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Health Highlights: June 5, 2013

Health Highlights: June 5, 2013

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

Breast Cancer Charity Komen Cancels Half of 3-Day Walks in 2014

A decline in the number of participants has led the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer charity to cancel its signature 3-Day walk in seven locations in 2014, cutting the number of walks by half.

The charity said reasons for the decision included economic uncertainty and competition from other charities. These are the same factors Komen has said are responsible for a decrease in fundraising since founder Nancy Brinker's unsuccessful attempt in 2012 to deny funds to Planned Parenthood, the Washington Post reported.

The 3-Day events require participants to raise at least $2,300 and are a major revenue source for Komen. In the events, participants walk about 20 miles each of the three days.

The decision does not affect the 3-Day events scheduled for this year or other Komen events or services. In 2014, 3-Day events will be held in Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Michigan, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle and Minneapolis-St. Paul, but will be cancelled in Arizona, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, the Tampa Bay area, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., the Post reported.

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HHS Secretary Won't Intervene in Young Girl's Lung Transplant Case

At a Congressional hearing Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held fast in her refusal to intervene in the case of a 10-year-old girl who has end-stage cystic fibrosis and is waiting for a lung transplant.

Sebelius called the case "incredibly agonizing" but said transplant eligibility decisions should be made by medical experts, NBC News reported.

The hearing focused on the case of Sarah Murnaghan of Newton Square, Penn. Her parents are challenging a policy that prevents children younger than age 12 from receiving adult organ transplants unless all adults and teens on the list have been offered the organs.

In a statement, Janet and Fran Murnaghan said they want Sebelius to intervene on behalf of all children waiting for lung transplants, not just their daughter, NBC News reported.

Last week, Sebelius requested an urgent review of the policy, but the process could take months and Sarah would likely die in the meantime, according to her parents.

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Company Recalls Frozen Berry Mix Linked to Hepatitis Outbreak

A frozen berry mix linked to an outbreak of hepatitis A that has affected at least 34 people in five states has been recalled by Townsend Farms of Oregon, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday.

The recall involves the company's frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend, which is packaged under the Townsend Farms label at Costco and under the Harris Teeter brand at those stores, the Associated Press reported.

The recall came three days after federal officials first announced a suspected link between the frozen berry mix and the illnesses in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. The FDA, which is inspecting Townsend Farms' processing facilities, did not explain why there was not an immediate recall.

The outbreak involves a strain of hepatitis A rarely seen in North or South America, but which is found in North Africa and the Middle East, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last week, a lawyer for Townsend Farms said the frozen berry product associated with the outbreak includes pomegranate seeds from Turkey, the AP reported.

 
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