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Thursday
Jun072018

Two gorillas at Milwaukee zoo likely died from water contaminated with E. coli, zookeepers say

Milwaukee County Zoo(MILWAUKEE) -- Two gorillas at the Milwaukee County Zoo likely died after ingesting water contaminated with E. coli, according to zookeepers.

Cassius, an adult male, died on April 12, and Naku, a 17-year-old female western lowland gorilla, died on April 29, the zoo said in a press release.

Autopsy results for the gorillas show that they died of gastrointestinal infections believed to have been caused by E. coli in their water supply, according to the zoo.

The water systems in the gorilla and bonobo areas have been disinfected, the zoo said, adding that the water supply available for consumption by the public was never affected.

Zookeepers are also using new protocols to disinfect produce, which can be another source of E. coli, according to the release.

While all animals, including gorillas and even humans, have healthy E.coli in their gut, some variants of E. coli can cause intestinal damage and disease, the zoo said.

Naku had been euthanized after veterinarians found that a portion of her intestine was no longer functioning, ABC affiliate WISN in Milwaukee reported.

Cassius and Nauku's 8-month-old baby, Zahra, is now an orphan.

Zahra's diet has consisted mainly of formula in the absence of her mother's breast milk, zookeepers wrote on Twitter. She is also eating some produce, sweet potato, red pepper, and beans, the zoo said.

Zookeepers have been wearing a T-shirt made of synthetic gorilla hair to carry Zahra on their backs, a common mode of transportation for gorilla mothers and babies.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun072018

Shot and paralyzed as toddler, 15 years later teen girl reunites with EMT who treated her

WCVB-TV(BOSTON) -- The day Kai Leigh Harriott received her high school diploma from the Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart was an emotional day.

The 18-year-old was inundated by cheers from her classmates on Thursday as she rolled her wheelchair to grab her degree. But she also got to see Boston EMS Superintendent Joseph O’Hare, the man that 15 years ago raced to save her life after she was struck by a stray bullet.

O’Hare remembers the day like it was yesterday.

"We see hundreds and hundreds of patients every day at Boston UMass [University of Boston Massachussetts] and, you know, you always carry some of those calls with you for your entire career,” O’Hare told ABC News affiliate WCVB-TV.

When Harriott was 3 years old, she was playing on the porch of her family’s house in Dorchester, Massachusetts, when a stray bullet hit her in the back, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.

At age 5, Harriott courageously took the stand to forgive Anthony Warren, the man who shot her.

"I forgive Anthony Warren. What he has done to me was wrong. But I still forgive him," Harriott said in court.

Forgiveness is something that Harriott feels strongly about.

"The message of forgiveness I shared when I was younger still holds the same message really. And I just hope that people apply it to their lives cause I still apply it to mine,” she told WCVB-TV.

The teen has fought back from her injury with perseverance and determination. Her proud mother says she has never let her disability define her as a person.

"Kai’s always had the strength, willingness, and determination to succeed," her mom, Tanya Davis told WCVB-TV.

Now, her life has come to a complete circle as she's headed to the University of Arizona for veterinarian studies. Both Harriott and her mother were brought to tears at the sight of her special guest.

“To actually see her and talk to her makes me feel really good," O’Hare said. "I hope it feels the same to her."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun072018

Georgia medical board suspends doctor accused of filming videos during surgeries

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- A Georgia doctor who has been accused by patients of recording music videos during surgeries without their consent has been suspended by the state's medical board.

According to ABC News affiliate WSB-TV, the state board said the actions of Dr. Windell Boutte, a board-certified dermatologist, were "a threat to the public health, safety and welfare."

Boutte defended the videos Thursday on HLN TV, saying they were made "under safe, controlled circumstances."

"These videos are consented and it is pre-discussed with the patients," she said. "In these instances, these were all consented videos. They were staged. They were planned."

She said that 98 percent of the videos had been shot during the postoperative period and the videos took 30 seconds to 60 seconds to tape, with her staff "monitoring everything" during the surgeries.

In multiple videos obtained by ABC News, Boutte and her staff could be seen singing and dancing as she operates on patients. The videos were posted to YouTube but have since been deleted.

As a physician in the state of Georgia, Boutte had been allowed to perform surgeries in her office-based setting.

In an interview with WSB-TV recently, Latoyah Archine identified herself as one of the patients in the videos.

"To see that video, with my flesh being cut without a straight line -- and [her] dancing while cutting me, that's horrible," Archine told WSB-TV. "I feel disrespected on a lot of levels. ... It never goes away."

Archine said she'd retained a lawyer and intended to take legal action against Boutte for the video and the results of her surgery, which she said had left her "disfigured."

Boutte is being sued by several patients who allege that their liposuctions and lifts went terribly wrong, according to WSB-TV.

"She is still getting up and going to work every day and making a great deal of money and subjecting patients, who are none the wiser, to her unsafe practices," lawyer Susan Witt told WSB-TV regarding Boutte..

According to WSB-TV, the board said in its order of suspension that "(Boutte's) continued practice of medicine ... requires emergency action."

During her HLN interview Thursday, Boutte said: "I've done the soul-searching and no, I've done nothing wrong."

ABC News affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta and WSB-TV investigative journalist Jim Strickland contributed to this story.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Jun072018

New CDC report finds rise in suicide rates in most states

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- Suicide rates increased in nearly every state in 2016 with rates increasing more than 30 percent of half of states, according to a newly released report from the Centers for Disease Control.

The CDC says that more than 45,000 Americans age 10 and older dying by suicide in 2016.

The issue has attracted additional attention this week after the death of designer Kate Spade, who was reportedly dealing with depression and anxiety.

The CDC report found that suicide rates among women have risen at an even higher rate than the overall suicide rate, with significant increases in the suicide rate among women in 43 states.

The CDC researchers found that more than half of Americans who died by suicide had not been diagnosed with a mental health condition. The report says that substance abuse, financial stress, and relationship problems or loss all contribute to suicide risk.

"Suicide is a leading cause of death for Americans and it’s a tragedy for families and communities across the country,” CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat said in a statement. "From individuals and communities to employers and healthcare professionals, everyone can play a role in efforts to help save lives and reverse this troubling rise in suicide."

The study released Thursday looked at trends in suicide rates from 1999 to 2016 and data from the National Violent Death Reporting System that includes data from 27 states.

The CDC recommends that the government, health care system, employers, schools, and community organizations treat suicide as a public health issue and provides resources on its website.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun062018

State trooper pulls over retired police officer who delivered him 27 years ago

New Jersey State Police/Facebook(PISCATAWAY, N.J.) -- A New Jersey State trooper had a serendipitous reunion with the retired police officer who delivered him as a baby 27 years ago -- by pulling him over.

Trooper Michael Patterson had stopped the motorist, Matthew Bailly, for a minor motor vehicle violation on Friday, when Bailly told him that he was a retired officer from the Piscataway Police Department, according to a statement by New Jersey State Police.

Patterson then told Bailly that he was from the same town, prompting Bailly to ask him where he used to live.

When Patterson said that he grew up on Poe Place, Bailly told him that he remembered the street well because he helped deliver a baby there 27 years ago when he was a "rookie cop," according to police.

Bailly then described the color and style of the house and told Patterson that the baby's name was Michael.

Paterson then replied, "My name is Michael Patterson, sir. Thank you for delivering me."

On Oct. 5, 1991, Bailly had been on the job for four years when he responded to a home on Poe Place, state police said. Patterson's mother, Karen Patterson, had been out shopping when she went into labor. When she returned home, Patterson's father, Bobby Patterson, rushed outside, picked her up and carried her inside the home.

Bobby Patterson then called a doctor, who talked Bailly through the birth, police said.

Both the Patterson family and the Bailly family were "ecstatic" about the fateful reunion, and Patterson and his mother visited Bailly at his home, police said.

"We’re not sure what the odds are of this happening—maybe they’re close to the odds of a hole-in-one, winning the lottery, or being struck by lightning—but it happened," New Jersey State Police wrote on Facebook.

The department wrote, "After all, as a police officer, you don't always get a chance to have a moment like this with people you once helped in your career!"

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun062018

Infant formula could change gut bacteria, contribute to childhood obesity: Study

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What an infant eats might have effects on later weight -- and it likely starts in the gut, according to a new study.

A new study shows that babies who were breast fed had different bacteria environments, or microbiomes, in their guts –- and lower obesity levels as they grew -– than babies who were primarily fed formula.

Obesity begins early, research has shown, and breastmilk is known to lower a baby’s risk of obesity as an adult.

"Breastmilk is a very specialized food –- not just for babies, but also for their gut bacteria. Breast milk contains oligosaccharides, which are complex sugars that feed specific gut bacteria," Dr. Meghan Azad, lead researcher and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics & Child Health and Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba, told ABC News.

The study looks at a theory on why this happens: That "good" bacteria in babies' digestive systems affects how they burn and store fat, as well as how they use energy.

For the study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, researchers in Canada looked at data from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development, or CHILD, focusing on the first year of life for more than 1,000 infants from four different sites.

Researchers in this study wanted to know if only breast feeding, breast feeding plus some early foods, or formula feeding alone affected the type of bacteria found in the infants' guts at two ages: 3 to 4 months and 12 months.

Mothers reported on breastfeeding and when formula and complementary food was introduced to the infant. Other factors --infant sex, birth weight, antibiotic use, maternal smoking status, race, education level, pet ownership, diet and pre-pregnancy body mass index -- were reported, and babies’ stool samples were taken at 3 to 4 months and 12 months to test for the variety of gut bacteria.

Most mothers in the study group were white and delivered vaginally, which is known to help set up babies' digestive systems, and about 40 percent were overweight or obese.

Surprisingly for a Western nation, 96 percent of mothers were breastfeeding after birth. However, at 3 months, only 54 percent of infants were solely breastfed. Another 30 percent of the babies were partially breastfed and 16 percent were fed formula alone.

Weight differences began to show between the different groups of babies at 3 months. Of the formula-fed babies, 33 percent were overweight or at risk of being overweight, while 19 percent of exclusively breastfed babies were overweight or at risk.

The differences are likely connected to what's happening in the gut, researchers said.

Gut microbes, especially in infants and children, help develop the digestive tract and immune system. These "new friends" to the growing infant are affected by the type of delivery, either vaginal or Cesarean, whether the baby or mother gets antibiotics and, most importantly, what the baby is fed and when solid foods are introduced.

These microbes can "train the immune system to prevent allergies," the researchers said. "They also help us digest and extract energy from food, which can influence weight gain."

For infants, changes begin in the gut each time foods are introduced. The first happens in breastfeeding, which adds a helpful bacteria called Bifidobacterium into the infant’s gut that helps digest complex sugars called oligosaccharides. The second change happens when solid foods are introduced and the baby is weaned, which creates a more adult complex of microbes, usually adding Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Those changes continue until the child reaches about age 4.

A more adult complex of microbes at an earlier age is not beneficial to babies in terms of weight -- and that's what the study showed. At age 3 to 4 months, babies who were fed formula showed the most adult-like diversity of microbes, partially breastfed babies had lower diversity of microbes and exclusively breastfed babies had the lowest mix of adult-like microbes.

The helpful bacteria continued to be more prevalent at 12 months for babies who were breastfed. Bifidobacteriaceae, Veillonellaceae and Proteobacteria were thriving in infants who were still breastfeeding and low in those who had never been breastfed at 12 months.

The study also showed that mothers don't have to be "perfect" and always exclusively breastfeed. Many of the babies who were breastfed -- 31 percent -- were given some formula as infants. This brief addition of formula caused a decrease in the amount of Bifidobacteriaceae, at 3 to 4 months, but did not increase the babies' chances of being overweight at 12 months, if they continued to be breastfed.

The research emphasizes that breastmilk has "many important bioactive components that influence appetite and weight gain, including growth factors and hormones, which are not present in infant formulas."

Formula feeding appears to cause changes to the gut microbes, according to the study, which can cause a baby to be overweight, whereas introducing other complementary foods with solids does not.

It isn't just the formula itself that can lead to possible childhood obesity, Azad notes, it could also be the difference in the feeding process for fomula versus breastfeeding.

"Maternal-infant bonding, which may be reduced with bottle feeding, and self-regulation, which may not be optimal in formula fed babies who do not learn to stop eating when they are full," could also contribute to the weight gain, she said.

Early infancy remains an important period for developing the gut -- and feeding choices and methods may have effects on weight later in life.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun062018

Texas man recovering after he was bitten by rattlesnake he had just decapitated

iStock/Thinkstock(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) -- A Texas man is recovering after he was bitten in the hand by a rattlesnake he had just decapitated, ABC Corpus Christi affiliate KIII-TV reported.

Jennifer Sutcliffe and her husband were doing yard work at their Corpus Christi home on May 27 when she spotted a 4-foot rattlesnake lurking nearby, she told the station.

Sutcliffe's husband grabbed a shovel and severed the snake's head. When he went to pick up the head to dispose of it, he was bitten.

The snake released all of its venom into Sutcliffe's husband, causing him to immediately experience seizures, loss of vision and internal bleeding. Photos from the incident show that his hand swelled up considerably and was covered in dark purple bruises.

Sutcliffe said the first 24 hours after the bite were the worst.

Doctors initially told Sutcliffe that her husband may not make it despite the large amounts of anti-venom they were giving him. A snake bite victim is usually administered two to four doses of the expensive antidote but Sutcliffe's husband was given a whopping 26 doses, she said.

Sutcliffe's husband is now in stable condition but is still experiencing weak kidney function, she said.

Snake heads have the capability of biting and injecting venom because some reflexive motion still remains even after they've been separated from the body, according to National Geographic.

Dying from a snake bite is rare, Michael Halpert, a trauma surgeon in Corpus Christi, told KIII.

"There are about 6,000 to 8,000 snake bites per year in the country, and 10 to 12 people die," he said.

Halpert warned people not to suck the venom out themselves.

"You just want to keep the victim calm, keep the bitten area above the level of the heart slightly, and get the patient to the nearest emergency room," he said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun062018

'Look before you lock': Officials warn parents after 9 kids die from being left in hot cars

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- At least nine children across the U.S. have already died this year after they were left in hot cars -- and summer hasn't even started yet, according to a new report published by the National Safety Council Wednesday. Officials are concerned that as temperatures continue to climb, so could the death toll.

"Our children are our most vulnerable passengers and we cannot leave them alone in vehicles –- not even for a minute,” said Amy Artuso, the group's senior program manager of advocacy. “This report should serve as a wake-up call to look before we lock."

Children's bodies heat up much faster than adults' do, and on average, 37 children die from being left in hot cars each year, according to the National Safety Council.

Children's internal organs begin to shut down once their core body temperature reaches 104 degrees -- and it takes very little time for a car to get too hot for children, according to the report.

On an 86-degree day, for example, it would take only about 10 minutes for the inside of a car to reach a dangerous 105 degrees, researchers said.

Earlier this week, 9-month-old Maria Solorio died after she was left in a pickup truck near Houston on a day when the temperature reached 91 degrees.

"Each parent said they wrongly assumed that the other" took the baby girl out of the car, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

"I hate this," Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted. "These deaths are preventable."

No charges have been filed at this point in the Solorio case, the sheriff's office said Wednesday.

But it's a story that is all too common.

In May, 1-year-old Katera Barker died in East Nashville after police say her father unintentionally left her in a car seat in the back of a pickup truck all day. The temperature reached 89 degrees in Nashville that day.

No charges were filed, Nashville police said.

Only 21 states and Guam have laws in place to protect children being left unattended in cars, and of those, eight allow felony charges for those who purposely leave a child.

Of the 408 deaths analyzed by the National Safety Council since 2007, 68 deaths resulted in no charges filed, the report said.

Seventy-one cases led to jail time and in 52 cases, the adult received a plea deal or probation, the report found.

The legal outcome wasn't known in nearly 30 percent of the cases the National Safety Council reviewed, according to the report. That underscores the need for better data collection nationwide and more consistent legislation around the issue, the council said.

"We need better laws, education and enforcement if we are going to end these preventable deaths," Artuso added.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun062018

Non-drinkers as likely as heavy drinkers to miss more days of work, study says

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The old adage "everything in moderation" looks like it applies to the balance between drinking and work, too.

A new study showed that people with more extreme drinking habits, on either end of the spectrum, are more likely to call in sick to work. While people who said they drank moderately did not have as many sick days.

"Drinking in moderation seems not to be associated with sickness absence," lead study author Dr. Jenni Ervasti, a specialized researcher at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health told ABC News.

The study, published in the journal Addiction, is based on a wide-ranging survey on drinking across three countries in Europe, as well as employment registries on sick days.

More than 47,500 people responded to the survey, taken at two different points of time in Finland, France and the United Kingdom, that asked about alcohol use and the number of sick days reported over the course of four to seven years.

Based on their responses, they were classified into five categories ranging from people who said they didn't drink at all to those who drank moderately to those who drank heavily either in the first survey, the second or both.

Women classified as moderate drinkers had between one and 11 servings of alcohol per week and men who drank moderately had between one and 34 servings, based on European and U.K. sizes.

Heavy drinkers said they consumed more than 11 servings for women or 34 servings for men.

Absences from work came from reports in national and employer registries.

Those most likely to be absent from work for the most amount of days? The two extremes: abstainers and the higher-volume drinkers referred to as "at-risk."

Women and men who reported no alcohol use in either survey had a higher risk of "sickness absence" due to mental disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, diseases of the digestive system, and diseases of the respiratory system, even when compared to women who drink less than 11 drinks per week and men who drink less than 34 per week.

That means abstainers were at higher risk of absence than low-risk drinkers. However, some people may not drink alcohol because they have other medical conditions or take medications that preclude alcohol use.

High-volume "at-risk" drinkers in the study were also at increased risk of absence due to injury or poisoning -- which makes sense because higher alcohol intake is associated with increased risk of injury.

Ervasti said the study was surprising because the reasons non-drinkers and heavy drinkers missed the most work were different and the "U-shaped association" between the two groups that were most likely to miss work hadn't been shown in previous studies.

The study is limited in some ways, including the fact that it was conducted in Europe where lifestyle and drinking habits may be different than other places. Additionally, the information on drinking habits was self-reported.

A word of caution: Alcohol abuse and heavy consumption is still associated with many long-term medical conditions.

These results, Ervasti said, can be help employers to intervene "when observing multiple absences due to external causes [like injury or poison]."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun052018

Georgia doctor under fire for allegedly filming music videos in the operating room

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- A doctor in Georgia is facing backlash from patients who have accused her of using their bodies as props without their permission as she recorded music videos in the operating room.

"To see that video, with my flesh being cut without a straight line -- and [her] dancing while cutting me, that's horrible," Latoyah Archine told ABC News affiliate WSB-TV.

In multiple videos obtained by ABC News, Dr. Windell Boutte, a board-certified dermatologist, and her staff could be seen singing and dancing as she operates on patients as music played in the background. The videos were posted to YouTube but have since been deleted.

As a physician in the state of Georgia, Boutte is allowed to perform surgeries, even in her office-based setting.

According to WSB-TV, Archine identified herself as one of the patients in the videos.

Archine said that she's retained Susan Witt as her lawyer and is planning to take legal action against Boutte for the video and the results of her surgery. Witt is representing several other patients against Boutte.

"I feel disrespected on a lot of levels," said Archine, who also said her body was "disfigured" after the surgery.

"Every day, I think about it 'cause I have to take a bath and put on clothes," she said. "It never goes away."

Boutte continues to treat patients.

WSB-TV had been investigating the story for months and said Boutte is being sued by several patients who said liposuctions and lifts went terribly wrong.

"She is still getting up and going to work every day and making a great deal of money and subjecting patients, who are none the wiser, to her unsafe practices," Witt told WSB-TV regarding Boutte..

ABC News reached out to Boutte's personal attorney as well as her lawyer. Neither responded.

ABC News affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta and WSB-TV investigative journalist Jim Strickland contributed to this story.

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