ABC NewsREPORTER’S NOTEBOOK By ABC News’ Dr. Richard Besser

(MONROVIA, Liberia) — “First thing was the headache,” a Liberian teen tells me.

I’ve arrived in a remote village with a medical team from The International Medical Corps to take him to an Ebola treatment unit.

Ten days ago, the teen, a local bishop’s son named Boimah, shared a room with a community healer who died from Ebola last Tuesday, he says. Now, Boimah appears to have the deadly virus, too.

After the headache, there were body aches, Boimah says, then fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Now, he has sores and it hurts to swallow. When he opens his mouth, we can see blood on his teeth coming from his gums.

Before we arrived, Boimah’s father walked four hours to a district hospital to get help, but he only came home with antibiotics, painkillers and advice to come back if things got worse. It took some convincing, but he eventually persuaded his county health officer to call the Ebola Treatment Unit in Bong County.

I am embedded with USAID, following a team from the nonprofit International Medical Corps on their hunt for Ebola patients in rural Liberia. The village where I met Boimah is our second stop of the day.

It’s impossible to travel anywhere quickly. We start the day weaving our way down the road out of Monrovia using both lanes, trying to avoid oncoming cars, trucks and the teeth-jarring potholes caused by the long rainy season. We are in two large white SUV’s and ahead of us, the International Medical Corps are driving two makeshift ambulances — pickup trucks outfitted with metal frames and covered with bright orange tarps.

Outside the town of Kakata, we are stopped at a checkpoint. “Everyone out,” one of the guards tells us. No one passes without having his or her temperature checked.

A fever in Liberia is more likely due to malaria than Ebola, but these checkpoints are one way the government is trying to contain the outbreak. We walk up the little hill to the cement shelter where a young woman with an infrared thermometer holds court. “36 degrees” Celsius, she shows me after holding it next to my temple. I don’t have a fever. Those who do are detained until a medical team can assess them.

Our first pickup of the day is in a village called Mahwa, a small cluster of wood and mud houses. Garmai, a young mother, sits on a stool in her outdoor kitchen, holding her listless baby son, Freeman, on her lap. He’s not quite a year old and he’s breathing rapidly. I can see his belly pulling in with each breath, while his arms just hang at his sides.

Freeman’s father and grandmother have Ebola and are in the Ebola treatment unit in Bong County, where we will be heading for the night. While the woman feels fine, it’s clear her baby does not. He’s hot to the touch and has not been eating. No diarrhea or vomiting, but he’s had a cough.

Freeman sleeps with his parents on a common sleeping mat in the cramped quarters behind them, she says. The opportunity for exposure was there.

Though the baby might have Ebola, it’s also possible he has pneumonia, a common killer of young children in its own right. He needed to get to the treatment center for testing and care.

As they climbed into the back of the ambulance, a crowd of villagers looked on approvingly. Mahwa is unique among rural Liberian villages because it welcomes health workers and believes that taking patients to treatment centers is the best approach for everyone. They even told me about how they are washing their hands to prevent the disease from spreading.

With Garmai and Freeman in the ambulance, we moved on to pick up Boimah in a village two hours away.

“He’s a good boy. Very hardworking. The doctors will help him,” his father said.

The look on his face was one of hope mixed with despair. He told me of the beloved healer who had likely infected his son.

“He was a great man. A beloved man. He took care of me.” He pulled up his pants leg to show me where the healer had stitched up an old leg wound. “If he hadn’t had Ebola, everyone would have come to his funeral. Now, we couldn’t even say goodbye.”

Then, as Boimah climbed into the orange ambulance for the four-hour ride to the Ebola treatment unit, a rainbow arced across the sky. On a day full of trepidation and disease, a much needed sign of hope.

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iStock/Thinkstock(DENVER) — Simon Humphrey spent nine days in a Colorado hospital room fighting for his life.

Humphrey, 13, is one of hundreds of children across the country stricken by Enterovirus 68.

He later had problems moving his limbs.

“I couldn’t move my legs,” he told ABC affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver. “The muscles in my arms could barely lift the weight of my hands.”

Humphrey is showing signs of improvement after the temporary paralysis. But his struggle reflects an emerging concern; young patients with respiratory infections later having trouble moving their arms and legs.

Investigators with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are searching for links between Enterovirus D-68 and paralysis. Nine patients at Children’s Hospital Colorado — all age 18 or younger — have experienced some level of paralysis. Four of the patients tested positive for Enterovirus D-68 but, so far, doctors have not confirmed a link between the respiratory infections and paralysis. Experts say it could take a week before conclusive test results emerge.

Six of the eight children tested were found to be positive for a rhinovirus or enterovirus, and four of those cases were found to be the Enterovirus 68. The other two cases were still pending.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, said it’s important for officials to understand the scope of the problem.

“In a circumstance like that, the virus actually infects the central nervous system, the spinal cord, causes injury to some of the cells, and that’s what causes the paralysis,” Schaffner said.

Dr. Larry Wolk, the chief medical officer and executive director for Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said the paralysis is rare but could be permanent.

“Parents ask, ‘Why? Why my child or why not my child?’” Wolk said. “And it’s a question we can’t answer because we don’t really know why some of these kids go on to develop this type of serious complication.”

Enterovirus D-68 is confirmed or suspected in 45 states. Authorities are investigating whether the virus killed a 4-year-old New Jersey boy Thursday.

Doctors are urging parents to keep a close eye on sick children.

“When your child is not acting the way you would expect with a cold symptom, that’s when you need to access care,“ Dr. Christine Nyquist of Children’s Hospital Colorado said. “Breathing difficulty and wheezing is important to deal with.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) — The best way to treat social anxiety disorder, which can literally paralyze people in social situations, is through talk therapy more so than drugs.

That’s the finding of a John Hopkins University study, which looked at a disorder affecting millions of Americans.

“Social anxiety is more than just shyness,” says study leader Evan Mayo-Wilson.

Mayo-Wilson says social anxiety goes far beyond ordinary shyness because the disorder can prevent people from establishing relationships or getting ahead at school or work.

In a meta-analysis of more than 13,000 participants from 100 clinical trials, it was discovered that cognitive behavioral therapy was more effective in getting people to deal with their social anxiety than either antidepressants or a combination of therapy and drugs.

Cognitive behavioral therapy predominantly focuses on the connection between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Through talking, patients are able to overcome irrational fears that often lead to avoiding social situations.

Perhaps more significantly, many don’t lapse back into social anxiety after CBT is over.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating whether limb weakness and paralysis in nine children could be connected to the far-reaching outbreak of the respiratory disease Enterovirus 68.

The CDC released a statement on Saturday saying nine children in Denver had reported a neurologic illness that led to some limb weakness or paralyzation. All of the children had reported having a kind of respiratory virus before showing symptoms of limb weakness.

Six of the eight children tested were found to be positive for a rhinovirus or enterovirus and four of those cases were found to be the Enterovirus 68. The other two cases were still pending.

Dr. Larry Wolk, the chief medical officer and executive director for Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said that the children affected range in age from 1 to 18, with an average age of 10.

“It is a spectrum of arm or leg weakness that can be as mild weakness or as severe as paralysis,” Wolk said. “What ties them all together though are findings of spots or lesions in the grey matter of the spinal cord on MRI scans.”

Medical officials have not determined whether the Enterovirus 68 virus caused the neurological symptoms, but the CDC is asking other medical workers to report any similar cases as the outbreak of the enterovirus 68 continues to spread throughout the U.S.

According to the report, there were signs of infection in the spinal fluid, but no evidence of a specific virus in the spinal fluid. Tests for viruses that could cause similar reactions including West Nile and Polio were negative.

Wolk cautioned that parents should be aware but not panicked by the findings.

“It’s a pretty rare complication and not unexpected with this kind of viruses,” Wolk said. “You hear about this nine with this complication, what you’re not hearing about is that thousands or hundreds of thousands” just have a cold.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said he found the report “sobering” but that more research needs to be done to discover the cause.

“From time to time other Enteroviruses can behave very sporadically like the polio virus,” Schaffner said. “The leading candidate is indeed this Enterovirus D-68. Having said that … further investigations are going on with the children.”

Schaffner explained the CDC alert will help officials figure out the scope of the problem and to see if it can be attributed to the enterovirus 68.

The enterovirus 68 has been reported in at least 40 states and confirmed in at least 277 people according to the CDC. However, since the symptoms of the virus, which can include coughing, fever and runny nose, can appear mild, the number of those infected could be exponentially larger than what has been reported.

The virus has appeared to have more of an effect on some children with asthma, leading a small number to need help breathing. No deaths have been attributed to the virus in this outbreak.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Time to toss those pills sitting in your medicine cabinet– Saturday is the last annual National Prescription Drug Take Back day.

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, police officers across the country are collecting expired, unneeded, or unwanted prescription drugs– no questions asked. Authorities then discard the drugs safely.

Officials say the collection aims to reduce drug abuse and overdoses.

This marks the last annual event, because starting next month, pharmacies, hospitals, and police departments will begin accepting old medicines throughout the year.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The mysterious respiratory illness enterovirus that has been striking children throughout the country is spreading fast, and may be the cause of a preschooler’s death.

Authorities in New Jersey are investigating if the death of a four-year-old boy, who suffered from a respiratory illness, may be from a rare strain of the disease. Officials have ordered that the boy’s preschool classroom be sanitized.

The virus is spreading quickly; nearly three weeks ago, 11 states were affected by enterovirus, and as of Friday, 45 states have confirmed or suspected cases.

Bcause testing for enterovirus takes time, officials believe the number of confirmed cases could keep growing.

Doctors say washing your hands is the best way to keep the virus from spreading.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The mysterious respiratory illness enterovirus that has been striking children throughout the country is spreading fast, and may be the cause of a preschooler’s death.

Authorities in New Jersey are investigating if the death of a four-year-old boy, who suffered from a respiratory illness, may be from a rare strain of the disease. Officials have ordered that the boy’s preschool classroom be sanitized.

The virus is spreading quickly; nearly three weeks ago, 11 states were affected by enterovirus, and as of Friday, 45 states have confirmed or suspected cases.

Bcause testing for enterovirus takes time, officials believe the number of confirmed cases could keep growing.

Doctors say washing your hands is the best way to keep the virus from spreading.

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iStock/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) — No charges will be filed in the case of a Utah woman became seriously sick after unknowingly drinking iced tea mixed with a chemical at a restaurant.

The Salt Lake County Attorney says, after reviewing evidence, there is no indication of criminal wrongdoing. A restaurant employee reportedly mistakenly mixed lye– a heavy duty cleaner– into an iced-tea dispenser, thinking it was sugar.

Jan Harding, 67, drank the tea and became seriously ill. Harding is now calling for increased safety training in the restaurant industry.

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AllYouNeed.com(NEW YORK) — An online grocery store thinks airline food delivered to customers’ homes could be the next big thing.

German company Allyouneed.com will spend this month and the next figuring out if there’s enough to make its program Air Food One a permanent offering. The food is similar to that found in Lufthansa’s business class, but “even fresher.”

The meals are “inspired by airplane food,” Allyouneed spokesman Max Thinius said, noting that there’s a demand for heat-and-serve food among its client base, so they approached the airline caterers LSG to see about a partnership.

“The idea,” Thinius said, “is to invent meals that are prepared fresh and just needs to be heated in the oven. So LSG prepares all the fresh food, we deliver it cool but not frozen and if you heat it up you have a meal which is mostly like you cooked yourself, depending on how well you cook.”

One target group is families, he said, and another one is elderly people and consultants — people who work somewhere Monday until Thursday and don’t want to eat out all the time.

One would think that a person who travels so much might be sick of airline food. But Thinius said airline food in Germany — which is typically only served in business class — is a superior quality to the airline food we’ve become accustomed to in the United States.

Air Food One meals are also available on planes, Thinius said. And with items such as grilled fish and risotto and steak with vegetables, the time may have come to book a business-class flight to Germany.

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Chuck Kennedy/The White House(NEW YORK) — The first lady joined co-hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz of ABC’s The Chew earlier this week to discuss improving school nutrition and the importance of cooking at home, ABC announced Friday. Obama was also joined by Sam Kass, assistant White House chef and executive director of her Let’s Move! Initiative to fight childhood obesity.

“It was an honor to have the first lady join us in our kitchen,” said executive producer Gordon Elliott. “Ms. Obama, along with Sam Kass and their team, are making real strides in the fight against childhood obesity and the nationwide need to improve the nutritional value of school lunches. We commend her for the work she, Sam and the Let’s Move! team are doing.”

During their appearance, Kass demonstrated a recipe created by a young chef at the Third Annual Lunchtime Challenge and Kids’ State Dinner. The episode will air on Oct. 3 at 1 p.m. ET on ABC.

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