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Speed Diets Just as Effective as Losing Weight Gradually

Speed Diets Just as Effective as Losing Weight Gradually

Stockbyte/Thinktsock(MELBOURNE, Australia) -- For years, dieters have been warned that if they attempt to lose weight as rapidly as possible, they run the risk of putting the pounds back on just as quickly. The recommended method then is gradual weight loss…or is it?Researchers at the University of Melbourne say it’s all a myth, claiming they’ve proved it in an experiment involving 200 obese people. Half of the test subjects went on a 36-week weight-loss program, consuming 500 fewer calories daily than their regular diet.  The other half went on a 12-week diet in which they could only eat 450-800 calories daily.Not surprisingly, 81 percent of those on the rapid-loss weight plan lost 12.5 percent of their total body fat while 50 percent of the participants on the gradual plan shed the same amount.Afterwards, everyone was put on a three-year weight-maintenance diet. By the end, participants in both groups each regained 71 percent of the body fat they lost.In an accompanying commentary, the authors wrote, “For weight loss, a slow and steady approach does not win the race, and the myth that rapid weight loss is associated with rapid weight regain is no more true than Aesop's fable.”

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Texas Nurse Says Hospital Should Be ‘Ashamed’ of Ebola Response

Texas Nurse Says Hospital Should Be ‘Ashamed’ of Ebola Response

Will Montgomery(DALLAS) -- A Dallas nurse said Thursday that the administrators of the hospital where two colleagues contracted Ebola should be “ashamed” that they asked the women to “undertake this huge, monumental task” of treating an Ebola patient without the proper equipment and training.Brianna Aguirre, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, told ABC News she was left “devastated” by the hospital administration’s response to the infection of two nurses, who treated an Ebola patient.Aguirre said she never received any Ebola-response education until after an infected patient was admitted, and the designated personal protective equipment used in the isolation ward left her neck exposed.“They want to blame her for getting sick, when she was never provided the right supplies,” Aguirre said of infected nurse Nina Pham. “I’m devastated for my hospital and my future there.”Aguirre described to ABC News a situation of “extreme chaos” in the isolation ward, where Ebola-infected patient Thomas Eric Duncan was treated.Aguirre entered the ward only after Duncan’s death and said she had to ask for a mop and start cleaning the floors with bleach herself when she realized no one from housekeeping was allowed to come in and clean the floors.“The nurses were throwing their hands up and saying this is unbelievable,” she said of the isolation ward.Aguirre also said the protocols from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were confusing and not clear. When Aguirre was given personal protective equipment that left her neck exposed, she was horrified.“We were told, ‘You take our guidelines and you do with it what you will,’” said Aguirre of CDC guidelines. “You make a system that will effectively make this unit run.”Aguirre said in order to take her equipment off without contaminating herself, a co-worker had to direct her to take tape off her neck without touching any of the exposed skin.“This is what makes me so upset right here,” Aguirre said, pointing at a photo of a health worker at Texas Health Presbyterian in personal protective gear. “Her neck is hanging out. Her neck is exposed. That is exactly what...I was not okay with it. I opposed it and I was very vocal.”Aguirre also treated infected nurse Nina Pham at the hospital before she was confirmed to have Ebola. When Aguirre learned Pham was found positive for Ebola, she said she had a “mental breakdown.”“I couldn’t breathe and couldn’t talk and couldn’t move,” Aguirre said.Now that she has interacted with an Ebola patient, Aguirre said she is self-monitoring and constantly taking her temperature.“I’m obviously anxious,” said Aguirre. “I’ve been having moments of time where I feel queasy. I take my temperature every half-hour.”She has also had to keep her two children from school because other students are so afraid they could be infectious.“The reality is people are scared,” she said. “I can’t send them to school with the scrutiny that they’re going to be looked at as an infectious person.”Two nurses, Nina Pham, 26, and Amber Vinson, 29, were infected after they treated Duncan in the isolation ward at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Duncan died on Oct. 8.

The National Nurses Union said that they "could not be more proud of Briana, are grateful for her contacting us, and join with nurses and the public everywhere in praying for her safety.”

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US Has Capacity for 11 Ebola Patients at Specialized Hospitals

US Has Capacity for 11 Ebola Patients at Specialized Hospitals

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Though there is no plan yet to move all Ebola patients to specialized biocontainment facilities, only seven spots at these facilities remain open in the United States.Health officials have said again and again that any hospital should be able to treat Ebola patients, but the two nurses diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas in recent days have been moved from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital -- where they contracted Ebola while treating Thomas Eric Duncan -- to specialized hospitals with biocontainment units.There are four hospitals with biocontainment facilities in the United States, and they have 11 beds in all, officials told ABC News. Four of those beds are currently being occupied by Ebola patients.Dallas nurse Nina Pham, 26, was diagnosed with Ebola on Sunday and is expected to be moved to the Special Clinical Studies Unit of the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. This facility has two specialized beds, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told Congress Thursday afternoon.Amber Vinson, 29, the other Dallas nurse to contract Ebola from Duncan, was diagnosed with Ebola on Wednesday and moved to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, later that night. Emory has three beds in its biocontainment unit.Freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo is currently being treated at Nebraska Medical Center, which has 10 specialized beds. But hospital officials told ABC News that it has the capacity to handle only up to three patients at a time.The final hospital with a specialized biocontainment unit is St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana, which has the capacity to handle three patients. It is treating no Ebola patients at this time.Once these spots run out, Ebola patients will be treated where they are, and officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be dispatched to help care for them and make sure precautions are taken to ensure that no one else contracts the deadly virus, said CDC spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds.

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Ebola Patient’s Fiancee Gets Hospital Apology for His Death

Ebola Patient’s Fiancee Gets Hospital Apology for His Death

Will Montgomery(DALLAS) -- The hospital that cared for the first man diagnosed with Ebola in the United States called his fiancee Thursday to apologize for not being able to save him.Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas called Louise Troh, the fiancee of Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, who died on Oct. 8. He is the only person to die of Ebola in the United States."This official said the hospital was 'deeply sorry' for the way this tragedy played out," Troh said in a statement. "I am grateful to the hospital for this personal call. I am grateful to God that this leader reached out and took responsibility for the hospital's actions. Hearing this information will help me as I mourn Eric's death."Duncan arrived in Dallas from Liberia on Sept. 20 and went to the hospital on Sept. 26 with a 103-degree fever. He told a nurse he had recently been in Liberia but was sent home with antibiotics and told to take Tylenol for his pain, which he said was severe. He returned in an ambulance two days later when his symptoms worsened and was later isolated and diagnosed with Ebola.Some members of Duncan's family said his treatment wasn't "fair."Troh, however, said Thursday, "It is my position that God is the judge of others and their actions, and vengeance is not mine to demand. God is the judge, and God will take care of me."Two nurses who cared for Duncan contracted Ebola and were diagnosed with the virus this week. Nina Pham, 26, will be moved to the National Institutes for Health's facility for continued care Thursday night, and Amber Vinson, 29, arrived at Emory University Hospital Wednesday night.

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Frontier Airlines Seeks Passengers on Same Plane as Ebola-Infected Nurse

Frontier Airlines Seeks Passengers on Same Plane as Ebola-Infected Nurse

WEWS(NEW YORK) -- Frontier Airlines is searching for passengers from at least five different flights who flew on the same plane as an Ebola-infected nurse from Dallas.The airline announced that it was reaching out to passengers who traveled on the same plane as Amber Vinson. They also said the plane was out of service as they replace seat covers and carpet in the middle of the aircraft, where Vinson was sitting.Vinson, 29, was infected with Ebola after treating Thomas Eric Duncan earlier this month. She was isolated and diagnosed with Ebola on Oct. 14.A day before being diagnosed, Vinson flew on Frontier Airlines Flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas. The plane was cleaned after Vinson’s flight.The following day the plane was used for at least five different commercial flights, including a return trip to Cleveland, where it was cleaned again.Frontier Airlines has not clarified why they are reaching out to passengers and did not provide specifics to ABC News.The plane is scheduled to return to service in the next several days.Before flying from Cleveland, Vinson had reportedly called U.S. Centers for Disease Control personnel to report she had an elevated temperature of 99.5. The temperature was below the 100.4 reading that would designate a fever. She was not told that she could not fly on a commercial airliner.She arrived at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital the following day with a fever.

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Dallas Hospital Staff Had No Ebola Training, Official Says

Dallas Hospital Staff Had No Ebola Training, Official Says

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Health care workers in the Dallas hospital that treated a patient who died from Ebola and then treated two nurses who contracted the disease never received in-person training on how to treat Ebola patients and avoid spreading the highly contagious disease, a top hospital official said at a Congressional hearing Thursday.Dr. Daniel Varga said that, even though guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were sent to the emergency department at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in late July, there was no follow-up training ordered for the staff. Less than two months later, the hospital staff sent a man with Ebola home with a fever even though he was likely contagious at the time.Varga is one of the panel of top American health officials testifying in Congress as part of a hearing on the federal government's response to Ebola cases in the United States.During the hearing Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that one of the infected nurses did not violate any rules.Frieden said that while nurse Amber Vinson, 29, was in contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of Ebola, she had worn personal protective equipment and she did not need to have her movement restricted.Frieden said that Vinson did contact the CDC before flying back to Dallas.“I have not seen the transcript of the conversation,” Frieden said. “My understanding is that she reported no symptoms to us.”At the start of the hearing, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee made it clear that they would focus on the agency's handling of the first Ebola patient in Dallas and the ensuing infections of two nurses, one of whom was allowed to fly a plane a day before she tested positive for the disease.In prepared remarks for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Frieden claimed that the CDC "remain[s] confident that Ebola is not a significant public health threat to the United States.""Within hours of confirming that the patient had Ebola, CDC had a team of 10 people on the ground in Dallas to assist the capable teams from the Texas state health department and local authorities," he said, referring to Duncan.

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Who Is the ‘Clipboard Man’ Without Hazmat Suit During Ebola Transport?

Who Is the ‘Clipboard Man’ Without Hazmat Suit During Ebola Transport?

ABC News(ATLANTA) -- The man seen not wearing a hazmat suit while standing just feet away from the second nurse with Ebola as she was transported to Emory University hospital did not need to wear the protective gear, the medical airline said.The nurse, identified Wednesday as Amber Vinson, was flown from Dallas to Atlanta on medical airline Phoenix Air.She was seen being transported to and from the ambulance by three people in full body hazmat suits, but the fourth person by her stretcher was wearing plainclothes and holding a clipboard.The airline confirmed to ABC News that the man was their medical protocol supervisor who was purposefully not wearing protective gear."Our medical professionals in the biohazard suits have limited vision and mobility and it is the protocol supervisor’s job to watch each person carefully and give them verbal directions to insure no close contact protocols are violated," a spokesperson from Phoenix Air told ABC News said."There is absolutely no problem with this and in fact insures an even higher level of safety for all involved," the spokesperson said.

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How to Feel Less Guilty About Guilty Pleasures

How to Feel Less Guilty About Guilty Pleasures

Thinkstock(HONG KONG) -- So you’re sitting in a restaurant after the main course and along comes the waiter with the desert tray to offer a delectable treat to top off the meal.Often, people will turn down the dessert, not because they’re not hungry but because they feel guilty about the indulgence.However, what happens if a dinner companion gets a desert and offers to share it? Well, that’s a different story for a lot of people, according to researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.Fangyuan Chen and Jaideep Sengupta say, “When it comes to purchasing and consuming products normally associated with feelings of guilt, reducing someone's sense of free choice could ultimately boost their overall well-being.”In other words, people don’t need to have their arm twisted to enjoy a guilty pleasure, provided somebody else is making the choice for them.The researchers say that companies that sell products considered indulgent, such as chocolate cake, can use this information to entice consumers by making them feel less responsible for their actions.

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Young Caregivers Could Use Some Help Themselves

Young Caregivers Could Use Some Help Themselves

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- Some youngsters can’t escape certain responsibilities at home, such as caring for a family member with either physical or mental problems. According to University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, at least 1.3 million children and teens are saddled with this burden.

As much as their dedication is admirable, it can also take a heavy toll by putting them at a disadvantage in school.In a unique study of this phenomenon, Dr. Julia Belkowitz and other researchers examined the work done by young caregivers, median age 12, in Palm Beach County, Florida. Nearly two-thirds were girls and the rest were boys.Although the caregivers and those they cared for differed slightly on the time spent helping at home, it was well over a dozen hours weekly. The tasks were numerous, including feeding, dressing, bathing, toilet care, doling out medications and offering company and emotional support.Belkowitz says the study is useful in bringing to the light the important work performed by young caregivers and how all the time spent at home can be a detriment to their education and social lives.

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Calm Mealtimes Improve Children’s Eating Habits

Calm Mealtimes Improve Children’s Eating Habits

BananaStock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Keeping it calm at dinnertime can help kids keep off unwanted weight.Jerica Berge, a psychologist at the University of Minnesota, says that when parents make meals pleasant experiences and use them to get to know their children better, the young ones will react and subsequently, eat healthier.Berge and her team conducted their study by having 120 families use iPads to make video recordings of their mealtimes.Right off the bat, the researchers noted that meals where the youngsters were overweight often tended to be chaotic affairs that were generally several minutes shorter than meals involving normal-weight kids.Families with overweight children also ate more often outside the kitchen and when that happened, they consumed more food.  Berge says that when parents offered encouragement to their children at meals, rather than lecture them, it had a more positive influence on the youngsters’ eating habits.Furthermore, in the homes of normal-weight kids, both parents were more often present at family meals than those where the kids had weight issues.

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Dallas Hospital Slams Union’s Allegations over Ebola Procedures

Dallas Hospital Slams Union’s Allegations over Ebola Procedures

Stewart F. House/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- A Dallas hospital Thursday defended its processes and procedures after a nurses' union criticized it for alleged lapses in the treatment of a patient with Ebola who later died.In the statement released Thursday morning, authorities with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said workers followed guidelines established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after patient Thomas Eric Duncan was diagnosed with Ebola.Duncan first arrived at the hospital Sept. 26, and was sent home with antibiotics and Tylenol before returning via ambulance days later.Duncan died Oct. 8, and two of the nurses who treated him -- Nina Pham and Amber Vinson -- have since tested positive for the virus. Federal authorities are still trying to figure out how the nurses contracted Ebola, with officials blaming a breach in protocol for the situation.According to the hospital’s statement in response to a release from National Nurses United, the patient’s samples were handled with sensitivity to avoid a potential contamination.“All specimens were placed into closed specimens bags and placed inside a plastic carrier that travel through a pneumatic system. At no time did Mr. Duncan’s specimens leak or spill -- either from their bag or their carrier -- into the tube system,” the statement reads.The hospital also addressed the union's allegations of improper protective gear at the facility, stating that hoods were ordered due to worker concerns that the skin on their neck was exposed -- and that nurses’ interactions with Duncan were consistent with CDC guidelines.The response follows a previous statement by National Nurses United, the country’s largest nurses’ union, issued on behalf of several nurses at the hospital.National Nurses United has not issued a response to the hospital’s latest statement.Earlier, the hospital said that it mishandled Duncan's case by originally sending him home even after he had a fever and said he was from Liberia."Unfortunately, in our initial treatment of Mr. Duncan, despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes," Dr. Daniel Varga, the chief clinical officer for Texas Health Services, said in written testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "We did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. We are deeply sorry."

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Union Demands Obama Take Action to Protect Nurses from Ebola

Union Demands Obama Take Action to Protect Nurses from Ebola

Zoonar/Thinkstock(SILVER SPRING, Md.) -- The nation's largest nurses’ union called upon President Obama Wednesday to use his executive authority to make hospitals nationwide follow the same protocol in treating Ebola patients as Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, which specializes in dealing with patients infected with the deadly virus.The demand by the National Nurses United during a conference call followed on the heels of complaints by nurses from Texas Health Presbyterian Health Hospital in Dallas that no procedures were in place when Thomas Eric Duncan was admitted to the facility after being diagnosed with Ebola.Duncan died on Oct. 8 but not before he exposed dozens of health care workers at the hospital to the virus that has ravaged West Africa. Two nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian have tested positive for Ebola.The NNU reiterated the nurses' criticisms Wednesday that included leaving Duncan alone with patients before he was put in isolation; not giving nurses the proper protective gear; failure to dispense with Ebola contaminated waste; and improperly sending Duncan's samples through a pneumatic tube system.As a result, the NNU said the president should make certain that all hospitals to follow the guidelines used at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, which has treated two Ebola patients so far. It is just one of four facilities that are specifically designed to do so.All nurses must wear hazmat suits that meet high standards when treating Ebola patients, the NNU said, because they are "our first line of defense."In a response, Wendell Watson, a spokesman for the Dallas Hospital said that, "patient and employee safety is our greatest priority and we take compliance very seriously. We have numerous measures in place to provide a safe working environment, including mandatory annual training and a 24-7 hotline and other mechanisms that allow for anonymous reporting. Our nursing staff is committed to providing quality, compassionate care, as we have always known, and as the world has seen firsthand in recent days. We will continue to review and respond to any concerns raised by our nurses and all employees."

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Texas Hospital, Frontier Airlines Take Cautionary Steps to Prevent Further Transmission of Ebola

Texas Hospital, Frontier Airlines Take Cautionary Steps to Prevent Further Transmission of Ebola

Will Montgomery(DALLAS) -- After a second health care worker at a Dallas hospital was found to be infected with the Ebola virus after treating Thomas Eric Duncan, both Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and Frontier Airlines -- the airline on which the worker flew to Ohio over the weekend -- have taken steps to prevent further transmission of the disease."With a second one of our health care workers now infected with the Ebola virus despite following recommended protection procedures, Texas Health Dallas is offering a room to any of our impacted employees who would like to stay here to avoid even the remote possibility of any potential exposure to family, friends and the broader public," a hospital statement read. "We are doing this for our employees' peace of mind and comfort," the statement read, noting that "this is not a medical recommendation."The hospital also reminded employees that they are not contagious "unless and until" they show symptoms of the disease. Still, the hospital asked all potentially affected employees "to be the good citizens that we know they are by avoiding using public transportation or engaging in any activities that could potentially put others at risk."Frontier Airlines CEO David Siegel sent a letter to employees providing further details after it was determined that the nurse, Amber Vinson, had flown on one of their flights to Cleveland on Oct. 10 and returned to Dallas on Oct. 13. Siegel says the airline was informed that the woman was a passenger on one of their flights on Wednesday, and that they had provided the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with customer contact information, removed the plane in question from service and reached out to customers independently of the CDC.

In the letter, Spiegel notes that on Wednesday afternoon, the CDC informed the airline that Vinson could have been symptomatic earlier than initially believed -- "including the possibility of possessing symptoms while onboard the flight." CDC spokesperson Tom Skinner told ABC News, however, that Vinson was not considered contagious at the time of the flight and that the only symptom she exhibited at the time was a fever. While the plane was cleaned multiple times, the company opted to keep the plain out of service and provide a fourth cleaning since Vinson was onboard. Seat covers and carpets surrounding the area where Vinson sat will be removed. Additionally, Frontier has placed six crew members on paid leave for 21 days "out of an abundance of caution," even though "CDC guidance...stated that our flight crews were safe to fly."

Vinson was transported to Emory University Hospital on Wednesday, one of two with specialized isolation units which have successfully treated Ebola patients.

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Why Dr. Kent Brantly Couldn’t Donate Blood to Thomas Eric Duncan

Why Dr. Kent Brantly Couldn’t Donate Blood to Thomas Eric Duncan

JarekJoepera/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person in the United States to be diagnosed with Ebola and who later died, didn't receive a blood transfusion from a physician who survived the virus because their blood types didn't match.Dr. Kent Brantly told ABC News Wednesday that his blood type is A+, while Duncan's family has said his blood type was B+, making them incompatible for a transfusion of whole blood or plasma. Blood transfusions from someone who successfully battled the disease are believed to be beneficial to Ebola patients.Because of the incompatibility of blood types, had Duncan received a blood transfusion from Brantly, it would have caused hemolysis - the breakdown of red blood cells - according to Dr. Christopher Stowell, director of Transfusion Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.Brantly was caring for sick Ebola patients with the aid group Samaritan's Purse in Monrovia, Liberia, when he became the first American diagnosed with Ebola in late July. He said he has since given blood to Ashoka Mukpo, Dr. Richard Sacra and Nina Pham.Duncan died last Wednesday at a hospital in Dallas where he was being treated. According to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where Duncan was being treated, Duncan did not receive any kind of blood transfusion because his blood type was not compatible with any of the donors.Two health workers who treated Duncan have since tested positive for the virus.

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Plane Used by Ebola-Infected Nurse Was Cleaned, Put Back in Service

Plane Used by Ebola-Infected Nurse Was Cleaned, Put Back in Service

File photo. FrontierAirlines(NEW YORK) -- The plane that transported an Ebola-infected nurse from Cleveland to Dallas was cleaned and put back into service the next day, according to Frontier Airlines.The plane has flown to at least one other U.S. city after being cleaned in Dallas, according to the airline, which confirmed it was cleaned again in Cleveland on Tuesday.Amber Vinson, 29, is the second health care worker from Dallas to be infected with Ebola. Vinson flew Frontier Airlines Flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday, landing a little after 8 p.m., authorities said. Vinson was put into isolation in Dallas the following day after arriving at the hospital with a fever. The 29-year-old has tested positive for Ebola in preliminary tests, officials said.The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention is reaching out to 132 passengers who were on the same flight as Vinson to monitor them for any signs of the disease, CDC Director Tom Frieden said Wednesday during a news conference.Frontier Airlines stressed that the flight was the last of the day and that the plane was cleaned "within CDC guidelines" after Vinson's flight.The carrier has not confirmed what other cities the plane was flown to besides Cleveland.During Wednesday's new conference, Frieden said Vinson "should not have traveled on a commercial airline."According to the CDC, Vinson reported no Ebola symptoms during the flight. But Frieden said the nurse should not have been flying at all per CDC guidelines, Frieden said.When Vinson first traveled to Ohio, there had been no reported cases from health workers in Dallas, Frieden said. However, once Dallas nurse Nina Pharm tested positive, Vinson should not have been using public transportation, he said."Because at that point she was in a group of individuals known to have exposure to Ebola, she should not have traveled on a commercial airline," Frieden said."From this moment forward, we will ensure that no individual monitored for exposure undergoes travel in any way other than controlled movement," he said referring to non-public transportation, such as a personal car or chartered flight.Flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas was an Airbus 320 capable of seating 168 passengers, according to Flight Aware. Vinson's flight was delayed more than two hours according to Flight Aware, after storms swept through the Midwest on Monday.Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Director Ricky Smith said that since Wednesday morning, the Frontier Airlines aircraft has been decontaminated twice at a remote location at the airport. It was scheduled for a flight to Denver Wednesday, Smith said.

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What Latest Ebola Infection Says About Odds of Widespread US Outbreak

What Latest Ebola Infection Says About Odds of Widespread US Outbreak

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Fears that a widespread outbreak of Ebola in the United States were heightened Wednesday as health officials revealed that a second Dallas nurse infected with Ebola flew on an airplane just a day before being placed in isolation.And as troubling as this second case may be, especially in terms of possible lapses in protocol, it also could serve as a much-needed wake-up call to public health officials nationwide about how vigilant they must be, experts said."The issue is with the health care workers at hospital in Dallas who were exposed while caring for a sick individual. The average person does not have to be concerned," said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.The difficulties at the Dallas hospital aside, the overall public health response has been swift and efficient, Schaffner said. As soon as the two individuals with infection were identified, health officials acted immediately to isolate them from the general public, he pointed out. Their contacts were quickly found and put under surveillance, he said, and their homes and belongings were disinfected.Immediate quarantine or isolation is one of the keys to preventing a large scale outbreak, explained Dr. Peter Hotez, a member of the Texas task force of infectious disease preparedness and response set up by Texas Gov. Rick Perry.Patients cannot spread the virus to others until they themselves show symptoms, Hotez said. At the beginning of their illness they are not very contagious and cannot infect others through casual contact such as shaking hands or touching the skin. Also, unlike the cold or flu, Ebola is not airborne, which means it doesn't linger in the air."Patients become more and more contagious as the disease progresses because viral load increases and more organ systems involved," said Hotez, who is also the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.Health care workers are at high risk for Ebola because an Ebola patient near the end of life or after death will be completely saturated with virus, including the skin, Schaffner said. Nurses and doctors can become infected without proper protective gear, and the virus might enter the body through cuts or when they touch their eyes, nose or mouth, he said. This is also why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued very specific guidelines for the handling of deceased Ebola patients, including disinfecting the body and wrapping it in plastic before burial or cremation.Schaffner said he is actually encouraged by how immediate the public health response has been in Dallas. It is also a good sign that so far none of the family or friends of Thomas Eric Duncan -- the first patient to die of Ebola in the U.S. -- have become ill. With their 21-day quarantine period almost at an end, it doesn't appear the virus had a chance to spread, he said."This is a terribly important lesson that virus is not going to run rampant in Dallas or anywhere else in the U.S.," Schaffner said. "Let's not forget that we've done some things right."

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Marathon Runner Won’t Let Allergy to Exercise Hold Her Back

Marathon Runner Won’t Let Allergy to Exercise Hold Her Back

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Mary Johnson was on one of her regular runs last August when her eyes became itchy and her tongue started to swell. Soon, her body was covered in hives as her eyelids, lips and throat started to balloon, too.It was happening again.Johnson, 27, has what is called exercise-induced anaphylaxis -- a rare exercise allergy.“My throat was so swollen that I had gone from having a normal-sounding voice...to almost no voice at all in a matter of minutes,” Johnson wrote on her blog, itsamarython.com. “In the past, my voice had always been intact.”Her in-laws rushed her to the emergency room as her eyes became so swollen she could barely see. Once there, doctors injected her with epinephrine and intubated her to keep her airway open as her throat closed. She wound up staying in the intensive care unit overnight amid fears that she would have a second reaction.Although Johnson is a marathoner who runs up to six times a week, she has had only three serious exercise allergy attacks in her life, each one worse than the last, she told ABC News. She also has the occasional “mini-attack” with just a tingly mouth and some swelling that she can treat herself with some Benadryl at home, she said.The first one happened when she was 18 and went out for a morning run before breakfast. Because she hadn’t eaten anything and didn’t test positive for any food allergies, doctors eventually diagnosed her with exercise-induced anaphylaxis.Dr. Kent Knauer, an allergist at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, said exercise-induced anaphylaxis is so rare that what exactly triggers it is unknown. He's never met Johnson, and said he's seen only four or five cases in his 25-year career.Some exercise-induced anaphylaxis cases are tied to food, Knauer said. Others, like Johnson's, are not. He said he had one patient who only had an allergic reaction if she ate corn a few hours before exercising."In her case, if she eats corn, it's no problem. If she exercises, it's no problem," he said. "If she eats corn within one or two hours of exercise, she has a mild form of anaphylaxis."Johnson said she has met a few other people with exercise-induced anaphylaxis, and that she considers herself lucky not to have more frequent attacks. But her attacks are more severe than those of other people she knows with the allergy.Although Johnson’s been told to consider slowing down from time to time, she said she loves to run. And she’s good at it. She qualified for the Boston Marathon in 2013 and ran it in 3 hours, 8 minutes and 34 seconds. That’s a 7-minute-and-12-second mile. And when she runs a half marathon, she can run a mile in 6 minutes and 45 seconds.Still, she said, her allergy requires her to be extra careful. She never runs too far from home, always knows where her epinephrine pen is, and never leaves for a run without telling someone where she’s going. Although she’s had three serious attacks, she reminds herself that she has had hundreds of workouts over the years with no attacks at all.“Don’t let it shape who you are,” she said.

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Every Adult over 45 Should Be Tested for Type 2 Diabetes

Every Adult over 45 Should Be Tested for Type 2 Diabetes

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Nobody wants to learn that they have type 2 diabetes, which means the pancreas can’t make enough insulin to keep the body’s cells functioning properly. However, by knowing that you do have the condition, it can be managed through medication and lifestyle changes.As a result, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is recommending that every adult over the age of 45 should be tested for type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. The test is also particularly urged for people at a higher risk for diabetes, including those with a family history of the disease, obese people and those who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

Meanwhile, those with prediabetes can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by nearly 50 percent through a proper diet and exercise.

The blood sugar test is reportedly simple and inexpensive.

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Low-Birth Weight Kids Have It Tougher in School

Low-Birth Weight Kids Have It Tougher in School

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Low-birth weight babies experience more educational problems when they’re old enough to go to school as compared to babies born between 5.5 pounds and ten pounds.David Figlio, a professor at Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research, says data seems to support this theory. Figlio and his colleagues examined the records of Florida school children over a ten-year period, which also revealed their birth weights.Invariably, youngsters who were either premature or just smaller because of a mother’s health or substance abuse problems did poorer in school than babies who were at least 5.5 pounds or heavier.Figlio explained, “The effects of poor neonatal health on adult outcomes are largely determined early -- in early childhood and the first years of elementary school.”However, the data also revealed that children whose parents were better educated than others in the study also performed better in school, which at least partially compensated for low-birth weight.In terms of what parents might do to possibly help their children’s development, obstetricians and other health experts believe mothers should carry their babies as close to full term as possible while advising against unnecessary C-sections or inducing labor early.

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Typing on Tablet Keyboards Can Be Murder on the Shoulders

Typing on Tablet Keyboards Can Be Murder on the Shoulders

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(DEKALB, Ill.) -- As much as you love your tablet, you could be doing your body a disservice.Researchers at Northern Illinois University say that prolonged use of a tablet’s touch-screen keyboard can cause chronic shoulder pain.To reach that conclusion, they enlisted 19 people in their mid-20s to type various passages for five-minute periods on touch-screen, desktop and notebook keyboards as muscle activity in the forearms and shoulders was recorded.By far, the participants typed more words and with greater accuracy on the conventional keyboards.But more importantly, the researchers noted that fingers hovering over touch screens were found to put more muscle exertion on the shoulders, which can then lead to persistent problems.

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