horex/iStock/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Health officials are investigating a cluster of salmonella cases that’s sickened at least 53 people in nine states.

Health officials in California announced on Thursday that the California Department of Public Health is investigating a cluster of salmonella cases that’s sickened 31 people in six counties.

“As the investigation continues, this is a good reminder to Californians that there are sometimes risks when eating raw or undercooked meats, fish or poultry,” CDPH Director Dr. Karen Smith said in a release on Thursday. “This is particularly true for young children, the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems who may be at an increased risk of severe illness.”

Most of the patients reported eating sushi containing raw tuna.

So far, health officials say that ten patients have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.

State and local health departments, including the the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are continuing to investigate the source of the outbreak.

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horex/iStock/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Health officials are investigating a cluster of salmonella cases that’s sickened at least 53 people in nine states.

Health officials in California announced on Thursday that the California Department of Public Health is investigating a cluster of salmonella cases that’s sickened 31 people in six counties.

“As the investigation continues, this is a good reminder to Californians that there are sometimes risks when eating raw or undercooked meats, fish or poultry,” CDPH Director Dr. Karen Smith said in a release on Thursday. “This is particularly true for young children, the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems who may be at an increased risk of severe illness.”

Most of the patients reported eating sushi containing raw tuna.

So far, health officials say that ten patients have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.

State and local health departments, including the the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are continuing to investigate the source of the outbreak.

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Ablestock.com/Thinkstock(ORO VALLEY, Ariz.) — When 18-year-old Skylar Mason survived a car crash that killed her father less than a year ago, the whole left side of her face was smashed and doctors reportedly weren’t even sure they could save one of her eyes.

But Mason made a “miraculous recovery”, and today, she’s in good health, Meta Mason, told ABC News affiliate KGUN-TV.

Skylar isn’t even considered legally blind in the eye doctors thought they couldn’t save, and she didn’t have any brain damage, her mother added.

The resilient teen graduated on Wednesday night with honors from Ironwood Ridge High School in Oro Valley, where she delivered an inspiring speech in memory of her late father, Karl Mason.

“No one tells you that unexpected things are going to happen and there’s nothing you can do to prevent them,” Skylar told her fellow 450 graduating classmates.

But despite life’s sometimes devastating surprises, life does guarantee one great thing, Skylar noted at the end of her speech.

“It can’t guarantee your happiness, your success or your safety,” she said, “but no matter what life throws at you, it’s guaranteed your community will be there to support you.”

The young woman received a standing ovation from her class. And though her mom said everything is bittersweet because the two greatly miss Skylar’s father, her mom told KGUN-TV she’s “so, so thankful for Skylar’s miraculous recovery and what’s ahead for her.”

Skylar, an inspiring journalist, plans to attend Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, KGUN-TV reported.

“I hope [my dad would] be really proud,” Skylar told KGUN-TV. “That’s all I want to do — is be someone that he would be proud of.”

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Marzia Giacobbe/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — David “Phil” Shockley was the valedictorian of his high school. He went on to earn a master’s degree and run a nursing home. But at 31 years old, listeria changed his life forever, according to court papers, and he’s been living with his parents ever since.

Now, he’s suing Blue Bell Creameries, which laid off a third of its staff last week amid a massive reboot. The Brenham, Texas-based company voluntarily recalled all products on April 20, after it was linked to a listeria outbreak that killed three people and sent seven others to the hospital, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The earliest case dated back to 2010, according to the CDC.

Shockley, now 32, is not among the official 10 Blue Bell-linked listeria cases reported by the CDC, but according to a suit he filed against the company, the ice cream products he consumed before his illness were the only ones that could have been tainted with the deadly bacteria.

“He fully understands what happened to him,” Eric Hageman, one of his lawyers, told ABC News, noting that his client is “a very smart guy.”

“While his whole life has obviously changed, he is truly committed to doing everything he can to get back some semblance of the life he used to have,” Hageman added.

According to the suit, Shockley regularly consumed Blue Bell products at work. He was taking drugs that suppressed his immune system because he had ulcerative colitis, which made him more vulnerable, according to the suit.

In October 2013, Shockley called 911 because of a severe headache, but he was diagnosed with a migraine and discharged, according to the suit.

“Several hours later, he lost consciousness,” it says.

When people realized he was missing, he was found alive but unresponsive and rushed to the hospital, where he was placed in intensive care, according to the suit. His temperature was 106 to 107 degrees, and he was “in acute respiratory failure, septic shock and suffering from seizure encephalopathy.” He spent five days on a respirator and regained consciousness on the sixth day, the lawsuit states.

“To his horror, when he did regain consciousness, he was unable to walk, talk, swallow or move much of his body,” the suit says, adding that he spent 18 days in the ICU and another few weeks of rehab.

Doctors diagnosed him with listeria meningitis.

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Marzia Giacobbe/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — David “Phil” Shockley was the valedictorian of his high school. He went on to earn a master’s degree and run a nursing home. But at 31 years old, listeria changed his life forever, according to court papers, and he’s been living with his parents ever since.

Now, he’s suing Blue Bell Creameries, which laid off a third of its staff last week amid a massive reboot. The Brenham, Texas-based company voluntarily recalled all products on April 20, after it was linked to a listeria outbreak that killed three people and sent seven others to the hospital, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The earliest case dated back to 2010, according to the CDC.

Shockley, now 32, is not among the official 10 Blue Bell-linked listeria cases reported by the CDC, but according to a suit he filed against the company, the ice cream products he consumed before his illness were the only ones that could have been tainted with the deadly bacteria.

“He fully understands what happened to him,” Eric Hageman, one of his lawyers, told ABC News, noting that his client is “a very smart guy.”

“While his whole life has obviously changed, he is truly committed to doing everything he can to get back some semblance of the life he used to have,” Hageman added.

According to the suit, Shockley regularly consumed Blue Bell products at work. He was taking drugs that suppressed his immune system because he had ulcerative colitis, which made him more vulnerable, according to the suit.

In October 2013, Shockley called 911 because of a severe headache, but he was diagnosed with a migraine and discharged, according to the suit.

“Several hours later, he lost consciousness,” it says.

When people realized he was missing, he was found alive but unresponsive and rushed to the hospital, where he was placed in intensive care, according to the suit. His temperature was 106 to 107 degrees, and he was “in acute respiratory failure, septic shock and suffering from seizure encephalopathy.” He spent five days on a respirator and regained consciousness on the sixth day, the lawsuit states.

“To his horror, when he did regain consciousness, he was unable to walk, talk, swallow or move much of his body,” the suit says, adding that he spent 18 days in the ICU and another few weeks of rehab.

Doctors diagnosed him with listeria meningitis.

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KABC-TV(SAN BERNADINO, Calif) — An 86-year-old man with Alzheimer’s disease told rescuers he was “doing pretty good” after spending nearly three days wandering in the Mojave Desert.

Rollande Towne had been spending a vacation with his family when he went missing, wandering away from his family’s campsite early Monday morning, according to his grandson, Jared Weigand.

Weigand told ABC News that Towne didn’t remember much about his ordeal outdoors. Soon after he was rescued Wednesday, Towne told ABC News Los Angeles station KABC-TV that he felt fine.

“Well, I’m doing pretty good,” Towne told KABC-TV. “I’ve got a few marks here and there, pretty decent actually.”

According to officials, Towne’s family saw him outside of their tent before he went missing.

“They woke up, they seen their grandpa outside picking up brass from spent casings, and then they went back inside, they fell back to sleep, they woke back up at 6:30 and noticed that he was gone,” San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Tommy Dickey told KABC-TV.

Towne, who also has diabetes, was evacuated via helicopter after being given some oxygen and bottled water.

“As I was walking up to him I called his name, ‘Ronny,’ and he sat up,” Steve Depue, a search-and-rescue team member with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department told KABC-TV. “It was kind of a, ‘Wow! We got to get this guy some help now,'”

Towne not only survived plummeting temperatures, but wildlife as well. Officials said they saw seven dangerous rattlesnakes during their search.

Weigand said his grandfather remained hospitalized but was doing well.

“Everybody’s doing OK,” said Weigand. “It’s looking good. He’s got a couple health issues.”

Dr. Alan Lerner, the director for the Brain Health & Memory Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, said it’s extremely common for elderly people with dementia to wander away from their families.

“We’ve seen some cases … where the person is visiting out-of-state or friends or family … [and] they’ve wandered off or become missing,” said Lerner, who said a low percentage — about 5 percent — of missing seniors are found deceased.

Lerner said sometimes an elderly person with dementia will feel uncomfortable and try to leave a situation. In other cases, they are trying to go their former homes, not recalling that they are being cared for elsewhere.

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DDB Worldwide/YouTube(BUENOS AIRES, Argentina) — A new public service announcement out of Argentina is guaranteed to make you teary with the story of a man and his loyal dog.

In the ad, the unnamed man and dog are inseparable, with the dog patiently waiting outside for his owner at different locations as he runs errands.

When the man suddenly falls ill, the trusty pup follows his owner’s ambulance to the hospital where he waits patiently for days. But when the doors open again it’s not the owner of the dog, but instead a woman seemingly in recovery with a bandage on her chest. And the pooch greets her enthusiastically at the door. The message of the ad is to live on by being an organ donor.

While the ad doesn’t feature actual patients, it addresses a critical need for viable organs for sick patients. The lack of available organs for transplant remains a problem worldwide.

According to a 2012 report by the Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation, less than 10 percent of global needs for organ transplants were met. There were a total of 114,690 solid organ transplants globally in 2012, according to the report. Argentina is ranked as one of the 50 countries with the most transplants.

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Courtesy Addyson’s Warriors/Facebook(DENVER) — An Ohio family moved 1,200 miles to get a medical marijuana derivative for their 3-year-old to give her some relief from her seizures, and they say it’s working.

Addyson Benton began having tiny seizures when she was just 9 months old, her mother, Heather Benton, told ABC News. Her eyes would glaze over and she would jerk as if she was catching herself falling asleep. Soon, the seizures got worse, doctors learned that Addyson was having more than 1,000 a day, and they diagnosed her with severe intractable myoclonic epilepsy, Benton said.

“It was just a nightmare,” Benton said, adding that the seizure medications didn’t work and made Addyson strangely aggressive or sleepy. “We could not find anything to control them and they were getting worse.”

The Bentons were watching a documentary about marijuana that prompted them to move to Colorado to get medical marijuana for Addyson in the hopes that it would give her some relief. At the time they moved in March, Addyson, 3, couldn’t say her name and was developmentally delayed, Benton said.

In consultation with doctors in Colorado, Benton said, they tried a few marijuana-derived products and found that a patch that they put on Addyson’s ankle each morning reduced her seizures. On Monday, Benton only counted three visible seizures all day.

“Six hours after we put it on her, she lit up,” Benton said. “She stared mimicking hand gestures, talking, mimicking words on TV,” Benton said.

“I was just blown away,” Benton added. “I never thought we would be here.”

Addyson’s doctors were unavailable for comment.

Dr. Max Wiznitzer, a pediatric neurologist at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, said that while he doesn’t doubt that marijuana-based products can have a positive effect for some epileptic patients, there isn’t enough data to show that the benefits outweigh the risks. Wiznitzer has not treated Addyson.

He said without good studies, it’s impossible to know what such products will do to developing brains.

“Is the use of this product going to have some not-well-recognized-now effect on brain development that might be worse than what the underlying condition was?” he asked. “You’re not talking about some 50-year-old person smoking marijuana.”

Wiznitzer said it’s not clear whether these non-hallucinogenic products truly don’t cause hallucinations, and that that a recent study of anecdotal information revealed that parents who moved to Colorado with their epileptic children were more likely to report positive effects from medical marijuana products than parents who lived in Colorado to begin with. But they didn’t have the same diagnosis as Addyson, and they weren’t using the same products.

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Rod Edmondson(SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.) — Rachael Farrokh, 37, says she has been fighting a battle with anorexia for 10 long years — but now, an extreme decline in her health has her determined to seek treatment and share her story with the world.

Prior to her 10-year journey, Farrokh was the girl next door — beautiful, talented, healthy and smart, according to her husband, Rod Edmondson, 41, of San Clemente, California.

“She was a very active individual growing up,” he said. “She was valedictorian, graduated summa cum laude. She’s a perfectionist.”

However, as her illness took hold, the 5-foot-7 Farrokh went from weighing a healthy 125 pounds to a now-shocking number that she asked not be disclosed. Farrokh, now so thin you can see her bones through her skin, spends her days and nights in a hospital bed inside her home.

“My sister gave me a collage of pictures of when I was acting or doing certain things,” Farrokh told ABC News. “I look at that girl, the head shot, it’s only a few years old. It’s like I know I’ve wasted this much of my life. I just want to be that person again — that strong, independent woman that can be herself.”

The couple met while Edmondson was working as a personal trainer at the gym where Farrokh was a member for years. He said he is now unemployed and acting as his wife’s full-time caregiver — and both say Farrokh now wants to accept help, but it may be too late.

Edmondson has created a GoFundMe page to help cover Farrokh’s medical expenses in hopes that they can get her into a facility that can help her. But because Farrokh’s weight does not reach the minimum weight requirement set by certain facilities, she and her husband said, she is unable to go through recovery at a hospital or a treatment center.

Dr. Michael Strober, professor of psychiatry and director at the eating disorder program at the Resnick UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital, said the refeeding process can pose potential dangers to a person depending on their age, past treatments and the severity of the illness.

“Refeeding syndrome results from metabolic changes that are associated with feeding an individual who has been calorie-depleted,” Strober said. “So, the feeding needs to be carefully monitored. The refeeding syndrome will involve the body’s attempt to adapt to sudden introduction of nutrients. … Too rapid increase of calories can result in the metabolic adaptation which is associated of a number of hazards, which can be life-threatening.”

Farrokh said that the severe drop in her weight has caused her serious health problems, many of which have almost cost her life.

“I’ve had heart, kidney and liver failure and osteoporosis for the past seven years,” she said. “When I went to the hospital in January, they flooded me with fluids and I gained 40 pounds overnight in water weight. That’s when my body started shutting down.”

Farrokh said her weakened state became more evident after she took a hard fall in her home in September 2014. Since then, she said, she has been unable to walk on her own or do simple tasks without her husband’s assistance. Edmondson now carries her, bathes her and attempts to keep up with her sporadic sleep schedule.

“What’s funny [is] it doesn’t really sink into your psyche,” she said. “You say, ‘OK, I’m going to get up and brush my teeth. Oh wait, I can’t.’ Even in my dreams, I dream as how I used to be.”

While she’s still able to articulate herself, Farrokh often loses her train of thought. Edmondson will then help her continue conversations.

“At such a low body weight, my brain is a little slower than I would like,” Farrokh said. “Sometimes, you’ll forget what you said a few seconds ago. You’re just not on your game.

“I want other anorexics to hear this,” she added. “This is miserable. Everything hurts from my head down to my toes. It’s really hard to distract, so what I try to do is have conversations with Rod and keep in contact with other victims on Facebook to be encouraging and supportive of one another.”

Farrokh said she is desperate to make a full recovery and plans on opting for either professional home care or checking herself into a particular out-of-state clinic that may accept her.

“It’s one of the options, but now we are getting some news that they want me to do a medical check to see if I can be lifted” to the clinic’s location, Farrokh said. “It’s one of the only places that will take me.”

The clinic declined to comment on any particular case, citing privacy laws.

Both Edmondson and Farrokh said that, at first, they never saw signs that Farrokh was suffering from an eating disorder.

“I was a senior account executive,” Farrokh said. “I was this doe-eyed girl that was just graduating college in a failed atmosphere, and I was also going through trauma from my past. It was the perfect storm.”

Farrokh believes her anorexia spiraled out of control after she lost her job, she said, and as she continued to deal with a painful memory from her past, which she would not disclose.

“I just felt out of control,” she said. “At first it was innocent, where I wanted to drop a few pounds to get better abs.”

In an effort to expose the unvarnished reality of Farrokh’s current state and help her stay on the path to recovery, her husband enlisted the help of a friend to film his wife going about her day-to-day activities.

“Rachael’s weight was so low and we had a photographer do some shots,” Edmondson said. “She wants to have a purpose, to help people and raise awareness.”

The footage reveals how Farrokh’s eating disorder has changed her life drastically — altering her appearance and limiting her mobility.

Farrokh said she sometimes gets backlash for her outward appearance.

“I’ve had some woman at Target walk by and say, ‘I hope you have a disease, looking like that,'” Farrokh said. “But now that I’m in a wheelchair, the looks are more for pity.”

Laura Discipio, a licensed clinical social worker and executive director of the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, said such attitudes are unfortunate because anorexics are suffering from a mental illness.

“Something shifts in their brain … and we are just now working on the resources to really get the research to figure that out,” she said. “Just as you are compelled to go off your diet, they are just compelled to stay on it. Just as you are compelled to eat, they are compelled to restrict. It is a psychiatric, biological illness. It is totally not a choice. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.”

Should she recover, Farrokh plans on continuing to talk about the dangers of anorexia to those who are going down a similar path.

“To be honest, I live moment by moment, day by day, because my odds aren’t very good,” she said. “The recovery process for an anorexic, it’s ridiculous. If you’re going to make it, you’re going to have to get out there. You have to go out and meet life. Go to treatment because it’s not going to come to you.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Beware of your fellow driver.

According to a new survey released by AT&T Tuesday, drivers are doing more than texting while behind the wheel. They’re even checking social media and taking selfies.

The survey, which was commissioned by the telephone company and conducted by Braun Research, said it polled 2,067 people who own a cell phone and who drive at least once per day.

The survey found that 27 percent of drivers between the ages of 16 and 65 said they use Facebook, while 14 percent said they log onto Twitter. And of those who check or post to Twitter, 30 percent said they tweet and drive “all the time.” The survey also found that 17 percent said they take selfies, and more than 10 percent of those polled use Instagram and Snapchat.

“One in 10 say they do video chat while driving. I don’t even have words for that,” Lori Lee, AT&T’s senior executive vice president for global marketing, said.

It’s why AT&T launched the “It Can Wait” campaign to discourage distracted driving.

“When we launched ‘It Can Wait’ five years ago, we pleaded with people to realize that no text is worth a life,” Lee explained. “The same applies to other smartphone activities that people are doing while driving. For the sake of you and those around you, please keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone.”

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