Health Highlights: Oct. 10, 2019

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

Washington State Bans Flavored Vaping Products

An emergency rule banning the sale of flavored vaping products in Washington state takes effect Thursday and lasts 120 days.

“This is a critical part of our response to the youth vaping epidemic and the outbreak of vaping associated lung injury in Washington and throughout the country,” said Washington Secretary of Health John Wiesman, who is also a member of the Washington State Board of Health, CNN reported.

There have been at least 1,080 lung injury cases reported in 48 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week, including 18 deaths.

The specific cause of vaping related lung injury is unknown, but there are indications that the majority of patients vaped THC products, CNN reported.


Pet Turtles Linked to Salmonella Outbreak: CDC

A salmonella outbreak linked to pet turtles has sickened 21 people in 13 states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Seven people have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported, the CDC said in an update about the ongoing investigation.

Any turtle can carry salmonella, even it if appears clean and healthy. Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after touching, feeding, or caring for a turtle or cleaning its habitat, the CDC advised.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. The illness typically lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.


NYC Sues Flavored Online E-Cigarette Sellers

Twenty-two online sellers of flavored e-cigarettes are being sued by New York City for allegedly targeting young people through social media.

The defendants created “a public nuisance” by selling e-cigarettes to people under 21 even though such sales have been illegal in the city since 2013, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday, CNN reported.

“Preying on minors and hooking them on a potentially lethal, lifelong nicotine addiction is unconscionable,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “This lawsuit sends a message: we will do whatever it takes to protect our kids and the health of our city.”

Nationwide, state and local governments have taken action to limit children’s access to e-cigarettes, CNN reported.


Teens Share Vaping Experiences With Melania Trump

A small group of teens shared their e-cigarette experiences with Melania Trump on Wednesday.

One of them was Luka Kinard, 16, of High Point, North Carolina. He said he quit using the devices after spending 39 days in rehab a year ago, the Associated Press reported.

“We need to be proactive before it gets out of control,” Melania Trump said at the White House “listening session.”

She said she’s pleased that some retailers are halting sales of e-cigarettes, calling it a necessary step to protect the next generation, the AP reported.


Medicare Fraud-Prevention Rules to be Revised

Revision of decades-old Medicare rules meant to prevent fraud has been proposed by the Trump administration.

The rules targeted for overhaul were meant to deter self-dealing and financial kickbacks among hospitals, clinics and doctors but are now considered an obstacle to coordinating better patient care, according to the Associated Press.

The complex requirements of the rules make it difficult for hospitals and doctors to work together, according to government officials.

The changes to the rules could take months and will be closely monitored by the health care industry and patient advocates, the AP reported.