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Health Highlights: Aug. 5, 2013

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

Legionnaire's Disease Kills 5 at Ohio Retirement Community

An outbreak of Legionnaire's disease at a retirement community in central Ohio has killed five people and sickened at least 39 others since July, health officials say. The victims were between 63 and 99 years old.

Bacteria in an air conditioning cooling tower and several water sources have been linked to the outbreak of the rare form of pneumonia at Wesley Ridge Retirement Community in Reynoldsburg, according to the state health department, the Associated Press reported.

The retirement community has taken measures to clean the water by superheating and hyper-chlorinating it and installing filters on shower heads, and residents have been told not to drink the water until testing is complete.

Those measures are believed to have prevented any new infections, according to health officials, the AP reported.

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Football Helmet Warning Labels Vary

A stark warning on one brand of football helmets isn't meant to scare people away from the game, but to make sure they understand the potential risks of the sport, company officials say.

"No helmet system can protect you from serious brain and/or neck injuries including paralysis or death. To avoid these risks, do not engage in the sport of football," say the labels on the backs of Schutt Sports' football helmets, according to a report in The New York Times.

The company has had this warning on its football helmets for about a decade, and it also appears on Schutt's website and in a scannable label on the helmet that links to information about head injuries by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The simplest thing we can do is remind people that the game has inherent risks," Robert Erb, Schutt's chief executive, told the Times. "It's an ethical, moral and legal issue. People need to know these things."

But some people don't want to know. The warning has cost Schutt customers, including an official with a large youth league in California who said the language was offensive and harmed the game of football. However, Erb said the company has a responsibility to be as clear as possible.

"This is not to provoke fear or controversy," Erb told the Times. "It was to tell you to look both ways when you cross the street, not 'don't cross the street.' "

The wording of warnings on football helmets isn't universal. For example, labels on helmets made by Riddell -- the largest football helmet maker in the U.S. and the official helmet manufacturer of the NFL -- do not suggest that risk-averse players give up the sport, the newspaper reported.

"We feel strongly that the information, education and warning materials that accompany Riddell helmets are clear, concise and comprehensive," Riddell officials said.




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