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Why Blood Transfusions from Ebola Survivor Could Help Patients

Why Blood Transfusions from Ebola Survivor Could Help Patients

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly has donated the plasma in his blood to three patients in the last month, echoing what one of his former patients did for him before he left Liberia.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.

His condition was worsening before he was flown to the United States in an air ambulance. But before he left, one of his former patients, a 14-year-old Ebola survivor, gave him "a unit of blood" for a transfusion, according to Samaritan's Purse.Since his recovery and release from Emory University Hospital on Aug. 21, Brantly has donated his plasma to Samaritan's Purse colleague Dr. Rick Sacra and freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo, both of whom were receiving treatment for Ebola at Nebraska Medical Center. They received his plasma transfusions on or around Sept. 11 and Oct. 8, respectively -- about 27 days apart.

The latest American Ebola patient, Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who contracted the virus while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, received a blood donation of some kind from Brantly, according to health officials.Plasma is a component of blood that contains virus-fighting proteins called antibodies. When someone donates plasma, their blood is drawn into a machine that separates out the plasma and returns the red blood cells to the donor."There is a strong theoretical possibility that this could help, particularly if this is given early," said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.Here's how it works: When confronted with a virus, the immune system creates antibodies to specifically target that virus, kill it and keep it from coming back, he said. Once a person has antibodies, they stay in their blood for life. If the Ebola antibodies found in an Ebola survivor's blood can be imported into a struggling Ebola patient's body, those antibodies can theoretically help the patient's immune system fight off the deadly virus."What those antibodies do is bind to the virus," Schaffner said. "They find the virus and bind to it and prevent it from multiplying further."Schaffner said even though the sick person's body is trying to make antibodies, an infection can be so overwhelming that the sick person's immune system might not be able to keep up with the invading virus. As a result, the sooner someone gets a plasma transfusion, the more likely it is to help that person recover, he said.During his battle with Ebola, Brantly also received the experimental drug ZMapp, a cocktail of three synthetic antibodies to attack Ebola, before leaving West Africa for Emory University Hospital. Brantly was declared virus-free and discharged on Aug. 21, but the hospital epidemiologist, Dr. Bruce Ribner, said it wasn't clear what roles ZMapp and the transfusion played in his recovery.A person can donate plasma up to 13 times a year, or every 28 days, unlike whole blood donations, which must be spaced between two and four months apart, according to the American Red Cross. Though Brantly's first two plasma donations were spaced about a month apart, his last two were barely a week apart. But it's also possible Brantly donated excess plasma during one of his donations, which then went to Pham.Though blood type O is considered the universal donor for whole blood, type AB is the universal donor for plasma, according to the Red Cross. 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.In September, the World Health Organization said blood therapies should be "considered as a matter of priority." Since then, the number of people who have been infected with Ebola since March has doubled to 8,399, and 4,033 of them have died, according to the latest WHO figures."There is a real opportunity that a blood-derived product can be used now and this can be very effective in terms of treating patients," said Dr. Marie Paule Kieny, WHO's assistant director general, said on Sept. 5.

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Ebola Nurse’s Dog Being Watched at Undisclosed Location

Ebola Nurse’s Dog Being Watched at Undisclosed Location

Courtesy Pham Family(DALLAS) -- Dallas nurse Nina Pham's dog Bentley has been taken into custody by an animal shelter as she is being treated for Ebola, officials said.The King Charles Spaniel was first kept in Pham's apartment while Dallas County officials assessed the situation this weekend. But it has been cause for concern since a Spanish nurse who contracted the disease had her pet euthanized out of fears that it could be a carrier of the deadly virus.It does not appear that any similar action will be taken in Texas, however, as Judge Mike Rawlings said that they will be taking good care of the pet while the 26-year-old nurse is in treatment.The city's animal shelter is now caring for the dog at an undisclosed location, officials said. The Dallas Animal Services and Adoption Center posted a note on its official Facebook page confirming their involvement and they wrote that they will be posting pictures "once we've shown the owner he's okay."They also shared photos that showed a team of people in hazmat suits collecting the dog from Pham's apartment Monday afternoon."It was a bit of a challenge," the caption reads.

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Mexicans Curtailing Sugary Drink Consumption

Mexicans Curtailing Sugary Drink Consumption

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you tax it, they'll drink less of it.

That's what seems to be happening in Mexico, according to The Wall Street Journal, after the government slapped a tax on sugary drinks to reduce consumption.

A survey by public health advocates reveals that just over half of Mexicans who drink sugary beverages say they've cut back compared to a year ago.According to 2013 statistics, one in four Mexicans consumed three liters of soda weekly with the number now falling to one in five.People have also gotten the message that too much sugar is bad for your health. The survey said that 98 percent of Mexicans are aware that these drinks can boost the risk of diabetes and obesity.That being said, Mexico has one of the unhealthiest diets in this hemisphere with 75 percent of the population reportedly overweight and nearly a fifth of adults over 50 diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

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Americans Have No Beef with Getting Their Protein from Meat

Americans Have No Beef with Getting Their Protein from Meat

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- One of the health lessons drummed into kids' heads is that proteins are essential nutrients in building strong bodies while providing an important fuel source.That lesson sticks with a lot of people well into adulthood given how much Americans consume animal protein.As it happens, the NPD Group found out in a survey that six in 10 respondents eat some kind of animal protein on a daily basis.Tops on the list compiled by the NPD Group are beef, followed by chicken, fish, pork, shellfish and lamb.What's more, at least one in two adults clamors for more protein than what they're already getting. However, they're less inclined to turn to dairy products even though health experts say milk, cheese and yogurt and eggs are good sources of the nutrients, not to mention they're loaded with calcium and many are fortified with Vitamin D.

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Teenage Pitchers at Higher Risk of Shoulder Injuries Later in Life

Teenage Pitchers at Higher Risk of Shoulder Injuries Later in Life

tammykayphoto/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Teenagers who play baseball, specifically pitchers, are at an increased risk of shoulder injuries later in life, researchers say. According to a study published in the journal Radiology, young pitchers who throw more than 100 pitches per week are more likely to develop long-term shoulder damage. Acromial apophysiolysis, the incomplete fusion and pain at a bony shoulder structure known as the acromion, was identified in 2.6 percent of participants in the study. In the long term, 68 percent of those with the newly-identified injury were found to have rotator cuff tears later in life, compared to just 29 percent of those who did not have the injury.The American Sports Medicine Institute currently recommends pitchers between the ages of 15 and 18 play in no more than two games per week, with 50 pitches per game.

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Emirates Flight Met in Boston After Sick Passengers Report

Emirates Flight Met in Boston After Sick Passengers Report

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- A plane arriving at Boston’s Logan Airport from Dubai was met by a hazmat team Monday after five passengers reportedly displayed flu-like symptoms, according to an official from Massport, which runs the airport.Pictures on social media showed medical crews in hazmat suits as they arrived at the scene and boarded the plane, Emirates flight 237. The plane was surrounded by ambulances and emergency responders in white and yellow suits.None of the five sick people had been traveling in West Africa, the official said.The Boston Public Health Commission said in a statement Monday that it "has determined that the patients who arrived on United Emirates Flight #237 at Logan International Airport do not meet the criteria for any infections of public health concern, including Ebola, meningococcal infection, or MERS."The Ebola virus has already killed more than 3,000 people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

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CDC to Send Team to Dallas to Assist with Control, Monitoring After Second Ebola Case

CDC to Send Team to Dallas to Assist with Control, Monitoring After Second Ebola Case

Credit: James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(DALLAS) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday that it would deploy a second team to Dallas to help assist the staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in infection control and monitoring of those staff members who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient who died last week.According to a CDC press release, the nine-person team will include experts in infection control, Ebola and infectious diseases, laboratory science, personal protective equipment and hospital epidemiology. The CDC notes that several individuals on the team were involved in either Ebola outbreaks in West Africa or infectious disease outbreaks at other U.S. hospitals.The deployment comes on the same day that Nina Pham was identified as the second Ebola patient in Dallas. Pham, a nurse, was infected while treating Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

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Researchers Develop Alzheimer’s Breakthrough

Researchers Develop Alzheimer’s Breakthrough

shironosov/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have replicated human brain cells for use in ongoing Alzheimer's disease research.

The study, published in the journal Nature, details the work done to create a petri dish with human brain cells that develop telltale structures linked to Alzheimer's. That breakthrough, researchers say, could be an aid in researching the disease. Until now, they say, the only means of testing drugs to treat Alzheimer's was by using mice that developed an imperfect form of the disease.

The petri dish is still an imperfect substitute, as it lacks immune system cells and other components of a human brain. Still, it will allow for researchers to quickly, cheaply and easily test drugs that could halt the progress of the disease, according to the New York Times.

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Nebraska Ebola Patient Tweets He Is on ‘Road to Good Health’

Nebraska Ebola Patient Tweets He Is on ‘Road to Good Health’

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(OMAHA, Neb.) -- The freelance cameraman who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia is feeling good enough to tweet Monday that he is "on the road to good health."Ashoka Mukpo's condition improved over the weekend and his Twitter posts mark the first time he has directly addressed the public."Back on twitter, feeling like I'm on the road to good health. Will be posting some thoughts this week. Endless gratitude for the good vibes," he wrote in the first post Monday afternoon."Now that I've had first hand exp [sic] with this scourge of a disease, I'm even more pained at how little care sick west Africans are receiving," he wrote. "Be on the lookout for the Ebola Diaries blog coming soon. Will compile material from long-term reporter residents of Liberia."Mukpo, 33, is being treated at the Nebraska Medical Center and had a blood transfusion from Dr. Kent Brantly, the first American who contracted the disease while working for a missionary organization in Monrovia. Brantly recovered from the disease.He has also received an experimental drug called brincidofovir. Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who was treated unsuccessfully for Ebola at a Texas hospital, received the same drug."The team taking care of him in Nebraska now feels he has turned the corner and with time, will make a full recovery," Mukpo's relatives said in a statement released to NBC News on Saturday. Mukpo was working for NBC in Liberia when he got sick."Ashoka has been steadily improving over the past 48 hours. He has been symptom free during that time and is increasing his physical strength. His appetite has returned and he is asking for food. His spirits are much more uplifted and continue to improve," the family said.Shelly Schwedhelm, the nursing director of the bicontainment unit at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, told a news conference Monday that Mukpo is improving.“He’s doing great. Today he’s sitting up and no longer having any nausea or vomiting and feeling pretty good and having some food to eat and so feeling really good about his prognosis and his care,” Schwedhelm said.The rest of the NBC team that was in Liberia alongside Mukpo have now been ordered into a mandatory isolation period even though the company has said that no one else on the team is showing symptoms.

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Concierge Medicine: How At-Home Doctor Visits Yield Savings

Concierge Medicine: How At-Home Doctor Visits Yield Savings

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It’s been a while since any member of the Basile family missed school or work for a visit to the doctor.“We had perfect attendance two years in a row,” said mother Meredith Basile. “No lates. No sick days.”Instead of waiting in a doctor’s office, she and husband Joe found family physician Dr. Brian Thornburg, who treats them and their two children at their home in Naples, Florida.Thornburg is one of an estimated 10,000 concierge doctors in the U.S.For a fee, these doctors offer personalized care and around-the-clock access, often treating their patients at home for everything from a routine checkup to the occasional stitch or two.On top of their regular health insurance, patients pay Thornburg a $100 monthly fee for whatever home care they might need.Although critics say the service is only for the rich and famous, ABC News’ consumer health advocate Michelle Katz disagrees. She said there could be hidden savings in concierge medicine.“They (parents) don’t have to take off work. They don’t have to find babysitters,” Katz said. “They can be in the comfort of their own home.”Katz estimated how the Basiles saved about $2,000 a year with concierge medicine by following two money-saving tips:1. Combining checkups. In the Basiles’ case, they pay $100 a month to Thornburg for all of their regular care. Four separate checkups at a doctor’s office would have cost this family $750 even with their insurance.2. Reducing ER visits. U.S. families visit emergency rooms on average twice a year at a cost of $1,200 a visit. By saving the Basile family trips to the ER, Thornburg helped them cut their overall healthcare costs.When their son, Luca, split open his chin on the kitchen counter, Thornburg came to their home and stitched up the wound.

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Broccoli Sprout Extract May Help Curb Autism Symptoms

Broccoli Sprout Extract May Help Curb Autism Symptoms

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A chemical derived from broccoli sprout could help treat symptoms of autism, according to a new study from Johns Hopkins and Harvard hospitals.The study authors say it is an “intriguing” first step that could lead to a better life for those with autism spectrum disorders, which affect one in 68 children in the United States and currently have no cure or medical treatment.“If you tell people that you’ve treated autism with broccoli, they would say that that is a very far-fetched idea,” said study author Dr. Paul Talalay, a professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins Hospital.Talalay and his team treated 40 autistic boys and men with autism over 18 weeks. Twenty-six of them took pills with sulforaphane, a broccoli sprout extract, and the rest received a placebo.Study authors found that patients who took sulforaphane improved. Almost half of the patients treated with sulforaphane had “much improved” or “very much improved” social interaction and verbal communication, and more than half exhibited less aberrant behavior. When the patients stopped taking the extract, they returned to baseline levels for these symptoms within four weeks.Those who took the placebo did not show any improvement, according to the study.Talalay said the way in which this extract might work in autistic patients has yet to be fully understood, but past research suggests that sulforaphane can cause the body to react as it would to a fever. Since fevers have been associated with a temporary improvement of symptoms in about a third of autism patients, sulforaphane may work in a similar way, according to the study authors.The findings appear in the October issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Autism experts not involved with the research said the findings are encouraging, but cautioned that there are still many unanswered questions.“The trial needs to be replicated and evaluated in larger and more age-diverse samples,” Dr. Susan Hyman, chief of neurodevelopmental and behavioral pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said in an email to ABC News. “But the data is certainly worth pursuing.”Dr. Max Wiznitzer, a pediatric neurologist at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, agreed.“The results are intriguing because there is an improvement in some of the subjects,” Wiznitzer said. “However, [the authors] have not shown that they have treated the core essence of autism.”Still, Wiznitzer said these findings would be “fascinating if true.”“It might give us a whole new group of treatments to use in these individuals,” he said.

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Dallas Ebola Patient’s Dog Will Be Kept Safe, Mayor Says

Dallas Ebola Patient’s Dog Will Be Kept Safe, Mayor Says

File photo. iStock/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- A dog belonging to a Texas health care worker who tested positive for Ebola will not be euthanized, unlike a recent decision in Spain, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told USA Today.“This was a new twist,” Rawlings said. “The dog’s very important to the patient and we want it to be safe.”The patient’s dog remains inside her Dallas apartment with local SPCA and animal control officials helping to monitor the situation, authorities said.The decision comes days after Spanish health officials euthanized a dog belonging to a Spanish nurse's aide who contracted Ebola after helping to care for a priest who had been working in West Africa.The decision to euthanize the dog drew protests, online campaigns and global concern because of uncertainty over whether the dog was also infected or risked spreading the disease to humans.

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Sleeping on Couches Can Be Deadly for Infants, Study Says

Sleeping on Couches Can Be Deadly for Infants, Study Says

iStock/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Couches can be hazardous to infants, according to a new study from Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. One in eight "crib" deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome occur on the sofa, researchers said, since babies can get wedged beneath the cushions or fall asleep on their sides. The database report, published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday, looked at the cause of infant sleeping deaths over an eight-year period from 24 states and found that more than 1,000 were associated with the sleeping position and a sofa location. While the study says sharing a sofa with an infant is becoming increasingly common in some countries and may be done to calm or feed the child, researchers found that the children who died were more likely to be those on the couch with another person. Experts recommend to place infants on firm surfaces while sleeping and to lay children on their back in cribs.

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Study: Regular and Decaf Coffee Boosts Liver Health

Study: Regular and Decaf Coffee Boosts Liver Health

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Coffee has lovingly been referred to as the “nectar of the gods.” Although the beverage doesn’t necessarily have magical powers, there’s something in coffee that benefits one of our essential organs -- the liver.

That’s the finding of a study from the National Cancer Institute, which contends that either caffeinated or decaf coffee helps to boost liver health.

According to researcher Dr. Qian Xiao, it’s something other than caffeine that is beneficial to the organ.

While Qian and his team don’t know what specifically provides its medicinal value, the fact is that people who consume three or more cups a day, as opposed to non-drinkers, lowered abnormal enzymes that can hurt the liver.

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Ebola Protocol Breach Raises Questions About Where to Treat Patients

Ebola Protocol Breach Raises Questions About Where to Treat Patients

iStock/Thinkstock(DALLAS) --  The protocol breach at a Texas hospital being blamed for a health care worker being infected with Ebola, the first person to contract the disease in the United States, raised concerns about whether hospitals are prepared to treat the virus.The health care worker was among the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital staff who treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. The hospital is not one of the four in the U.S. with units specialized to handle diseases like Ebola."The comments from CDC [the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] early on that this could be done in any hospital that is used to doing isolation just doesn't ring true to me," ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser said."Groups like Doctors Without Borders, they have incredible training in this, and they practice it, and it's the practicing that ensures that you don't have a slip-up," he said. "For our first patient in America to lead already to a health care worker getting sick really raises a concern to me."According to National Nurses United, the largest registered nurse union, surveys of their membership indicate that most nurses feel hospital administrations have not communicated adequately with staff about Ebola response plans."Reports of the infection of a nurse at the same hospital where the first U.S. patient, Thomas Eric Duncan died in Dallas only heightens the concerns for registered nurses and other frontline hospital personnel who would be among the first to respond and interact with other patients about whether their hospital is doing enough to protect health workers as well as patients and the general public," NNU Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro said Sunday.So far, the only two cases of Ebola that have been diagnosed in the United States have been treated at Texas Health Presbyterian.The decision to not transfer Thomas Earl Duncan, who died of Ebola last week, to a specialized care facility was criticized by members of his family.The CDC has not said if the patient diagnosed with Ebola on Sunday will be transferred to one of four centers across the country where health care workers are trained to specialize in treating highly infectious diseases."We are going to look at all opportunities to improve the level of safety and to minimize risk," CDC Director Tom Frieden said at a press conference.While he did not rule out transferring patients to specialized centers, Frieden said that all hospitals should be prepared to safely treat Ebola."We do want hospitals to have the ability to rapidly consider, isolate, and diagnose people who may have Ebola," he said.Even before Sunday's announcement, hospitals from New York to Iowa to California have taken steps to try to prepare for possible Ebola cases.Some hospitals are sending memos to staff, and others are running all-out drills, many of them following guidelines from CDC to make sure staff members know everything from how to identify possible Ebola patients to how to get out of protective gear without contaminating themselves.All the U.S. citizens who contracted Ebola in Liberia and were brought to the United States were transported to the Nebraska Biocontainment Patient Care Unit, in Omaha, and to the specialized unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.Two more centers that are specialized to treat diseases like Ebola are at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland., and St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana.The protocols put in place at Texas Health Presbyterian have been used for decades to treat Ebola, according to Frieden, and can be used in other hospitals.But Frieden conceded that the same kind of protocol breach that led to the infection announced Suday could have occurred to other hospital workers at Texas Health Presbyterian."Unfortunately it is possible in the coming days that we will see additional cases of Ebola," Frieden said. "Because the health care workers who cared for this individual [Duncan] may have had a breach of the same nature of the individual who appears now to have a preliminary positive test."What exactly the protocol breach was has not been identified.The female health care worker was interviewed by investigators after she was diagnosed with Ebola, but she could not identify when the breach occurred, Frieden said.Frieden recommended that hospitals appoint individuals to oversee medical staff and ensure that all safety protocols prescribed by the CDC in treating Ebola are followed.

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Boston Patient with Ebola-Like Symptoms Not Considered at High Risk

Boston Patient with Ebola-Like Symptoms Not Considered at High Risk

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- A man who showed up at a Massachusetts hospital with Ebola-like symptoms and had recently been to Liberia "does not meet criteria to be considered someone at high risk" for the disease, health officials said Sunday night.The patient presented himself Sunday morning at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates Braintree, complaining of headache and muscle aches, and was taken by ambulance to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston."After discussions with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the Boston Public Health Commission and its partners have determined that the patient being evaluated at BIDMC does not meet criteria to be considered someone at high risk for Ebola," the Boston Public Health Commission said in a statement. "The BPHC will continue to monitor this situation."Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Dr. Ken Sands said the patient was put in isolation and was being tested for the disease. It will take about 24 to 48 hours for the results, he said."The first step is to assess whether the patient should be considered a suspected Ebola case," Sands said. "We have personnel available that have been previously trained, both nurses and clinicians and other support staff and that team is here on site and available to take care of the patient."Hospital officials told ABC affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston that the patient was told by reception to go wait in his car and that the staff let him know that an ambulance was coming."Out of an abundance of caution we immediately notified authorities and the patient was securely removed from the building and put into an ambulance," Harvard Vanguard chief of infectious disease Benjamin Kruskal said in a written statement.Police escorted the ambulance, whose driver wore a mask and hazmat suit, to Beth Israel.Harvard Vanguard was closed during the incident, but reopened late Sunday afternoon, WCVB-TV reported.Across the country in Los Angeles, public health officials met an incoming plane because of concerns about a sick passenger onboard.The female passenger was aboard United Airlines Flight 703 out of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The passenger had been vomiting and exhibiting what were thought to be flu-like symptoms before landing.The flight landed at LAX around 2 p.m. and was diverted to a remote runway because of Ebola concerns, but it was determined she was not at risk for the disease.Officials cited a miscommunication about where the woman had been in Africa.

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Breach in Protocol Led to New Ebola Diagnosis, Says CDC Director

Breach in Protocol Led to New Ebola Diagnosis, Says CDC Director

iStock/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- A breach in protocol resulted in a confirmed Ebola diagnosis for a female health care worker who treated Thomas Earl Duncan, the first Ebola patient in the United States, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday.The female health care worker has been interviewed by investigators and could not identify when the breach may have happened, said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.The health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has been isolated since reporting a low-grade fever Friday, said Frieden.

This is the first case of Ebola contracted in the U.S.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said the health care worker's family asked that her identity not be released, calling the worker a "heroic person."

The health care worker, who's in stable condition, had been taking her temperature twice daily under the CDC's self-monitoring regimen since treating Duncan, said Dr. Daniel Varga with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.The apartment complex where she lives was decontaminated Sunday, said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. Officials also went door-to-door in the neighborhood and distributed leaflets about the virus.A pet found inside her apartment is also being monitored, Rawlings said. Anyone who had contact with the health care worker after she began showing symptoms, including other hospital staff members involved in Duncan's care, will be monitored."We are confident that the precautions we have put in place will protect our health care workers," Varga said.ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser called the health care worker's case concerning, adding that public health officials will need to investigate how the exposure occurred.While the CDC has said that any hospital is capable of safely treating Ebola, Besser said health care workers need training and practice using protective equipment to do so successfully."I would never have gone into an Ebola ward in Africa without being dressed and decontaminated by experts," he said. "Health care workers here should expect no less."The CDC has not said if the second Ebola patient will be transferred to a specialized isolation facility, like the one at Emory University in Atlanta where two American missionaries who contracted Ebola in Liberia were treated."I would hope they are considering that," Besser said.

Varga didn't say whether the health care worker was among 48 people who may have had contact with Duncan after he began showing symptoms. Varga said she was considered "low-risk" to contract the virus.Duncan died Wednesday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where he had been isolated during his treatment. His medical records show he had a 103-degree fever when he initially went to the hospital, but was sent home with antibiotics and Tylenol.He returned to the hospital two days later when his symptoms worsened.Duncan, who hails from Liberia, had arrived in the U.S. on Sept. 20 to visit family members in Dallas.While the health care worker undergoes treatment at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the hospital will divert its emergency care services to surrounding hospitals, Varga said.

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Michigan Toddler Dies from Enterovirus

Michigan Toddler Dies from Enterovirus

iStock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- A toddler in Michigan has died from Enterovirus D-68. 

Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit says 21 month old Madeleine Reid died Friday afternoon. The hospital said in a statement, "The CDC confirmed Enterovirus D-68 after her arrival here and she subsequently succumbed to her illness."

Last week, a four-year-old New Jersey boy became the first official fatality directly caused by the virus.

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CA Health Officials Warn of Botulism Risk in Pumpkin Seed Pesto Sauce

CA Health Officials Warn of Botulism Risk in Pumpkin Seed Pesto Sauce

Hemera/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- The California Department of Public Health is warning consumers of recalled Williams-Sonoma Pumpkin Seed Pesto sauce due to a potential botulism risk. The food may have been improperly produced, officials said Friday, making it susceptible to contamination with Clostridium botulinum.Ingestion of the toxin from improperly processed jarred and canned foods can lead to serious illness and death, according to health officials. The recalled pesto sauce bears the SKU numbers 6404305 and 6389043, and is sold in Williams-Sonoma stores nationwide. Consumers who purchased any of the product is encouraged to discard the food immediately and wear gloves when handling, or wash hands with soap and running water. Symptoms of botulism include double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, and dry or sore throat.

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Viral Post Helps Teen Get Sight-Saving Surgery

Viral Post Helps Teen Get Sight-Saving Surgery

Tim Pannell/Fuse/Thinkstock(CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C.) -- A viral post on social media is being credited with helping give a North Carolina teen a chance to get surgery that might save his sight.Jonathan Dase, 15, said he's "excited" to get an operation that may give him a chance at the career he dreamed of: joining the Air Force.Jonathan, of Camp Lejeune, N.C., suffers from keratoconus, a degenerative eye disease that occurs when the collagen in the cornea starts to weaken. As the collagen weakens, the cornea starts to bulge out, causing vision problems including blurred sight and double vision.He was diagnosed just months ago after he first started to notice vision from his right eye was blurry.Jonathan's mother Billie Dase said she initially didn't think much of it."Being a teenage boy, I thought he was trying to get out of doing homework," she said.After the high school sophomore's sight problems continued for several days, Dase took Jonathan to eye doctors. He eventually was diagnosed with keratoconus.The diagnosis meant Jonathan would not be able to drive a car, play football or ever serve in any branch of the military."He looked at me that look like 'Mom, do something,'" Dase recalled after her son heard the diagnosis. "I knew there was nothing that I could do…and I started to feel myself get upset. I excused myself from the room and let out my tears."Doctors gave few options for Jonathan. One was a cornea transplant that would happen after his eyesight had deteriorated further. The operation is invasive and in rare cases can result in blindness.Another was a less invasive treatment that involved a small implant and a specialized vitamin to strengthen the collagen.Dase said that the second procedure was not going to be fully covered by insurance, so the family started working on fundraising for the surgery. Jonathan's eyesight had worsened tremendously in just a few months from perfect 20/20 vision to 20/80 vision.After three months of fundraisers, Dase said the family got "nowhere." Finally the family set up an online fundraiser page and started to post Jonathan's story on Facebook and Instagram. The wife of another military member saw the post and started tweeting them to celebrities who had been former military members.One of the respondents was former-talk show host Montel Williams. A former Marine, Williams immediately got the family in touch with Los Angeles ophthalmologist Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, who specializes in the delicate eye surgery Jonathan needs and whom Williams had interviewed for his show."I knew I had to do something and I just happened to remember having interviewed a doctor who was a leading specialist in treating Jon's condition, so I connected them," read an emailed statement from Willliams. "As a veteran, I know the sacrifices this family makes daily. In their time of need, a family that represents the best of us deserves the best care available and they found that in Dr. Boxer Wachler."After local news reports began to report on the story, Dase said money started to pour in to the online fundraising page.Boxer Wachler said he also looked into fundraising for the surgery."We had put out information to our own community and had a donor step up and donate funds for Jonathan's procedures," Boxer Wachler told ABC News.During two procedures, Dase will have a small implant put into his eye to correct the bulging cornea and have a special solution made from UV light-sensitive vitamins that will strengthen the collagen in Jonathan's eye.Since their online fundraising took off, the family now has more than enough money to cover the family's expenses to fly to Los Angeles and stay at a hotel and help with Jonathan's recovery, Dase said.Jonathan now has hope he'll be able to get to do all the things he had planned on, Dase said. She said her plan is now to work on getting the military to not exempt Jonathan solely on his diagnosis."The next process after the surgery is try to get the policy overturned," Dase said.Williams said he might be able to help the family again with that effort. He told ABC News through email he was going to contact senior military members about the policy."It's a policy in my view, that is in need of updating," Williams said.For Jonathan, the surgery is exciting because it will let him get back to the life he had before the diagnosis including "being able to drive and play football again.""It was really cool," Jonathan said of the post that will lead him to get sight-saving surgery.

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