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severe 11 articles

Fifth Alabamian infected with mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus

A Jefferson County, Ala., woman has become the fifth Alabamian to contract the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus, and state health officials are cautiously concerned that the disease may become a problem in the United States if the trend continues. The Cikungunya virus is spread by the Asian Tiger mosquito, which is prevalent in the Caribbean, Asia and Africa. The mosquitoes have been traveling just off the American coast but have not yet reached the United States. The first Alabamian to develop Cikungunya likely contracted the virus while visiting Haiti. The virus causes symptoms such as fever, headaches, severe joint pain and rash. It ... Read More

Type 2 diabetes more deadly in young people than type 1 diabetes

People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as adolescents or young adults are twice as likely to die early than people with type 1 diabetes, a new retrospective 20-year follow-up study reveals. Many diabetes experts find the information surprising. Type 1 diabetes has long been considered a more severe form of the disease primarily because patients require insulin for the rest of their lives and are at risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which if severe can be deadly. However, people with type 2 diabetes, especially those who are diagnosed at a young age, are at greater risk for complications ... Read More

Trial on experimental obesity drug halted after participant suffers serious reaction

Astra Zeneca and Palatin Technologies have halted a phase 1 trial of an experimental obesity drug after a participant in the study suffered a severe adverse event. The drug, known as AZD2820, is a melanocortin-4 receptor partial agonist. Mutations in the melanocortin-4 receptor have been associated with inherited human obesity, and is the most commonly known genetic defect predisposing people to obesity. It is suspected that the participant may have suffered from an allergic reaction to the medication. A spokesperson with Palatin says the man who fell ill after taking the drug fully recovered and that the company “will work ... Read More

Vitamin pills recalled due to possible Salmonella contamination

Standard Process is recalling three dietary supplements because the tablets may be contaminated with Salmonella. The recalled products include: • Cataplex ACP (Product number 0700 and 0750) Lot 114 • Cataplex C (Product number 1650 1655) Lot 114 • Pancreatrophin PMG (Product number 6650) Lot 114 The tablets were distributed in 60 cc and 200 cc amber glass bottles with Best Used By (BUB) dates of 5/13 indicated on both the bottles and the boxes. No other products or lot numbers are affected. Cataplex ACP is a vitamin pill that contains complex vitamins such as A and C. It also ... Read More

Diabetic retinopathy cases increase dramatically

The number of cases of a serious vision problem that affects diabetics is dramatically increasing, raising concerns among eye specialists. Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the blood vessels in the retina that occurs with long-term diabetes. It can lead to blindness. Approximately 8 million people ages 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy, up a startling 89 percent since 2000, according to the report issued by Prevent Blindness America. “We suspect that is largely due to the spike in diabetes and the diabetes epidemic we are facing as a country, as well as the increase in Hispanic and African-American populations, which ... Read More

Blood thinners more dangerous for people with clotting disorders

Bleeding disorders are more common than most people realize, and often go undiagnosed. The most common type of bleeding disorder is von Willebrand disease (VWD), a condition in which the blood does not clot properly. When injury occurs in patients with VWD, clots usually take longer to form and bleeding is more difficult to stop. There are three types of VWD and each ranges in severity. Because some medications can aggravate the symptoms of VWD, early diagnosis is key. Unfortunately, the disease can be difficult to diagnose. People with VWD may have frequent or hard-to-stop nosebleeds that happen spontaneously, occur ... Read More

Lawsuit claims Depakote during pregnancy caused serious birth defect

A mother has filed a lawsuit against the makers of the anti-seizure medication Depakote claiming that using the drug while she was pregnant caused her son to be born with a penile birth defect. The lawsuit claims that Abbott Laboratories knew the drug was dangerous to developing fetuses, but failed to adequately warn of the potential side effects when used by pregnant mothers. The defendant’s son was born in April 2010 with a birth defect known as hypospadias. Hypospadia is a birth defect in which the opening of the urethra develops on the underside of the penis. In severe cases, ... Read More

Surgery immediately after TBI may cause more harm than good

Skull reconstruction immediately following a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in which the skull is penetrated or indented can aggravate brain damage caused by the initial injury, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of South Florida. The study was published this month in the online Journal of PloS ONE. Cesar Borlongan, the study’s principal investigator, describes the inflammation and subsequent swelling of the brain tissue that occurs immediately following TBI as a “double edged sword.” When the skull is initially penetrated, whether it be by a sharp object or even by blunt force, inflammation helps drive the ... Read More

Parents file birth defect lawsuit against Zoloft

A group of parents have filed a lawsuit against the makers of Zoloft alleging the antidepressant caused their children severe birth defects. The lawsuit was filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Pfizer Inc. According to the nine-count complaint, all female plaintiffs were prescribed Zoloft while they were pregnant and all children from these pregnancies were born with major medical defects, including heart defects. The plaintiffs allege Pfizer was aware the drugs could cause serious problems to developing fetuses but covered up the evidence. Zoloft is in a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. ... Read More

New heart device looks promising, but side effects are questionable

A new system for treating irregular heartbeats is showing promising results in clinical trials, but the safety of the device is still questionable and could prevent the system from gaining approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Phased RF Ablation System, made by Medtronic Inc., is aimed at treating patients with atrial fibrillation, a common type of irregular heartbeat. The condition affects an estimated 3 million Americans. If left untreated, it can lead to debilitating symptoms and a higher risk for stroke. The ablation system is a catheter-delivered device that burns small bits of tissue around the heart ... Read More