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HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Monday
Feb232015

Everybody's Got Someone for Them...or Even Two

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Love means many different things to many different people.

Still, when Häagen-Dazs and The School of Life, which teaches students to live wisely and well, asked 2,000 British adults about their most intimate feelings, a majority of men said they had been in love with more than one person.

Only 45 percent of women made the same claim.

Meanwhile, 39 percent of men admitted to having one love of their life while 47 percent of women said they never loved more than one other.

Most people -- three out of four -- believe in the concept of one true love but a majority don't think it'll happen via the social networking site Tinder.

As for when a relationship really becomes a relationship, a third said when you meet your lover's family members, one in five says when the words "I love you" are spoken and three percent claims a relationship is born during sex.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Feb222015

Air Pollution Decreasing Life Span in India, Study Says

gnomeandi/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Researchers say that lowering air pollution would increase the expected life span in India.

The Indian people, the researchers note, are exposed to "dangerously high levels of air pollution." The study, published in Economic & Political Weekly, estimates that over 660 million people in India live in areas that exceed the country's standard for particulate pollution, and that the pollution decreases their life expectancy by an average of 3.2 years.

"Too many Indians are exposed to dangerous levels of pollution that are shortening lives and holding back the Indian economy," the study concludes.

Last year, a World Health Organization study found that 13 of the world's most polluted cities are in India, says the New York Times.

The researchers who conducted the study recommended that India improve its monitoring of air quality, put in place civil penalties for polluters and adopt a system for pollution rights.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Feb212015

CDC: Newly Identified Virus Linked to Kansas Man's Death

Credit: James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a new virus may have been responsible for the death of a Kansas man last year.

In an article posted online ahead of print, the CDC says the patient was previously healthy and sought medical care in the late spring. He reported a history of tick bite, fever and fatigue, and though he was prescribed medication, his condition did not improve. Eleven days after the onset of illness, the CDC says the patient died of cardiopulmonary arrest.

Initial tests done to identify tickborne pathogens were negative, but later tests showed the presence of another virus that the CDC believes is "a novel member of the genus Thogotovirus."

Diseases in the Thogotovirus family are primarily associated with ticks.

The CDC says there have been seven cases of human infection with viruses in the Thogotovirus category.

The virus has been named the Bourbon virus, for the county in which the Kansas patient lived.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Feb212015

Study: YouTube Videos Featuring Alcohol Consumption Don't Tell the Whole Story

Digital Vision/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that YouTube videos related to alcohol intake are often shown to be funny, raising questions as to whether viral videos could be harmful.

Researchers analyzed 70 of the most popular videos that depict consumption of alcohol. The videos totalled over 300 million views, according to the study, published in the journal Alcoholism. Of those videos, 89 percent showed men partaking in alcohol consumption, compared to just 49 percent showing women.

The study noted that liquor was most commonly seen in the videos analyzed, followed by beer, with wine and champagne the leaast frequently depicted drinks. Further, 79 percent of videos included humor and 44 percent contained brand references.

As a whole, the videos received far more "likes" than "dislikes" on YouTube.

Researchers say that the videos, which are heavily viewed, infrequently depict the negative outcomes of drinking. The study does not, however, link viewership of these videos with any particular affect on actual alcohol consumption.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Feb202015

Scope Manufacturer Comments on LA 'Superbug' 

MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The company that manufactures the endoscopes that were implicated in the spread of a "superbug" at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center said Friday that it is "committed to developing solutions...that help improve clinical outcomes and enhance quality of life" for patients.

Seven patients have been infected with the "superbug" known as carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE), and 179 more were exposed, officials say.  According to Olympus Corporation of the Americas, their products "[require] careful attention to cleaning and reprocessing steps, including meticulous manual cleaning, to ensure effective reprocessing."

The company added on Friday that it was making supplemental educational materials available to healthcare professionals to prevent the spread of CRE. Olympus says it "is monitoring this issue closely including today's Safety Communication from the US Food and Drug Administration" and that it will continue "working with the FDA, relevant medical societies and our customers regarding these concerns."


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Feb202015

Does Crossing Your Legs Cause Varicose Veins?

Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- You may have heard at some point that crossing one’s legs causes varicose veins. But is that fact or fiction?

Dr. Debbie Yi, emergency medicine at UPenn Hospital, says fiction.

“It’s never been shown that crossing your legs causes varicose veins,” states Yi.

She goes on to explain that it’s been shown to have different causes for men and women: “What does cause varicose veins in men is smoking and low physical activity. In women, it’s lack of exercise, high blood pressure, and obesity.”

Yi also mentions a study showing that women who stay on their feet all day and pregnant women show higher instances of varicose veins.

So cross your legs with no worries -- there are other health factors to consider if you want to reduce your chances of getting varicose veins.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Feb202015

Health Officials Release Lists of Potential Measles Exposure Sites

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two outbreaks of the measles virus that have infected at least 141 people have led state and local health departments to release lists of the sites where residents might have been exposed to the virus in the hopes of curbing the outbreak.

In California, the San Bernardino County Health Department's list reveals how staples of the community, such as grocery stores or a Walmart, could be sites of potential infections and not just hospitals or schools with low vaccination rates.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the range of potential infectious sites shows how important it is that every eligible person gets the measles vaccine.

The virus "can be in a house of worship, it can be at a theme park. It can really be anywhere,” said Schaffner. “There doesn’t have to be close contact through the measles source and the susceptible person,” to get infected.

In San Bernardino, where nine people measles cases have been reported, the health department list reflects a variety of places where people could have been exposed to the measles virus, from Walmart to Target to a local sushi restaurant and chocolate store.

A Walmart spokesman told ABC News that company officials "take the safety of our customers and associates very seriously" and had instructed their associates, who were working when an infected person visited the store, to adhere to the health department's guidance.

A Target spokesman told ABC News that the company has posted a notice in the store and were working with local health officials.

The measles virus is among the most contagious viruses identified and can be transmitted four days before an infected person shows symptoms. By simply exhaling, an infected person can leave virus particles in the air that can infect anyone who does not have immunity.


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Friday
Feb202015

California 'Superbug' Victim's Three-Month ICU Ordeal

Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- An 18-year-old is among the seven California hospital patients to come down with a deadly drug-resistant "superbug," and he's spent most of the last three months in the intensive care unit, his lawyer told ABC News.

"His prognosis at this time is guarded but optimistic," said Pete Kaufman, an attorney for the teen's family.

The teen already had an acute illness when he underwent an endoscopy procedure at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in December 2014, Kaufman said.

"Shortly after the procedure, he became gravely ill, and it was determined by the physicians at UCLA that he had contracted the CRE infection," Kaufman said.

The teen was an inpatient at the hospital for more than two months and spent a "significant amount of that time" in the ICU, Kaufman said. He was released, but returned to the hospital for another endoscopy procedure in January, causing him to become re-infected with CRE. He is still an inpatient at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, the lawyer said.

"It's the scope, the procedure that is now thought to have caused him to get the CRE infection," Kaufman said, adding that the teen's illness started with a fever and progressively got worse until he was "gravely, gravely ill."

Seven people have become infected with the drug-resistant "superbug" known as CRE at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after undergoing endoscopy procedures, and CRE may have played a role in two of its patients' deaths, hospital officials said Wednesday afternoon, adding that 179 people were exposed to the germ.

The scopes were new and had only been in use since June, said Dr. Zachary Rubin, medical director of clinical epidemiology and infection prevention at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

"There are several manufacturers for these scopes," said Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, deputy chief of the acute communicable disease control program, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. "Because of the complexity of these scopes, which is necessary for the life-saving procedures for these scopes, they are very, very difficult to clean. The manufacturer recommendations were followed by UCLA."

Kaufman, who has not yet filed any lawsuits on behalf of the victims, told ABC News that the focus of his case is the endoscope manufacturer, Olympus. An initial search did not reveal any existing legal cases against Olympus Corporation that are related to its endoscopes.


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Friday
Feb202015

Scopes Faulted for Hospital 'Superbug' Outbreak Were New, Cleaned Properly, Officials Say, FDA Offers Recommendations

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A California hospital apologized Thursday to patients who became infected with an antibiotic-resistant bug, and said it has identified the source of the infections: two contaminated endoscopes that were cleaned according to manufacturer instructions but retained the bug anyway.

Seven people have become infected with the drug-resistant "superbug" known as CRE at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after undergoing endoscopy procedures, and CRE may have played a role in two of its patients' deaths, the hospital said Wednesday afternoon, adding that 179 people were exposed to the germ.

The scopes were new and had only been in use since June, said Dr. Zachary Rubin, medical director of clinical epidemiology and infection prevention at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

"There are several manufacturers for these scopes," said Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, deputy chief of the acute communicable disease control program, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. "Because of the complexity of these scopes, which is necessary for the life-saving procedures for these scopes, they are very, very difficult to clean. The manufacturer recommendations were followed by UCLA."

The first case occurred in mid-December when a patient became ill after undergoing endoscopy to examine his or her gallbladder, the hospital has learned.

"The patient developed almost immediately an infection afterwards with unusual bacteria that was resistant to strains of normally active antibiotics," Rubin said, explaining that it took time to trace the cases back to this original patient.

The hospital has now taken all of its scopes out of use, and has implemented additional cleaning protocols beyond manufacturer recommendations. It has emailed and called all patients who underwent endoscopy from Oct. 23 through Jan. 28, officials said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday released a safety alert about duodenoscopes, the devices involved in the CRE outbreak in Los Angeles.

The alert aims to "raise awareness among health care professionals...that the complex design of ERCP endoscopes may impede effective reprocessing." The administration defines reprocessing as "a detailed, multistep process to clean and disinfect or sterilize reusable devices."

Even when done meticulously, however, the FDA is concerned that the process "may not entirely eliminate" the risk of transmitting infection.

The FDA also offered recommendations for reprocessing, including urging healthcare professionals to follow manufacturer instructions, report problems to the manufacturer, and adhering to best practices including the implementation of a comprehensive quality control program.


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Friday
Feb202015

Renowned Neurologist Oliver Sacks Announces He Has Terminal Cancer

Thos Robinson/Getty Images for World Science Festival(NEW YORK) -- Renowned neurologist and author of Awakenings Oliver Sacks announced Thursday that he has terminal cancer.

Sacks, a professor of neurology at New York University School of Medicine, said in a New York Times article that cancer had been found in his liver nine years after he was first diagnosed with a rare ocular tumor.

The doctor wrote that the initial treatment for the tumor in his eye left him partially blind and noted that most tumors of this kind do not metastasize.

"I am among the unlucky 2 percent," he wrote for the New York Times. "I feel grateful that I have been granted nine years of good health and productivity since the original diagnosis, but now I am face to face with dying."

Sacks, 81, is best known for his writing on neurological case histories including "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" and an "An Anthropologist on Mars." His book Awakenings, based on his work in the 1960s with patients who were unable to initiate movement, was turned into an Oscar-nominated movie of the same name starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro.

Sacks, whose biography will be released this spring, wrote that he feels "intensely alive" after his diagnosis.

"Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts," he wrote. "This does not mean I am finished with life."

While the famed doctor plans to give up following "politics or arguments about global warming," he said he feels the world is being left in good hands.

"I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude," he wrote. "Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure."


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