Health Highlights: April 16, 2018
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Flesh-Eating Disease Outbreak in Australia
Australia has been hit by an outbreak of an infectious flesh-eating disease that typically occurs in Africa, and urgent action is needed to fight it, scientists say.
In recent years, there has been a spike in cases of Buruli ulcer in several parts of Australia, with the state of Victoria being hardest hit, CNN reported.
The authors of a study published Monday in the Medical Journal of Australia described the situation as an epidemic that requires an "urgent scientific response."
Australia has had a rising number of reported cases of the disease since 2013, according to the World Health Organization. The environmental sources of the infection in Australia and how it spreads between people are unknown, CNN reported.
"It is difficult to prevent a disease when it is not known how infection is acquired," wrote study lead author and associate professor Daniel O'Brien, an infectious diseases consultant.
"The risk of infection appears to be seasonal, with an increased risk in the warmer months," he noted.
Dolly the Sheep Creator Has Parkinson's
Dolly the cloned sheep opened new avenues into Parkinson's disease research, and now one of the scientists who helped create her says he has the disease.
On World Parkinson's Day on April 11, Ian Wilmut of Scotland announced that he was told four months ago that he has Parkinson's, The New York Times reported.
He added that he plans to take part in a major research program to test new therapies meant to slow progression of the disease.
"Initiatives of this kind are very effective not only because they bring more people together, but because they will include people with different experience and expertise," said in a statement, The Times reported.
The Dundee-Edinburgh Parkinson's Research Initiative seeks to learn more about the causes of the disease in order to develop new therapies.
"It was from such a rich seedbed that Dolly developed, and we can hope for similar benefits in this project," Wilmut said.
Barbara Bush in 'Failing Health'
Former U.S. First Lady Barbara Bush is in "failing health" and won't seek further medical treatment, a family spokesman said Sunday.
"Following a recent series of hospitalizations, and after consulting her family and doctors, Mrs. Bush, now age 92, has decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care," spokesman Jim McGrath in a news release, the Associated Press reported.
He did not provide any details about Mrs. Bush's health problems.
She's received treatment for decades for the thyroid condition Graves' disease, had heart surgery in 2009, and had surgery in 2008 for a perforated ulcer, the AP reported.
Mrs. Bush is at home in Houston.
Animal Feces Found in Counterfeit Makeup: LA Police
High levels of bacteria and animal waste were found in counterfeit makeup confiscated by Los Angeles police.
About $700,000 worth of counterfeit cosmetics were seized by the Los Angeles Police Department in raids on 21 locations in the L.A.'s Santee Alley fashion district.
"Those feces will just basically somehow get mixed into the product they're manufacturing in their garage or in their bathroom -- wherever they're manufacturing this stuff," Detective Rick Ishitani told CNN.
The fake products included brands such as Kylie Jenner's Kylie Cosmetics, Urban Decay, MAC and NARS. The packaging appears authentic, but the prices are much lower than normal.
"If you're getting something that's 50 percent off, 75 percent off, it tells you that it's bad," Ishitani told CNN.