Fitness, well-being, disease, medical research and issues related to Seton and St. David's Healthcare, Austin Regional Clinic and other health care providers in Austin and Central Texas

Texas Distributor Recalls Papayas Over Salmonella Risk

Jul 27, 2011

Even papayas can spread salmonellla, it turns out.

There's a recall of papayas from Mexico after testing by the Food and Drug Administration found samples from Agromod Produce had the same strain of bacteria seen in outbreaks of salmonella affecting 97 people in 23 states.

McAllen, Texas-based Agromod Produce distributes four papaya brands: Blondie, Mananita, Tastylicious and Yaya.

Photo by Clinton & Charles Robertson

The Texas Department of State Health Services is reporting a high number of rabies cases, especially in Central and North Texas. The extreme heat and drought is causing wild animals to search for food and water for longer periods of time and closer to human habitat, causing clashes with people and their pets.

Photo by Maʝicdölphin

Mass killings dominated the media this weekend with a string of shootings in the United States following just hours after a murderous rampage in Oslo. Some of the violence since Friday included:

A local psychotherapist says the deluge of grim news can be a trigger for people already trying to cope with grief. For those with a history of trauma, mental illness or personal losses, it can actually be harmful, according to two local experts.

Photo courtesy of jennfinley at

One in four gay, lesbian or transgender teens and 15 percent of bisexual teens are homeless, according to a study issued by the American Journal of Public Health. This is in contrast to three percent of heterosexual teens who are homeless. The study was made up of 6,300 Boston, Mass. public high school students.

Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Protection

A new state law passed by the 2011 Legislature requires any college student under 30 who attends classes on a Texas campus must be vaccinated against meningitis. Previously only students who lived on campus needed one.

An amendment that conservative state lawmakers hoped would wipe out the only taxpayer-funded elective abortions in Texas ultimately might not do much at all.

One of many tacked onto an omnibus health care bill during the Legislature's special session in June, the amendment by Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, aims to remove state funding from any hospital district — a health care system financed by city or county tax dollars – that provides elective abortions.

Photo by slayerphoto

A University of Texas study funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services says expanding sexual health education in public schools could help reduce teen births in Texas, a state with one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country.  Texas dropped a health education requirement for high school students in 2009, making it one of the only states in the country not to require it.

Traditionally, it was thought that the best way to prevent teen pregnancy was to encourage kids to wait until they finish school and get a job before having kids. The report found that teens and parents of all ethnic groups tend to agree. Yet teenage girls are still getting pregnant and having babies.

Time to reconsider your post-workout sports drink. When it comes to exercise recovery, chocolate milk may be your new best friend.

According to researchers at the University of Texas in Austin, the sweet dairy beverage many of us remember as an elementary school essential is now considered the ideal drink to consume after a workout.

Photo by Stephen Yeh

When family doctor Bruce Malone was in the intensive care unit at Austin’s Brackenridge Hospital about ten years ago, he saw something that disturbed him to his core: an 11-year-old child who was brain dead after he crashed his bicycle into a culvert. The boy was unharmed from the neck down.

“I know that he would have been okay had he worn his helmet,” Malone told KUT News. “It just makes you angry.”

Photo by DucDigital

San Marcos could hold a referendum this November on whether to ban indoor smoking in public places. The City Council moved a step closer to putting the question on the ballot at its last meeting on Tuesday. But not everyone is sold on the idea.

San Marcos deputy mayor Chris Jones says he’s concerned the measure could harm local business at a time when the city is still recovering from an economic downturn.

Photo by Jessica Lucia

Have you been sneezing more this summer? A victim to itchy, watery eyes? Well, you’re not alone. Dr. Dana Sprute, the Program Director at the UT Southwestern Austin Family Medicine Residency Program, notes allergies in Austin are running higher than usual.

Photo by Nathan Bernier/KUT News

The health reform bill House lawmakers will consider today has drawn an unexpected band of supporters: abortion opponents. The measure — designed to improve health care delivery and cut waste in a system where costs are spiraling — contains a single provision aimed at doing what GOP lawmakers have fought to do all year: restrict funding to Planned Parenthood.

Graphic courtesy USDA

Texas school districts are responding to the newest innovation in nutrition guidelines from the The U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA today unveiled MyPlate. It's a graphic rendition of suggested proportional portion sizes for fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy.

Melanie Konarik, director of child nutrition services for Spring Independent School District, called the design "excellent," saying that teachers and parents can use it to educate young people about the importance of balanced meals.

Photo courtesy of US Senator Christopher Coons on Flickr

Doctors at Seton Medical Center in Austin say they expect to discharge Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad today.

Fayyad was hospitalized Sunday, after complaining of chest pains. He was in Austin to attend his son’s graduation at UT-Austin.

Photo courtesy The Texas Tribune

 The Women’s Health Program could be on its way out.

Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, said this morning that he doesn’t have the votes in the Senate to bring up a bill to renew the family planning and preventative care program — a measure many Democrats oppose because it would formally ban Planned Parenthood from participating.

Photo by KUT News

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a legal brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit today, urging it to strike down the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It was part of a legal action taken by a coalition of 26 states.

Photo by BrittneyBush

Armadillos aren't known for being particularly cuddly. But a new study may offer a better reason never to pick up one of the armor-plated critters: they can spread leprosy.

Photo courtesy of Brian Zaccheo

Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a biosensor that costs as little as a  dollar to help test for acute pancreatitis. The materials include a 12-cent LED light, aluminum foil, gelatin, milk protein, and a few other inexpensive items. Brian Zaccheo, a graduate research assistant at UT’s chemistry department, says that the development saves time, money, and lives by using this low-tech approach.

Photo by lenifuzhead

Two Texas infants died in bathtubs within a 12 hour period yesterday, prompting state officials to remind parents never to leave small children alone around any container of water.

Photo by pixajen

Williamson County is the healthiest county in the state, according to a ranking released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin.  Travis County ranked sixth in the survey. The least healthy county was Marion, an area about half-an-hour northeast of San Antonio.

Researchers say they used these criteria to rank counties:

1.  Overall Health Outcomes