Study: Ebola Vaccine Tested in Guinea Proves to Be 100% Effective

iStock/Thinkstock(GENEVA) -- Researchers may have found a vaccine for the deadly Ebola virus.

A new study conducted on Ebola-affected communities in the African country of Guinea has proved to be 100 percent effective in stopping the spread of the virus.

Doctors used what they call a "ring vaccination" strategy, vaccinating the friends, family, neighbors and coworkers of almost 100 Ebola patients.

"The data so far shows that none of the 2,014 persons vaccinated developed Ebola virus disease after 10 days after vaccination," Ebola Assistant Director-General Marie-Paule Kieny, head of the Ebola R&D at the World Health Organization, said.

Researchers are now going to expand the trial to include children as well.

"By continuing the trial with this modification, with doing all the vaccinations immediately and also including younger people, we will be able to assist the Ebola response team, bringing Ebola transmission to zero in Guinea," Kieny said.

ABC US News | World News

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Record Heat: How the Body Reacts to Soaring Temperatures

Tomwang112/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) -- Officials in both Iran and Iraq declared a mandatory holiday this month after temperatures soared far into the triple digits.

In Iraq, temperatures reached a sweltering 126 degrees and officials declared a mandatory holiday to try and protect people from succumbing to the heat. In Iran, the country faced possible record-breaking temperatures and high humidity that will leave residents feeling they are in temperatures as high as 151.2 degrees Fahrenheit, or 66.2 degrees Celsius.

The hottest temperature ever recorded was 56.7 degrees Celsius in Death Valley, but that did not account for humidity.

Such severe temperatures can be incredibly taxing on the body with people more at risk for serious complications including heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

While the old and young are most susceptible to scorching temperatures, such severe heat can be dangerous to anyone spending time out doors.

We asked experts to explain how heat affects the body.

Heat exhaustion is a precursor to heat stroke and can be a sign to get indoors and cooled down fast. While it may seem easy to figure out if someone is getting overheated, experts say that's not always the case. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a list of key symptoms for both heat exhaustion and heat stroke that is included below.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

    Heavy sweating

  •     Weakness
  •     Clammy skin
  •     Fainting
  •     Fast, weak pulse
  •     nausea/vomiting

Heat stroke symptoms can include:

  •     Disorientation
  •     Body temperature above 103-104
  •     Fast, strong pulse.
  •     Hot, red dry or moist skin
  •     Unconsciousness

Dr. Edmundo Mandac, director of the Emergency Medicine Clinical Operations, University Hospital Case Medical Center, said that it can be especially difficult to tell if older people are overheating because their body can lose the ability to react to extreme heat.

"They’re in a hot environment and there temperature awareness is not very good," said Mandac. "They don’t have warning signs of sweating."

He said people are usually determined to reach heat stroke if their body temperature reaches about 104 degrees Fahrenheit, but that for older people it may be lower. He explained that as the body has multiple ways of trying to lower the internal temperature.

"The interesting thing is the body has to release the heat somehow, the blood vessels dilate and open up and allow more blood to flow through," said Mandac. "The body thinks it can dissipate the heat…[but]their blood pressure drops."

As a result people can be more at risk for fainting with extreme heat. Heat exhaustion is also just a precursor to heat stroke, a potentially deadly complication as the body's temperature rises.
Mandac explained that heat stroke can be so bad that the body will just stop sweating.

"Things start clamping down [you're] losing fluids and your body says 'I don’t have enough fluids in my central system,'" said Mandac. He explained at this point the patient could be in a dire condition because the body has lost the ability to regulate the internal temperature.

Without any fluids to cool the body, Mandac said this is where things get "bad."

"It...can cause heart failure and cause kidneys to fail and when that happens basically those are the major systems," said Mandac, explaining the fatal risk of heat stroke. He said treatment includes putting icepacks in the underarms, neck and groin to lower the body temperature. In rare cases fluid is pumped into the stomach to lower internal temperature even faster.

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'Skinny' the Fat Cat Reveals 22-Pound Weight Loss

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Skinny, as he is now appropriately called, was found abandoned in a Dallas suburb back in 2012. The cat weighed a whopping 41-pounds and had a hard time walking more than five steps.

But all that changed when he was adopted by veterinarian Dr. Brittney Barton, of HEAL Veterinary Hospital, in 2013.

Barton started Skinny on a workout regimen including sit ups, underwater treadmill walking and playtime.

But when it came to walking on land, the feline still needed a bit of extra encouragement. In the beginning, the vet would place treats on the treadmill as inspiration to get moving, but Skinny has now learned to hop on the treadmill with the simple sound of treats shaking around.

“The secret is basically the same secret for all of us,” Barton explained of Skinny’s 22-pound weight loss on ABC News' Good Morning America Friday. “It’s about calorie intake and calories burned. It’s not just about the diets that we used, but trying to figure out ways to get them moving.”

Barton recommends giving pets “green beans and blueberries in lieu of the commercialized [foods].”

Most importantly, she adds, “Try not to love them with food but try to love them with your attention and your time.”

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Is Social Media Making Teens Sad?

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Generation Z is notorious for being glued to their phones and spending countless hours on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. And, according to a new study, all that time spent on social media may be making them unhappy.

Research conducted by the Ottawa Public Health agency, and published in the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking journal, finds that teens who spend more than two hours on social media each day are more likely to suffer from mental health problems, psychological distress and suicidal thoughts.

Data was pulled from a sample of 750 teens in grades 7-12, collected for the 2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey. Of that sample, about 25 percent of students said they spend more than two hours daily on social media, and those students were more likely to report poor mental health.

These results do not prove causality, but researchers suspect that the relationships between social media use and mental health occur in both ways. Teens with mental health issues may turn to social media for connection, while using social media frequently may lead to mental health issues over time.

"It could be that teens with mental health problems are seeking out interactions as they are feeling isolated and alone," lead author Dr. Hugues Sampasa-Kanyinga tells The Huffington Post in an email. "Or they would like to satisfy unmet needs for face-to-face mental health support."

Still, the issue is complex, says Sampasa-Kanyinga, and looking only at social media use is not sufficient to explain the cause of mental health issues.

Think it’s time for teens to stop tapping their thumbs? Dr. Brenda K. Wiederhold of the Interactive Media Institute in San Diego says not necessarily.

"We see social networking sites, which may be a problem for some, also being a solution," says Wiederhold in a statement, reacting to the study's findings. "Since teens are on the sites, it is the perfect place for public health and service providers to reach out and connect with this vulnerable population and provide health promotion systems and supports."

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Your Body: Are You Caring for Your Lips the Way You Should?

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

You use them every day for some of the most important things you do, and if you’re not careful, they might be silently suffering.

We’re talking lips, ladies, and things you should be doing to look out for their well-being.

If your lips are dry, that's a sign that you’re not getting enough water, so drink up and stay hydrated.

And with dry lips, be smart when scraping off that dead skin. Coat it with a moisturizer first, and then lightly scratch off the extra skin.

Speaking of moisture, natural oils like coconut oil are great for keeping your lips well hydrated.

And lastly, use that lip balm. Try to find one with an SPF of 15 or 30 because your lips definitely need sunscreen too.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Outbreak of Legionnaire's Disease Sickens 46 in NYC

BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — An outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease has infected at least 46 in New York City and health officials said the bacteria has already been found in cooling units on top of at least two buildings.

Two patients with Legionnaire's disease died during the outbreak, but officials stressed that the two patients, a man and woman in their 50s, had other conditions including lung and heart issues.

Caused by a bacteria called Legionella, the infection causes a type of pneumonia that can be damaging or even fatal for those with compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions. It’s contracted when a person inhales small droplets of air or water with the bacteria and can be spread from contaminated hot tubs, fountains, cooling units for air conditioners and large plumbing systems.

Dr. Mary Basset, commissioner of the New York City Health Department, said the bacteria which causes the disease has been found in two cooling towers in the Bronx, one in a hospital and one in a commercial buildings.

She stressed that the units did not lead to infections inside the buildings and explained that as the cooling towers release mist, it falls onto the street and can potentially infect those passing by.

“It thrives in water and in summer we have a better atmosphere for it,” explained Basset. “We are looking into ways to keep a better eye on the maintenance of these cooling towers.”

She said the reported cases were spread out in a large area so investigators were still searching for other sources of infection.

“We are conducting a swift investigation to determine the source of the outbreak and prevent future cases. I urge anyone with symptoms to seek medical attention right away,” Bassett said in an earlier statement.

Symptoms of Legionnaire’s disease include coughing, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle aches or headaches.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said that 46 infections constitute a large outbreak for Legionnaire’s disease and that health officials will likely look for a common source if people are in the same neighborhood.

“If they are clustered geographically … Where do they travel, where do they work, where do they worship?,” Schaffner said of the kinds of questions health officials will ask patients. “By localizing it geographically you can look up and see if you can find cooling towers that might be contaminated.”

While the outbreak is worrying, Schaffner said people should not panic since the disease cannot be spread person to person and antibiotic treatment is available.

The disease was named after it infected numerous people at a conference of the American Legion in 1976. The bacteria leads to the hospitalization of around 8,000 to 18,000 people in the U.S. every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it is more commonly reported in the summer and early fall.

ABC US News | World News

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NIH Says Study Showed Electrical Stimulation Could Allow Paralyzed Patients to Move Legs

Photo by Mark Wilson/Newsmakers(NEW YORK) -- The National Institutes of Health reported successful use of non-invasive electrical stimulation treatment for paralysis on Thursday, citing the ability of five paralyzed patients to move their legs.

The study involved use of electrical stimulation to the spinal cord for five men with complete motor paralysis. The number of patients who have achieved mobility while receiving the stimulation is now at nine, the NIH says.

The men had their legs hung from the ceiling in braces, allowing them to move freely without gravitational resistance. The NIH notes that such movement is not comparable to walking, but represents "significant progress towards the eventual goal of developing a therapy for a wide range of individuals with spinal cord injury."

"These encouraging results provide continued evidence that spinal cord injury may no longer mean a life-long sentence of paralysis," said Roderic Pettigrew, director for the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at NIH.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


How MMA Fighter Ronda Rousey Got Over Her Body Issues

Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Ronda Rousey recently posed in Sports Illustrated for its swimsuit issue. Instead of dropping weight like most do before stripping down and putting on a bikini, the champion MMA fighter decided to pack on a few pounds.

"I felt like I was much too small for a magazine that is supposed to be celebrating the epitome of a woman," she told "I wanted to be at my most feminine shape, and I don't feel my most attractive at 135 pounds, which is the weight I fight at. At 150 pounds, I feel like I'm at my healthiest and my strongest and my most beautiful."

Rousey, 28, said that being an athlete growing up, she felt "my body type was uncommon, it was a bad thing."

"Now that I'm older, I've really begun to realize that I'm really proud that my body has developed for a purpose and not just to be looked at," she added. "But to be honest, it took a lot of time to develop a healthier relationship with food and with my weight. My mind was backward. I thought I wanted my body to look a certain way so I could be happy."

Rousey said her fighting weight is only maintained for that purpose and for weigh-ins.

"Afterward, I maintain a weight where I'm not starving or feeling weak, which makes me happier," she said.

What's the fighter-turned-actress afraid of?

"Failure. I'm scared of failure so much more than any of the other girls I compete against that I work so much harder than they possibly could. I'm totally down with spiders and frogs and heights and snakes — everything, I'm cool with it. But I have such a huge fear of failure that I go to bed every night thinking about all the possible ways that I can succeed," she said.

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Gatwick Airport Introduces Meals to Make Fliers Happier

Loop Images/UIG via Getty Images(LONDON) — Arriving at the airport isn't usually an experience travelers equate with a positive mood.

But fliers traveling from London's Gatwick Airport will find mood-boosting food available, designed specifically to make fliers happier before boarding.

The airport teamed up with nutritionist Jo Travers to become the first airport in the world to introduce a happiness guide on restaurant menus. Designed to help travelers have a "happy holiday from the moment they arrive at the airport," a spokesperson told ABC News, Gatwick has identified roughly two dishes at eight restaurants that boost serotonin.

“Happiness is a complex thing, but there are certain foods you can eat that will help the ‘happy’ chemicals in your brain to keep flowing," said Travers "Two key players are the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, along with amino acids tryptophan and theanine which can contribute to the creation of serotonin which is known to most as 'happy hormones.' Low levels of these chemicals can cause fatigue in addition to lowering existing levels of serotonin. Similarly, a deficiency of Omega 3, can lead to fatigue and mood swings."

Happy dishes will be identified by yellow happy face emoji icons on the menu.

For travelers not passing through Gatwick, Travers shared food that make people happy.

Top 10 ingredients that can make you happy:

1. Salmon

2. Tuna

3. Bananas

4. Oats

5. Citrus fruit

6. Spinach & Kale

7. Sesame seeds

8. Green tea

9. Chickpeas

10. Soy and soy products like miso

“People often don’t realise how much of an impact what they eat can have on their mood," said Travers, which can be particularly important if you’re about to take a long flight.”

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Body Cameras: Experts Weigh In on How They Could Affect Police Officers

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Body camera footage made headlines again this week after Officer Ray Tensing was indicited for murder after he allegedly shot a man in the head during a traffic stop.

At a news conference, prosecutor Joseph Deters said the footage was "shocking" and cited it as a key component in the evidence that lead a grand jury to indict tensing.

While Tensing's case shows how body cameras can shed light on an incident, experts say how the cameras will affect officers and police departments on a large scale remains largely unknown.

Michael Broder, a therapist who worked with the Philadelphia police department for five years providing psychological counseling, said the big question among experts is if the body cameras will make police afraid to act or if they will just not act inappropriately.

“Some cops are going to welcome it and some cops who are not going to [care] and there other cops who are going to make a decision, ‘I’m not going to take any chances for losing my job,’... or go to jail,” for a single action, said Broder. “The independent variable there is the rise in crime statistics or whether that it rises at all.”

There are not many studies on the effects of body cameras, but one important one found that use of force and complaints against police went down after the technology was introduced in a small California town. In the 2014 study, researchers from the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology studied police officers in the town of Rialto, California who had been given body cameras.

“Knowledge that events are being recorded creates ‘self-awareness’ in all participants during police interactions,” said University of Cambridge officials in a statement on the study. “ This is the critical component that turns body-worn video into a ‘preventative treatment.’”

They said the camera may cause individuals to modify their behavior in response to a “third-party” surveillance related to the camera. They compared the camera to a proxy for a “legal courts — as well as courts of public opinion” that lead officers to be more cautious.

"An officer is obliged to issue a warning from the start that an encounter is being filmed," explained study author Barak Ariel in a statement. "Impacting the psyche of all involved by conveying a straightforward, pragmatic message: we are all being watched, videotaped and expected to follow the rules."

According to the study, complaints against officers in the area dropped from 0.7 to 0.07 per 1,000 contacts in that year-long study.

Another study looked at how surveillance cameras can increase accountability among bystanders in an emergency. The “bystander effect” has been used by social scientists to explain why people are less likely to help when they’re in a group than when they’re alone.

In part researchers have found that people may be less likely to help when they think someone else can take on those duties. However, in the 2012 study researchers found by adding a camera, participants had more “public self-awareness” and as a result were more likely to act and help.

David Silber, a professor of psychology emeritus at George Washington University and expert in the psychology of crime and violence, said more study was needed to understand how body cameras will affect police but he suspects they aren’t going anywhere soon.

“I have a feeling whatever the influence of body cameras are now they will tend to grow as it becomes known they are pretty reliable records and subject to some interpretation of course,” said Silber.

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