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ALS Association Not Ready to Kick the Ice Bucket Just Yet

ALS Association Not Ready to Kick the Ice Bucket Just Yet

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has vastly exceeded all expectations.When it was first launched online late last month to hike donations to combat ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, no one dreamed that people dumping ice cold water on their heads would turn into a fundraising juggernaut.Thanks to the efforts of both ordinary folks and celebrities, The ALS Association reported Sunday that it had received $13.3 million in contributions from July 29 through August 17, according to The New York Times, that includes 260,000 new donors.Over the comparable time in 2013, donations were $1.7 million, so the Ice Bucket Challenge, which was mocked by some early on, has happily proven its detractors wrong.
In a statement, Barbara Newhouse, president and CEO of The ALS Association, said, “Never before have we been in a better position to fuel our fight against this disease. Increased awareness and unprecedented financial support will enable us to think outside the box. We will be able to strategize about efforts in ways that previously would not have been possible, all while we work to fulfill and enhance our existing mission priorities nationwide.”
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Woman Who Drank Toxic Tea Shows Signs of Improvement

Woman Who Drank Toxic Tea Shows Signs of Improvement

iStock/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) — The woman who was hospitalized in extremely critical condition after drinking iced tea laced with lye in suburban Salt Lake City is showing signs of improvement.
Jan Harding, who suffered severe throat burns, has reportedly whispered to her family and has gotten out of her hospital bed.
Police believe Harding drank a tea that had been mixed with the industrial cleaning solution lye.
Harding, who has ulcerated burns in her upper esophagus, hasn’t been able to speak for days– but now her breathing tube has been removed and she seems to be improving.
Lye is an extremely harsh chemical and is an ingredient in a cleaning product meant for de-greasing deep fryers. Investigators think it was mistakenly mixed into a bag of sugar, which a worker at Dickey’s Barbeque unknowingly added to the ice tea dispenser.
Harding, they think, was the only customer burned.
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Iowa School District is Requiring Heart Rate Monitors in Gym Class

Iowa School District is Requiring Heart Rate Monitors in Gym Class

iStock/Thinkstock(DUBUQUE, Iowa) — Starting this school year, public middle and high school students in Dubuque, Iowa will wear heart rate monitors in gym class.
It’s all an effort to make sure students are actually getting some physical activity in P.E. class, and not just sitting on the sidelines.
Dubuque Schools Athletic and Wellness Director Amy Hawkins says this will also make writing report cards easier for teachers.
“It will be a large portion of their grade, because we want to grade them on what they’re actually doing in our class,” Hawkins said. “It really takes the opinion out of things. You know it’s not really ‘I think your kid is doing this and this in class.’”
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Girl With Rare Disorder Has One Birthday Wish

Girl With Rare Disorder Has One Birthday Wish

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Ali Najera is turning 10 next month and it’s a birthday that calls for a big celebration. Diagnosed at age 8 with a rare neurological disorder, making it to 10 years old is a gift in itself for this Texas girl, and Ali wants one thing to mark the occasion.”She want cards from all over the world,” Tianna Morgan, Ali’s mother, told ABC News.Ali, one of five children, was diagnosed with neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA) two weeks after her 8th birthday. The disorder is progressive and causes movement and communication difficulties.
“She has iron accumulating in her brain, and it’s actually destroying a part of her brain,” Morgan said. “As it accumulates, it affects her nervous system and her muscle tone, and eventually it will take away her ability to control any of her muscles.”Though Ali has had the diagnosis for two years, her mother said, it has rapidly progressed within the last year. At the end of July, Ali found out she was going to have to stay in a wheelchair, but she continues to stay positive.”Even through all this, she always has a smile on her face,” said Morgan.On Sept. 9, Ali will turn 10, and it’s an important milestone to reach.”It’s a double digit birthday,” Morgan said. “We don’t know how many birthdays she has left.”Ali’s mother has worked to get out the word of Ali’s wish for birthday cards from all over the world to as many people as possible.
“That’s a wish we hope we can grant,” Morgan said.Early birthday cards sent to Ali have instantly brightened her day, Morgan said. Though Ali stays in her room a lot because of how difficult it is for her to get around, when cards are delivered she always comes out to read them.”She loves all of her birthday cards,” Morgan said. “Every single one is special to her.””It’s been very inspirational and touching to see how much love is being shown towards Ali,” Morgan said.You can participate by sending a birthday card marked with “Ali’s Birthday” to P.O. Box 2586, Jasper, TX 75951.Need some card-related inspiration? Ali loves princesses, music, coloring, reading and anything that falls under the category of “artsy stuff.”
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Minimizing Salt Intake Could Save Over One Million Lives Annually Worldwide

Minimizing Salt Intake Could Save Over One Million Lives Annually Worldwide

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers say that minimizing salt intake could help prevent upwards of 1.5 million deaths each year.According to the study, published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, taking in less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium each day could reduce high blood pressure for most Americans. On average, the researchers say, Americans take in nearly twice the recommended amount of salt daily. Furthermore, approximately 58,000 Americans die each year due to diseases linked to high salt consumption.Worldwide, researchers say, an estimated 1.65 million cardiovascular deaths in 2010 were attributable to excess sodium intake. Researchers say further evidence must be collected to determine potential risks and benefits of low-sodium diets, but that adhering to existing World Health Organization recommendations of 2,000 milligrams per day is the best option until further investigation can be done.
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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

American Doctor with Ebola Is ‘Recovering in Every Way’

American Doctor with Ebola Is ‘Recovering in Every Way’

Courtesy Samaritan’s Purse(ATLANTA) — An American doctor who contracted Ebola said he’s “continuing to heal” in an isolation ward at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, contracted the deadly virus while working in a Liberian Ebola ward with the aid agency Samaritan’s Purse. He was evacuated to the U.S. earlier this month along with coworker Nancy Writebol.“There are still a few hurdles to clear before I can be discharged, but I hold on to the hope of a sweet reunion with my wife, children and family in the near future,” Brantly said in a statement Friday.Brantly is the first-ever Ebola patient to be treated in the U.S. and the first human to receive the experimental drug known as ZMapp. According to reports, Brantly’s condition deteriorated so quickly that doctors in Africa decided to give him the drug in a last-ditch effort to save him.Brantly’s condition started to improve dramatically within an hour after getting the drug, according to Samaritan’s Purse, but it’s unclear if the improvement was directly related to the medication. After his health stabilized, Brantly was evacuated on a specially outfitted plane to Atlanta, where he has spent almost two weeks in a hospital isolation ward.Writebol, 59, also survived after getting the drug and is recovering at Emory University Hospital.At least 1,145 people have died in the worst-ever Ebola outbreak, which spans Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, according to the World Health Organization.
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WHO Provides Update on Ebola Outbreak, Warns Against False Treatments

WHO Provides Update on Ebola Outbreak, Warns Against False Treatments

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The World Health Organization released an update on Friday acknowledging about 150 new cases of Ebola and nearly 100 more deaths after saying on Thursday that the existing figures may have “vastly underestimate[d] the magnitude of the outbreak.”On Friday the WHO acknowledged again that their numbers still were unlikely to paint a final picture of the degree to which the disease has spread. After airlines expressed concern over the possibility of air travel being a high-risk activity for the transmission of the disease, the United Nations health agency noted,  yet again, the that disease cannot be transmitted through the air and simply traveling on a plane with an individual who has Ebola would not put passengers or crew at a severe risk.The WHO also released a country-by-country breakdown of the outbreak, which noted 152 new cases and 76 new deaths within the last two weeks. In total, the agency says there have been 2,127 cases of Ebola and 1,145 deaths. The release also paralleled a U.S. Food and Drug Administration release from Thursday, which warned consumers about the danger of products marketed on the Internet that claim to treat or prevent Ebola. The WHO notes a pair of people in Nigeria who died after drinking salt water, which was rumored to be protective against Ebola.
“Decades of scientific research have failed to find a curative or preventive agent of proven safety and effectiveness in humans,” the WHO said, “though a number of promising products are currently under development.”Even those products, however, are far from ready for widespread use in humans.
“Evidence of their effectiveness is suggestive, but not based on solid scientific data from clinical trials,” the WHO noted. Pointing out that the safety of using experimental drugs is not known, and while they have approved the use of the experimental drug in exceptional circumstances, supplies are limited or exhausted.
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Synthetic Pot ‘Smacked!’ Prompts State of Emergency in NH

Synthetic Pot ‘Smacked!’ Prompts State of Emergency in NH

iStock/Thinkstock(CONCORD, N.H.) — New Hampshire officials have declared a state of emergency after a string of synthetic pot overdoses in Manchester and Concord.The state is working to quarantine the bubblegum flavor of “Smacked!” — a product chemically engineered to mimic marijuana but sold as potpourri at some convenience stores, according to a statement from Gov. Margaret Hassan.”These products pose a serious threat to public health, especially to young people, and it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to combat the recent rash of overdoses,” Hassan said. “I have declared a State of Emergency so that we can move quickly to stop the sale of this dangerous substance that has caused an outbreak of serious overdoses.””Smacked!” has hospitalized at least 20 people in Manchester since Aug. 11 and triggered “serious medical reactions” in 21 more, according to the governor’s office. Concord police reported another three overdoses in the last 24 hours alone.”It’s very important that individuals be made aware that use of this product poses serious and immediate danger to their personal health,” said New Hampshire Health and Human Services Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “We strongly recommend the public avoid any use of this product, and we will work with local police departments as quickly as possible to put the quarantine into effect.”Synthetic pot products are engineered to act like tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. They’re labeled as “herbal incense products” that are “not for human consumption,” according to Hassan’s statement. But people are known to smoke them or brew them into tea for a high.The spice brands “Crazy Monkey” and “Green Giant” have also tested positive for controlled substances, according to Hassan’s statement.“We are strongly recommending that merchants who have similar products remove them from their shelves and destroy their current inventory,” said Attorney General Joseph Foster. “Retailers that continue to knowingly sell these dangerous or illegal products are placed on notice that they could be held responsible for harm caused to a user of the product.”
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Why These Kids Can’t Stop Eating: Life with Prader-Willi Syndrome

Why These Kids Can’t Stop Eating: Life with Prader-Willi Syndrome

Hannah Wilkinson, 14, pictured. (Courtesy Tonya Wilkinson)(NEW YORK) — Every waking minute of Hannah Wilkinson’s day is filled with intense hunger.“Even if she’s just eaten, we can … sit down, have dinner, finish, I can take her plate away, and she’ll look at me and say, ‘Mom, I’m hungry,’” Wilkinson’s mother Tonya Wilkinson told ABC News’ 20/20.The 14-year-old’s hunger rules her family’s lives. At their home in Phoenix, the kitchen is on full lockdown, with a padlock on the refrigerator, no food in the cabinets, and a constantly locked pantry door.“When we got a dog, I did not even think about dog food. It didn’t even cross my mind that I had to lock up the dog food,” Tonya Wilkinson said. “I have caught her…eating dog food.”Hannah Wilkinson was born with a rare condition called Prader-Willi syndrome, caused by a chromosomal flaw. Prader-Willi syndrome, which strikes only one in 15,000 people, can cause learning issues, muscles weakness and a slow metabolism.But the condition mostly creates an insatiable appetite, which has pushed Hannah Wilkinson to almost 350 pounds, her heaviest weight ever.“The hypothalamus, the part of our brain that controls our hunger, with children or adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome, is pretty much shut off, so they don’t know that they’re not hungry,” Tonya Wilkinson said.For Hannah Wilkinson’s mom, this means constant vigilance. Tonya Wilkinson recalled a time when she was cleaning the kitchen after dinner and her daughter shoved a huge piece of pot roast into her mouth.“I turned around, and she was choking. They do not chew. They swallow. And a lot of deaths, unfortunately, with Prader-Willi, you know, is the choking,” said Tonya Wilkinson.Like Hannah Wilkinson, 12-year-old Alexis Shapiro from Cibolo, Texas, also suffers from an intense desire to eat.After a surgery to remove a rare brain tumor in 2011, Shapiro developed the disorder when she was 9 years old, unlike Hannah Wilkinson, who was born with the syndrome.“As soon as she woke up from surgery, she immediately started asking for food,” Ian Shapiro, Alexis Shapiro’s father, told 20/20.Even before she was released from the hospital, Alexis Shapiro gained eight pounds. Once they got home, things only got worse.“She was 52 pounds at surgery, and then it went up to 75, and a 100,” Alexis Shapiro’s mother Jenny Shapiro told 20/20. “She’d wear something twice and then she would outgrow it.”It turned out Alexis Shapiro’s surgery had altered the part of her brain that regulates appetite, giving her similar symptoms to Hannah Wilkinson. The 12-year-old topped out at 203 pounds.Obesity experts, like Dr. Robert Lustig, are looking at cases like Alexis Shapiro’s to better understand weight gain in the rest of the population. They say the key is the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that, when damaged, releases insulin causing an insatiable appetite. Controlling that insulin might be a solution to fighting obesity.“The same thing occurs in people without brain tumors,” Lustig told 20/20. “When we get the insulin down, they feel better. They lose weight, and their lives turn around, so the target is not calories. The target is insulin.”But Lustig’s work is still in the experimental phase. Desperate to stop Alexis Shapiro’s weight gain right away, her parents turned to surgery.“After doing lots and lots of research, I found that some patients have had success with gastric bypass surgery, and after the very first consultation, I felt like I had hope,” said Jenny Shapiro.Since the surgery, Alexis Shapiro’s appetite has returned to normal. She is more active and has lost 50 pounds.For Hannah Wilkinson and others born with abnormal chromosomes causing Prader-Willi, these kinds of surgeries are not an option because they do little to suppress appetites.Tonya Wilkinson says her only hope now is to get her daughter to a specialized facility that offers around the clock monitoring and meal planning. But for now, even that is a fight because Tonya Wilkinson said she can’t get her insurance company to cover it.“Insurers consider it to be your own fault. They consider it to be a matter of gluttony and sloth,” Lustig said. “And Prader-Willi patients are the proof that that is not true. So because insurers still view obesity as a behavior, Prader-Willi sometimes gets swept under the rug.”“It is a life or death issue,” Tonya Wilkinson said. “And if I don’t get help, I will lose her.”Watch the full story on ABC News’ 20/20 Friday at 10 p.m. ET.
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Utah Woman Critical After Drinking Sweet Tea with Lye

Utah Woman Critical After Drinking Sweet Tea with Lye

iStock/Thinkstock(SOUTH JORDAN, Utah) — A Utah woman remains in extremely critical condition after having drunk contaminated sweet tea at a South Jordan restaurant last Sunday.Police believe that an employee at Dickey’s Barbeque Pit inadvertently mixed a toxic cleaning agent in the tea that resembled a bag of sugar. The substance, used to clean fryers, is predominantly lye.According to her husband, 67-year-old Jan Harding had just sipped the beverage when she immediately complained of drinking acid.Attempts at spitting out the liquid were unsuccessful and Harding was immediately rushed to a local hospital and then airlifted to the University of Utah Hospital’s burn center to treat severe burns to her mouth and throat.An attorney for the family suggested it was unconscionable that a “toxic, poisonous material would be in the food prep area.”No other customer was injured. Harding was the first to drink the tea that day and the employees dumped the rest of the vat out following her injury.Meanwhile, authorities are continuing their investigation of the incident in an effort to determine if criminal charges are warranted.
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Experts Weigh In on the Health Benefits of Hot Lemon Water

Experts Weigh In on the Health Benefits of Hot Lemon Water

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Given the staggering number of freshly pressed juices, herb-filled supplements and complicated cleanses that have flooded the nutritional market, it is perhaps surprising that the most popular elixir in the wellness community of late is made of just two simple ingredients.Nutritionists, celebrities and healthful eating enthusiasts all over the Internet seem to agree: A single glass of hot lemon water before breakfast can not only help you stay hydrated but may also improve digestion and regulate an overactive appetite.Miranda Kerr told Net-a-Porter that she begins each day with warm water and lemon, which she claims cleanses the body. On her blog, Lauren Conrad termed the citrus fruit and still water a “match made in heaven.” And Stacey Kiebler confirmed in People magazine that she, too, relies on the beverage to jump start her day.Between them, these imbibers have claimed that the brew has helped them lose weight, cleared up their skin, and even equipped their body to better absorb vitamins and minerals.Celebrity nutritionist Keri Glassman, who launched Nutritious Life magazine, told ABC News that she often drinks water with lemon in the morning.If for nothing else, she said, as a method to ensure that she stays hydrated. “Many people like the taste [of lemon] and if that gets you to drink water then that alone is positive,” she said.As far as resolutions go, the habit is certainly not a difficult one to pick up. According to Melisse Gelula, the co-founder and editorial director of Well + Good, an online wellness bible, the ease with which enthusiasts can find hot water and lemon feeds its widespread appeal.Unlike so many other fitness and health fads, this one does not require a substantial investment of time or money.”You don’t need to be a member of the wellness cognoscenti to do it,” Gelula surmised. “It has become one of those ‘Health 101′ things that people all across the spectrum can do. … You don’t have to be a green juicing kind of person to enjoy it.”And while the drink is most popular in the morning, Gelula recommended it as an after-dinner drink.”Right after you’ve had something a little rich or a little indulgent, I kind of like lemon water,” she said. “If it’s post-Thanksgiving dinner, for example, have some lemon water.”The warm citrus can settle your stomach, she said, and clear your palate.Dana James, the founder of Food Coach NYC, said that though she thinks the trend is perhaps “over-hyped,” it is not without nutritional merit.”What it does do is increase detoxification because the bitterness of the lemon activates the bile flow,” which, she said, “helps emulsify and remove fat soluble toxins.”Furthermore, James said the habit often makes her clients “feel virtuous, which leads to better all-day eating habits.” Ultimately, the thrice-certified nutritionist concluded that there is “no reason not to be doing it.”
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Adults’ Top Kid Worries: Obesity and Bullying

Adults’ Top Kid Worries: Obesity and Bullying

iStock/Thinkstock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) — Rightfully so, American adults are worried about all the problems that children face these days, but probably none more so than the obesity epidemic, which can put kids at a disadvantage as early as their toddler years.Of the more than 2,000 adults surveyed in a University of Michigan poll on children’s health, 55 percent ranked obesity number one.Meanwhile, bullying came in second place with 52 percent, followed by drug abuse at 49 percent.Poll director Matthew Davis says one of the chief reasons for the poll was to give health professionals, lawmakers and community leaders a better understanding of how to deal with the problems affecting youngsters in their own backyards “to improve and safeguard our children’s health.”Here’s the list of the top ten concerns and the percentage of respondents who listed them as their major concerns:

Childhood obesity: 55 percent
Bullying: 52 percent
Drug abuse: 49 percent
Smoking and tobacco use: 47 percent
School violence: 44 percent
Child abuse and neglect: 42 percent
Alcohol abuse: 41 percent
Internet safety: 40 percent
Gun-related injuries: 39 percent
Teen pregnancy: 37 percent

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Eye Movements May Be Key Marker of ADHD

Eye Movements May Be Key Marker of ADHD

iStock/Thinkstock(TEL AVIV, Israel) — Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a serious behavioral disorder but as just as serious is the misdiagnosis of the condition, which can result in patients needlessly receiving the powerful stimulant Ritalin.However, researchers from Tel Aviv University believe they have a foolproof way of knowing whether a child or adult is suffering from ADHD and that’s from observing involuntary eye movements.Using participants diagnosed with ADHD and a control group without the disorder, the researchers had them take an ADHD diagnostic computer test.The chief difference was that ADHD group was given the test both before and after taking Ritalin.What Dr. Moshe Fried and his team observed was that those with ADHD were unable to suppress eye movements in anticipation of visual stimuli prior to their medication.But once the Ritalin took effect, they could control their eye movement equally as well as the control group participants.  According to Fried, “Eye movements tracked in this test are involuntary, so they constitute a sound physiological marker of ADHD,” making it a far more accurate gauge on whether someone is indeed afflicted with the disorder.
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Insomniacs Get a New Sleep Aid

Insomniacs Get a New Sleep Aid

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Move over Ambien, Lunesta and other sleep aids. There’s a new kid in town. The FDA has given its approval to a drug called Belsomra, which helps insomniacs get to sleep and stay asleep.Belsomra, which should hit the market later this year or in early 2015, will be available in dosages of five, 10, 15 and 20 milligrams with doctors expected to prescribed the lower strengths to help patients avoid drowsiness the next morning.Those taking Belsomra should do so within 30 minutes of going to bed with the expectation of sleeping seven hours.Although the drug proved far more effective than a placebo in clinical trials, it wasn’t tested against the sleep aids already on the market.It’s estimated that at least 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia.
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Researchers Say Experimental Chikungunya Vaccine Shows Promise

Researchers Say Experimental Chikungunya Vaccine Shows Promise

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers may have laid the groundwork for a vaccine to prevent the Chikungunya virus that has spread to a number of U.S. states after originating in the Caribbean.According to a study published in The Lancet medical journal, researchers say that they have begun the initial phases of testing on a vaccine and found only minimal side effects. The study included just 25 human subjects, but each of the subjects demonstrated a strong immune response and lasting antibody presence.The disease, which is not fatal, can cause excruciating joint pain and can be spread by mosquito bite. Researchers say their subjects showed similar numbers of antibodies to a pair of previously infected individuals. Side effects of the trial vaccine included pain at injection site or headaches, though less common side effects included increased risk of liver damage and decreased white blood cell count. The vaccine was created in a similar manner to approved vaccines for Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus. Still, much testing remains to be completed before the vaccine would be considered for a clinical trial.
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WHO: Number of Ebola Cases, Deaths May ‘Vastly Underestimate the Magnitude of the Outbreak’

WHO: Number of Ebola Cases, Deaths May ‘Vastly Underestimate the Magnitude of the Outbreak’

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The World Health Organization speculated on Thursday that the number of individuals sickened or killed by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa may “vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.”The United Nations health agency said that there is evidence that the current figures of at least 1,060 deaths and 1,975 sickened in the outbreak may be lower than the actually numbers. The WHO noted that it was prepared with an operational response plan that spans the “next several months.”In the meantime, the WHO is “coordinating a massive scaling up of the international response,” including accumulating support from individual nations, disease control agencies, U.N. agencies and others. The World Food Programme is working to deliver food to over one million individuals in quarantine zones in West Africa, while the WHO works to map and contain the disease.
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FDA Warns Americans About Products Fraudulently Claiming to Treat Ebola

FDA Warns Americans About Products Fraudulently Claiming to Treat Ebola

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers to beware of products being sold online that fraudulently claim to treat or prevent the Ebola virus. The FDA notes that there are currently no FDA-approved vaccines or drugs to treat or prevent Ebola. Additionally, while there are experimental treatments and vaccines, they “have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness,” and are not available for purchase on the Internet. The agency said that it has received a number of consumer complaints about products making such claims since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa. Despite the concern, the FDA maintains that the disease does not pose a significant risk to the American public. Ebola is not water-borne or food-borne and can not be transmitted through the air. Anyone who sees fraudulent products or products making false claims about their effectiveness in preventing or treating Ebola are urged to report them to the FDA, and anyone promoting such products could face FDA action if those claims aren’t removed or corrected.
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Extra Weight Ups Risk of Common Cancers, Study Finds

Extra Weight Ups Risk of Common Cancers, Study Finds

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — By now you’ve probably heard that obesity increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. But you might not know that the extra weight can have other serious health consequences, including cancer.A new study found that 10 percent of all gallbladder, kidney, liver and colon cancers could be attributed to excess weight. A whopping 41 percent of uterine cancers were tied to obesity, according to the study published Thursday in The Lancet.More than 36 percent of Americans are now considered obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An additional 34 percent are considered overweight.
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Hand Surgery for Better Engagement Ring Selfies

Hand Surgery for Better Engagement Ring Selfies

Courtesy of Dr. Ariel Ostad(NEW YORK) — When Christa Hendershot got engaged last fall, she, like thousands of other women, wanted to show off her engagement ring on social media. But after snapping a few photos, she realized she didn’t like the way her hands looked.So the 33-year-old from Mount Sinai, New York, turned to plastic surgery, hoping it would smooth out her hands in order for them to become more “selfie worthy.” She recently shelled out more than $3,000 for hand rejuvenation at her plastic surgeon Dr. Ariel Ostad’s office in New York.Hendershot told Ostad she was unhappy with her hands because she thought they were veiny and her knuckles were “very red.”Within minutes of the procedure, Hendershot was happier about the appearance of her hands. “The veins are not as blue,” she said.Ostad said he has had several patients show him photos they had taken of themselves and point out their flaws.“I’ve noticed over the last six months [that] patients actually bring a selfie in the examining room,” he said. “They show me what bothers them and what they would like to fix.”The quest for the perfect selfie photo has gotten so extreme that filters and photo edits just aren’t cutting it for some people, who are instead going under the knife to psychically alter their appearance in hopes of a better selfie.After seeing how she looked in photos from her wedding day, Jen Muir, 33, said she realized she hated the way her nose looked and has shied away from taking selfies ever since.“I can see everybody posting pictures of themselves, and I’m thinking, ‘Why can’t I do it? What’s the problem?’” the Long Island, New York, woman who’s originally from Costa Rica said. “I saw a guy taking a selfie one of these days, and I thought, ‘I wish, I wish I could do it.’”So Muir decided to have a nose job and spent $15,000, all for a better selfie.“I want to change my profile. I feel like my nose hangs,” she said. “I also want to change my bump. I feel like it’s too big.”Her plastic surgeon, Dr. Samuel Rizk of New York City, also credited social media for an uptick in business, the biggest trend he has seen in his 16-year career. “I personally would see two to three patients a day that have come in from selfies and social media,” he said.Muir was so happy with her new nose that she started crying.“I love it,” she said. “I just see my eyes and my lips and my teeth. I can see my teeth more, and that’s what I wanted.”Watch the full story on ABC News’ 20/20 Friday at 10 p.m. ET.
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Want to Be the Most Unpopular Parent? There’s an App for That

Want to Be the Most Unpopular Parent? There’s an App for That

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — A Texas mom has created an app that helps parents keep their kids on a virtual leash.The “Ignore No More” app gives parents the ability to take control of their children’s smartphones when they believe their calls and texts are being ignored.Sharon Standifird, a Houston mother and military veteran, said she created the app after she became frustrated and worried when her children did not answer her calls.
“We need to develop an app that just shuts their phone completely down and they can’t even use it,” she told ABC News’ Houston-owned station KTRK-TV. “I got on the Internet and I literally just started researching how to develop an app.”Several months later, she debuted the “Ignore No More” app for Android devices.When she wants to lock her son’s phone, Standifird opens the app and taps his name. She then enters an unlock code twice and then presses “Lock Bradley’s Phone.”The activation of the app will take away a child’s ability to play games, call friends and surf the Internet. The ability to call 911 will always remain intact on the phone, according its description in the Google Play store.So how is Bradley, and other teenagers who are locked out, able to get back on their parents’ good side?With a single tap, they are provided with a list of contacts they can call to get the password to unlock the phone.”I thought it was a good idea, but for other people, not me,” Bradley Standifird told KTRK.So what’s the best hack for getting around the app? Just answer the phone when mom or dad calls.
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