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Health Highlights: Sept. 5, 2012

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

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.


U.K. Warns Citizens About Hantavirus Outbreak in Yosemite

The hantavirus outbreak at California's Yosemite National Park has become an international concern after the Health Protection Agency in the United Kingdom said it was contacting citizens believed to be at risk.

In a statement Monday, the agency said it was "providing health advice and information ... about the ongoing situation in the U.S." to about 100 people believed to have visited Yosemite between June 10 and Aug. 24, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The agency also said it was working with U.S. and European health officials in responding to the hantavirus outbreak.

So far, six cases of the rodent-borne disease, including two deaths, have been linked to certain tent cabins in Curry Village, one of Yosemite's most popular campgrounds. Park officials have sent letters and emails to about 3,100 people who reserved any of the 91 affected tent cabins, the Times reported.

The U.S. Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention said last week that an estimated 10,000 people had stayed in the tent cabins between June 10 and Aug. 24.


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Posted: September 2012