Review Category : Health

Missouri-Based Company Recalls Beef Due to Mad Cow Disease Fear

Hemera/Thinkstock(JACKSON, Mo.) — A Missouri-based company is recalling more than 4,000 pounds of beef products following fears the product may be tainted with mad cow disease.

Fruitland American Meat from Jackson, Missouri, issued the recall for ribeye and carcass parts that may contain “specified risk materials.” The food was distributed to a restaurant in New York and a Whole Foods center in Connecticut, which services stores in New England. Other products were given to a restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri.

All products would have been processed into smaller cuts with no identifying consumer packaging, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

[ CLICK HERE TO SEE THE COMPLETE LIST OF AFFECTED PRODUCTS ]

While officials are taking precautionary measures, infectious disease specialist Dr. William Schaffner tells ABC News the U.S. has never had an outbreak of mad cow disease.

“The United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration are on the ball when they detect something, they institute a recall,” Schaffner says. “It helps make our food supply the safest in the world.”

The risk of contracting the disease is exceedingly low, he adds.

“We occasionally get a mad cow patient but they have acquired their infection abroad. Fortunately this is a very unusual event.”

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Obama ‘Tobacco Free’ but Still Chews Nicotine Gum, Doctor Says

Brendan Smiawlowski/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Obama “remains tobacco-free” but still maintains “occasional use” of nicotine gum, according to an official summary of his periodic physical exam conducted in May.

Physician to the president Dr. Ronny L. Jackson says Obama’s overall health is “excellent” and that “all clinical data indicates that the president is currently healthy and that he will remain so for the duration of his presidency,” according to a memo released by the White House.

Obama, 52, still has perfect 20/20 vision. He maintains a healthy weight of 180 pounds, though he had lost 1.3 pounds since his previous exam. His blood pressure remains within the “normal” range, Dr. Jackson found.

The president’s cholesterol levels are “borderline high” under established medical guidelines, however. He still copes with a mild case of plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot, the report says.

The only drugs Obama takes is an occasional ibuprofen, daily vitamin D and malarone (anti-malaria medication) when traveling abroad.

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Obama ‘Tobacco Free’ but Still Chews Nicotine Gum, Doctor Says

Brendan Smiawlowski/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Obama “remains tobacco-free” but still maintains “occasional use” of nicotine gum, according to an official summary of his periodic physical exam conducted in May.

Physician to the president Dr. Ronny L. Jackson says Obama’s overall health is “excellent” and that “all clinical data indicates that the president is currently healthy and that he will remain so for the duration of his presidency,” according to a memo released by the White House.

Obama, 52, still has perfect 20/20 vision. He maintains a healthy weight of 180 pounds, though he had lost 1.3 pounds since his previous exam. His blood pressure remains within the “normal” range, Dr. Jackson found.

The president’s cholesterol levels are “borderline high” under established medical guidelines, however. He still copes with a mild case of plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot, the report says.

The only drugs Obama takes is an occasional ibuprofen, daily vitamin D and malarone (anti-malaria medication) when traveling abroad.

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Blog ‘Analyzes’ Users’ Mental State from Emojis

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Can a winky face signal anxiety? What about a crying cartoon cat as a sign of depression? One Brooklyn copywriter decided to take on the challenge by “analyzing” the emojis of others.

Dan Brill, a New York copywriter for the Droga 5 advertising agency, launched a blog called Emojinalysis where he jokingly “analyzes” the most-used emojis, breaking down the significance of too many “weary cat” emojis or an overuse of heart icons.

Brill said he was inspired to start the site after texting a friend and realizing his most used emojis were pretty glum.

“I pulled up my recently used emojis. There was a bunch of distressed faces, and boos, I said, ‘Am I all right?’” said Brill. “It’s this weird window in to what’s going on in people’s lives.”

Brill’s site is in good fun and the 30-year-old admitted he is “the least mentally qualified person to analyze other people,” but experts said a psychiatric analysis of emojis may not be completely absurd — especially as teens and other young people turn to the icons to communicate more and more.

Rachel Busman, a psychologist at the Anxiety and Mood Disorder Center at the Child Mind Institute in New York, said it is important for parents and mental health workers dealing with teenagers to understand the language of emoticons, emojis and other social media communication to be aware of their teen’s mental state.

“It’s an interesting question and it’s a good question because the age group of teenagers and tweens are using texting and emojis to communicate,” Busman told ABC News. “If you saw a kids phone, whether it had emojis or dark [text], I would hope that it would open a dialogue.”

Even Facebook has created a designated list of warning signs to help users identify if their online friends seem particularly upset. One of the possible warnings sings was the overuse of negative emoticons.

However, Busman said, for the vast majority of people, using of a bunch of unhappy faces in their texts does not indicate much about their mental state. Instead, Busman recommended that any user worried that their emojis revealed inner turmoil should instead take stock of when they use the little icons.

“Does [unhappy emojis] mean I’m sad or do I use them when I have something negative to say?” Busman said, as an example. “I think we can always be aware of how [we're] communicating.”

Brill said since he started the site, he’s been overwhelmed with the popular response, which may have just changed the kind of emojis he’s been using recently.

“It’s been a pretty exciting couple of days,” Brill said. “There’s a lot more happy emojis.”

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Chikungunya Virus Sparks Warning in Tennessee

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A mosquito-borne virus that’s spreading in the Caribbean may have landed in Tennessee, according to health officials.

A group of Tennesseans that recently returned from the Caribbean is showing symptoms of the chikungunya virus, which include fever, joint and muscle pain, rash and joint swelling, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

“This is often a terribly painful and uncomfortable illness, with no vaccine to prevent it and no specific treatment for those infected,” state health commissioner Dr. John Dreyzehner said in a statement. “Recovery can be prolonged, so prevention is the only good option.”

The virus spreads through bites from Aedes species mosquitoes, also known as daytime biting mosquitos, which are common in Tennessee.

“It is imperative individuals experiencing symptoms of chikungunya virus minimize their exposure to mosquitoes to reduce risk of local transmission,” said Abelardo Moncayo, director of the Tennessee Department of Health’s Vector-Borne Diseases program. “A mosquito can pick up the virus from an infected human and infect others.”

Outbreaks of chikungunya have occurred in Africa, Asia, Europe and areas surrounding the Indian and Pacific Oceans, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Late last year, the virus appeared for the first time in the Caribbean.

Now, health officials fear it might have made its way to the U.S.

“It is, unfortunately, probably just a matter of time before we have confirmed cases here,” said Dreyzehner.

The best way to protect yourself from the virus is to avoid mosquito bites by wearing insect repellants and outdoor clothing that’s “long, loose and light,” according to the Tennessee Department of Health. The department also recommended avoiding perfumes, eliminating standing water near your home and using screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.

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Summer Harvest Comes to White House Garden

Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon(WASHINGTON) — Children from five local elementary schools will come to the White House on Thursday to chow down on crops they planted in its garden last spring. First lady Michelle Obama and White House chefs will help the students make lunches from the fruit and vegetable patch as a reward for each of their schools meeting national health and nutrition standards supported by her “Let’s Move” initiative.

The White House Kitchen Garden, now in its sixth year, began as a pet project of the first lady to discuss healthier eating and living. It is now commonly used as a setting for children’s events on the residence grounds and is a popular tourist attraction open to the public.

Joining Obama were classes from the nearby Harriet Tubman, Bancroft, Kimball and Cleveland elementary schools, along with Friendship Public Charter school. The first lady also invited school nutrition directors from Orlando, Dallas and West Virginia to participate.

About 90 percent of U.S. classrooms are meeting the nutrition standards overseen by the Department of Agriculture, administration officials say.

Thursday’s event was initially scheduled as a summer harvest in the garden, but an inclement weather threat moved the first lady and her guests indoors.

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Do Doctors Ignore Patients Who Don’t Want Aggressive Therapy?

iStock/Thinkstock(STANFORD, Calif.) — As much as we all dread thinking about our own deaths, what seems to be upsetting to many people as well is the thought of undergoing aggressive therapy when one is terminally ill.

Apparently, many physicians have also pondered that. A 2013 survey found that close to nine-in-ten doctors would choose a “no-code” or do-not-resuscitate orders for themselves.

However, a study by VJ Periyakoil from the Stanford University School of Medicine suggests that a majority of doctors are less inclined to give that same option to patients who might be at the end of their own lives.

In fact, Periyakoil says the attitude of doctors is basically unchanged over the past 25 years, that is, they seem to insist on using aggressive therapy even when over 80 percent of patients would rather avoid high-intensity care and long hospitalizations.

According to Periyakoil, “Patients’ voices are often too feeble and drowned out by the speed and intensity of a fragmented health-care system.”

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Sometimes Sex Can Be a Real Pain in the Head

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — As pleasurable as sex is, there is a very small percentage of people who experience headache pain during the act.

Dr. Jose Biller, a Loyola University Medical Center neurologist who conducted a study on the phenomenon, actually believes that the number of people who get sex headaches is higher than the one percent who report them.

The problem, according to Biller, is that these headache sufferers are probably too embarrassed to mention it to their physician.

The good news for the vast majority whose heads may start to pound during sexual activity is that the cause is not usually serious and there are a variety of remedies that can help relieve or even prevent the headache from occurring.

However, Biller says people shouldn’t be afraid to tell their doctors about chronic pain associated with sex because in rare cases, the underlying cause might be serious, such as hemorrhage, brain aneurysm or stroke.

Medical experts will likely recommend a neurological evaluation just to play it on the safe side.

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Unhappiness Is a Side-Effect of Unemployment

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — There’s no question that being out of work for any length of time can be a demoralizing experience. However, a new Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index suggests the impact of unemployment may be far worse than anyone imagined.

In questioning well over 350,000 U.S. adults, of whom five percent were out of work, Gallup found that around 20 percent of the respondents unemployed for at least a year are currently depressed or are being treated for depression.

Essentially the longer people didn’t have a job, the more likely they were to report symptoms of depression.

Overall, 12.4 percent of the unemployed in the survey were either experiencing depression or were getting treated for it, compared to 5.6 percent of all full-time working adults.

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WATCH: New York Artist Bends Brainwaves into 3-D Art

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Ion Popian doesn’t create art with a paint brush, pencil or mound of clay, starting instead with brainwaves.

Popian pioneered brainwave art for his series “Mental Fabrications.” Each piece is created by reading participants’ brainwaves through a biosensor and translating them into 3-D models.

The finished white models look like landscapes with skeletal versions of hills and valleys. The models dot Popian’s studio in Queens, New York, and as he works, the buzz of a 3-D printer slowly putting together the components to make another model drones in the background.

To create the series, Popian worked with a filmmaker and programmer to fine tune the process. The participants watch an abstract film to get their brainwaves at peak motion. The programmer then takes the data from the biosensor and spins it through an algorithm so that the data can be printed out on a 3-D printer, turning biological information into artwork.

“[The] emotions, we can feel as human we can map these out,” Popian said. “Every single one of these maps is like a fingerprint of the individual.”

The “Mental Fabrications” series is as much about the experience as the end result.

Filmmaker Noah Shulman created the abstract video for the experience by utilizing magnified images and abstract music to put the viewer at ease and their brainwaves in motion.

As participants have their brainwaves read, anyone else in the studio can see their projected thought pattern on a wall. The undulating digitized plane rises and falls in real time depending on each participant’s relaxation or concentration. The more relaxed, the more peaks, while more concentration results in more valleys.

“From watching the film to printing the art I feel like it’s…creativity in its purest form you know it’s straight from the brain,” Shulman told ABC News.

When ABC News visited the studio a test run showed the brainwave “hills” appeared to rise and fall in time with the music from Shulman’s video.

It was Popian’s day job as an architect that inspired him to render the brainwaves in architectural shapes.

“The process of architecture is what I used to derive this whole concept. It’s trying to bring a scientific…process to an art project,” Popian said.

Popian’s skills as an architect will likely come in handy in the next phase of the project.

He’s planning to use the same technology to turn the brainwave data into giant 3-D structures large enough to stand under for a project this summer.

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