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Anderson Cooper Reveals Why He Underwent ‘Sudden Surgery’

Anderson Cooper Reveals Why He Underwent ‘Sudden Surgery’

Heidi Gutman/Bravo(NEW YORK) -- Anderson Cooper had a good reason for missing work Monday night.

The anchor revealed on Twitter that he had to have surgery.

"I'll be back on air tomorrow," Cooper wrote. "Had an appendicitis and had to have sudden surgery last night."

 

I'll be back on air tomorrow. Had an appendicitis and had to have sudden surgery last night

— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) December 2, 2014

 

Cooper, 47, isn't the first TV journalist to recently take time off for his health. Elisabeth Hasselbeck revealed last month that she missed time on Fox and Friends to have surgery on a tumor in her abdomen."I had a scary week where we didn't know what the results were, but I'm OK. Everything came back OK," the she said. "Surgery is not fun, but ... thankfully I had the blessing of it not being cancer."

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100 Years of Beauty Time Lapse Video Goes Viral

100 Years of Beauty Time Lapse Video Goes Viral

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- From flapper finger waves to the hair-crimping fad of the 1980s, it's safe to say that the perception of beauty is ever-changing. Now, one production company is showing how our concept of beauty has unfolded over the last 100 years.Cut Video has created a nostalgic YouTube video showing model Nina Carduner transforming through a century of beauty looks by decade.The years are compiled in a one-minute time lapse from a vintage 1910 Edwardian lady to a modern Millennial in 2010 -- and everything in between.“We plucked out 10 iconic hairstyles and makeup looks over the course of 100 years,” said Mike Gaston, creative director of Cut Video. “Our goal is to do this with many different models and show how our concept of beauty has evolved.”Gaston and his team plan to show men and women of various ethnicities going through the same transformations as Carduner.“We are also going to be using people from other orientations,” Gaston says. "We want to reflect how beauty has been represented over the course of 100 years among different types of people."The video has received over 300,000 hits on YouTube in over a week.

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How Some Exercisers Are Using GPS to Create Art

How Some Exercisers Are Using GPS to Create Art

Strava and Bret Labree(NEW YORK) -- Some people exercise for weight loss. Others train for marathons. Bret Lobree cycles so he can draw a really nice picture of a turkey.Lobree is part of a growing group of exercisers who use their outdoor workouts to draw GPS images. After downloading a fitness app like RunKeeper, Nike+ or Strava Run, they turn on the global positioning system function of their smart device, then ride, run or walk through a route to trace an image or a word on a computerized map.Lobree's best example of this ultimate form of street art is a 52.9-mile cycling journey he did before Thanksgiving this year to create a drawing of a turkey.The 41-year-old mechanical engineer started by planning the route on a mapping website. Then he cycled to the start, turned on his GPS and rode through the intricate grid of San Francisco streets to sketch out a "Gobble Gobble Graffiti" drawing on his GPS screen."Ironically, I draw with GPS but I have to hold a paper map to help navigate," Lobree told ABC News.This is his second year doing the cycled turkey art. Last year, four other riders joined him. This year, it was seven. He'd like to grow it into a yearly event, though he admits the effort "is not trivial."Michael Oldenburg, a spokesman for Strava navigation systems, said the company noticed this budding phenomenon several years ago when the hash tags #stravaart, #rundraw and #figurerunning started popping up on social media. He said cyclists can usually do the most elaborate drawings because they can cover more mileage than walkers and runners."People all over the world are getting really creative with this," he said.Lobree said he began his GPS drawing hobby several years ago after he'd ridden every single street in San Francisco. When he was done with that, he needed a new goal to stay motivated and noticed a few other people posting their GPS creations on Facebook. He decided to try it out for himself and was hooked right away.Lobree said he's starting to see other exercisers out there holding maps and glancing down at their watches, including some runners."Why not?" he said. "It's a great way of showing people you can do things other than just ride from A to B to see your city."

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Stephen Hawking’s Speech Software Gets an Upgrade

Stephen Hawking’s Speech Software Gets an Upgrade

DESIREE MARTIN/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Stephen Hawking's computer speech system got a modern upgrade from engineers at Intel who added predictive text to the decades-old program the scientist uses to communicate with the world.Hawking, 72, who has a motor neuron disease and is almost entirely paralyzed, relies on the technology to speak. He joined Intel in London Tuesday to show off the new speech system, which the computer chip maker developed after spending three years collaborating with Hawking.The result is a system that allows Hawking to type faster, browse the Internet much easier and seamlessly switch between tasks.Intel said it was able to increase the efficiency of Hawking's system by integrating predictive text technology from SwiftKey. The software knows Hawking's communication patterns, meaning he has to type less than 20 percent of all characters to convey what he wants to say.Hawking's existing cheek sensor syncs with a switch on his glasses, allowing him to choose characters he wishes to type, which can then be processed by his speech synthesizer and spoken out loud from his Lenovo laptop."Intel has been supporting me for almost 20 years, allowing me to do what I love every day," Hawking said in a statement. "The development of this system has the potential to improve the lives of disabled people around the world and is leading the way in terms of human interaction and the ability to overcome communication boundaries that once stood in the way."Intel said the technology Hawking is using will be made available for free in January, allowing researchers and technologists to build on the software and tailor it in different ways that could help the more than three million people worldwide who have motor neuron disease or quadriplegia better communicate.

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The Most Popular Baby Names in 2014

The Most Popular Baby Names in 2014

Ruth Black/Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What’s in a name?According to the latest trends in baby names, it is the power, strength and ambition found in parents’ favorite TV characters.Names from popular shows like House of Cards, Scandal and even Orange Is the New Black saw major increases among babies born in 2014, according to a just-released list of most popular baby names from BabyCenter.com.Galina, the name of an Orange Is the New Black character, is up 67 percent this year, while Robin Wright, the actress who plays Claire on House of Cards, saw an increase in not just her character’s name but in both “Robin” (+12 percent) and “Wright" (+65 percent).Perhaps inspired by the TV show Nashville, Southern-style names are increasing in popularity, including Tennessee (+61 percent), Macon (+29 percent), Virginia (+21 percent), Charlotte (+19 percent), Raleigh (+11 percent) and Austin (+11 percent).In a trend BabyCenter.com is calling “The Shonda Rhimes Effect,” characters' names from Rhimes’ trifecta of hit shows -- Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder -- saw big bumps, including Arizona (+35 percent), Callie (+30 percent), Avery (+25 percent), Fitzgerald (+56 percent), Huck (+44 percent) and Bellamy (+ percent).Jackson, the name of a doctor played by Jesse Williams on Grey’s Anatomy, reigned as the top boys' name for the second year in a row.On the girls’ side, Sophia, Emma and Olivia remained the three most popular girl names for the third year in a row on BabyCenter.com's list.Although Rimes may have seemed to have an impact on a generation of babies’ names, her own name is not catching on.Babycenter.com reports that “not a single baby in our database was named Shonda this year.”Read below for the top 10 boy and girl names:Most popular girl names:

Sophia Emma Olivia Ava Isabella Mia Zoe Lily Emily Madelyn

Most popular boy names:

Jackson Aiden Liam Lucas Noah Mason Ethan Caden Jacob Logan

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Woman’s Dramatic 280-Pound Weight Loss: ‘I Have My Life Back’

Woman’s Dramatic 280-Pound Weight Loss: ‘I Have My Life Back’

Rhonda Martin(EL CAJON, Calif.) — At 457 pounds, Rhonda Martin could barely walk. Even breathing was a chore. She certainly never imagined that one day she would look like she does now -- nearly 300 pounds lighter.“I was just existing,” Martin, of El Cajon, California, told ABC News. "I had no social interaction with people. My life was very limited.”Desperate to lose weight, she tried countless fad diets, even weight loss pills, but she always gained it right back.“I knew that if I didn’t get my blood pressure under control and get the weight loss off, there was a great risk of me dying soon,” she explained.Fearful for her life, she ditched her old, unhealthy eating habits and started drinking protein shakes.“It’s only two shakes a day, and then the other three meals that I’d have would be just regular food, so I wasn’t limiting myself to the shakes,” said Martin.She began counting her calories, drinking eight glasses of water a day and using a pedometer to track her steps, pushing herself to walk 100 more steps each day.“By setting these tiny, mini goals along the way, it kept me focused,” she recalled.And when walking wasn’t enough, Martin began riding an electric bike.“It was amazing for a woman of my size to be able to get on a bike and be able to move as freely as I was able to move,” she said.Tracking her two-year weight loss journey with her 15,000 devoted Facebook followers, Martin went from 457 pounds in February 2012 to about 180 pounds now, a dramatic 280-pound weight loss.“For me to be under 200 pounds, I never thought that would be possible,” she said.But her personal journey didn’t end there.“I did the Spring Sprint Triathlon,” said Martin. “After I finished the race, I went home and I signed up for my next one.”Since then, the 43-year-old has completed three half-marathons and four sprint triathlons, and she is now training for a full Ironman.“I have my life back,” she said. “Before, I was just existing and now I am living my life and I’m living it the way I want to live it.”

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Pot’s Active Ingredient May Curtail Alzheimer’s

Pot’s Active Ingredient May Curtail Alzheimer’s

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The main active ingredient in marijuana may be instrumental in curbing the onset of memory-wasting Alzheimer’s disease.Scientists at the University of South Florida and Thomas Jefferson University say that "THC could be a potential therapeutic treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease through multiple functions and pathways."In a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Alzheimer’s research cells were treated with THC. It was later determined that levels of a type of protein linked to Alzheimer’s symptoms were lowered by the marijuana compound.Furthermore, besides inhibiting aggression of the protein amyloid beta, THC also lowered other key Alzheimer’s Disease markers without toxicity.In fact, THC was shown to enhance the function of the mitochondria, which keeps the cell full of energy.Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. with more than five million people diagnosed with the disease.

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Deaths Caused by Prescription Painkillers, Heroin Triple

Deaths Caused by Prescription Painkillers, Heroin Triple

Credit: James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data on Tuesday indicating that deaths related to prescription painkillers and heroin tripled between 1999 and 2012.The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics noted that in that 13-year span, the number of deaths from prescription drugs, Vicodin, Percocet, and Oxycodone, reached 16,000 in 2012. In 1999, that figure was just over 4,000.The CDC notes that these opioid painkillers include substances similar to heroin -- which also caused three times as many deaths in 2012 as in 1999.

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Study Blames Parents for Some Children’s Falls from Furniture

Study Blames Parents for Some Children’s Falls from Furniture

FamVeld/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Researchers in the United Kingdom say that children falling from furniture may be in part the fault of their parents.The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, looked at more than 3,000 children, including 672 who had suffered falls from furniture and 2,648 who had not. Researchers say that they had recruited participants, and that about 35 percent agreed to participate.Compared to the children who had not fallen from furniture, those children who had were more likely to have parents who did not use safety gates in their homes, who had not taught their children rules about climbing on furniture, or to have been left on raised surfaces by their parents. Researchers say other causes of falls include failure to use a baby walker, changing diapers on a raised surface, or putting car or bouncy seats on raised surfaces.

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Beauty Site Devoted to Redheads Is Catching Fire

Beauty Site Devoted to Redheads Is Catching Fire

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Growing up, sisters Adrienne and Stephanie Vendetti say they were always searching for hair and makeup products that would suit their cinnamon tresses and alabaster complexions. But despite redheads making up 6 percent of the U.S. population, the women felt mostly ignored by mainstream beauty magazines and websites.So, after years of toying around with the idea, they decided to start their own.How To Be A Redhead is a beauty blog devoted entirely to the needs of those with cardinal locks. In three years, it has not only gotten the attention of redheaded celebrities such as Debra Messing, but a legion of nearly 25,000 followers on social media who respond to its fiery editorial voice."If you talk to any redhead, they were all bullied as kids for their looks and then often, once they get older, they feel more empowered and want to really own their red hair," said Adrienne Vendetti Hodges, now 27 and married. "So we just knew that this was what redheads needed because we wanted this as little kids."All products recommended on the site undergo a 10-day vetting process during which one of the sisters or a colleague tests out its functionality."Because [redheads] have such sensitive skin, finding the right makeup and skincare products can be difficult," Hodges told ABC News. "We also get a lot of e-mails from readers asking about eyebrows and eyelashes. On redheads, they are typically coarser and blonder. So how do you enhance them and make them complement your red hair?"In some instances, when the right beauty product hasn't existed, the women have teamed up with a partner brand to create it. To wit, most drugstores and chain stores fail to offer bobby pins in a color spectrum that compliments redheads, favoring brunette and blonde shades instead. So How To Be a Redhead began selling proprietary packs of redhead pins in three hues, and it has since become the most popular product on the site.While the sisters say the majority of their audience are females between the ages of 21 and 35, more mature readers have also reached out with age-related beauty queries."We get a lot of inquiries from older redhead women whose hair has faded but who do not want to dye it," said Hodges. "So we've been sharing a lot of information about color-depositing shampoos and conditioners for redheads of late."But the most rewarding e-mails are sent from a younger demographic, who feel encouraged by the site to embrace their individual beauty."Giving out makeup and hair advice is great, but I think the most powerful thing is that young girls write in saying ‘If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t even go to school' because bullying is so intense," said Hodges. "That’s really the power behind How To Be A Redhead. It's empowering other women."To grow that sense of community in 2015, the sisters plan to host a series of live events in five cities across the United States as part of a "Rock It Like A Redhead" beauty tour that will feature how-tos, fashion shows, concerts and more. The first stop in Austin, Texas was announced on the site Monday, with future dates to come."Adrienne and I go to a lot of events, so we wanted to make sure that it is not tradeshow-y at all," said Vendetti, 25. "These are going to be really engaging makeup artists doing lots of demonstrations and other hands-on activities, so women will gain a lot in beauty knowledge and, hopefully, in confidence."

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World AIDS Day Report Finds Fragile Progress

World AIDS Day Report Finds Fragile Progress

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- For the first time in more than 30 years, more people are receiving lifesaving treatment for AIDS than the number of people who become newly infected with HIV, says the new ONE AIDS report released in honor of World AIDS Day on Monday.“Despite the good news, we should not take a victory lap yet,” said Erin Hohlfelder, ONE’s Director of Global Health Policy and author of the report. “We’ve passed the tipping point in the AIDS fight at the global level, but not all countries are there yet, and the gains made can easily stall or unravel.”The One Campaign, which was founded by U2 frontman Bono, noted the fight against AIDS is still hampered by lack of funding.Annually there is a $3 billion shortfall in the amount needed to control the disease around the world, the report found.The report also warned that the progress to date could easily unravel in places like Africa, where many countries have fragile and overstretched healthcare systems. And another worry the report found: New AIDS patients are increasingly from marginalized communities such as drug users and sex workers.The report said the progress can continue if funding comes from new sources, countries build more resilient healthcare systems and the medical community does a better job addressing the crisis.“We are calling on those involved in the AIDS fight to target HIV where it is, not where it is easiest to reach,” Hohlfelder said.

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The Doctor Will See You Now…but Not After Office Hours

The Doctor Will See You Now…but Not After Office Hours

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Most people want a doctor with a good bedside manner, but a new study indicates that care may be compromised if the patient-doctor relationship turns into a friendship.A survey of 338 oncologists published in The Lancet Oncology shows 59 percent of doctors who have grown up in a “cyberworld” where formal distinctions are removed are more likely to let their relationship with patients expand beyond a professional connection.Nearly half the respondents reported giving patients their personal numbers, while 20 percent said they accepted social invitations. About 14 percent of the MDs were connected to their patients on Facebook.The study found that many of the doctors had difficulty revealing the truth to patients they liked.Professor Lesley Fallowfield, one of the study’s authors, says it can become a problem for both sides. “The difficulty, if you hug and kiss patients, if you allow them to call you by your first name, is that quickly the relationship can become confused as a social one rather than a professional one,” Fallowfield tells The Australian.Fallowfield says that may lead to patients feeling awkward when it comes to telling their doctor about discomfort they're feeling during treatment.Fallowfield also notes that too close of a relationship could prompt a doctor to hold back information because they don't want to upset a patient. Fallowfield says, for example, a doctor would not have a patient's best interest in mind if he or she recommended additional but pointless chemotherapy instead of having a truthful conversation about palliative care.

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Study Finds Full-Time Preschool Better Prepares Kids for Kindergarten

Study Finds Full-Time Preschool Better Prepares Kids for Kindergarten

iStock/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) — Full-time preschool is better than part-time when it comes to preparing children for kindergarten, according to a study by the University of Minnesota.Researchers at the university's Humphrey School of Public Affairs tested one thousand 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool programs affiliated with 11 Chicago schools to compare students who attended preschool seven hours a day to those who attended three-hour programs.They found 81 percent of the all-day preschoolers were ready socially and academically to enter kindergarten, compared to 59 percent of students enrolled in the half-day program.The study also found that daily attendance rates for all-day preschool kids were better than those in part-time programs.Arthur Reynolds, the study's lead author, suggests that attendance rates are better for full-timers because parents feel more invested in the program.Reynolds says the overall conclusion is clear -- students who spend more time in preschool learn more.

"You can go much farther in not only the math side, but language and literacy, reading and drawing and science," says Reynolds.

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Some Children’s Toys Often Bring Trauma

Some Children’s Toys Often Bring Trauma

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — When parents are thinking about which toys to put under the tree this year, they should also be thinking about safety and the risk of injury that comes with some toys.In a new study published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics, researchers reviewed emergency room statistics from the past 21 years and found nearly 150,000 toy-related injuries occur annually among children.Researchers say there has been a 60-percent increase in toy-related injuries since 1990. The number of injuries soared in the early 2000s with the advent of non-motorized scooters, but dropped shortly thereafter.  Unfortunately, they are now trending up again.Injuries from so-called “ride-on toys” have jumped by nearly 75 percent and were more likely to require hospital admission compared to other injuries.  Medical observers note that the study only involved toy-related injuries reported to ERs and does not include injuries treated at a clinic or those that went unreported.The study's researchers say additional public health efforts are needed to bolster toy safety awareness, and they also suggest that an examination into the effectiveness of recalls is needed.

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Unsafe Bedding Continues to Be Used in Cribs

Unsafe Bedding Continues to Be Used in Cribs

Photos.com/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Despite frequent warnings from health officials about the dangers of soft blankets, quilts and comforters in infant cribs, more than half of today's parents still put their babies to bed with the materials.Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, Yale, and Boston University examined survey data from approximately 19,000 parents over some 17 years and found 54.7 percent still put their babies to bed with blankets, quilts and comforters. Experts say the use of those materials may increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome by suffocation.The researchers acknowledge that the percentage has dropped dramatically from 85.9 percent in 1993, but say 54.7 percent is still too high.The researchers say moms under the age of 20 and African-American mothers were twice as likely to use the potentially harmful bedding materials.  The researchers note that the data was obtained via self-reporting participants, and as a result the information on the prevalence of using harmful bedding may be over- or underestimated.The study is published in the latest issue of Pediatrics.

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Man Walks Dog From Washington to Mexico to Raise Canine Cancer Awareness

Man Walks Dog From Washington to Mexico to Raise Canine Cancer Awareness

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- A California man is taking a walk with his dog to a new level in order to raise canine cancer awareness. Luke Robinson and his dog, Indiana, are taking an 1,800 mile trek down the entire U.S. pacific coast, from northern Washington to the Mexico border. They began their trip on May 10 to bring awareness to canine cancer.While taking a break Friday in Malibu, Robinson said the two clock 10 to 12 miles each day."I think the only thing that bothers him is the sun," Robinson said. "We didn't have that in central and northern California, but now the further south that we're getting the sun get's a little tiring as the day draws on."Robinson, who lost two dogs to cancer, says there are about 6 million cases of canine cancer each year. But he says the long hike is worth the effort.

"Come out and walk with us for a mile, walk with us for a day," he said. "Find out what we're all about."They are expected to reach their goal on December 14 in San Ysidro.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Former High School Football Player Files Concussion Lawsuit

Former High School Football Player Files Concussion Lawsuit

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- A former high school football player is filing a concussion lawsuit.

Daniel Bukal, who was a star quarterback at Notre Dame College Prep outside Chicago ten years ago, has filed a suit, saying the Illinois High School Association didn't do enough to protect him from concussions. Bukal says he still suffers frequent migraines and has notable memory loss.Every year around 140,000 high school athletes suffer concussions, most of them football players. Last year eight students died from football injuries, six of which were head injuries.

Bukal's attorney filed a similar suit against the NCAA and is calling for medical monitoring of all Illinois high school players.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Researchers Working on Breath Test for Driving Under Influence of Marijuana

Researchers Working on Breath Test for Driving Under Influence of Marijuana

iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- Researchers at Washington State University are working on a breath test that would show if drivers are under the influence of marijuana.  

Right now, law enforcement officers have a test for alcohol use, but they still need to use blood tests to find out if THC is present in a driver's system.

A WSU chemistry professor says existing technologies like the ones used to detect explosives at airports can be altered to test breath for THC.

Human tests could come by early next year.

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Stray Cat Helps Boy With Asperger’s

Stray Cat Helps Boy With Asperger’s

iStock/Thinkstock(JACKSONVILLE, Fla. ) -- Andy the stray cat helped a boy with Asperger's syndrome open up, so when the black cat faced a life-threatening illness, the family got him the help he needed.

Josh Neff, who has Asperger's syndrome, had trouble communicating, his grandmother Kim Neff told ABC News' Jacksonville affiliate WJXX-TV. But when Neff brought home Andy, a stray cat who had been roaming the streets of her friend's neighborhood, she saw an immediate change in Josh.

"Josh opened up," Neff told WJXX. "He became very attached to Andy and named him himself."

Josh and Andy were inseparable.

"He would pet Andy and say he loved him and Andy was his friend," Neff said.

But when Andy got sick, Neff and Josh were devastated.

Doctors discovered that Andy had a urinary blockage that was making him ill, according to WJXX. And the surgery that would save his life was too expensive for Neff.

If Andy were to die, Neff feared that Josh would have "a tremendous setback," she told WJXX.

Luckily Neff didn't have to pay. A fund set aside by a Jacksonville animal shelter covered the cost of Andy's surgery.

Josh and Andy were reunited and are living happily at home.

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Arizona Patient Tests Negative for Ebola

Arizona Patient Tests Negative for Ebola

VILevi/iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- Tests have come back negative for Ebola for the Arizona patient who had recently returned from Sierra Leone, county officials said Friday.The patient had been taken from a Maricopa County residence on Friday after making a 911 call for gastrointestinal issues. The decision was made to transport the individual for testing for possible Ebola, in part due to his having recently returned from an Ebola-affected nation.On Friday, the Maricopa County Public Health Department said that tests had been returned and were negative for Ebola. "With this alternate diagnosis, it makes all of us feel much better that we have another clinical reason as to what made this person ill," Dr. Robert Fromm, chief medical officer for the Maricopa Integrated Health System said. The patient will be monitored for 21 days out of an abundance of caution. Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director for disease control for MCPH called the experience "a good exercise for all of our partners and we are thrilled to hear...that the patient has an alternate diagnosis." She added that it was important to note that "because this patient was not symptomatic in flight, there is no risk to anyone who flew with this patient nor did he expose anyone in Maricopa County."

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