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McDonald’s pulls salads from some restaurants after more than 100 people infected by parasite

Departments of public health in Illinois and Iowa are investigating some McDonald’s locations after people became ill after eating their salads.

CNN reported that Illinois has reported 90 cases of a parasite outbreak since mid-May. Iowa reported 15 cases since late June.

>> Read more trending news 

The Iowa Department of Public Health said there has been an increase in Cyclospora infections that were connected to salads at the fast-food chain. 

“This summer there have been several clusters of Cyclospora illness associated with various foods that are commercially available. This week IDPH has identified 15 Iowans who ate McDonald’s salads in late June to early July prior to getting ill,” Dr. Patricia Quinlisk said in a statement. “Anyone who ate these salads since the middle of June and who developed diarrhea, especially watery diarrhea and fatigue, should see their health care provider and get tested for Cyclospora to ensure an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.”

According to an initial investigation from the Illinois Department of Public Health, about one-fourth of cases in the state reported eating salads from McDonald’s before getting ill.

“Although a link has been made to salads sold in McDonald’s restaurants in some Illinois cases, public health officials continue to investigate other sources,” IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, said in a statement. “If you ate a salad from McDonald’s since mid-May and developed diarrhea and fatigue, contact a health care provider about testing and treatment.”

Symptoms of Cyclospora infection include loss of weight and appetite, frequent watery diarrhea, cramping, bloating and increased gas, a low-grade fever, fatigue and nausea. Vomiting is less common, but could still be a symptom of infection.

Cyclospora is not spread directly from person to person, but people get infected by consuming food or water contaminated with feces that contain the parasite, according to the IDPH. It is the same parasite that has been linked to Del Monte vegetables, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to voluntarily stop selling salads at impacted restaurants until we can switch to another lettuce blend supplier,” McDonald’s told People in a statement. “We are in the process of removing existing salad blend from identified restaurants and distribution centers – which includes approximately 3,000 of our U.S. restaurants primarily located in the Midwest.

“McDonald’s is committed to the highest standards of food safety and quality control,” the burger chain added. “We are closely monitoring this situation and cooperating with state and federal public health authorities as they further investigate.”

Man contracts flesh-eating bacteria while crabbing, could lose arms, legs

A New Jersey man may lose his legs and arms after he contracted a flesh-eating bacteria near a river in the state. 

Angel Perez was crabbing at Matt’s Landing near Camden on July 2. Hours after the excursion, his right leg swelled. Then his daughter said that his leg started becoming brown and black and blistered, WPVI reported

They took him to the hospital where doctors said he contracted vibrio, a bacteria commonly known as flesh-eating bacteria, WPVI reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Perez’s daughter said that the infection is now in his blood and he’s in critical condition, NJ.com reported.

Doctors are treating him with antibiotics and have to wait until he responds to the treatment before they consider amputating at least three, if not all four, limbs, NJ.com reported.

He is able to breathe on his own and family can communicate with Perez. 

Two other friends of the family also frequent the landing and have also been experiencing swelling. One had painful swelling in a leg. Another has a swelling on an elbow, NJ.com reported

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that variations of vibrio can be found in brackish or salt water. Open wounds can cause the bacteria to enter the body. Most infections, 80 percent of them, happen between May and October when water is warm.

Those who contract vibrio vulnificus infections can get so sick that they need intensive care and even amputation of limbs. One in four people die, some succumbing to the infection within a day or two of getting sick, according to the CDC.

Coffee drinker? You’re more likely to live longer, study finds

The list of health benefits of drinking coffee continues to grow longer.

>> On AJC.com: It's official: Coffee is good for you, according to new research

A new study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death compared to non-coffee drinkers.

To understand whether heavy coffee consumption is linked to an increased risk of mortality, researchers from Maryland and Illinois assessed demographic, lifestyle and genetic data on 9.2 million individuals from across the United Kingdom, part of the population-based study known as the UK Biobank.

>> On AJC.com: What is Death Wish Coffee? ‘World’s strongest coffee’ soaring into space

Of the 502,641 participants who consented with baseline data, 498,134 (aged 38-73) with complete data on coffee intake and smoking status (and those who weren’t pregnant) were included in the study.

Over 10 years of follow up between 2006-2016, researchers found the risk of death from any cause declined as participant coffee consumption increased.

>> Read more trending news 

In fact, those drinking two to three cups per day, decaffeinated or not, had a 12 percent lower risk of death compared to non-drinkers, National Cancer Institute research fellow Erikka Loftfield told NPR.

Folks drinking eight or more cups had a 14 percent lower risk of death.

>> On AJC.com: 8 things you never knew about coffee 

These associations were similar for both ground and instant coffee as well and there was no significant difference in risk for people with genetic variants for slower or faster caffeine metabolism.

Researchers noted that coffee beans — not caffeine — may be behind this longevity boost.

"My guess is that they're working together to have some of these benefits," Harvard researcher Walter Willett, who authored a similar study that found a link between coffee consumption and lower risk of early death, told NPR in 2015. “The coffee bean itself is loaded with many different nutrients and phyto-chemicals,” many of which aid in insulin resistance and inflammation reduction.

>> On AJC.com: This is how much coffee can keep your heart healthy, study says

But that doesn’t mean we should all start drinking more coffee.

“At this point, the study provides reassurance to coffee drinkers, not guidance,” Loftfield told the New York Times. “The results don’t indicate that people should begin drinking coffee for its health benefits.”

>> Read the full study at jamanetwork.com

Mosquitoes in Ohio test positive for West Nile virus

Mosquitoes trapped in Ohio are the first in the nation to test positive for the West Nile virus this summer, reports say.

>> Rare illness: Florida teen tests positive for Keystone virus

Test results released last week from the Ohio Department of Health showed mosquitoes found in Harrison Township in Licking County, which is east of Columbus, had the virus.

West Nile virus is typically spread by mosquitoes. Symptoms can include fever, headache, stiffness, rash, or nausea and vomiting. The Ohio Health Department has already scheduled mosquito spraying as part of the department's mosquito control program. 

>> Read more trending news 

About 80 percent of those who are infected with West Nile do not show any symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Watch: Mom cries as deaf baby hears for the first time with implant

One mother was unsure if her deaf infant would ever be able to listen to her voice. But when doctors installed an implant that allowed her baby to hear for the first time, she was moved to tears. 

» READ: Lawsuit says Georgia violating rights of deaf inmates 

A team at Cooks Children’s Ear Nose and Throat hospital in Texas worked with Will and Anna Esler to create an implant for their daughter Ayla. 

>> Read more trending news 

In June, they recorded a video of the little one being fitted for a cochlear implant, an electronic device that takes on the role of the inner part of the ear known as the cochlea. It helps send sound signals to the brain.

When the device is turned on, Ayla, who is sitting in her mother’s lap, smiles and begins to reach for her ear. 

“Yeah, you heard it,” a voice says in the background, and Anna Esler starts to cry.

The recording, which was uploaded to YouTube, went viral, garnering more than 67,000 views within a few days. 

“Every child responds differently when their cochlear implants are activated, and so we didn’t know what kind of reaction she would have,” the mom said in an interview with the hospital. “And even though I knew it would work, there was still some doubt in my mind, so when I saw her responding to sound I was overwhelmed by thankfulness to God and to everyone else who has been a part of this journey.”

According to her parents, the baby girl is adjusting to the new device well, and they are teaching her how to recognize that sounds have meaning. 

“She’s already responding positively — sometimes she turns to sounds [which she had never done before], she dances to music, she’s starting to calm down when we sing to her if she’s upset,” they said. “We really couldn’t be more thankful for the new opportunities our little girl has thanks to everyone in her life.”

>> READ: Teen girl helps blind, deaf man by signing into his hands on Alaska Air flight

Can shaving cream take sting out of sunburn? One mom says yes

A mom from Texas says she has the perfect cure for sunburns. It’s a simple can of shaving cream. 

Cindie Allen-Stewart swears by the lather to take the redness and heat out of the summer sun.

As soon as she, her children or her husband spend too much time in the sun without enough sunscreen, she puts a thick layer of menthol foam shaving cream on the burn, ”Inside Edition” reported.

She posted her treatment, that she credits to her mother-in-law, to Facebook where it has since gone viral.

Then she leaves the cream on the burn for 30 minutes before using lukewarm water to remove. She’ll repeat it a second day if needed.

She told “Inside Edition” that the burn will disappear hours after her hack is used.

But does it really work?

>> Read more trending news 

Dr. Ross Radusky told “Inside Edition” that shaving cream is a good moisturizer. It also contains glycerin to heal the skin and menthol that will cool the burn.

No matter the treatment for the redness and burn itself, Radusky told “Inside Edition” that the best treatment is to not get burned in the first place by wearing sunblock and covering exposed skin. Not only do sunseekers need to watch for burns, they need to keep an eye out for dehydration, chills or mild fever. He also reminds that sunburns can cause skin cancer, ”Inside Edition” reported.

Other doctors agree. 

“The body doesn’t forget what we do to it, and an accumulation of sunburn over a lifetime can promote skin cancer later in life,” Dr. William Huang told Health magazine.

This is just one treatment to take out the sting of a burn. 

Prevention suggested some other home remedies:

  • Cool bath with baking soda to reduce the itch and inflammation. You can also try apple cider, white vinegar or a soothing bath treatment.
  • Moisturize - slather a natural bath oil then a moisturizing cream.
  • Bag of frozen peas, or another cold compress will absorb the heat and reduce swelling.
  • Hydrate. Drink water or eat water-rich foods like watermelon.

Rattlesnake bites 1-year-old boy while hiding near toys, slide in family's backyard

A Texas toddler was hospitalized Tuesday after a rattlesnake bit him outside his Abilene home.

>> Severed rattlesnake head bites Texas man

According to KTXS, Harrison Bakke, 1, was playing outside when the snake, which was near the boy's slide and toys, bit his hand.

>> Sea lice in Florida? Beachgoers warned about itch-inducing pests

Harrison's mother, Erin Bakke, told KTXS that she usually looks for snakes before letting her children go outside, but they sneaked out the door when she left the room. She said Harrison cried out as she was joining the kids in the backyard.

>> Brown recluse spiders: 4 things to know as the dangerous pests become more active

"I saw his hand was bleeding, took him in, rinsed it off," she told the news station. "It looked like a snake bite."

She then spotted a rattlesnake among the children's toys and called 911.

>> Read more trending news 

Doctors at Cook Children's Medical Center are giving Harrison more than two dozen vials of antivenom, KTXS reported Wednesday. He's also had surgery.

KTAB reported that health officials expect the boy to "make a full recovery."

Read more here or here.

Sea lice in Florida? Beachgoers warned about itch-inducing pests

As travelers flock to northwest Florida beaches this summer, an unwelcome guest may await them.

>> What parents need to know about 'dry' and 'secondary' drowning

According to the Pensacola Beach Lifeguards Facebook page, purple warning flags indicating dangerous marine life have been flying along the shore this week thanks to an itch-inducing pest commonly called "sea lice."

WEAR-TV reports that the term is a misnomer: The creatures are really thimble jellyfish larvae, not lice, and cause a rash known as "seabathers' eruption."

>> Doctor answers 6 questions about flesh-eating bacteria

"People affected by sea lice may feel a prickling sensation on their skin while in the water, but the rash caused by the microscopic organisms typically occurs several hours after exposure," the station reported.

The rash often can be treated with hydrocortisone and antihistamine creams available at most drug stores, according to the Florida Department of Health. If you have symptoms, you may need to see a dermatologist, the department said.

>> Read more trending news 

Swimmers can reduce their risk of being stung by not wearing T-shirts in the water, using sunscreen, practicing good hygiene and taking off wet swimsuits immediately after getting out of the ocean, the department reported

Oklahoma voters approve medical marijuana

Oklahoma voters approved medical marijuana in the state in Tuesday's primary election.

>> Watch the news report here

State Question 788 represents the legalization of medical marijuana in Oklahoma.

>> Visit Fox23.com for complete coverage

The description of State Question 788 on the ballot said the following:

"A yes vote legalizes the licensed use, sale, and growth of marijuana in Oklahoma for medicinal purposes. A license is required for use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes and must be approved by an Oklahoma Board Certified Physician."

>> Midterm 2018: Here are the Senate races that you should be watching

The measure does not legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, nor could those receiving it for medicinal purposes give or sell it to others. Licenses are only given to those 18 years or older and residents of Oklahoma.

>> Midterm 2018: House races you should be watching

There are some exceptions that must be approved by multiple physicians and a parent or legal guardian.

>> Read more trending news 

Gov. Mary Fallin released the following statement after the measure was approved:

>> Midterm 2018: What should you do if you are denied the right to vote? Here are some tips

“I respect the will of the voters in any question placed before them to determine the direction of our state. It is our responsibility as state leaders to look out for the health and safety of Oklahoma citizens. As I mentioned in previous public comments, I believe, as well as many Oklahomans, this new law is written so loosely that it opens the door for basically recreational marijuana. I will be discussing with legislative leaders and state agencies our options going forward on how best to proceed with adding a medical and proper regulatory framework to make sure marijuana use is truly for valid medical illnesses.”

Venomous spiders: How to identify the pests and get them out of your home

Most people aren't too happy when they encounter a spider, and that's especially true if the creepy-crawly you come across happens to be dangerously venomous.

>> Brown recluse spiders: 4 things to know as the dangerous pests become more active

Although it's understandable to be anxious about venomous spiders, it’s important to know the difference between a harmless spider and a dangerous one.

Here are some important tips from experts on dealing with venomous spiders and what to do if you think you’ve been bit.

Identify types of venomous spiders

Even if you think you've been bitten by a spider, most are actually harmless, according to the Mayo Clinic

Only a few types have venom strong enough to harm you and fangs (yikes!) long enough to penetrate your skin.

Venomous spiders found in the Southeast include:

  • Black widow – identified by the pattern of red coloration on the underside of its abdomen.
  • Brown widow – identified by an orange hourglass shape on a brown body
  • Brown recluse – identified by its brown color and dark violin-shaped marking on its head.

(Identifications from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UGA Extension)

>> 10 ways to prevent tick bites on people and pets

Wear gloves when you're working outside or in the garage

If you stick your bare hand into some brush, you may be bitten by a brown or black widow. Although they usually try to avoid people, they don't have a choice if you accidentally wrap your hand around one, according to UGA Extension. Be sure to wear long sleeves and gloves when you're cleaning in the garage, clearing brush or pulling a log off a woodpile.

Look out for your clothes and shoes

Black and brown widows can also hide in clothes and shoes that have been left outside, UGA Extension advised. The best solution is to not leave these items outside (or in your garage) if you can possibly avoid it, and, if not, make sure you shake them out and check them carefully before putting them on.

Use insect repellent

The Mayo Clinic recommends using an insect repellent containing DEET on your clothes and shoes.

>> Dangerous plant that causes blindness, 3rd degree burns found in multiple states, officials say

Don't create a habitat your home

Don't store firewood against your house, since it can serve as a haven for spiders which can then find their way inside. The same is true for piles of rocks or lumber near your home.

Clean up spider webs

If you see a spider web inside your home, vacuum it up, put it in a sealed bag and dispose of it outside.

Make it harder for spiders to get inside your home

Make sure you have screens on your windows and doors that fit tightly. Seal any cracks where spiders could work their way into your home.

Recognize the signs of a bite

Many spider bites go unnoticed or cause only an itchy bump. However, if you have any of the following symptoms, you may have been bitten by a venomous spider and should seek medical attention, according to the Mayo Clinic:

>> Read more trending news 

  • Pain – starting around the bite mark and possibly spreading to the abdomen, back or chest
  • Abdominal cramping – can be severe
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Skin that becomes dark blue or purple and develops into a deep open sore
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