Health Highlights: Sept. 28, 2020

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

Brain-Eating Amoeba in Tap Water of Lake Jackson, Texas

The presence of a brain-eating amoeba in its drinking water has led the city of Lake Jackson, Texas, to issue a “do not use water order” and request an emergency declaration from the state.

“The City of Lake Jackson, County of Brazoria, Texas, is facing significant threats to life, health and property due to contaminated drinking water,” the city said in its emergency request to Gov. Greg Abbott. “The impact of this threat is severe. The potential damages include: sickness and death.”

The city, which has more than 27,000 residents, gets its water from the Brazos River. The situation with naegleria fowleri in the water “is of such severity and magnitude” that the city cannot control the threat on its own, Mayor Bob Sipple wrote, CBS News reported.

The Brazosport Water Authority supplies water to Lake Jackson and said in a statement that it’s unclear how long before the city’s tap water will again be safe.

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Ron Paul ‘Doing Fine’ After Hospitalization

Former Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul is “doing fine” after being hospitalized on Friday after an apparent medical episode, according to a tweet on his Twitter account.

Paul — who ran for president as a Libertarian in 1988 and a Republican in 2008 and 2012 — was seen slurring his words during a livestream on his YouTube channel on Friday. The video has since been removed, CNN reported.

“Message from Ron Paul: ‘I am doing fine. Thank you for your concern,'” a tweet posted on the 85-year-old’s account stated.

Ron Paul is the father of Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

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Company Pays $60 Million to Settle Pelvic Mesh Case

A company has agreed to pay $60 million to settle charges by U.S. state attorneys general that it failed to adequately inform women of dangerous side effects associated with permanent pelvic mesh devices.

The payment by C.R. Bard Inc. and its parent company Becton, Dickinson and Co. will be shared by 48 states and the District of Columbia, CBS News reported.

“Bard failed to disclose serious and life-altering risks of permanently implanted surgical mesh devices, leaving thousands of women to suffer,” Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch said in a statement. “This settlement holds Bard accountable for its deceptive business practices.”

C.R. Bard and its parent company have denied any allegations of wrongdoing, and chose to settle the matter “to avoid the time and expense of further litigation,” according to Troy Kirkpatrick, a spokesperson for Becton, Dickinson and Co., CBS News reported.

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U.S. Military Suicides Higher This Year

Suicides in the U.S. military are as much as 20% higher so far this year compared to this time last year, new data suggest.

The increases vary by service, with the largest (30%) — from 88 last year to 114 this year — in the active Army. The Army Guard is up about 10%, from 78 last year to 86 this year. The Navy’s numbers are believed to be lower this year, the Associated Press reported.

The figures are from discussions in Defense Department briefings, Army officials said. The Pentagon refused to provide 2020 data or discuss the issue.

This is incomplete data and the causes of suicide are complex, but the pandemic is placing additional pressure on an already strained force, Army and Air Force officials told the AP.

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