Health Highlights: June 4, 2016

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

Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali Dies at 74

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali died on Friday in a Phoenix hospital after battling a respiratory condition.

One of the most iconic sports figure of all time, the 74-year-old Ali had suffered from Parkinson’s disease since he was 42. A degenerative neurological condition that can rob victims of speech and mobility with no known cure, many experts believe his illness was caused by decades of taking head blows in the boxing ring.

Ali was first hospitalized for respiratory issues earlier this week, but his condition worsened rapidly, the Associated Press reported. His hometown of Louisville, Ken., plans to hold a memorial service next Saturday, the wire service said.

“The three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer died this evening,” family spokesman Bob Gunnell said in an statement Friday night. “The Ali family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and support and asks for privacy at this time.”

Although celebrated in the ring for his unorthodox and groundbreaking boxing style, Ali also became famous for speaking out on many of the issues that defined his time.

Often, his brash, yet poetic, statements on race, religion and war, generated both controversy and respect. Sadly, Parkinson’s eventually robbed him of the ability to express his personal convictions on a public stage.

Millions watched the Olympics opening ceremony in Atlanta in 1996, as the former superstar’s hands trembled so badly he could barely light the ceremonial torch to start the games.

In the 1960s, his refusal to be drafted into the Vietnam War led boxing officials to strip him of his heavyweight titles, and he was convicted as a draft evader, the New York Times reported.

But he appealed the verdict and filed for conscientious objector status in 1967. Although he lost more than three years of a brilliant boxing career, the U.S. Supreme Court finally granted him that status in 1971, the newspaper said.

He also converted to Islam in the 1960s, at which point he changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali.


FDA Resumes Egg Facility Inspections in 21 States

Inspections of egg-handling facilities in 21 states resumed Wednesday after being halted in May 2015 due to the worst bird flu outbreak in U.S. history, the Food and Drug Administration says.

The inspections, done mainly to prevent the spread of salmonella, were suspended because the FDA believed the risk of spreading the H5N2 bird flu virus outweighed the threat of salmonella, the Associated Press reported.

The FDA inspects egg processors with 3,000 or more birds, while smaller facilities are inspected by state agents.

FDA spokeswoman Lauren Sucher said there have been no egg-related salmonella outbreaks or recalls since last summer, the AP reported.


Battery-Powered Migraine Patch May Pose Burn Threat: FDA

Consumer complaints that a battery-powered migraine treatment patch can cause severe burns are being investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Zecuity patch uses an electric current to deliver the migraine drug sumatriptan through the skin. Previously, some patients reported a blistering allergic reaction to the patch, and now the FDA has received reports that it could also cause burns, according to NBC News.

“A large number of patients have reported they experienced burns or scars on the skin where the patch was worn. The reports included descriptions of severe redness, pain, skin discoloration, blistering, and cracked skin,” the FDA said.

“We are investigating the cause and extent of these serious side effects and will update the public with new information when our review is complete,” the agency added, NBC News reported.

The patch may need to carry additional safety warnings, according to the FDA.

“Patients who experience moderate to severe pain at the Zecuity patch site should immediately remove it to avoid possible burns or scarring, regardless of how long the patch has been worn, and contact your health care professional. Do not bathe, shower, or swim while wearing the patch,” the FDA said.

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