Review Category : Health

Liberia Declared Free of Ebola by World Health Organization

BethanyFank/iStock/Thinkstock(MONROVIA, Liberia) — The World Health Organization announced Saturday that Liberia is now free of Ebola.

The West African country is now free of the deadly virus that killed more than 4,700 since the epidemic was declared last year.

Dr. Bruce Aylward, a W.H.O. special representative for Ebola, told ABC News it’s been six weeks since the last patient was buried without any new cases reported.

“We’ve had enough time, that is 42 days since the last case, and enough surveillance data, that is looking for and searching for the disease, to be confident that all the chains of transmission of Ebola that were happening in the country have now stopped,” Aylward said.

According to Aylward, over six months ago the country was reporting over 300 cases of Ebola a week. New reported cases in neighboring countries are now in the single digits.

Ceremonies were held Saturday in Liberia to celebrate survivors and remember the dead.

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Alabama Police Using Clamp to Stop Gunshot Wounds

mikeinlondon/iStock/Thinkstock(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) — One of the largest law enforcement agencies in Alabama is now using a new device that could help save officer’s lives from gunshot wounds.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office recently purchased 100 clamps designed to stop bleeding from gunshot wounds, according to a report by ABC News affiliate WBMA-TV.

The device works by clamping the skin together to stop the bleeding, instead of wrapping the wound with gauze or putting on a tourniquet.

“Every second counts out there,” Sgt. Paul Huffstutler told the television station. “It’s something so simple but it’s something that can prevent even the most complex of wounds to becoming fatal.”

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office began training officers on how to use the new device on Friday, with the eventual goal to equip every deputy with a clamp.

Sheriff Mike Hale told WBMA-TV he believes the simple device will end up saving lives.

“The bottom line is this, when our body is punctured in some way, it’s important to stop the bleeding,” Hale said. “The old traditional way was the tourniquet, but this clamp allows the deputy, with the proper amount of training, to clamp the wound, stop the bleeding.”

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AL Sheriff’s Office Buys New Device to Help Stop Bleeding from Gunshot Wounds

mikeinlondon/iStock/Thinkstock(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) — One of the largest law enforcement agencies in Alabama is now using a new device that could help save officer’s lives from gunshot wounds.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office recently purchased 100 clamps designed to stop bleeding from gunshot wounds, according to a report by ABC News affiliate WBMA-TV.

The device works by clamping the skin together to stop the bleeding, instead of wrapping the wound with gauze or putting on a tourniquet.

“Every second counts out there,” Sgt. Paul Huffstutler told the television station. “It’s something so simple but it’s something that can prevent even the most complex of wounds to becoming fatal.”

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office began training officers on how to use the new device on Friday, with the eventual goal to equip every deputy with a clamp.

Sheriff Mike Hale told WBMA-TV he believes the simple device will end up saving lives.

“The bottom line is this, when our body is punctured in some way, it’s important to stop the bleeding,” Hale said. “The old traditional way was the tourniquet, but this clamp allows the deputy, with the proper amount of training, to clamp the wound, stop the bleeding.”

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Why Your Online Dating Photo May Be Too Hot for Your Own Good

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Consider this next time you’re agonizing over the perfect photo for your online dating profile: you might be “too hot to trust.”

Researchers at the University of Connecticut conducted an experiment to determine how people judged each other based on their online dating profile photos. They presented 671 volunteers with a single photo that was either casual or enhanced and of a man or a woman. Researchers reported that men were less likely to trust women who posted an “enhanced” photo with good angles, good lighting and make-up.

But that didn’t stop the men wanting to date those women anyway, said lead study author Rory McGloin, a communications professor at UConn.

“They thought she was more attractive, they wanted to go on a date with her … but they didn’t trust her,” McGloin said.

On the flip side, women found men with enhanced photos to be more trustworthy, according to their findings, which is set to be presented at the International Communication Association annual conference later this month.

“Attractiveness of the male served as a halo,” McGloin said. “Once they found him to be attractive, they assumed all of the other traits were good as well.”

McGloin isn’t a psychologist, but he studies how media affects behavior. The students who participated in the study were first-year communications students who were participating for credit. Their mean age was 19, and the age range was 17 to 36 years old, McGloin said.

He noted that his experiment eliminated “relative” attractiveness by only presenting each person with one photo and asking them a series of questions about it. However, he said it wasn’t a field study and the participants were “fearless” because their actions had no consequences.

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Column Revives Debate of Stay-at-Home vs. Working Moms

pojoslaw/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A North Carolina husband and occasional writer is the target of the Internet’s ire this week after penning a column about his wife’s struggle to choose between being a stay-at-home or working mom.

Sean Dunbar, who until recently lived in New Jersey, on Monday published a personal essay in the Asbury Park Press titled, “Why I Won’t Let My Wife Quit Her Job,” though Dunbar said he didn’t write the title. The column detailed his wife’s experience allegedly being criticized by friends for not staying at home full time, as well as alleged discrimination he said she endured at a previous job while pregnant with their second child.

“Many people in our circle repeatedly ask us why my wife works when I make decent money,” Dunbar wrote in the original column. “I absolutely hate being asked this question so often. No, I’m not cheap. I’m not jealous because I can’t stay home — and I don’t think it’s the wrong thing for a woman to do. Yes, being a stay-at-home mom has many benefits for the entire family. But I want better for my wife.”

Comments on the story and in subsequent reprints online have ranged from incredulous (“You ‘won’t LET your wife stay at home’ even though that’s what she wants? How about LETTING her make her own decisions, like the big, educated, grown-up that she is?”) to irate (“He’s a fool and I feel sorry for her. He said stay-at-home mom like it was a dirty word”).

Dunbar maintained that he is a victim of his editor’s red pen. Editors at The Asbury Park Press did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“I didn’t write the title of the article,” he told ABC News. “And a lot of things that I wrote that better explained where I was coming from were taken out for space and editing reasons. I’m just a regular guy, I wrote something and I didn’t think it would be that scrutinized. But since it came out I’ve received death threats, a doctor on Fox News said that I have mommy issues. It’s been crazy.”

Regardless, Dunbar said, his wife’s decision to work has always been and remains her own.

“I wasn’t trying to start a feud,” he said. “I wrote and think that being a stay-at-home mom is just as honorable as a working mom. But it’s not up to me. It is my wife’s choice. I have never told her what to do.”

The intention of his essay, Dunbar added, was to shine a light on the alleged discrimination and pressure his wife faced, and that he witnessed, while she was pregnant in a competitive business environment, an experience that left her questioning her value in that role.

His wife has since found a job at another company that better caters to her needs and goals, Dunbar wrote in his column.

The idea of being supported at work should be the focus of the building online dialogue, according to Dina Bakst, co-president of A Better Balance, which promotes equality and expanded choices for men and women in the workplace.

“Sean Dunbar’s wife says it’s hard, but she loves her job because she can end her day at 4 and be there for her children,” said Bakst. “On the other hand, like so many women, she wanted to quit when she felt unsupported as an expecting mother.

“Let’s move beyond the tired debate about whether it’s ‘better’ for women to work or stay at home,” added Bakst, “and focus on the solutions that are possible to help women and men meeting the dual demands of work and family, such as high-quality flexible work options and paid family leave.”

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‘Vintage Grey’ Cribs Recalled Over Lead Paint

Baby’s Dream / CPSC(NEW YORK) — Baby’s Dream Furniture, Inc. recalled about 4,600 units of cribs and other furniture manufactured in Chile between March 2014 and March 2015, according to the commission. The items, which use “vintage grey” paint were voluntarily recalled because the paint had lead in it.

The company will exchange the $100 to $1,000 products, it said.

“The vintage grey paint on the cribs, furniture, and accessories exceeds federal lead limits,” the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on its website. “If ingested, lead can cause adverse health effects.”

The federal government banned lead paint in 1978. Dust from the paint can cause lead poisoning, which has been linked to developmental delays, abdominal pain, hearing loss and other symptoms in young children, according to the Mayo Clinic. In adults, it can lead to memory loss, mood disorders, high blood pressure and other symptoms. It can also lead to problems later in life for fetuses exposed to lead while in the womb.

Baby’s Dream did not immediately respond to a request by ABC News for comment.

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Ebola Virus Lingers in Patient’s Eye Even After Recovery: Study

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — For one Ebola doctor-turned-patient, being discharged with virus-free blood wasn’t the end of his brush with the potentially deadly pathogen.

Three months later, the virus was still lingering in his left eyeball, according to a case study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. The infection baffled doctors when it turned his blue eye green until the infection resolved itself, according to The New York Times.

Emory Eye Center said it was not able to provide the photos to ABC News.

The patient was a previously healthy 43-year-old man who was working at an Ebola treatment ward in Sierra Leone when he was diagnosed with Ebola in early September, according to the study. He was flown to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for treatment, where he spent 12 days on a ventilator and 24 days on dialysis.

About nine weeks after the patient’s blood and urine tested negative for Ebola, he complained of redness, blurred vision, sensitivity to light and pain in his left eye, according to the study. He was diagnosed with inflammation of the eyeball and tests revealed active virus inside the eye. The virus wasn’t present in his tears, however.

Though he’s not named as the patient in the case study, The New York Times identified the man as Dr. Ian Crozier, who had been Emory’s unnamed Ebola patient until December when he revealed himself to the Times. Crozier is named as a study author in the New England Journal of Medicine study about his eye.

“He’s a full partner in his own investigation and the other investigations going forward,” said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, who said he was one of Crozier’s mentors. Crozier did his training at Vanderbilt and spoke on its campus about Ebola in April.

“All of this is in the context of his sense of mission and being devoted to the medical care of people in underprivileged circumstances abroad,” he added.

Crozier is back in Africa to study the health effects on patients after Ebola, Schaffner said.

Schaffner said Ebola is known to cause eye problems and even blindness in patients in Africa. The eye is somewhat cut off from the rest of the immune system, which could have led the virus to linger there, he said.

Treatment and the body’s immune response eventually allowed the patient’s eye to begin to resolve, Schaffner said, but his remaining Ebola-related health problems also include lower back problems.

There were 26,312 Ebola cases as of April 26, including 10,899 deaths, according to the study, citing World Health Organization figures. Although it’s been the largest Ebola outbreak in history, it’s also produced the largest number of Ebola survivors, according to the study.

“All of these long-term consequences of Ebola infection in survival are now only beginning to be documented, and he wants to be part of that because he sees these people now entering into a post-Ebola world,” Schaffner said of Crozier.

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Judge Finds Twins Have Different Dads: Here’s How That’s Possible

iStock/Thinkstock(PATERSON, N.J.) — A New Jersey father will have to pay to support only one twin after a judge found those twins have two different fathers.

The ruling came after a woman asked for child support for her twins. However, according to court documents, DNA testing determined the man originally cited as the children’s father was actually only the biological father of one of them.

Because of that, Passaic County Superior Court Judge Sohail Mohammed ruled in family court on May 4 that the unnamed defendant would have to pay child support for the twin he fathered, and he dismissed the unnamed mother’s claim for support of the other child.

Dr. Brooke Rossi, an obstetrician and gynecologist at University Hospitals McDonald’s Women’s Hospital in Cleveland, said while rare, having twins from different fathers can occur naturally.

The phenomenon can occur when a woman produces two eggs during her fertility cycle instead of one, and they can become fertilized and implant within a few days of the same cycle.

“The sperm live in the genital tract for two days,” Rossi said. “It’s possible a woman can have sex with a man on a Tuesday and have sex with a different man on Wednesday, and it is possible for [her] to get pregnant,” with twins.

The rare phenomenon is called heteropaternal superfecundation in medical literature. An estimated one in 13,000 paternity cases involves twins with different fathers, according to a 1997 medical journal cited in the court ruling.

Rossi said because fertilization would happen so close together, the fetuses would be the same gestational age and would be expected to be born without any related health complications.

In the New Jersey case, according to the court documents, the mother of the twins said in court she had sex with two different men around the time she conceived. However, she gave just one name in her petition for child support.

Karl-Hanz Wurzinger, laboratory director of the Laboratory Corporation of America, testified that he sees about six sets of heteropaternal twins a year in his lab.

Wurzinger could not be reached for comment.

While it’s been a known phenomenon since the 1970s, according to court documents, there have been just two other reported legal cases of twins with different fathers in the U.S.

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Mobility Aids All the Rage with Seniors

liquidlibrary/Thinkstock(BURLINGTON, Vt.) — Doctors advise their patients to keep on their feet as much as possible for better health and it appears that seniors are taking that advice to heart with a little assistance from various mobility aids.

There has been a boom in such apparatus over the course of recent years, according to Nancy Gell, professor of movement science at the University of Vermont. Gell explains that it’s not only for health reasons that about one in four seniors now use walkers and canes but also because it’s become more socially acceptable.

Gell, the lead author of the study, says that use of mobility devices has increased by 50 percent over an eight-year span with about ten percent also utilizing more than one piece of equipment to help them move around.

In interviews with 7,600 seniors, Gell found that canes and walkers become more commonplace as people live longer, which also boosts the chance of contracting a disability that necessitates the use of mobility aids.

Another expert in geriatric medicine adds that the elderly are more cognizant about the risks of falling down so canes and walkers also become particularly important to their lifestyles.

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CDC: Triglyceride Levels Falling Among American Adults

Credit: James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data from its National Health and Nutrition Survey on Thursday which indicated fewer American adults have elevated triglyceride levels — which are strongly linked with cardiovascular disease.

According to researchers, the number of Americans with high triglycerides has fallen from 33.3 percent in the 2001-2004 survey to just 25.1 percent in its 2009-2012 survey. That trend also held up among men, women, older patients, and the overweight and obese populations.

Researchers say the decrease was not seen in non-Hispanic black men or women, though those populations have been previously found to have lower triglyceride levels at their baseline.

The report speculates that fewer adult smokers, decreased trans fats in food, and more prevalent use of cholesterol medication may have played a role in lowering triglycerides.

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