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Health Highlights: Aug. 20, 2013

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

New Mexico Poultry Hatchery Likely Source of Salmonella Outbreak

A salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 300 people in 37 states since March has been linked to a poultry hatchery in New Mexico.

Nearly three-fifths of the people who've become ill are children. No deaths have been reported, but 51 people have been hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Associated Press reported.

Officials said the strain of salmonella causing the outbreak was found at Privett Hatchery in Portales, which sells live baby chickens, ducks and other poultry by mail and supplies them to feed stores.

But while the New Mexico hatchery is the most likely source of the outbreak, investigators have found that people sickened with salmonella bought poultry at 113 feed store locations that were supplied by 18 mail order hatcheries in several states, according to state public health veterinarian Paul Ettestad, the AP reported.

Further tests are being conducted, the CDC said.


Radiation Rx for Prostate Cancer Prescribed More Often by Docs Who Profit: Report

Radiation treatment for Medicare patients with prostate cancer is much more likely to be prescribed by doctors with a financial interest in radiation treatment centers, according to report by Congressional investigators.

They also found that patients often did not know that their doctors would profit from the use of radiation therapy, according to The New York Times.

The Government Accountability Office report noted that alternative treatments may be equally effective and are less costly for Medicare and for patients with prostate cancer, which is one of the most common cancers in men.

In other recent studies, GAO investigators found that doctors who owned laboratories and imaging centers were more likely recommend CT scans and MRIs for Medicare patients, The Times reported.

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