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Health Highlights: Aug. 13, 2020

Last Updated: August 13, 2020.

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

Brazilian Chicken Wings Sent to China Infected With COVID-19

Frozen chicken wings sent to China from Brazil tested positive for the coronavirus, Chinese officials said Thursday, CBS News reported.

Not only were the wings sent to Shenzhen tainted, but the packaging of frozen Ecuadorian shrimp sold in Xian was also infected with the virus, Reuters reported.

Also, on Wednesday, traces of the virus were found on a package of frozen shrimp in Anhui province. The shrimp also came from Ecuador, CBS said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no evidence eating or handling food is linked with COVID-19, but China has been beefing up screenings over concerns about imported food.

The risk of getting COVID-19 from food is very low, the CDC says. "The virus that causes COVID-19 cannot grow on food. Although bacteria can grow on food, a virus requires a living host like a person or an animal to multiply," the CDC says.

The CDC, however, recommends washing your hands with soap and water after handling food, or before cooking and eating food.

Anyone who might have come in contact with the possibly contaminated food in Shenzhen was traced and tested by health authorities. All results were negative, the city said, according to Reuters.

People who may have come in contact with the contaminated shrimp in Xian are also being tested for COVID-19, CBS reported.

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Don't Use Hand Sanitizers Tainted With 1-Propanol: FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to use hand sanitizers made by Harmonic Nature S de RL de MI in Mexico.

These products say they contain ethanol or isopropyl alcohol but are contaminated with 1-propanol, which is not approved for hand sanitizer sold in the United States and can be toxic and life-threatening if ingested.

Young children who accidentally drink these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol substitute are those most at risk. Drinking 1-propanol can cause central nervous system depression that can be fatal.

Symptoms of 1-propanol exposure can include confusion, decreased consciousness, and slowed pulse and breathing. People with these symptoms should get immediate medical care.

When skin or eyes are exposed to 1-propanol they can become irritated, and some cases of allergic skin reactions can occur.

Consumers who have these products should stop using them and throw them out in a hazardous waste container, the FDA said.

Don't pour these products down the drain or flush them, the agency noted.

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Salsa Recalled for Salmonella Risk

Salsa made by Spokane Produce Inc. is being recalled because onions in the product may be contaminated with salmonella, the company announced.

The recall appears on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's website.

Spokane Produce, of Spokane, Wash., is recalling salsa containing onions as part of the onion recall by Thomson International Inc. The recall is due to possible salmonella contamination, the company said.

The salsa was sold in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington state. It was distributed from May 13/20 to Aug. 10. It was packaged in 15 oz. plastic tubs and one-gallon plastic containers.

The products in the recall include Saddlin' Up Salsa Hot 15 oz, Saddlin' Up Salsa Medium 15 oz, Saddlin' Up Salsa Mild 15 oz, Salsa Verde 15 oz and gallon size.

No illnesses have been reported, the company said.

Consumers who bought any of these products should not eat them and should destroy or return them to the store where they were purchased.

If you have questions, call Spokane Produce at 509-710-8301.

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Four-Drawer Chests Sold at Kmart Recalled

Four-drawer Transform chests sold exclusively at Kmart are being recalled because they can easily tip over and trap a child underneath, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced Wednesday.

The recalled chests include all those sold as Essential Home Belmont 4-drawer chests. The chests are about 30 inches in high and 28 inches wide. They are sold in four colors, including black, pine, walnut, and white. The manufacturer's name, "Kappesberg Moveis," and the model number "F214" is on the instruction manual that comes with each chest.

These chests are not stable and can fall over if not secured to a wall, which can cause death or injuries to children. About 19,000 chests are being recalled. So far, no deaths or injuries have been reported, according to the CPSC.

Consumers should stop using the recalled chests if they are not properly secured to a wall and put them in a place where children cannot get to them.

Chests purchased on or after Feb. 11, 2019, contact Transform to get a free anchoring kit and if requested, a one-time, free in-home installation of the kit. For chests purchased before Feb. 11, 2019, contact Transform to receive a free anchoring kit.

For more information, call Transform at 800-659-7026 or visit www.kmart.com and click on "Product Recalls."

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U.S. Government to Buy 100 Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine From Moderna

The Trump administration has agreed to pay $1.5 billion for 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna once it is approved, CNN reported Wednesday.

Moderna is one of several companies developing a coronavirus vaccine. Clinical trials are underway to see if the vaccine is safe and effective.

Under the U.S. contract, the 100 million doses would be owned by the U.S. government and would be distributed and used as part of its COVID-19 vaccine campaign. If the doses are used, they would be provided to Americans for free, CNN reported.

The government can also buy 400 million more doses if needed.

The vaccine was developed by Moderna, with help from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

The U.S. Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority supported clinical trials and helped scale up manufacturing.

The contract is a part of the U.S. government's Operation Warp Speed, designed to get vaccines and drugs to market as soon as safely possible.

The government also has a deal with Pfizer in produce 100 million doses of its vaccine and a similar deal with Janssen, Johnson & Johnson's vaccine arm. The government also has deals with GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Pasteur, Novavax and AstraZeneca.

"In creating a vaccine portfolio for Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration is increasing the likelihood that the United States will have at least one safe, effective vaccine by 2021," U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar said in an HHS news release.

"Today's investment represents the next step in supporting this vaccine candidate all the way from early development by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, through clinical trials, and now large-scale manufacturing, with the potential to bring hundreds of millions of safe and effective doses to the American people," CNN reported.

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6 Former EPA Heads Call For Agency 'Reset' After Election

Reacting to President Donald Trump's gutting of EPA regulations, six former heads of the agency are calling to renounce political influence and get back to enforcing regulations and boosting climate-friendly electric vehicles, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

The former EPA heads who joined in the appeal included William Reilly, Lee Thomas, Carol Browner, Christine Todd Whitman, Lisa Jackson and Gina McCarthy, all of whom served under Republican and Democratic presidents.

The exception was Trump's former EPA head, Scott Pruitt, AP said.

The plea to "reset" the agency came from the Environmental Protection Network, a bipartisan group with more than 500 former EPA senior managers and employees. The Network wrote hundreds of pages identifying for change at the agency.

The road map was written to guide the next administration whatever that is, but many of the proposals pertain to the Trump-era EPA, the AP reported.

The former EPA heads said they were "concerned about the current state of affairs at EPA."

James Hewitt, an EPA spokesman said that current EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler "is proud of our record addressing environmental problems impacting Americans." Wheeler "won't be taking 'reset' advice from administrators who ignored the Flint lead crisis, botched the Gold King Mine response, and encouraged New Yorkers to breath contaminated air at Ground Zero," Hewitt said in an email to the AP.

Some of the recommendations, such as minimizing industry and political influence on science-based decisions, combating climate change, and cutting air pollution with electric vehicles, among others, targeted Trump administration's actions.

Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, has supported Trump's desire to cut what he views as unnecessary regulations that are burdensome to business, especially the coal, gas and oil industries.

Many public health officials, environmental groups, Democratic lawmakers, scientists and others say Trump's actions are increasing air and water pollution and industrial toxins that jeopardizing the health of Americans, the AP said.

But in the last few years, "the agency has been derailed from that mission" to make Americans healthier, Browner, who led the EPA under Clinton, said in a statement.

The ex-EPA staffers' recommendations include working to eliminate high levels of dangerous pollutants Black, Hispanic and other minority communities are exposed to.

They also target regulations that rolled back rules on methane leaking from oil and gas production, the AP reported.

That's only a few of the regulations the group hopes to see rolled back. The group also wants the agency's actions to become more transparent.

Michelle Roos, executive director of the ex-employees' group, said the changes they are calling for will "better protect the air we breathe and the water we drink," as well as do more to confront climate change and the pollution risks that minority and low-income communities suffer, the AP reported.


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