2020’s oddest, non-coronavirus health news


2020 was quite the year — though likely not in the way many were expecting. 

Shortly after the world welcomed in the new decade, COVID-19 began to dominate headlines, from the moment the pandemic was declared to recent news of two separate but promising vaccines against the virus receiving emergency use approval in the U.S. 

But there were some instances where health news didn’t involve the coronavirus. Read on for a look at some of the oddest health news that 2020 had to offer. 

Massachusetts man dies after ‘overdosing’ on black licorice 

They say too much of a good thing can be harmful, as was the case for one Massachusetts man whose love of black licorice ultimately cost him his life.

RARE BRAIN-EATING AMOEBA INFECTION CONFIRMED IN FLORIDA, HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY

In a case report recently detailed in the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors revealed that a 54-year-old Massachusetts construction worker essentially “overdosed” on black licorice. The candy contains glycyrrhizic acid, which caused the man’s potassium levels to plummet. Dangerously low levels of potassium can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, and, in some cases, congestive heart failure.

Read the full story here.

Poop transplant cures man’s ‘drunkenness disease’ 

Drunk… but without drinking any alcohol?

That was the case for one  47-year-old man who had gut fermentation syndrome, also known as auto-brewery syndrome (ABS). This rare condition involves excessive fungal growth in the gut, which feeds on carbohydrates and then fuels ethanol production. Often times, ABS is linked to an excessive amount of yeast in the gut.

In the man’s case, clinicians tried putting the patient on a low-carb diet and course of antifungals, but signs of intoxication persisted, according to a case study published in August in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

When all else failed, clinicians looked to fecal microbiota transplantation — a poop transplant. Bacteria in the feces was transferred into the patient’s small intestine. The transplant came from the man’s 22-year-old daughter and his symptoms resolved, at least until his most recent follow-up at 34 months. 

HANTAVIRUS KILLS MAN IN CORONAVIRUS-HIT CHINA, 32 OTHERS TESTED, REPORT SAYS

The authors of the report said at the time that the case is believed to be the “first successful treatment of a patient with chronic gut fermentation syndrome by using fecal microbiota transplantation.”

Read the full story here. 

Woman’s headache caused by tapeworm larvae in brain 

A case report published just before Halloween this year detailed the harrowing reason for an Australian woman’s persistent headache: tapeworm larvae.

Physicians in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene detailed the woman’s case, which is believed to be the first “autochthonous case,” or locally acquired case, of neurocysticercosis, a parasitic disease that occurs after one accidentally ingests Taenia solium (pork tapeworm) eggs.

The woman suffered headaches two to three times a month from the time she was 18, and the headaches were often accompanied by “visual aura.” 

MAN HAD HUNDREDS OF TAPEWORMS IN BRAIN, CHEST AFTER EATING UNDERCOOKED PORK

Painkillers would usually provide her relief, but her headache described in the case report was persistent, leading her to seek medical attention. Her visual symptoms also worsened.

A subsequent MRI scan revealed what doctors at first thought were either a brain abscess or a tumor. But when the woman went in for an operation to remove the brain lesion, they discovered the shocking cause behind her pain: a cyst full of tapeworm larvae. 

Read the full story here. 

Colorado hiker with coronavirus-like symptoms found to have rare, possibly life-threatening disease 

A woman who hiked the Colorado Trail over the summer later fell ill with coronavirus-like symptoms in October. 

After receiving multiple negative COVID-19 tests, however, the woman went to the hospital and was tested for several strains of the flu but was found to have none. 

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Finally, after undergoing imaging screenings, the woman received an answer — learning her rare, life-threatening illness was likely related to her summer hiking excursion. 

“I actually got this disease and didn’t die,” the woman later said. 

Read the full story here.

Fox News’ Kayla Rivas contributed to this report. 



Source link