Health Highlights: Dec. 30, 2015

Health Highlights: Dec. 30, 2015

Health Highlights: Dec. 30, 2015

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

Blue Bell Creameries Under Investigation for Deadly Listeria Outbreak

Blue Bell Creameries is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice in connection with a deadly listeria outbreak earlier this year that killed three people.

An investigation conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration following the outbreak discovered the bacteria in all three of the company's ice cream production plants -- located in Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas. That investigation also discovered condensation dripping into ice cream and unsanitary equipment, CBS News reported.

Following the outbreak, the company issued a nationwide recall and almost 8 million gallons of ice cream were pulled off the market.

All three plants, which were shut down last April, are operating again, and new ice cream products are set to hit store shelves in 15 states by the end of January, the network said.

The Department of Justice investigation is focused on whether Blue Bell management knew about the contaminated plants and, if they did, when they knew about them, sources told CBS News.

Records have shown that the company knew about contamination at least one plant back in 2013, according toCBS News.


Guinea, 'Ground Zero' for Ebola, Declared Free of the Disease

The United Nations' World Health Organization on Tuesday declared the West African nation of Guinea to be free of Ebola.

Guinea was home to the first known case of Ebola, occurring in a small boy name Emile Ouamouno in December 2013. The boy died of the disease, CNN reported.

The outbreak -- which eventually infected more than 28,000 people and killed more than 11,200, making it the worst Ebola outbreak ever -- was centered in Guinea and two other West African nations -- Liberia and Sierra Leone.

WHO earlier declared Liberia and Sierra Leone free of Ebola. The agency has made the declaration for Guinea because 42 days have passed since the last Guinean Ebola patient tested negative for the virus for the second time, CNN said. Guinea now goes into a 90-day period of heightened surveillance to make sure that any new cases are spotted quickly, WHO said.

"The coming months will be absolutely critical," Dr. Bruce Aylward, the head of Ebola response for the WHO, told CNN.
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