Health Highlights: April 22, 2015

Health Highlights: April 22, 2015

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

Dr. Oz Says He Won’t be Silenced

In a rebuttal to air on his TV show Thursday, Dr. Mehmet Oz says he won’t be silenced by a group of doctors who accuse him of promoting “quack treatments.”

“I vow to you right here and right now: We will not be silenced. We will not give in,” Oz said at a taping of the show on Tuesday, NBC News reported.

“These doctors are criticizing me for promoting treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain, something I tell you every day on this program I never do,” Oz added.

The cardiothoracic surgeon is vice chair of the surgery department at Columbia University. In a letter sent to the university last week, a group of doctors demanded that Oz be removed from his faculty position, but Columbia has refused.

“I’ve long believed that doctors should never fight their battles or each other in public, but now I believe I must,” Oz said at the taping, NBC News reported.


Botulism Suspected in Ohio Death and Illnesses

Food-borne botulism is suspected after one person died and at least 18 others became ill following a church picnic in central Ohio, according to the Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster.

A news release from the hospital said three people are in intensive care, five are being treated in the emergency department and 10 have been transferred to other hospitals, CBS News/Associated Press reported.

The patients were among 50 to 60 people who attended a potluck picnic at Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church on Sunday, according to the hospital.

The hospital said botulism has been confirmed in three patients so far, ABC News/AP reported.

“We are in the process of obtaining more information about these patients and our incident command team has assembled to handle this emergency,” the hospital’s news release stated.

The incident is being investigated by the Fairfield County health department, which is trying to pin down the exact number of people who attended the church picnic, department spokeswoman Jennifer Valentine said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention delivered botulism anti-toxin to Ohio on Tuesday night, state Department of Health spokesman Russ Kennedy told ABC News/AP.

“Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by a certain kind of bacteria,” he explained. Botulism is not contagious. Symptoms include double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing and shortness of breath.