Review Category : Health

Study Says Listening to Gossip Impacts Self Evaluation

Ridofranz/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers from the Netherlands say that listening to gossip impacts the way we judge ourselves.

The study, published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, looked at two separate groups, consisting of a total of 305 undergraduate students. The students listened to either positive or negative gossip, and found that either form could have a positive impact on their feelings about themselves.

Listening to positive gossip, researchers said, allowed the listeners to use the information they heard for self-improvement. Meanwhile, listening to negative gossip gave listeners an ego boost, as they felt superior to the person being gossiped about.

Those students who listened to negative gossip were, however, more guarded, out of concern that they too may be the subject of gossip behind their backs.

The study also found that men and women react to hearing gossip slightly differently. Women who listened to negative gossip were more likely to be concerned about their own risk of being gossiped about than men, while men who heard positive gossip experienced more fear.

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Study Says Listening to Gossip Impacts Self Evaluation

Ridofranz/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers from the Netherlands say that listening to gossip impacts the way we judge ourselves.

The study, published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, looked at two separate groups, consisting of a total of 305 undergraduate students. The students listened to either positive or negative gossip, and found that either form could have a positive impact on their feelings about themselves.

Listening to positive gossip, researchers said, allowed the listeners to use the information they heard for self-improvement. Meanwhile, listening to negative gossip gave listeners an ego boost, as they felt superior to the person being gossiped about.

Those students who listened to negative gossip were, however, more guarded, out of concern that they too may be the subject of gossip behind their backs.

The study also found that men and women react to hearing gossip slightly differently. Women who listened to negative gossip were more likely to be concerned about their own risk of being gossiped about than men, while men who heard positive gossip experienced more fear.

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Study Says Listening to Gossip Impacts Self Evaluation

Ridofranz/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers from the Netherlands say that listening to gossip impacts the way we judge ourselves.

The study, published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, looked at two separate groups, consisting of a total of 305 undergraduate students. The students listened to either positive or negative gossip, and found that either form could have a positive impact on their feelings about themselves.

Listening to positive gossip, researchers said, allowed the listeners to use the information they heard for self-improvement. Meanwhile, listening to negative gossip gave listeners an ego boost, as they felt superior to the person being gossiped about.

Those students who listened to negative gossip were, however, more guarded, out of concern that they too may be the subject of gossip behind their backs.

The study also found that men and women react to hearing gossip slightly differently. Women who listened to negative gossip were more likely to be concerned about their own risk of being gossiped about than men, while men who heard positive gossip experienced more fear.

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Evenflo Recalling Over 200,000 Child Car Seats

Evenflo(NEW YORK) — Evenflo is recalling over 200,000 child car seats.

The buckles in the Embrace and AmSafe models can reportedly become difficult to unlatch, especially after a child has been eating or drinking in the seat. The buckle can allegedly get sticky if its spilled on, making it harder to get a child out during an emergency.

Owners can get replacement buckles if requested.

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Ebola ‘Poses No Threat to Others,’ Mayor Assures New York

Office of the Mayor NYC(NEW YORK) — The mayor of New York City on Friday assured a city alarmed over the presence of an Ebola patient that the patient “poses no threat to others.”

“We are fully prepared to handle Ebola,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Friday, a day after it was announced that Dr. Craig Spencer was admitted to Bellevue Hospital with a diagnosis of the lethal virus.

De Blasio said the city’s emergency system has “planned for the crisis…That’s why we’ve been ahead of the game.”

Spencer, 33, was admitted to Bellevue Hospital Thursday, seven days after returning from Guinea where he had been treating Ebola patients. Spencer is in stable condition, according to the commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Dr. Mary Bassett.

The doctor’s fiancee Morgan Dixon and two friends have been quarantined so they can be monitored. An Uber taxi driver was also in contact with Spencer, but was not believed to be at risk.

De Blasio said that there were three public establishments that Spencer visited in the day before he was symptomatic. Two of the establishments — Blue Bottle Coffee, a stand on the High Line park, and a Brooklyn bowling alley called The Gutter — have been cleared to reopen.

A Greenwich Village restaurant called The Meatball Shop was in the middle of their inspection during the press conference. If the restaurant is cleared, it plans to reopen for dinner Friday night.

Officials stressed that the tests are being done out of an abundance of caution because Spencer did not display symptoms when he visited those locations and the first time he recorded his elevated 100.3 degree fever was between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Thursday.

A clean-up crew hired by the city’s Health Department was inside Spencer’s Manhattan apartment on Friday to ensure it was disinfected.

“Our contractor will clean and disinfect out of an abundance of caution. They will throw away the bed linens, towels, toiletries, food in the fridge, throw away garbage,” a Health Department spokesman said. “They will wipe down hard frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant. And once complete, we will inspect and certify the apartment is Okay to re-enter.”

The health official said the department did not believe there were any bodily fluids, which transmit the virus, in the apartment.

“We do not believe there are any body fluids in the apartment because the patient did not report any vomiting it diarrhea,” the spokesman said.

Spencer’s decision to travel to West Africa to work for Doctors Without Borders was described as a selfless act by the mayor.

“These individuals who are going there to serve are going to be the ones to end this crisis,” de Blasio said. “We can’t have the illusion that is ‘we turn away from it, then someday it will end.'”

De Blasio paid tribute to Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who had contracted Ebola while treating a patient who died of the virus. Pham was released Friday and spoke outside the National Institutes of Health in Maryland just minutes before the New York City press conference started.

De Blasio said that her recovery shows that “the capacity of our medical community to address this issue is extraordinary.”

Pham met with President Obama in the White House on her way back home to Dallas Friday.

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Ebola ‘Poses No Threat to Others,’ Mayor Assures New York

Office of the Mayor NYC(NEW YORK) — The mayor of New York City on Friday assured a city alarmed over the presence of an Ebola patient that the patient “poses no threat to others.”

“We are fully prepared to handle Ebola,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Friday, a day after it was announced that Dr. Craig Spencer was admitted to Bellevue Hospital with a diagnosis of the lethal virus.

De Blasio said the city’s emergency system has “planned for the crisis…That’s why we’ve been ahead of the game.”

Spencer, 33, was admitted to Bellevue Hospital Thursday, seven days after returning from Guinea where he had been treating Ebola patients. Spencer is in stable condition, according to the commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Dr. Mary Bassett.

The doctor’s fiancee Morgan Dixon and two friends have been quarantined so they can be monitored. An Uber taxi driver was also in contact with Spencer, but was not believed to be at risk.

De Blasio said that there were three public establishments that Spencer visited in the day before he was symptomatic. Two of the establishments — Blue Bottle Coffee, a stand on the High Line park, and a Brooklyn bowling alley called The Gutter — have been cleared to reopen.

A Greenwich Village restaurant called The Meatball Shop was in the middle of their inspection during the press conference. If the restaurant is cleared, it plans to reopen for dinner Friday night.

Officials stressed that the tests are being done out of an abundance of caution because Spencer did not display symptoms when he visited those locations and the first time he recorded his elevated 100.3 degree fever was between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Thursday.

A clean-up crew hired by the city’s Health Department was inside Spencer’s Manhattan apartment on Friday to ensure it was disinfected.

“Our contractor will clean and disinfect out of an abundance of caution. They will throw away the bed linens, towels, toiletries, food in the fridge, throw away garbage,” a Health Department spokesman said. “They will wipe down hard frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant. And once complete, we will inspect and certify the apartment is Okay to re-enter.”

The health official said the department did not believe there were any bodily fluids, which transmit the virus, in the apartment.

“We do not believe there are any body fluids in the apartment because the patient did not report any vomiting it diarrhea,” the spokesman said.

Spencer’s decision to travel to West Africa to work for Doctors Without Borders was described as a selfless act by the mayor.

“These individuals who are going there to serve are going to be the ones to end this crisis,” de Blasio said. “We can’t have the illusion that is ‘we turn away from it, then someday it will end.'”

De Blasio paid tribute to Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who had contracted Ebola while treating a patient who died of the virus. Pham was released Friday and spoke outside the National Institutes of Health in Maryland just minutes before the New York City press conference started.

De Blasio said that her recovery shows that “the capacity of our medical community to address this issue is extraordinary.”

Pham met with President Obama in the White House on her way back home to Dallas Friday.

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Why New York Doctor with Ebola Didn’t Quarantine Himself

Craig Spencer/LinkedIn(NEW YORK) — There’s a reason Dr. Craig Allen Spencer, who has tested positive for Ebola, didn’t quarantine himself when he returned to New York after treating Ebola patients in Guinea.

He didn’t have to.

According to Doctors Without Borders guidelines, doctors who have treated Ebola patients in West Africa are required to self-monitor for the 21-day incubation period, but they are not required to self-quarantine.

“Self-quarantine is neither warranted nor recommended when a person is not displaying Ebola-like symptoms,” the organization said Thursday in a statement. “However, returned staff members are discouraged from returning to work during the 21-day period.”

Spencer, 33, had been treating Ebola patients in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders until Oct. 12, New York City Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said on Friday. Spencer left Guinea on Oct. 14 and arrived in New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Oct. 17 following a stopover Brussels, Belgium.

Doctors Without Borders Guidelines requires doctors like Spencer to take their temperature twice a day and to stay within four hours of a hospital for the 21-day incubation period. They are also supposed to contact Doctors Without Borders if they develop any symptoms.

In the days before Spencer was diagnosed with Ebola, he traveled to Manhattan’s Highline Park and a popular restaurant called The Meatball Shop on Tuesday. The next day, he took a 3-mile run along Riverside Park and traveled on the subway to Brooklyn, where he went bowling. He was fatigued, but had no fever, officials said.

On Thursday morning, Spencer recorded a temperature of 100.3 and called Doctors Without Borders, who contacted New York authorities. Emergency responders arrived at his northern Manhattan apartment in full protective gear and took him to Bellevue Hospital, where he was placed in isolation and later diagnosed with Ebola, according to officials.

“Extremely strict procedures are in place for staff dispatched to Ebola affected countries before, during, and after their assignments,” said Sophie Delaunay, executive director of Doctors Without Borders. “Despite the strict protocols, risk cannot be completely eliminated. However, close post-assignment monitoring allows for early detection of cases and for swift isolation and medical management.”

Spencer’s fiancee was placed in quarantine, but she has shown no symptoms so far, officials said.

“Until today, out of more than 700 expatriate staff deployed so far to West Africa, no MSF [Doctors Without Borders] staff person has developed confirmed Ebola symptoms after returning to their home country,” Doctors Without Borders said in a statement.

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Odds of Catching Ebola on the Subway and Other Handy Facts

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Ebola continues to dominate the news with the latest diagnosis of a patient in New York City, leaving many Americans on edge, especially New Yorkers, who awoke this morning to learn that the patient had take three subway lines before he was diagnosed.

So, what are the odds of catching Ebola on the subway? Here are a few Ebola facts to calm your nerves:

“There are fundamental things we do know about Ebola and it’s those things that can make most people in America rest very well at night that they don’t have a risk of contracting this disease,” said ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser during a recent ABC News Ebola town hall event.

What If I Stand Next to Someone with Ebola on a Subway?

You probably won’t catch it in that situation, Dr. Jay Varma, New York City’s deputy commissioner for disease control, said during the town hall event.

“Casual contact like you would have somebody pass you on the bus or on the subway, I’m not worried about it for myself and I’m not worried about it for my wife and kids,” Varma said.

When Does Ebola Become Contagious?

Ebola is contagious when someone is symptomatic, Besser said. A fever is the first symptom of Ebola, which means the virus is beginning to multiply in the patient’s blood when a fever sets in.

As an Ebola patient gets sicker and sicker, the amount of virus in his or her blood multiplies, making them even more contagious.

How Is Ebola Spread?

Ebola is spread through close contact with an infected person, and it’s not airborne, Besser said.

“We also know from the studies in Africa that it’s a hard disease to get,” Besser said. “If this disease was spread through the air or was spread easily — that you could get it from someone you’re standing next to in the market or sitting next to on a plane — this outbreak would be far larger than it is today.”

People who contract Ebola usually do so because they’ve cared for someone who was infected in a hospital setting or at home, Besser noted, or they’ve touched the body of a person who died of Ebola.

Can It Become Airborne?

“The majority of scientists say that while it’s possible, it’s highly unlikely,” Besser said, explaining that the virus would have to mutate significantly.

What If Someone with Ebola Sneezes on Me?

Sneezing is not a symptom of Ebola, Besser said. Neither is coughing until the very late stages of the disease, when the person is clearly sick and near death. On top of that, the disease is not airborne.

How Long Can the Virus Survive on Surfaces Like Tabletops and Doorknobs?

“This is one of these areas where we don’t really know enough,” Varma said. “We do know that these viruses can survive on surfaces for a few hours.”

He said how long it can survive depends on the surface and the environment.

Should You Take Precautions Before Taking Public Transportation?

“We think this is not a disease that you can get from simply being next to somebody,” Varma said. “Absolutely if somebody vomits on you or you get their body fluids on you, of course you can be at risk, but we think that airplane travel, traveling on subways — all of that — is the type of contact where this is not a disease that’s transmitted.”

He said he’s more worried about getting the flu on public transportation than Ebola.

Can I Get Ebola From Someone’s Sweat?

There’s very little data on how much of the virus is in a sick person’s sweat, Besser said.

He added that carrying a person who is sick with Ebola can be a “risky situation.” He said one man who had Ebola on a plane didn’t spread it to fellow passengers but inadvertently gave it to the people who helped carry him once he got off the plane.

“Touching the skin — whether he had other body fluids or sweat on his skin at that point — was a risk,” Besser said.

Can Ebola Be Spread Through the Water Supply?

Ebola is not a water-borne disease, according to researchers at the Water Research Foundation. Therefore, it cannot spread through the water supply.

“Once in water, the host cell will take in water in an attempt to equalize the osmotic pressure, causing the cell to swell and burst, thus killing the virus,” the foundation noted in a statement.

Bodily fluids flushed by an infected person would not contaminate the water supply, the statement went on to say, because the virus is so fragile. Once separated from its host it is neutralized within minutes.

Can Ebola Be Used as a Terrorist Weapon?

Ebola could theoretically be used by terrorists but it is unlikely, Varma said.

Studies suggest that Ebola could in theory be delivered in mist form by spraying it out of an aerosol can. However, since the virus is not known to take an airborne route, this would likely be ineffective.

It is also possible that a terrorist willing to be infected with the virus could walk among the general population. However, since the virus has a long incubation period and is not highly contagious until the later stages of the disease, most experts say this would be impractical.

Can Ebola Be Spread by Mosquitoes?

Neither mosquitoes nor rats can spread Ebola, Besser said. “Not all viruses are adapted to survival and transmission through every vector,” he noted.

Only mammals such as humans, bats, monkeys and apes have shown the ability to spread and become infected with the Ebola virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other studies have shown that dogs and pigs can be infected with the virus but they don’t show symptoms and there are no known cases of these animals passing the virus along to humans.

Is There a Vaccine Coming?

There are two vaccines being tested in clinical trials now, Besser said.

“There’s a lot of efforts underway to try and move a vaccine forward but vaccine development takes a long time,” he said, adding that one of the companies working on one has said it won’t know whether it works until 2015.

Even if it does work, it will take more time to manufacture.

What About Other Drugs?

Ebola patients in the United States are receiving experimental drugs, but it’s not yet clear whether they’ve helped, hurt or made no difference in those patients’ outcomes, Besser said.

Why Don’t We Just Close Our Borders to West Africa?

Keeping people from leaving the Ebola-affected countries would be a “major mistake,” Besser said, noting that he saw aid workers, journalists and family members aboard his plane on his two trips to Liberia in the last few months, and that letting them in and out is important.

“You want to make sure that people who leave that area are being monitored and doing it safely,” he said. “You want to encourage people to go there who have expertise and can help these governments, these health workers, control this disease. That will save lives there and will also improve the health and protection of Americans right here.”

Varma said the biggest concern in America should be containing the outbreak in Africa. Until that happens, he said “we will always be at risk.”

“You can’t just wrap a wall around these countries and not expect people to get out,” he said.

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Americans Losing Faith in Medical Profession

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — What’s up, Doc? Certainly not Americans’ trust in physicians, according to an analysis by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

Co-author Robert Blendon says that faith in doctors has eroded significantly over the past half-century. In 1966, three out of four people had “great confidence in the leaders of the medical profession.”

As of 2012, just 34 percent expressing a great deal of confidence in physicians.

In a separate poll that covered 29 nations, respondents were asked if they agreed with the statement: “Doctors in your country can be trusted.” The U.S. ranked 24th with 58 percent agreeing.

So what happened over time to make Americans less trusting of those they trust with their care? For one thing, many believe doctors are self-serving, compared to other countries where medical professionals advocate for public health.

There’s also the problem of too many major physician specialty groups, which fail to call for ways to benefit patients, such as reducing health care costs.

However, the news for doctors is not all gloom and doom. Blendon says that the U.S. is third behind just Switzerland and Denmark when it comes to people being satisfied with their own personal physicians. That means that trust is far higher on an individual scale rather than a collective basis.

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The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is…Everything?

iStock/Thinkstock(ORANGE, Calif.) — Land of the free…home of the brave? Not, if a new survey from Chapman University can be believed.

Researchers conducted a poll of 1,500 people on what Americans are scared of and judging by the results, our fears are many and cover a lot of ground.

For instance, when asked what they feared most, Americans listed in this order:

  1. Walking alone at night
  2. Becoming the victim of identity theft
  3. Safety on the Internet
  4. Being the victim of a mass/random shooting
  5. Public speaking

Perhaps not as intense as genuine fear, next came things people are most worried or concerned about:

  1. Having identity stolen on the Internet
  2. Corporate surveillance of Internet activity
  3. Running out of money in the future
  4. Government surveillance of Internet activity
  5. Becoming ill/sick

Then, of course, there are things completely out of our hands, such as natural disasters. The most feared are:

  1. Tornado/hurricane
  2. Earthquakes
  3. Floods
  4. Pandemic or major epidemic
  5. Power outage

Meanwhile, everyone’s worried about crime and a majority believe that things have grown worse over the last 20 years even though FBI and police statistics show most crime categories have declined over the past two decades.

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