Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Mandela Showing 'Great Improvement,' Ex-Wife Says
Former South African president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson
Mandela is showing "great improvement," according to his ex-wife,
who spoke to the press on Friday after visiting the critically ill
leader in the hospital.
"I'm not a doctor, but I can say that from what he was a few
days ago there is great improvement," said Winnie
The 94-year-old Mandela has been hospitalized as doctors help
him battle the latest in a series of respiratory illnesses.
CBS/AP, family members as well as South African Cabinet
ministers have paid recent visits to the hospital to see him.
South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday described
Mandela's condition as critical but stable.
U.S. President Barack Obama headed to South Africa on Friday, as
part of a planned three-nation tour of Africa. But it remains
uncertain whether Obama will visit Mandela.
"I don't need a photo-op, and the last thing I want to do is to
be in any way obtrusive at a time when the family is concerned
about Nelson Mandela's condition," he said in a statement,
CBS/APreported. "I've had the opportunity to meet with him.
Michelle and the girls had an opportunity to meet with him. Right
now, our main concern is with his well-being, his comfort, and with
the family's well-being and comfort."
Baby Aspirin Recalled After Acetaminophen Discovery
More than 16,000 bottles of baby aspirin are being recalled by
Advance Pharmaceutical Inc. after one of the bottles was found to
be filled with acetaminophen pills.
The recall covers 120-pill bottles labeled to contain
81-milligram aspirin pills. The bottle discovered by a CVS
pharmacist contained 500-mg acetaminophen pills,
No injuries have been reported, according to Advance
Pharmaceutical spokesman Abu Amanatullah.
Doctors said that unknowningly taking acetaminophen instead of
baby aspirin could lead to an overdose that results in liver
failure, the need for a liver transplant or death,
3-Person Fertility Treatments Being Considered in Britain
A controversial technique that uses DNA from three people to
create a baby may be approved in Britain, according to a top
This method would help women with faulty mitochondria -- the
energy source in a cell -- from passing this problem to their
children. Mitochondrial disorders can result in conditions such as
epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, mental retardation and heart
In this procedure, healthy genetic material is taken from the
egg or embryo of a woman with a mitochondrial disorder and
transferred into a donor egg or embryo that still has its healthy
mitochondria but has had the rest of its key DNA removed. The
fertilized egg or embryo is then transferred into the mother's
"Scientists have developed ground-breaking new procedures which
could stop these diseases being passed on," Dr. Sally Davies,
Britain's chief medical officer, said in a statement, the
APreported. "It's only right that we look to introduce this
life-saving treatment as soon as we can."
Critics say such methods are unethical, but there is wide public
support for them, according to the U.K.'s fertility regulator.
Second Company Recalls Pomegranate Seeds
Another company has announced a recall of pomegranate seeds from
Turkey that could be contaminated with hepatitis A, an infectious
disease of the liver.
Scenic Fruit Company in Oregon is recalling more than 61,000
bags of Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels shipped
between February and May of this year, the
ABC Newsreported. Investigators have not found any evidence
of hepatitis A contamination in the kernels and no one has become
sick from eating them, according to information on the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration's website.
"The company's decision to voluntarily recall products is made
from an abundance of caution in response to an ongoing outbreak
investigation by the FDA and CDC," according to the recall
A hepatitis A outbreak has been linked to pomegranate seeds from
Turkey included in a frozen berry mix from Townsend Farms in
Oregon. The outbreak has sickened 122 people in eight states and 54
of them have been hospitalized, according to the CDC,
Illegal Online Pharmacy Crackdown Closes 1,677 Websites
More than $41 million in illegal medicines have been confiscated
and 1,677 websites have been shut down by American and
international regulators in their ongoing battle against
counterfeit drugs sold over the Internet, the U.S. Food and Drug
Federal court warrants were used to seize website domain names
and post messages to warn visitors that people who traffic in
counterfeit drugs may face severe penalties under U.S. law, the
The message also provides visitors with a link to an FDA website
that outlines the risks of fake online pharmacies.
The website closures and counterfeit drug seizures announced
Thursday were part of a weeklong crackdown that was organized by
the international police agency Interpol and ended Sunday. No
arrests were made but the investigation is continuing, the
A similar operation last year led to the closure of more than
18,000 illegal online pharmacies, the seizure of $10.5 million in
medicines, and the arrests of about 80 people.