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Health Highlights: Sept. 5, 2012

Last Updated: September 05, 2012.

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

Yosemite Visitors in 39 Other Countries Warned About Hantavirus

Yosemite Park visitors from 39 countries outside the United States have been sent warnings about a hantavirus outbreak linked to some of the park's cabins, health officials said Wednesday.

Six cases of the potentially deadly rodent-borne disease have been reported among people who stayed at 'Signature Tent Cabins" in the park's popular Curry Village from early June to late August. Two of those infected have died, CNN reported.

Up to 100,000 people are at risk, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"All guests who made reservations to stay in the 'Signature Tent Cabins' from June 10 through August 24, 2012 (approximately 2,900 persons) were e-mailed or mailed a health advisory urging them to seek immediate medical attention if they or other persons in their party exhibit symptoms of HPS," or hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, the CDC said last week.

The syndrome is a rare lung disease that kills about one third of those infected, CNN reported.


Author Judy Blume Reveals Breast Cancer Battle

Author Judy Blume revealed Wednesday that she spent the summer battling breast cancer.

In a detailed blog entry, Blume describes her diagnosis and subsequent decision to have a mastectomy and breast reconstruction. She says routine ultrasound in June revealed that she required an immediate biopsy, CNN reported.

Within the next few days, Blue was told she had "invasive ductal carcinoma." The diagnosis left her shocked and questioning how she could have breast cancer.

It's been one month since her surgery and Blume said she is "feeling stronger every day," CNN reported.


NFL Donates $30 Million for Brain Research

The NFL is donating $30 million to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health to conduct brain research designed to benefit athletes, members of the military and the general public.

The announcement was made Wednesday by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the Associated Press reported.

Under the grant, potential areas of research include chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), concussion management and treatment, and investigating the link between traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, later in life.

The NIH, considered one of the world's leading medical research centers, is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the AP reported.


New Drug Approved for Rare Blood Cancer

A new drug to treat a rare form of blood and bone marrow cancer has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The drug Bosulif is a daily pill to treat chronic myeloid leukemia patients who have a specific genetic variation and do not respond to other cancer therapies, the Associated Press reported.

The new Pfizer drug was approved under the FDA's orphan drug program, which provides financial incentives for the development of drugs for rare diseases. The approval is based on a Pfizer study showing that 34 percent of patients treated with the drug showed a response within six months of starting treatment.

The most common side effects included diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, rash and fever, the AP reported.


Defective Tampons Stolen, May Pose Health Risk

Defective tampons that were stolen by thieves may pose a health risk to women who use them, Kimberly-Clark Corp. says.

The company said that the Kotex Natural Balance Security tampons failed the final inspection and were sent to an outside company to be destroyed. But they were stolen and then sold to the public, the Associated Press reported.

Some of the tampons have metallic particles, imperfect raw materials and increased levels of bacteria, Kimberley-Clark said. However, the company said the health risk is low and it has received no complaints from consumers.

The defective tampons had been scheduled for destruction between October 2011 and June 2012.


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