Review Category : Health

How Parents Can Protect Their Kids From Predators and How Jaycee Dugard Helps Other Survivors

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Robert Lowery had only been working for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for three days when the shocking news broke in 2009 that Jaycee Dugard, who had been missing for 18 years, had been found.

“Jaycee now serves as a visible reminder to us that we could never give up on our children – our missing kids,” Lowery, Vice President of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.

Dugard was just 11 years old when she was kidnapped by Phillip and Nancy Garrido in 1991 near her home in Lake Tahoe, California. She was held captive for 18 years and gave birth to two daughters while she was a prisoner. Dugard and her girls were rescued in 2009 and reunited with her mother, Terry Probyn.

Lowery calls Dugard one of NCMEC’s “heroes” for the way she and her family use her story and experience to help others.

Dugard founded the Jayc Foundation, which helps other victims of trauma and their families recover. For more information on the Jayc Foundation:

“Jaycee reminds us that no matter what happens we don’t give up on these children,” Lowery said. “And at the National Center, we will not close a case until that child has been physically found, no matter what the circumstances. Hope is always going to be there.”

Studies show that about 100 children are taken captive by strangers each year in the United States. Many are rescued but in Jaycee Dugard’s case, law enforcement had many chances to find her but failed over and over for 18 years.

NCMEC’s missing child recovery rate has increased from 62 percent in 1990 to 97 percent today, according to the Center.

Lowery credits new technology as the main reason more children are rescued today.

“We’ve seen a lot of changes in the 25 years since Jaycee Dugard’s been gone. One, we have Amber Alert now, we have stronger laws, we have technology today that didn’t exist when Jaycee was taken,” Lowery told Diane Sawyer.

But Lowery notes, “that doesn’t make it a safer world.” He said that while advancements in technology have helped recover children, technology has also allowed predators into homes via computers where they can lure children online.

“We don’t want to frighten children to the point to where they don’t leave the home or to the point that they don’t go outside and do things that children should do,” Lowery said. “We encourage parents to have frank conversations with their children – telling them things that are common sense, what to do, what not to do.”

Lowery encourages parents to walk their children’s route to school with them, using that as a teaching moment to practice “what if scenarios,” such as what to do if a car pulls up and someone asks for help searching for a lost puppy.

His advice to children who find themselves in this situation is to get away as quickly as possible and find a trusted adult. If someone tries to grab you, kick, scream and do whatever you can to draw attention to the person.

“Yell things like, ‘This is not my father! This is not my mother!’” Lowery said. “So passersby and people that are nearby will see what’s going on.”

Lowery said bystanders can also play an important role in saving a life.

“The public has to understand that they have a role when it comes to victimized children, missing children, abducted children,” Lowery said. “One of the most powerful tools that we have at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is engaging the public as the eyes and ears of law enforcement. If they see something, they must say something. They must call 911. They must report it.”

If you see anything strange or suspicious and suspect a child could be in danger, call 1-800-THE-LOST, which is the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s hotline. Their website:

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Single Patient Infected Dozens During MERS Outbreak, Researchers Say

iStock/Thinkstock(SEOUL) — South Korean researchers have identified a single patient who infected more than 80 people with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) during the 2015 outbreak.

According to a new study in the Lancet, researchers traced the patient’s movements to a crowded emergency room in Seoul, South Korea, where they estimate he came in contact with more than 1,500 people and passed the virus to 82.

The authors of the report warn that overcrowding, which plagues many hospitals around the world, could allow the virus to spread more easily in the future.

MERS first appeared in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has since spread to 27 countries including the U.S.

The outbreak in South Korea involved 186 people and claimed 36 lives.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Viral Photo of Woman with Baby Bump Called ‘Huge’ Highlights Harm of Criticism

Courtesy of Revie Jane Schulz(QUEENSLAND, Australia) — An Australian woman took to social media this week to raise awareness of how harmful it is to criticize a woman’s baby bump.

Revie Jane Schulz, who is now mom to a 3-month-old daughter Lexington, posted a “throwback” photo on Instagram, wearing a form-fitting dress showcasing her bump.

She wrote in the now viral post, “I posted this after so many comments were thrown my way for having a massive bump. I was so fed up, even when I had tried on this dress and the shop assistant said ‘Holy moly! My friend is 36 weeks and you’re only 24 weeks and you’re WAY bigger than her!'”

“It’s tough, you’re carrying a human,” the Queensland, Australia, woman added, “your body is dramatically changing, more than you ever expected and then to rub salt in it, strangers feel the need to comment every time you’re out in public.”

Schulz, 25, told ABC News that she took to social media this week to caution others to be more mindful when speaking to pregnant women.

The mother added that she knows “that most people aren’t meaning to be rude or malicious at all when discussing the size of a bump, [so] I took to my social platforms in the hope to help others realize that talking about a size of the bump can sometimes be hurtful and cause a pregnant lady concern.”

“I loved being pregnant and having a great bump, however, people constantly telling me that I was ‘huge,’ ‘carrying multiples,’ [or was] ‘about to pop’ really took some of the joy away during such a beautiful time,” Schulz continued.

The fitness trainer said “it wasn’t just the superficial aspect” that annoyed her. Schulz said when thinking of delivering her baby, due to the comments she heard, “it made me feel afraid when I needed to feel empowered!”

On Instagram, Schulz offered some advice when interacting with pregnant women.

“Here’s a tip, don’t mention the size of a bump. No ‘you’re so big!s’ No ‘oh! You’re so tiny!’s.’ Just say something like ‘you look beautiful/ healthy/ amazing!'”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Zika-Infected Elderly Patient Dies in US, Cause of Death Not Yet Determined

iStock/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) — An elderly Utah resident is the first person in the continental U.S. to die while being infected with the Zika virus. The cause of death is unknown and the unnamed resident had an underlying health condition, according to the Salt Lake County Health Department.

The health department announced Friday that the unnamed resident, who traveled outside the country to where mosquitoes are known to carry the virus, died in late June. Although the virus has been found to cause devastating birth defects, in adults the virus usually causes mild symptoms such as fever, rash and pink eye that resolve in less than a week. Only one in five of those infected exhibit symptoms. Health officials highlighted that it was unclear if the Zika virus had any role in the patient’s death.

“The exact cause of death has not been determined, and it may not be possible to determine how the Zika infection contributed to the death,” they said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported at least 1,133 cases of Zika infections within the U.S. Virtually all were cases where a person traveled outside the U.S. and became infected by mosquitoes aboard. In a small number of cases, the virus was transmitted through sexual contact within the U.S. There have been no cases of people being infected from mosquitoes within the continental U.S.

“This unfortunate situation is a tragic reminder of how important it is to receive proper pre-travel education and to protect yourself from mosquitoes when traveling abroad,” said Dr. Dagmar Vitek, medical director for Salt Lake County Health Department. “In addition to Zika, travelers need to be mindful of other diseases found around the world, including mosquito-borne illnesses like Dengue fever, malaria, and chikungunya.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Therapy Goats Provide Comfort and Friendship to California Boy With Autism

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A California teen with autism has found companionship and encouragement in his two “best friends” — pygmy goats Zephyr and Jasper — his mother told ABC News.

“He is just a big animal lover,” Alicia Seaton, the mother of Jackson, 16, told ABC News. “As with all animals, they don’t require you to do anything but love them and care for them and they love you back. And it’s unconditional.”

Seaton said that the two goats have motivated Jackson to come out of his shell and talk more. He previously struggled with expressing himself verbally.

“Now he is motivated to talk about his goats. His speech teacher has noticed that he is a lot more verbal.”

Kathy Griffith, owner of Griffiths Pygmies, raised and trained Jackson’s goats, and told ABC News that she has trained a total of six goats to work with people with autism.

“They’re therapy goats. The goats are oftentimes smarter than the dogs are,” Griffith said. “They’re companion animals.”

Griffith said that she has two “special ed” kids, and that she is passionate about using animals to encourage kids with special needs. “[Kids with autism] are kids, special needs kids are kids, they want love,” she said.

She added that Jackson’s goats have bonded with the teen.

“He is a piano prodigy, but those social skills are lacking, so he literally will sit there with Jasper, and he holds Jasper’s head and Jasper won’t move,” Griffith said of Jackson. “When he starts talking, Jasper just sits there listening.

“It has given companionship,” Griffith added. “It has also helped him dramatically with socialization.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Your Body: My Partner is Hotter Than Me

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

Summer brings warmer temperatures and thoughts of hitting the beach. But the show of skin that comes with beach time can cause serious anxiety for some people, including couples where one may be more physically fit than the other.

Now experts say it’s not uncommon to feel a little anxiety when one person doesn’t feel as attractive as his or her partner.

The best thing you could do is to talk to each other about how you’re feeling and work through your insecurities together. Try to redirect any self consciousness or anxiety into positives. Compliment your partner and recognize that true self-worth has nothing to do with meeting some physique ideal. Enjoy the summer for the experiences you have, not the way you look.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Study: We Don’t Always Pick Best the Sunscreens

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Sunscreen is sunscreen, right? Not according to a new study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Dermatology, which finds we don’t always choose sunscreens that adhere to the guidelines set by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

Researchers began by looking at the top-rated one percent of sunscreens on Amazon to see whether shoppers are picking the sunscreens that provide the best protection. Researchers looked at the sunscreens that had both the highest ratings and highest number of reviews, and then determined how many of those 65 unnamed sunscreens actually adhered to all of the recommended guidelines for a good sunscreen. Those guidelines include SPF greater than or equal to 30, protection from both UVA and UVB light, and water and sweat resistance.

Results? About 40 percent of those most-popular suncreens didn’t completely meet AAD criteria for effectiveness. The majority of those that didn’t failed because they weren’t water- or sweat-resistant.

Researchers also found consumers were likely to mention “cosmetic elegance” in their reviews — that is, how the product feels, smells or its color — as a positive feature of a sunscreen, with the product’s actual performance coming in second.

“Dermatologists should counsel patients that sunscreen products come with numerous marketing claims and varying cosmetic applicability, all of which must be balanced with adequate photo protection,” the study authors wrote.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Young Mother Diagnosed With Breast Cancer Captures Last Time Breastfeeding

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Natasha Fogarty was in utter shock when, just four months after giving birth to her son Milo, she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. But once the shock subsided and reality set in, she was left grappling with the inevitable loss of her favorite mother-son activity — breastfeeding.

Though Fogarty was able to continue breastfeeding after her diagnosis, she knew her upcoming mastectomy would mark the end of those moments with her now-5-month-old. Her single mastectomy was scheduled for June 27, so on Sunday, June 26, Fogarty arranged a photo shoot to capture the last time she would be able to breastfeed.

The idea, she told ABC News, came to her in the shower. She quickly posted to Facebook, explaining her situation and calling for any photographers willing to do a last minute shoot. Luckily, a friend from high school replied and, moved by Fogarty’s idea, offered to do it for free.

The photos, like those moments with her son, will be cherished forever, Fogarty said. “I wanted to do [the photo shoot] for him and for me,” she explained. “We loved breastfeeding and it’s been hard for both of us to not have those moments together anymore.”

Fogarty also posted the photos in the Facebook group Breastfeeding Mama Talk together with a touching message to fellow mothers. “I wanted and planned to breastfeed for a year,” she wrote. “Unfortunately to save my life I had to stop. I want any other mom out there going through this to stay strong and positive.” The post has received more than 5,000 likes.

Fogarty said she posted in the Facebook group to support other mothers with similar experiences and to remind healthy mothers how fortunate they are. “We all have our bad days in breastfeeding,” she said. “And I just wanted to inspire those women so they realize that they are lucky to be able to breastfeed every day.”

The outpouring of love and support for Fogarty has come in many forms; one that she is especially appreciative of is the donation of breast milk. Milo would not take formula, she explained, which caused her a lot of stress initially. Fortunately, friends offered to contribute some of their own breast milk.

And she didn’t stop at the photos. Fogarty also decided upon realizing she would eventually lose her hair to chop off over 10 inches and dye what was left a bright shade of pink. Pink has always been her favorite color, she said, but now it has even more meaning as the universal color for breast cancer awareness.

“It feels so great to look in the mirror and say, ‘This is me. This is me being strong and this is me destroying this cancer,’” she said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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CDC Monitoring 320 Pregnant Women in US After Zika Infection

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Evidence of the Zika virus has been found in at least 320 pregnant women in the U.S. according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden called the virus a “silent epidemic” as it continues to spread across the Americas. While the virus can cause mild symptoms such as fever, rash and pink eye, it has been found to cause devastating birth defects including microcephaly. One reason the virus is so difficult to track is because four out of five people infected do not show symptoms. In Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories, Frieden said “dozens and perhaps 50 pregnant women are becoming infected with the Zika virus” every day.

“The vast majority of these pregnancies have not yet come to term,” Frieden told reporters Thursday. “Those that have come to term are those with infections occurring later on in pregnancy, when we believe the risk [of birth defects including microcephaly] is lower.”

In the U.S. seven infants have been born with birth defects after their mothers became infected with Zika while pregnant, according to Frieden. Five additional pregnancies showed fetuses with birth defects. Microcephaly is characterized by an abnormally small head can lead to developmental delays among other symptoms.

“It’s a tragedy for each family affected,” Frieden said. “Hundreds and hundreds of American women [are] dealing with this.”

Virtually all cases of Zika diagnosed in the U.S. were contracted while abroad, although a small number of cases were spread through sexual contact with an infected person. An estimated 1,133 cases of Zika virus have been diagnosed in the U.S. since the outbreak began, according to the CDC. There have been no cases of infections spreading through mosquitoes in the U.S.

The new tally of those infected comes as Congress is at a standstill over funding Zika. Officials said President Obama spoke with Democratic and Republican leaders today, urging a solution before Congress recesses for the summer.

Sen. Chuck Schumer said on a call with reporters that the Zika funding bill the House passed was filled with poison pills.

“We supported a compromise bill that wasn’t everything we needed but was a lot better than nothing,” Schumer said of the $1.1 billion Zika bill passed in the Senate. “This is not a time to play political games.”

Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Kathy Castor explained that in Florida there were 11 new cases of Zika announced just Wednesday, which is a record for the number of cases reported in one state in one day.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Dad, Daughter Decorate Diabetes Device for Swim Team Spirit

David Engler(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — Claire Engler, 11, has worn both an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device nearly her entire life to help manage the type 1 diabetes she was diagnosed with at age 2.

When the sixth-grader had a swim meet recently with her local Charlottesville, Virginia, team, she and her dad decided to get creative and decorated her CGM.

Claire and David Engler transformed the CGM, a small device Claire inserts into her arms, legs or stomach every three days to track her blood glucose levels, into a killer whale to represent the name of her swimming team, “The Killer Whales.”

“She’s a pretty crafty kid and she likes doing things with duct tape,” David Engler told ABC News. “I’m not sure who came up with the idea but we just got duct tape and looked up a picture of a killer whale online.”

Engler said they reinforced the CGM with medical tape and then placed the completed duct tape killer whale creation on top of that.

“Everyone loved it at the swim meet,” Engler said. “We got a lot of requests from people wanting one too.”

The whale is not the first time Claire has added some levity to the serious medical devices she must wear every day in order to manage type 1 diabetes, a chronic, incurable disease in which the body’s pancreas does not make insulin.

Claire and her dad have previously decorated her CGM to look like Tardis from “Doctor Who,” and decorated the device with the logo from her summer camp.

The CGM is a crucial tool in helping children like Claire with type 1 diabetes maintain their blood sugar levels so they do not go into hypo or hyperglycemia. The device monitors their blood sugar levels 24/7 and communicates with both a transmitter that displays the blood sugar readings. Claire’s CGM now also has the capability of displaying her blood sugar level on an iPhone so her parents and school nurse can monitor it remotely.

“The access to these technologies is what helps people with diabetes live better lives,” Engler said. “Anything we can do to normalize the usage of the technology really helps people to see kids with type 1 diabetes just as kids.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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