Review Category : Health

‘Brain-Eating’ Amoeba Kills Texas Teen

cosmin4000/iStock/ThinkStock(HOUSTON) — A 14-year-old boy from Houston has died after battling a ‘brain-eating’ amoeba.

The announcement of Michael Riley’s death was posted on his Facebook page by his family on Sunday.

The CDC says that the ‘brain-eating’ amoeba, known as the Primary Amoeba Meningoencephalitis (PAM), can be contracted after being in a freshwater lake and is very common in freshwater lakes and rivers in Texas, according to ABC News affiliate KTRK-TV.

The amoeba is said to travel into the nose and it’s most common victims are children.

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‘Brain-Eating’ Amoeba Kills Texas Teen

cosmin4000/iStock/ThinkStock(HOUSTON) — A 14-year-old boy from Houston has died after battling a ‘brain-eating’ amoeba.

The announcement of Michael Riley’s death was posted on his Facebook page by his family on Sunday.

The CDC says that the ‘brain-eating’ amoeba, known as the Primary Amoeba Meningoencephalitis (PAM), can be contracted after being in a freshwater lake and is very common in freshwater lakes and rivers in Texas, according to ABC News affiliate KTRK-TV.

The amoeba is said to travel into the nose and it’s most common victims are children.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Famed Neurologist Oliver Sacks Dies at 82

smolkapressepool/ullstein bild via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Renowned neurologist and author of “Awakenings” Oliver Sacks died Sunday. He was 82.

His assistant, Kate Edgar, told The New York Times the cause was cancer. ABC News was unable to reach Edgar.

Sacks, a professor of neurology at New York University School of Medicine, announced in February a rare eye tumor had spread to his liver and that he was in the stages of terminal cancer.

Sacks is best known for his writing on neurological case histories including “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” and an “An Anthropologist on Mars.” His book “Awakenings,” based on his work in the 1960s with patients who were unable to initiate movement, was turned into an Oscar-nominated movie of the same name starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro.

Sacks, whose autobiography was released this spring, wrote in February he felt “intensely alive” after his diagnosis.

“Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts,” he wrote. “This does not mean I am finished with life.”

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Study: Wireless Could Be the Future of Pacemakers

janulla/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers say a new type of pacemaker without wires and that doesn’t require surgery to install could be the future of the device.

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the new device is about one-tenth the size of a conventional pacemaker and was effective in about 90 percent of the 300 patients who were studied. Researchers followed the participants for six months after they received the new pacemaker, and found that just 6.7 percent of patients had severe adverse events.

The study notes that the rate of side effects was about double that of the 3.2 percent of patients with serious adverse events when using a conventional pacemaker, but say that the non-surgical nature of the device and its lack of wires could make it a feasible option in the future.

Still, the study’s authors acknowledge, more time may be needed to accurately assess the safety and efficacy of the new pacemaker device.

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Parade of Big Trucks Honors Toddler Who Died From Rare Disease

ABC News(PHOENIX) — It was a sight to see in Arizona road as a stream of big trucks took part in a funeral procession to pay tribute to a 3-year-old boy who recently died.

ABC News station KNXV-TV in Phoenix reports that more than 100 trucks, including fire engines, vintage military vehicles, and semis, went through the city of Mesa Friday afternoon.

It was all for Elijah Steffen, who died on August 21 from a rare disease. He was a fan of big trucks but never had the chance to attend a monster truck rally in Las Vegas.

The whole thing began with a Facebook post by a family friend. Ironically, the initial request was for just one truck to show up at Elijah’s funeral. Instead, many trucks participated.

“That’s what a community does,” said Sam Koster, who brought her truck. “They all come together. And that’s what this family needs.”

Scott Campagna also attended with his truck. “I couldn’t imagine losing my child,” he said. “If we could make this family smile by being here, then it’s all worth it.”

The hour-long procession concluded at the Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery.

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FDA Takes Action Against 3 Tobacco Makers for Label Language

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Don’t pay any attention to the label.

The Federal Drug Administration said this week they issued “warning letters” to three tobacco manufacturers including ITG Brands LLC, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Inc., and Sherman’s 1400 Broadway N.Y.C. Ltd., for their package labeling that says “additive-free” or “natural.”

“The FDA’s job is to ensure tobacco products are not marketed in a way that leads consumers to believe cigarettes with descriptors like ‘additive-free’ and ‘natural’ pose fewer health risks than other cigarettes, unless the claims have been scientifically supported,” said Mitch Zeller, J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products in a statement. “This action is a milestone, and a reminder of how we use the tools of science-based regulation to protect the U.S. public from the harmful effects of tobacco use.”

According to the FDA, it’s the first time they’ve used this kind of authority under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 to “pursue regulatory action regarding the use of “additive-free” or “natural” claims on tobacco product labeling.”

The makers have to respond to the letters within 15 days of their delivery with a plan on how they’re going to change the labeling or wording.

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USDA Expands Kapowsin Meats Recall for Salmonella Contamination

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Kapowsin Meats has recalled approximately 523,380 pounds of pork products because of a Salmonella contamination, an expanded number since its original recall.

According to a statement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday, the Graham, Wash. establishment originally recalled some of their products weeks ago, but the USDA has expanded the recall after an investigation by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

“FSIS has been conducting intensified sampling at Kapowsin Meats while this establishment took steps to address sanitary conditions at their facility after the original recall on August 13, 2015,” said the statement. “Sampling revealed positive results for Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- on Whole Hogs for Barbeque, associated pork products and throughout the establishment. FSIS has deemed sanitary improvement efforts made by the Kapowsin Meats insufficient, and the scope of this recall has been expanded to include all products associated with contaminated source material.”

The statement also said Kapowsin Meats had voluntarily suspended work.

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Dog Survives Being Shot in the Mouth by Ex-Boyfriend Who Beat Owner, Authorities Say

Courtesy BluePearl Veterinary Partners(NEW YORK) — A year-old pit bull named Honey survived being shot point blank in the mouth by her owner’s ex-boyfriend during an argument at her Brooklyn apartment in New York City, according to Honey’s owner and a criminal court complaint.

Honey’s owner, Asha Stringfield, 24, told ABC News on Friday that she has a restraining order against her 47-year-old ex-boyfriend, Kenneth White, who she said attacked her after he got annoyed about the food she had at her house and jealous about another male friend of hers. The restraining order was confirmed by court documents obtained by ABC News.

White “repeatedly punched” Stringfield in her head and face, grabbed her by the throat, pulled her off the bed by her hair and pointed a gun to her face, asking her to give him “two reasons not to shoot” her, according to a criminal court complaint filed in Brooklyn Criminal Court.

“He kept repeating, ‘You don’t love me like I love you,’ and telling me that I thought he was stupid and disrespectful,” Stringfield said. “After hitting me and making me bleed, he said he was going to take my dog, and he opened the door and Honey came in, and I was so scared.”

Stringfield said Honey ran to her and tried to lick her wounds, and she tried to hold Honey away from White.

“He kept telling me to let her go, but I wouldn’t and then he shot her straight in the mouth through her head,” she said. “I screamed. There was blood everywhere. I was freaking out. I didn’t know what to do, but Honey was still alive and choking trying to cough the bullet out.

“My friend woke up and told me to take Honey to the bathroom, so we sat in the shower with the bathroom locked and waited.”

White eventually left and Stringfield’s cousin called 911 for her.

An NYPD spokesman told ABC News that Stringfield was taken to a local hospital, where she was treated and released the next day. Honey was taken to a BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in midtown Manhattan, the NYPD spokeswoman added.

“When Honey came in to the BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Midtown on Sunday, Dr. Alex Schechter was skeptical when told the dog suffered a gunshot wound,” a spokesman for BluePearl Veterinary Partners told ABC News in a statement. “Honey was shaking, barking and nervous, but the wound was not obvious.

“But after sedating Honey, Schechter could see a wound inside her mouth. Then when the X-Rays came back, he was astounded. It showed the bullet had entered Honey’s mouth and narrowly missed her brain. The bullet actually went through a portion of Honey’s skull, and lodged in muscle tissue in the back of her neck.”

Honey was then transported to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), where a surgeon is assessing the pup, Stringfield said.

A spokeswoman for the ASPCA deferred inquiries about Honey to Stringfield.

Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners Team Leader Mary Santivanez said that the bullet is still lodged inside the young pit bull, and there’s a great chance the dog will die if it is removed, according to the criminal complaint.

Stringfield said doctors told her they are monitoring Honey and working to figure out if they should perform the risky surgery.

“Right now, I’m taking it day by day,” Stringfield said. “I’m praying for my dog and that things get better. My friends and family have been sending me a lot of prayers and love for Honey and I on Facebook. I just want to get away from here as soon as possible.”

White was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment, strangulation, menacing, aggravated cruelty to animals, criminal contempt, and torture and injury to an animal, according to police.

According to court records online, White is being represented by the Brooklyn Defender Services, which did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for additional information such as if he has entered a plea.

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School Reportedly Bans Girl’s “Wonder Woman” Lunchbox

ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A warning from school administrators to parents over their daughter’s lunchbox is one seemingly worthy of a super hero’s rescue. The only problem is that super heroes are banned from the school, even on a lunchbox.

An Imgur user posted a letter earlier this week reportedly sent from school officials to his friends, expressing concern that their daughter brought a “Wonder Woman” — themed lunchbox to school.

“We noticed that Laura has a Wonder Woman lunchbox that features a super hero image,” the letter begins. “In keeping with the dress code of the school, we must ask that she not bring this to school.”

“The dress code we have established requests that the children not bring violent images into the building in any fashion — on their clothing (including shoes and socks), backpacks and lunch boxes,” the letter continues. “We have defined ‘violent characters’ as those who solve problems using violence. Superheroes certainly fall into that category.”

The school’s name and address are redacted in the letter, which was posted anonymously.

The Imgur user also posted two photos of the lunchbox reportedly under fire.

The front of the lunchbox shows just a close-up image of Wonder Woman’s face, while the back shows a full-body image of Wonder Woman in her costume holding her lasso.

“As lovely as Aphrodite, as wise as Athena,” the lunchbox reads.

The letter quickly went viral, prompting even the actress best known for playing Wonder Woman, Linda Carter, to share the story on social media.

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Pregnant Wife of Lady Antebellum Member Details Fertility Struggle

Jason Davis/Getty Images for Vh1 Save The Music(NEW YORK) — As part of the chart-topping Lady Antebellum, Charles Kelley has helped take the music industry by storm.

Now, Kelley, 33, has another reason to sing. He and his wife, 32-year-old Cassie McConnell Kelley, are expecting a baby after six years of marriage.

McConnell Kelley talked to ABC News about her pregnancy.

“We’re almost four months and I’m due in February and we just found out that we’re having a boy, which I just get choked up thinking about and we’re thankful, we’re so — blessed isn’t a strong enough word … We were up against some incredible odds and it still happened,” she said.

McConnell Kelley initially shared the news earlier this month in a post on her website, Womanista.com.

In the Wednesday interview with ABC, McConnell Kelley detailed a two-year struggle to get pregnant.

“When you’re young and healthy and you’re ready to start a family you just don’t envision there will be any problems doing that,” she said.

The couple went through months of negative pregnancy tests before visiting a fertility specialist in November.

“From that we learned that my body doesn’t ovulate regularly which is problem number one, and also I had a blockage in my Fallopian tube which also happened to be connected to my dominant ovary…,” she said. “Our doctor, when all was said and done, she told us we had a one percent chance of conceiving a child naturally without doing IVF.”

IVF, or in vitro fertilization, refers to the process of combining an egg and sperm outside of the body and then placing any resulting embryo into the uterus for further development.

McConnell Kelley suffers from anovulation, a condition in which a woman doesn’t produce an egg every month.

“Cassie, just like a lot of women, has more than one problem …,” her doctor, Abby Eblen, said. “Typically women ovulate every other month on every other side and so she would always have essentially six times to get pregnant rather than 12 times to get pregnant with a blocked Fallopian tube.”

The Kelleys had planned to start IVF, but then, McConnell Kelley said she and her husband were surprised and excited to find out she was pregnant.

An estimated 6 million women in the United States struggle with infertility, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Eblen said McConnell Kelley’s story had an important lesson.

“I think the most important thing to do take away from Cassie’s story is that hope is always alive … for a lot of women, we get pleasantly surprised and a lot of women are ultimately successful if they continue to strive to get pregnant and to pursue treatment,” Eblen said.

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