Health Highlights: Feb. 5, 2019

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

California Bill Would Tighten Controls on Children’s Genitalia Surgery

A bill that would place more restrictions on children’s genitalia surgery in California raises serious concerns among doctors in the state.

Under the bill, doctors would not be able to treat or perform surgery on children born with genitals that don’t match a single gender or are otherwise atypical unless such surgery is medically necessary or the child consents, the Associated Press reported.

“The fundamental premise of the legislation is that people should make decisions about their own bodies,” said bill sponsor Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco. “In California, we strongly believe that people are who they are and that we shouldn’t be telling people who they are supposed to be.”

While the California Medical Association hasn’t taken a formal stance on the bill, it has “very serious concerns” about the bill, including no definition of when a minor is old enough to consent, the AP reported.

“Our concern is that the approach in this bill may be being overly prescriptive and not give families and medical professionals the ability to take the specifics of each case into account,” Janus Norman, senior vice president for governmental relations at the association, said in a statement.

Doctors who violate the proposed law could be disciplined by the state’s medical board, but would not face criminal charges, the AP reported.


Pilgrim’s Pride Recalls 58,000 Pounds of Popcorn Chicken

About 58,000 pounds of popcorn-style chicken sold at Publix Super Markets has been recalled by Pilgrim’s Pride after consumer complaints about rubber in the product.

This is the third major poultry producer in recent weeks to recall chicken possibly contaminated with materials such as rubber and wood, with a total of nearly 163,000 pounds of chicken recalled, CBS News reported.

Tyson Foods recalled 36,420 pounds of chicken nuggets possibly contaminated with rubber and other foreign material, and Perdue Foods recalled 68,244 pounds of chicken nuggets that might contain wood.

Foreign objects in food is a common reason for recalls, accounting for 10 of the last 50, or about 20 percent, in the United States in the last six months, Benjamin Chapman, a food safety expert, told CBS MoneyWatch.


Washington State Measles Cases Now at 48

There have been 48 confirmed cases of measles in Washington state since the start of the year as health officials struggle to stop the spread of the infectious disease.

Since Jan. 1, there have been 47 confirmed cases in Clark County and at least one confirmed case in King County, home of Seattle, CNN reported.

Thirty-four of the cases involved children aged 1 to 10, and 41 patients were not vaccinated against measles, according to Clark County officials.

Measles have also been reported in eight other states this year: Hawaii, Oregon, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Colorado, California and Georgia, CNN reported.

In New York, the measles outbreak is within observant Jewish communities and linked with travel to Israel.

There have been at least 209 measles cases there since October: 64 cases in Brooklyn and 145 cases in Orange and Rockland counties, according to the New York State Department of Health.

Public health officials have talked with parents, pediatricians and rabbinical leaders in the United States and Israel to encourage measles vaccination, CNN reported.

Posted: February 2019

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