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Health Highlights: May 29, 2013

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

Supreme Court Won't Hear Planned Parenthood Case

The U.S. Supreme Court will not step into Indiana's dispute with Planned Parenthood. This means the state cannot deny Planned Parenthood Medicaid funds on the basis that its medical services include abortions. Medicaid is the joint federal-state health insurance program for the poor.

The high court will not hear Indiana's appeal of a lower court ruling that supported Planned Parenthood, the Associated Press reported. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state exceeded its authority when it decided to strip Planned Parenthood of the taxpayer funding.

The Supreme Court justices did not comment on their decision, the AP said.

More than a dozen states have sought legislation to prevent organizations that provide abortions from receiving public money, the news service said.

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Death Toll From SARS-like Virus Reaches 27: WHO

Forty-nine people are known to have been infected with a new SARS-like virus, and 27 of those patients have died, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported Wednesday.

The latest deaths occurred in Saudi Arabia, where three people in that country's eastern environs died from their infection with what is now known as Middle East respiratory symptom coronavirus (MERS-CoV), according to CNN.

The virus "is not a problem that any single affected country can keep to itself or manage all by itself," WHO general director Margaret Chan said in closing remarks this week at the 66th World Assembly in Geneva.

On Tuesday, a man died in France after having caught the virus during a trip to the Middle East, the WHO reported. That was the first reported death from the virus in that country. The man's hospital roommate has also tested positive for the virus, according to the Associated Press.

The WHO is calling for the world to join forces to study the virus, Chan said, because experts do not yet understand how it spreads, making efforts to control its spread difficult. This latest coronavirus is related to SARS, a virus that killed about 800 people back in 2003.

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