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Health Highlights: July 12, 2012

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

Salmonella Illness Tied to Baby Chicks Hits People in 26 States

A total of 144 people in 26 states have become ill so far in a salmonella outbreak linked to chicks and ducklings from Mt. Healthy Hatchery in Ohio, says a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention update released Thursday.

Here are the number of ill persons in each state: Alabama (4), Arizona (1), Delaware (1), Georgia (5), Illinois (1), Indiana (3), Kansas (1), Kentucky (5), Louisiana (1), Maine (4), Maryland (1), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (2), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (1), New York (16), North Carolina (14), Ohio (37), Pennsylvania (11), Rhode Island (1), South Carolina (1), Tennessee (11), Texas (2), Vermont (1), Virginia (10), and West Virginia (7).

Thirty-two people have been hospitalized. One death was reported in New York, but it's unclear if the salmonella infection contributed to this death, the CDC said. Thirty-six percent of the ill people are children age 10 or younger.

The same hatchery was linked to a 2011 outbreak of salmonella.

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Propecia Reported to Cause Long-Term Sexual Problems

The hair loss prevention drug Propecia can cause long-term sexual problems in men, according to a new study.

It said that the effects -- including erectile dysfunction, reduced sex drive, orgasm problems and shrinking and painful genitals -- can last for months to years, even after men stop taking the drug, ABC News reported.

Other side effects reported by patients included depression, anxiety and mental fogginess.

The study included 54 men under age 40 who reported side effects for at least three months after taking Propecia. Of those men, 96 percent experienced sexual problems for more than a year after they stopped taking the drug. The findings were published Thursday in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

"Our findings make me suspicious that this drug may have done permanent damage to these men," study author Dr. Michael Irwig, of George Washington University, told ABC News. "The chances that they will improve? I think it's lower and lower the longer they have these side effects."

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Eye Movements Don't Reveal Lying: Study

The belief that your eyes can reveal if you're lying is a myth, according to U.K. researchers.

Some psychologists think that people look up to their right when they're lying and look up to the left when they're being honest, BBC News reported.

But researchers at Edinburgh and Hertfordshire universities conducted a series of tests on volunteers and found that there was no truth to this theory. Their findings were published online in the journal PLoS One.

"A large percentage of the public believes that certain eye movements are a sign of lying, and this idea is even taught in organizational training courses," study co-author Caroline Watt of Edinburgh University told the BBC. "Our research provides no support for the idea and so suggests that it is time to abandon this approach to detecting deceit."

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Drug Dispensing by Doctors Boosts Costs

Drugs dispensed by doctors cost much more than those sold by pharmacies, a practice that adds hundreds of millions of dollars a year to drug costs paid by American taxpayers, insurance companies and employers.

For example, one pill of the heartburn drug Zantac costs about 35 cents when sold by a pharmacy, but can cost nearly 10 times as much ($3.25) when dispensed by a doctor. Pharmacies sell the muscle relaxant Soma for 60 cents a pill, compared with $3.33 when it is sold by a doctor, The New York Times reported.

Doctors are most likely to dispense drugs in their office when treating injured workers. The bills are sent to insurers. Doctors can make tens of thousands of dollars a year operating their own in-office pharmacies.

The high costs have led some states, such as California and Oklahoma, to clamp down on the practice, and battles over it are being fought in states such as Florida, Hawaii and Maryland, The Times reported.

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Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. Receiving Treatment for Mood Disorder

In response to mounting pressure for more details about his monthlong absence, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s office released a statement from his doctor Wednesday saying that Jackson was undergoing "intensive medical treatment at a residential treatment facility for a mood disorder."

However, citing federal privacy laws, the statement did not reveal any details about the 47-year-old Chicago Democrat's whereabouts or the name of the doctor, the Associated Press reported.

The statement also denied claims that Jackson was being treated for alcohol or substance abuse.

The term "mood disorder" typically refers to depression or bipolar disorder, according to several experts interviewed Wednesday by the AP.

Depression is generally treated on an outpatient basis, but inpatient treatment could be recommended if the condition was severe enough or if doctors were concerned about the safety of the patient, said Ian Gotblib, a professor of psychology at Stanford University.

"The good news is that it's clearly treatable," Gotlib told the AP. He noted that inpatient treatment would likely include counseling and prescription drugs and that it could take weeks.


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