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Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Could the Kardashian influence have finally infiltrated even the hospital delivery room of an expectant mother?

Fans of the show will remember Kourtney Kardashian's documented-for-TV delivery of her daughter, Penelope. There were eight family members in the room (not to mention the thousands of people who later watched at home), including son Mason, sisters Kim and Khloe, brother Rob, half siblings Kendall and Kylie, mom Kris Jenner and Scott Disick, the baby's father.

"Crowd birthing" — or inviting throngs of people into the delivery room and/or documenting the experience on social media — might be the latest trend among pregnant women. One U.K. parenting site, Channel Mum, said the average number of friends and family present for a birth is eight. In other words, the same number of people as Kourtney Kardashian.

"The term is one I'm just starting to hear, but the practice of having a lot of people in the delivery room has been getting popular for some time," Babble blogger and birth doula Bailey Gaddis told ABC News. The Ojai, California mom had five family and friends in the room for the birth of her son, her husband, her mother, her mother-in-law, her brother-in-law and a friend. She recently attended at the birth of a woman with seven friends and family in the room.

All those people, combined with additional medical staff, easily adds up to double-digits.

Gaddis said it's typical that a laboring mom might have friends and family coming in and out of the hospital room to say hello and check in. But as the moment of birth arrives "people just pour in and the room fills up," she said. "If the mom or the father don't object, it's unlikely that the nurses will tell anyone to leave, especially in the case of a delivery where there's little medical intervention needed."

Demand for more people in the delivery room led one hospital to increase the number of people allowed from two to three to unlimited, said Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, Division Chief of General Obstetrics and Gynecology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Ohio. But then, nurses sometimes felt they "lost control of the room."

The hospital then went back to a three-person rule, but turned a blind eye to more people as long as the nurses felt comfortable that the mother was being well taken care of.

"There's been a lot of back-and-forth discussion on this," Greenfield said, "it's definitely a key issue."

Greenfield pointed out that having a lot of people in a small delivery room can be a big issue in an emergency when medical staff may need to enter and exit the room quickly.

And for moms who want to share the details of the birth of their child with even more people than can fit in the hospital room, there's always social media.

In 2013, Ruth Iorio live-tweeted the details of her birth, complete with placenta photos and her very own hashtag #ruthshomebirth.

Greenfield said that when it comes to deciding who and how many people witness the birth of your child, a friend of hers lent a piece of advice that moms might want to consider. "Never invite anyone to the birth if you would feel bad if they saw you throw up," she said. "It's often not very pretty."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — An outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease has infected at least 31 in New York City and health officials are racing to figure out the cause.

The deaths of two patients who also had Legionnaire's disease are being investigated by health officials.

Officials from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene are combing the center of the outbreak in the South Bronx to search for the source of the dangerous outbreak.

Caused by a bacteria called Legionella, the infection causes a type of pneumonia that can be damaging or even fatal for those with compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions. It’s contracted when a person inhales small droplets of air or water with the bacteria and can be spread from contaminated hot tubs, fountains, cooling units for air conditioners and large plumbing systems.

“We are concerned about this unusual increase in Legionnaires’ disease cases in the South Bronx,” Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said in a statement. “We are conducting a swift investigation to determine the source of the outbreak and prevent future cases. I urge anyone with symptoms to seek medical attention right away.”

Symptoms of Legionnaire’s disease include coughing, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle aches or headaches.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said that 31 infections constitute a large outbreak for Legionnaire’s disease and that health officials will likely look for a common source if people are in the same neighborhood.

“If they are clustered geographically … Where do they travel, where do they work, where do they worship?” Schaffner said of the kinds of questions health officials will ask patients. “By localizing it geographically you can look up and see if you can find cooling towers that might be contaminated.”

While the large outbreak is worrying, Schaffner said people should not panic since the disease cannot be spread person to person and antibiotic treatment is available.

The disease was named after it infected numerous people at conference of the American Legion in 1976. The bacteria leads to the hospitalization of around 8,000 to 18,000 people in the U.S. every year according to the U.S. Center of Disease Control and Prevention and it is more commonly reported in the summer and early fall.

ABC US News | World News

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Organization expert Marie Kondo has been dubbed Japan’s queen of clean -- and she’s the driving force behind a new movement that’s aimed at helping people declutter their homes and lives for good.

In her New York Times best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Kondo gives a step-by-step guide to her patented KonMari method that’s gaining momentum worldwide.

In the self-help tome, Kondo encourages readers to examine their belongings and only surround themselves with things that "spark joy."

That philosophy can transform, said Wendy Goodman, New York Magazine’s design editor.

"Think of this as a celebration," Goodman told ABC News. "You say, 'Does this bring me joy?,' if not, it goes out."

"She's very much about having a relationship, in a very direct way, with objects and coming to terms with the things that you actually need," Goodmain said of Kondo.

Kondo’s method is simple. It says that in order to properly de-clutter a house, people should start with the easiest item -- clothing, and then move on to books, papers, and finally, miscellaneous items. These items, considered the hardest to tackle, include things such as phone chargers and keys.

"You do not go room by room, you go category by category," Goodman said. "Everything has its own space and its own life."

Depending on the size of the residence, the entire decluttering process can take about six months. Someone following Kondo’s method can discard or donate between 20 and 30 45-liter bags of stuff. For a family of three, that number can approach 70 bags of unnecessary things.

Goodman, who had a consultation with Kondo in her home, is slowly implementing the method.

"This process is about putting yourself in the present to go forward,” she said.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

As much as we love them, we all know how stubborn men can be.

Unfortunately, guys can be stubborn with their health, too, and that can have some major consequences.

Men are more likely to engage in risk behaviors and less likely to take diagnoses and prescriptions seriously.

Here’s what you can do to help the men in your life lead longer and stronger lives:

  • Encourage them to stay active and eat well, and stay educated on health issues.
  • Make sure everyone is making their regular doctor’s appointments.
  • Lead by example and be consistent. Make this an act of love, and your man will surely thank you.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Clem Murray/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS via Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- The youngest recipient of a dual hand transplant may be through his surgery, but the real test of the transplant’s success may come as he starts to recover and gain use of his new hands.

Doctors are hopeful that the new hands for Zion Harvey, 8, will hold up during his lifetime, but they also acknowledged that he is in uncharted territory.

Zion lost his hands and feet from a dangerous infection at age 2 and has largely coped with the disability through prosthetics for his feet, but his doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia wanted to give him a more permanent solution.

“We wanted to really make sure that this was going to work for our patient and work for a lifetime, not just a year,” Dr. Benjamin Chang, co-director of the Hand Transplantation Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said in a video released by the hospital.

After the 10-hour surgery earlier this month, Zion has months of recovery ahead of him, but he’s already reached the record books. Before Zion's groundbreaking surgery, hand transplants had been performed only on adult patients. Chang said because the procedure is so new, they do not know whether Zion's new hands will last forever.

"We just don’t know," Chang said of the transplant's durability. "The adults that have had transplants have had a least one rejection episode after the transplant."

Dr. W. P. Andrew Lee, chairman of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins University, said the first successful hand transplant occurred in 1999.

“We think it can go indefinitely, but I have to tell you the longest hand transplant was performed just 16 yeas ago,” said Lee, who was not involved with Zion's surgery. “That’s the track record.”

Other issues the boy might face include the immune system rejecting the tissue or possibly other long-term health consequences of being on immuno-suppressing drugs, Lee said. Zion was already on immuno-suppressants because he had a kidney transplant when he was younger, hospital officials noted.

“In the case of hand transplant, the problem will manifest as rejection of the transplant hand,” Lee explained of possible complications. “If the rejection is mild it can be treated with medication. If it is severe or if it happens repeatedly then it becomes more and more difficult to treat.”

As patients go through physical therapy, they can regain a significant portion of their dexterity, Lee said.

Chang said the goal is currently to get Zion to simply make a fist and open his hand. He said the therapy is complicated because Zion's hands are completely numb as he recovers.

"We’re waiting for him to regain the ability to feel," explained Chang. "The nerves have to grow back from his own native nerves into the transplanted hands...It will grow about an inch a month. It’s going to be six months before he gains feeling in the hands."

Chang said that the hands were attached in a way so that the bone's "growth plate" was left unharmed.

"The area where we [used] the metal plates to join the bones together, we don’t cross over the growth plate," explained Chang. He said the bones would be expected to grow until Zion was through puberty.

In video released by the hospital, Zion is able to move his new hands in physical therapy and even seems to scratch an itch on his face. According to his Chang, Zion's big goal "is to climb the monkey bars."

But prior to the surgery, the 8-year-old said he knew he would be happy as long as he had his family.

“When I get these hands I will be proud of the hands I get,” he says in a video released by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “If it gets messed up, I don’t care because I have my family.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Conventional wisdom has it that bullies are made, not born, but that might not be the case.

A new Canadian study finds bullying behavior could also be genetic, linked to a genetic trait that causes some people to seek social status and sexual attraction through aggressive acts, reports The National Post. If true, it would seem to contradict the notion that bullies are products of their own abuse, harassment or dysfunction.

Researchers at Simon Fraser University based their idea of a survey of students at a Vancouver high school, where they found bullies had the highest self-esteem and social rank, and were the least likely to be depressed.

“When you’re in high school, it’s a very limited arena in which you can establish your rank,” said Jennifer Wong, lead author and a professor of criminology, “and climbing the social ladder to be on top is one of the main ways…Bullying is a tool you can use to get there.”

The results of the study could drastically change how schools approach bullying. Wong says most anti-bullying programs are ineffective because they aim to change behavior of bullies. She instead recommends revamping bully programs to bring more competition into schools, in order to provide bullies a better means of managing their domineering ways.

Of course, not everyone agrees with that assessment. Rob Frenette, co-founder of the anti-bullying advocacy group Bullying Canada, says he has yet to meet a bully who doesn't have deeper mental or emotional issues -- a category of bullies called “bully-victims.”

“I don’t want parents who have a child who is considered a bully to think, ‘Well, it’s something they’re born with and there’s nothing we can do to adjust their behavior,’” says Frenette.

Wong admits there is more research to be done, but still recommends rethinking how bullying is dealt with, adding that mere punishment is usually ineffective, and sometimes even improves a bully's social status.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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jakubzak/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) -- Pictures of two Oklahoma boys with second- and third-degree burns have started to make national headlines after they spent hours at a water park without sun protection, according to their mother.

Shaunna Broadway was horrified to find out her fair-skinned sons, ages 5 and 7, were left without sun protection during a day care trip to a nearby water park.

Broadway said that daycare workers said that they didn’t have sunscreen for the boys and the young boys did not keep their shirts on at the park. The boys ended up in the hospital with second- and third-degree burns and were eventually airlifted to a Texas hospital for further treatment.

A video released by Broadway shows the boys screaming in pain as they receive treatment. She told ABC News she was heartbroken to see her sons injured after they spent hours in triple-digit temperatures.

“It’s been really hard to see them go through this,” she said.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services confirmed to ABC News that the daycare center has ceased operations.

Experts say this case clearly shows how dangerous a simple trip outdoors can be for those without sun protection.

Dr. Barney Kenet, a New York-based dermatologist, said the boys were likely susceptible to severe sun damage because they appear to have very fair skin.

“Those boys are very fair and [one has] red hair, they are as fair as they can be,” said Kenet. “In high-sun community and so you can get a burn … in 15 minutes when you’re this fair.”

He guessed spending an hour or more in the sun with no protection could lead to the severe burns seen on the boys in the pictures released by Broadway.

He said while the burns look severe in the pictures, the boys will likely not suffer permanent damage.
“The future however is good,” said Kenet. “Both boys will heal up quite well ... it’s highly unlikely they will have scarring.”

He did warn that the boys could be at high risk for health complications in the future as a result of the severe burn.

“Unfortunately severe burns in childhood in this natures are an independent risk factor for skin cancer later in life,” explained Kenet.

Kenet said it’s key to apply broad spectrum sun block every two to three hours when in the sun and to try and avoid being outdoors during peak hours. He said if rambunctious kids refuse to stay indoors parents can double up on sun block and long sleeve rash guards to give protection to vulnerable children.

“They have pristine, very fair and unclimatized skin,” Kenet said of the two boys. “Baby skin, it’s very fair. They have no tan and no protection.“

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Image Group LA/ABC via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still shared the great news that his daughter, Leah Still, remained cancer-free after undergoing new scans Tuesday.

The girl, who battled a stage 4 neuroblastoma, had a routine scan done Tuesday and Still was happy to later share that there were no signs the cancer had returned.

"Just the email I needed heading into camp..the tests from today came back negative," Still wrote on Instagram.

Before the tests, Still posted a picture of Leah in a party dress about to undergo the scan. He said they were hoping the fancy dress would be good luck and help ensure good results.

"She wanted to dress up pretty because if you look good you feel good and if you feel good you get good results," Still wrote on Instagram. "If that theory is right then I have nothing to worry about because she looks beautiful today."

The good news comes just weeks after Still accepted the ESPYs Jimmy V Perseverance Award on his daughter's behalf.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Clem Murray/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS via Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) -- When Zion Harvey was 2 years old, the Maryland boy developed a serious infection that resulted in the removal of his hands and feet.

On Tuesday, doctors at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia announced that the 8-year-old boy had become the first child in the world to receive a dual hand transplant.

The 11-hour surgery took place earlier this month but wasn’t revealed until this week.

At a news conference Tuesday, Zion asked the many family members in attendance to stand and be recognized, telling them: “I want to say to you guys, thank you for helping me through this bumpy road.”

He said that, for him, “family means trust hope support and if you fall down they always catch you.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Hospitals are doing a lousy job at keeping patients safe from infection, according to Consumer Reports, which rated 3,000 hospitals in the U.S.

"For the first time we rated hospitals on avoiding MRSA and C. diff infections, and the results were pretty sobering. Only 6 percent of hospitals scored well against both infections," said Doris Peter, director of the Consumer Reports Health Rating Center.

"It's a clear sign that hospitals are actually infecting patients. And if you look at the data, it also means that some of them are dying. So, for example, 75,000 people die each year in hospitals when they have hospital-acquired infections," he said.

Part of the problem is that hospitals are over-prescribing antibiotics.

"They're fueling the incidents of C. difficile infections because over-prescribing is tied to those infections. And secondly, it's increasing the rate of antibiotic-resistant infections in the hospital," Peter explained.

He said patients also need to take action.

"We ask consumers to speak up, be vigilant, ask people to wash their hands when they come into your room. And also to ask when your prescribed antibiotics if they're absolutely necessary," Peter said.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Summer is the time for sunshine, sipping lemonade and swimming. But could it be risky?

Swimming puts your hair and skin in direct contact with chlorine, which can have some pretty damaging effects. If you’re not careful, it can cause your skin to get red and itchy, and your hair to get dry and brittle.

Before you dive in, wet your hair. Because your hair works like a sponge, it won’t absorb as much pool water if it’s already wet.

Also, add some moisturizers to your hair and skin before and afterwards to help stop the chlorine from stripping your good oils away.

And don’t forget your eyes. Try not to swim with contacts, and wear those goggles. Your eyes are up for the same risks as your skin and hair.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Svetl/iStock/ThinkStock(CINCINNATI) -- Kroger is recalling four of its store-brand spices over fears of a possible salmonella contamination.

The spices being recalled include Kroger Ground Cinnamon, Kroger Garlic Powder, Kroger Coarse Ground Black Pepper and Kroger Bac'n Buds.

"Customers who have purchased the above products should not consume them and should return them to a store for a full refund or replacement," Kroger said in a news release. "Customers who have questions may contact Kroger at 1-800-KROGERS."

Kroger said in the release that a sample of its Kroger Garlic Powder at a store in North Augusta, Georgia, had been tested by the Food and Drug Administration and was found to be contaminated with salmonella.

The seasonings are sold in at least 17 US states. Kroger said it had removed the spices from its store shelves.

Kroger said there have been no reported illnesses at this time. For more information, click here.

ABC US News | World News

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Jeng_Niamwhan/iStock/ThinkStock(WASHINGTON) --  A top federal drug enforcement official says the heroin addiction epidemic in the United States is the worst he's ever seen.

More deaths occur every year from overdoses than gunshot wounds or car accidents.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Deputy Administrator Jack Riley says, "Heroin can be found on virtually every corner of our country and places I've never see it before."

Younger users are turning to the powerful drug because it can be snorted or smoked.

The DEA says that as the cost of prescription drugs have gone up, the price for heroin has gone down as more and more people look for a powerful high.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A surge of outbreaks related to a microscopic parasite has officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banning all cilantro imported from a Mexican state.

Cilantro farms in Pubela have been blamed for causing repeated cyclospora outbreaks in the U.S. in recent years, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The disease is caused by a parasite called Cyclospora cayetanensis and can cause intestinal illness with causes flu-like symptoms.

This year, the Texas Department of Health said there have already been 205 cases of the parasitic infection reported. Previous cases have also been reported in Wisconsin.

An investigation into multiple cilantro farms found dire conditions at some farms including "human feces and toilet paper found in growing fields and around facilities," and either "inadequately maintained and supplied toilet and hand washing facilities, " or "a complete lack of toilet and hand washing facilities," according to the FDA.

In some cases the water used by workers to wash their hands was found to be contaminated with the parasite.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said tracing cases of cyclospora can be difficult because it can appear similar to other diseases and is relatively rare.

"It’s an infection that is not easy to diagnose and is one that the average physician has very little knowledge of," said Schaffner. "Hospital laboratories will have some difficulty making these diagnosis."

He also said the case is worrying because cilantro is not usually cooked, which would kill the parasite.

"We use it frequently in salads and it’s uncooked and so there's no way you sterilize cilantro," said Schaffner.

Bill Marler, a Seattle-based food safety lawyer, said the number of cyclospora outbreaks in recent years is worrying.

"Banning the product is probably a bit past due given the numbers of outbreaks that have occurred, "said Marler. "The fact is that cyclospora is called an emerging pathogen. It’s relatively new bug making people sick in the U.S."

The disease is more common in tropical and subtropical regions but has caused outbreaks in exported food.

If your guacamole just isn't complete without a dash of cilantro, don't despair. Imports of the vegetable are still allowed from other Mexican states and the U.S. and Mexican authorities have joined forces to enhanced safety controls of cilantro farms in the area.

Cyclospora symptoms include:

  •     Loss of appetite,
  •     Weight loss
  •     Stomach cramps,
  •     Nausea
  •     Fatigue
  •     Diarrhea

ABC US News | World News

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iStock/Thinkstock(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) -- For the last few decades, women have been breaking professional barriers. But a new report by Harvard’s Educational School reveals there’s a hidden barrier teen girls are running up against.

“Girls are facing biases from many sources, from teen boys, from some parents, and they are facing biases from each other,” Richard Weissbourd, co-director of Harvard’s Making Caring Common Project, which conducted this study, told ABC News.

The result is that these biases could be holding girls back from succeeding.

“We have made a lot of progress in terms of gender equality but we still have a long way to go,” he added.

The study of 20,000 students showed only 8 percent of teen girls preferred female political leaders.

“Males have always led, so I guess we’re kind of used to it,” one 17-year-old girl said.

“Right now it seems to be mostly a male-dominated sphere,” added another.

What’s more surprising is that even some mothers appear to be biased, supporting school councils that are led by boys more.

The report also reveals girls tend not to support other young women saying they feel threatened by their successes in school. Weissbourd believes girls need to start working collectively to fight biases.

“Emphasizing girls’ solidarity is really important,” he said. “That is an important message for parents to send to girls.”

Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out and co-founder of Girls Leadership, says these findings are amazing, but she’s not really surprised by them.

“Even in this day and age, we’ve given girls every opportunity but our attitudes still have to change,” Simmons said on ABC News' Good Morning America Tuesday. “We’re still giving girls messages to look at each other as threats. Think about the media images of Mean Girls and cat fighting. Girls are not looking at each other for support, and they’re also feeling so insecure about how they look. Think about Instagram and social media. They’re feeling like, ‘I’m not as pretty as the next girl’ so they’re not supporting each other.”

Simmons offers ways for parents to help break these patterns of gender bias:

Change the chores.

"Research shows that chores can be distributed in really gendered ways," she said. "That means we tell boys to mow the lawn and girls do the dishes. Change it up at home. That’s a big thing parents can do. Let boys do some caregiving because beliefs and attitudes start very early and parents can help kids change it very quickly and very early in the home."

Words matter.

"Another thing is change the way we talk to our kids," said Simmons. "If you have an outspoken girl, do you call her bossy, or do you say, ‘I’m so glad you spoke up’? If you’ve got guys at home who talk about doing things ‘like a girl’ as if that’s a weak thing to do, we’ve got to say ‘knock it off.’ That’s not the way to talk."

Check your bias.

"We all have our own biases. I have a 3-year-old daughter and when she doesn’t want to wear a dress, I get a little bummed out about it," she explained. "Again, every parent has to look at their own biases. What toys are we buying for our kids? Are we buying girls the makeup kits and boys the science kits? It’s ok to do that, but change it up a little bit."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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