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Health Highlights: June 14, 2011

Health Highlights: June 14, 2011

06/14/11

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

Listeria at Kellogg Plant Spurs FDA Warning

A warning letter about bacteria and substandard production procedures at a food production plant in Augusta, Ga. was sent to Kellogg Co. by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA said an inspection conducted in February found listeria in the plant and also said food made at the plant may be "contaminated with filth." The letter, posted Tuesday on the FDA's website, didn't specify the types of food products made at the plant, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Kellogg says it is taking a number of "aggressive actions," such as cleaning the plant and testing the food, in response to the FDA's concerns.

"The safety of our food is of utmost importance to Kellogg. While the FDA did not identify specific concerns with the food, we take this situation very seriously," a company spokeswoman said in a statement, the Wall Street Journal reported. "We have confidence in the safety of our food."

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Woman to Receive Mother's Uterus

A 25-year-old Swedish woman plans to become the first in the world to undergo a mother-to-daughter uterus transplant, and then to become the first in the world to give birth to a child using the same womb in which she was carried.

Sara Ottosson lacks reproductive organs due to a rare genetic disorder and is scheduled to receive her mother's uterus next spring. Later, her eggs will be fertilized by her boyfriend's sperm and implanted into the uterus, according to the Telegraph newspaper, CBS News reported.

Both the daughter and mother view the transplant in a practical way.

"I'm a biology teacher, and it's just an organ like any other organ," Sara told the Telegraph, CBS News reported.

"My daughter and I are both very rational people, and we both think it's just a womb," said 56-year-old Eva Ottosson. "She needs it more than me. I've had two daughters so it's served me well."

The world's first uterus transplant was conducted in Saudi Arabia in 2000, but problems developed and the transplanted womb had to be removed from the 26-year-old recipient, CBS News reported.

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Countries Pledge Billions for Child Vaccinations Worldwide

More than four million lives will be saved over the next four years after a promise by a number of nations to donate $4.3 billion to help vaccinate children against preventable diseases such as pneumonia, according to the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunization.

Donations were pledged by the U.K. ($1.3 billion), Norway ($677 million), the United States ($450 million), Sweden, The Netherlands, Australia, France, Germany and Italy. Another $1 billion was promised by Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates, BBC News reported.

GAVI had been seeking a total of $3.7 billion.

Even though there is a vaccine against pneumonia, the disease kills two million children under age 5 each year worldwide. It's estimated that pneumonia and diarrhea kill 3 times more children under age 5 than malaria and HIV/AIDS combined. But many countries can't afford the vaccines to prevent pneumonia and diarrhea, BBC News reported.

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Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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