 people in 17 states, CBS News reported.

The FDA letter said the company has "engaged in a pattern of receiving and offering for sale adulterated fresh produce, specifically clover sprouts and cucumbers."

E. coli and salmonella can cause serious infections and illness, including diarrhea and a potentially fatal type of kidney failure most likely to affect the young and elderly, CBS News reported.

The letter was dated Feb. 15 and gave the company 15 days to take action at the 2,800 restaurants in 43 states.

The offending greens are being removed from its restaurants, Jimmy John's told CBS News.

"As of Monday, February 24, sprouts are no longer being served in any restaurant, and they will remain out of our restaurants permanently," Jimmy John's President North said in an email sent by Inspire Brands, which owns Jimmy John's.

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First U.S. Trial of Possible Coronavirus Treatment Begins

The University of Nebraska Medical Center has launched the first clinical trial in the United States of a possible treatment for the new coronavirus.

It's part of an international trial that's expected to enroll 400 patients at 50 locations worldwide, officials said Tuesday. Half of the patients will receive the antiviral medicine remdesivir, while the other half will receive a placebo, the Associated Press reported.

Patients who are hospitalized with the coronavirus and have at least moderate symptoms will be eligible to join the trial.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center is treating 14 people who were evacuated from a cruise ship in Japan. Twelve of them have tested positive for the new coronavirus, the AP reported.

Several other clinical trials, including one that's also assessing remdesivir, are already being conducted around the world.

There are no proven treatments or vaccines for the new coronavirus, which has infected more than 81,000 people worldwide and killed more than 2,700. The majority of cases have been in China. As of Tuesday, the United States had 57 cases.

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States Launch Investigation of Juul Labs

The marketing and sales of vaping products by San Francisco-based Juul Labs is being investigated by 39 states.

The probe will be led by attorneys general from Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, Oregon and Texas, state officials said Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

They said they'll investigate whether Juul targeted youths and made misleading claims about nicotine content in the devices, and about the risk, safety and effectiveness of the devices in helping people quit smoking.

"I will not prejudge where this investigation will lead, but we will follow every fact and are prepared to take strong action in conjunction with states across the nation to protect public health," Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a statement, the AP reported.

A statement from Juul said the company has stopped television, print and digital advertising and scrapped most flavors in response to concerns about its products.


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