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Health Highlights: Dec. 31, 2020

By HealthDay Reporter

Below are newsworthy items compiled by HealthDay staff:

Pet Food Recalled for Deadly Levels of Aflatoxin: FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is recalling Sportmix pet food products made by Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. that may contain fatal levels of aflatoxin.

"Although this pet food recall is still unfolding, we are sharing the facts we have so far because the levels of aflatoxin found in the recalled pet food are potentially fatal. We are working quickly on this developing situation and will continue to update the public as new information becomes available," said Dr. Amber McCoig, deputy director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine Division of Compliance.

The FDA is aware of at least 28 deaths and eight illnesses in dogs that ate the recalled food, and more cases may be reported and more products may be recalled.

Aflatoxin is a poison produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on corn and other grains used as ingredients in pet food. At high levels, it can cause illness and death in pets.

Symptoms can include; sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellowish tint to the eyes or gums due to liver damage) and/or diarrhea.

In severe cases, this poison can be fatal. In some cases, pets may suffer liver damage but not show any symptoms.

Pet owners should stop feeding their pets the products listed in the FDA Advisory and consult their vet, especially if the pet is ill.

For a full list of recalled products, see FDA Advisory: Certain Lots of Sportmix Pet Food Recalled for Potentially Fatal Levels of Aflatoxin.

Dawn Wells, Mary Ann on 'Gilligan's Island,' Dies of COVID-19 Complications at 82

Dawn Wells, best known as Mary Ann Summers on the TV comedy "Gilligan's Island," died in Los Angeles from COVID-19 complications, CNN reported Wednesday. She was 82.

Wells was born in Reno, Nevada, and represented her state in the Miss America pageant in 1959.

She appeared in many television shows including "77 Sunset Strip," "Maverick," "Bonanza," "The Joey Bishop Show" and "Hawaiian Eye." Wells later beat out 350 other actresses to win the role of Mary Ann on "Gilligan's Island."

Wells starred in more than 150 TV shows, seven motion pictures including "Winterhawk" and more than 60 productions on and off-Broadway, CNN reported.

Wells was also a producer, author, journalist, motivational speaker, teacher, humanitarian, spokesperson and chairwoman of the Terry Lee Wells Foundation, an organization for women and children in northern Nevada, as well as running her Film Actors Boot Camp for seven years in Idaho.

It was her pigtailed character on "Gilligan's Island," however, which made her a star. She is survived by her step-sister, Weslee Wells.

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