From Our 2012 Archives

Health Highlights: April 30, 2012

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

Dutch Government OKs Publication of Bird Flu Study

A Dutch scientist's paper on a mutant version of the potentially deadly H5N1 bird flu virus can be published in the journal Science, the Dutch government says.

Friday's announcement came after publication of this and another paper by U.S. researchers was approved by a U.S. panel of experts. But under European Union rules, the Dutch scientist still required permission from his government, Agence France-Presse reported.

The two studies found that a laboratory-created mutant version of H5N1 could pass easily in the air between ferrets. U.S. experts initially opposed publication of the studies over fears that the information could be used by terrorists to unleash a deadly flu epidemic.

The Dutch Department of Economic Affairs approved publication of the Dutch study after weighing the risks and advantages of publication, a government spokeswoman told AFP.

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FDA Sends Warning to Supplements Companies

Ten companies that make and distribute dietary supplements containing dimethylamylamine (DMAA) have been sent warning letters for marketing products that lack safety evidence, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday.

DMAA -- also referred to as 1,3-dimethylamylamine, methylhexanamine, or geranium extract -- is often touted as a "natural" stimulant.

The companies that received warning letters and the names of their products are: Exclusive Supplements for Biorhythm SSIN Juice; Fahrenheit Nutrition for Lean Efx; Gaspari Nutrition for Spirodex; iSatori Global Technologies, LLC for PWR; Muscle Warfare, Inc. for Napalm; MuscleMeds Perfomance Technologies for Code Red; Nutrex Research for Hemo Rage Black, Lipo-6 Black Ultra Concentrate, Lipo-6 Black, Lipo-6 Black Hers Ultra, Concentrate, andLipo-6 Black Hers; SEI Pharmaceuticals for MethylHex 4,2; SNI, LLC for Nitric Blast; and USP Labs, LLC for Oxy Elite Pro and Jack3D.

"Before marketing products containing DMAA, manufacturers and distributors have a responsibility under the law to provide evidence of the safety of their products. They haven't done that and that makes the products adulterated," Daniel Fabricant, director of the FDA's Dietary Supplement Program, said in an agency news release.

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Bed Bugs Blamed for Monkeypox Scare on U.S. Passenger Plane

Bed bugs, not the monkeypox virus, may have caused the rash on a passenger that resulted in a two-hour quarantine of a Delta Airlines plan in Chicago Thursday.

Monkeypox is a rare and sometimes fatal disease similar to smallpox.

Officers wearing Hazmat suits boarded Flight 3163 to examine and take photographs of the rash on 50-year-old Lise Sievers of Red Wing, Minn., who was returning home from Uganda, ABC News reported.

"Medical staff at CDC and the Chicago Department of Public Health reviewed the case and, based on the patient's symptoms and photographs of the rash, it does not appear that the signs and symptoms are consistent with a monkeypox infection," the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement. "The ill passenger was advised to seek medical care and the rest of the passengers were released from the plane."

"It's just a case of bed bugs," Sievers said after she exited the plane, ABC News reported.

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