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Ashoka Mukpo Says He Owes Hospital a 'Debt He Can Never Repay'

Ashoka Mukpo(OMAHA, Neb.) — Ashoka Mukpo, the free­lance Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist who caught Ebola and was dis­charged from Nebraska Med­ical Cen­ter on Wednes­day, said he owes the hos­pi­tal staff “a debt he can never repay.”

Mukpo, 33, a cam­era­man cov­er­ing the Ebola out­break in West Africa for NBC News, Vice and oth­ers, con­tracted the deadly virus. He was flown to Nebraska Med­ical Cen­ter for treat­ment in its iso­la­tion unit on Oct. 6.

After end weeks where it was unclear whether I would sur­vive, I’m walk­ing out of the hos­pi­tal on my own power, free from Ebola,” Mukpo wrote in a state­ment read at a news con­fer­ence at the hos­pi­tal Wednesday.

He took to social media through­out his treat­ment, tweet­ing Tues­day night that he tested neg­a­tive for Ebola three times over three days.

Just got my results. 3 con­sec­u­tive days neg­a­tive. Ebola free and feel­ing so blessed. I fought and won, with lots of help. Amaz­ing feeling

— ashoka (@unkyoka) Octo­ber 21, 2014

 Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

People with Kids Laugh, Smile and Are Stressed

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — What’s the mat­ter with kids today? Not a lot, accord­ing to most adults who have young­sters run­ning around the house although they’ll admit that the respon­si­bil­ity of being a par­ent is also a strain.

A sur­vey of more than 131,000 adults by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found that 84.1 per­cent of par­ents with chil­dren under 18 — about 36,000 of those inter­viewed — said they smiled or laughed a lot on a daily basis.

Mean­while, 79.6 per­cent of sur­vey respon­dents with no kids in the house reported the same thing.

How­ever, hav­ing kids isn’t all fun and games as just about any par­ent will attest. The poll also reveals that just over 45 per­cent of peo­ple with kids who aren’t adults yet expe­ri­ence greater stress. That’s com­pared with just under 37 per­cent of peo­ple who don’t live with children.

Inter­est­ingly, more women than men feel stress in both groups while they’re both on the same level when it comes to laugh­ing and smiling.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

New Sex Education Program Reduces Middle School Sex

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Get Real is an exper­i­men­tal sex edu­ca­tion pro­gram used in a lim­ited num­ber of U.S. mid­dle schools that seems to have been effec­tive in get­ting some young­sters to put off hav­ing sex by the time they grad­u­ate the eighth grade.

Planned Par­ent­hood, in part­ner­ship with the Welles­ley Cen­ters for Women, says that Get Real involves reg­u­lar sex edu­ca­tion in con­junc­tion with stu­dents dis­cussing class­room work with their par­ents after school.

After eval­u­at­ing 24 schools in the Boston area over three years, it turned out that 16 per­cent fewer boys and 15 per­cent fewer girls had sex in the 12 schools where Get Real was taught.

The way that Get Real works is that in addi­tion to edu­cat­ing young­sters about sex, it also sharp­ens their rela­tion­ship skills, accord­ing to Planned Parenthood.

Although the pro­gram has been expanded to 150 schools in Mass­a­chu­setts, New York, Rhode Island and Texas, the plan is to roll out Great Real on a national scale.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Coffee and Beer May Affect Some Couples' Ability to Conceive

FogStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — Cof­fee and beer are a cou­ple of America’s favorite bev­er­ages but one may pos­si­bly be bet­ter than the other when it comes to cou­ples who are hav­ing prob­lems conceiving.

Accord­ing to a sur­pris­ing study out of the Har­vard School of Pub­lic Health in Boston, cof­fee con­sump­tion by men seems to impair infer­til­ity treat­ments. How­ever, a man’s beer drink­ing might increase the odds of preg­nancy, although researchers are not sug­gest­ing they imbibe in great quan­ti­ties of suds.

In a study of 105 men involved in vitro fer­til­iza­tion treat­ments over seven years, cou­ples in which men drank at least 24 ounces of cof­fee daily were half as likely to con­ceive than those in which males drank less than an eight-ounce cup daily.

Mean­while, cou­ples enrolled in IVF had more luck with live births when the man had the equiv­a­lent of two 12-ounce beers daily com­pared to other cou­ples with lim­ited alco­hol con­sump­tion among men.

Why do beer and cof­fee have these effects? Sci­en­tists admit they’re stumped and with a small sam­ple size, they’re not about to make any rec­om­men­da­tions until fur­ther stud­ies are conducted.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Frequent Restaurant Dining May Cause Health Problems

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — If you can afford to do it, why not dine out as much as possible?

Well, researchers at Queens Col­lege, City Uni­ver­sity of New York are advis­ing against it and not purely for finan­cial reasons.

Accord­ing to lead author Ashima Kant, when peo­ple dine fre­quently at restau­rants, they run a higher risk of putting on the pounds and boost­ing bad cho­les­terol as com­pared to those who mainly enjoy their meals at home.

In an analy­sis of 8,300 adults in the U.S. between 2005 and 2010, peo­ple who ate at least six meals in restau­rants on a weekly basis had a higher body mass index, lower lev­els of good cho­les­terol and a defi­ciency in Vit­a­mins C and E.

Who are the worst offend­ers? Gen­er­ally, college-educated men in their 20s and 30s who earn good salaries.

As for why restau­rant fare isn’t a great choice on a daily basis, the obvi­ous answers are too much salt, too much fat, large por­tions and not enough fruits and veg­eta­bles offered.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Employers Need to Prepare for Flu Outbreak Now

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — No one’s telling Amer­i­cans not to take Ebola seri­ously. How­ever, mil­lions can start prepar­ing now for another con­ta­gious dis­ease: the flu.

John Chal­lenger, CEO of the out­place­ment com­pany Chal­lenger, Gray & Christ­mas, says that if this year’s flu sea­son is any­thing like last year’s, it will be tremen­dous drain on the economy.

Over­all, a sea­sonal flu out­break costs the nation’s econ­omy $10.4 bil­lion in direct costs for hos­pi­tal­iza­tion and out­pa­tient vis­its, not to men­tion another $7 bil­lion dol­lars annu­ally in lost pro­duc­tiv­ity at work.

Obvi­ously, Amer­i­cans at risk of catch­ing the flu, such as the young and those over 50, can reduce the risk of con­tract­ing the flu by get­ting vaccinated.

Chal­lenger also advises employ­ers to start tak­ing steps to stop the flu from spreading.

For instance, he rec­om­mends “encour­ag­ing employ­ees to wash their hands, offer­ing free or low-cost flu vac­ci­na­tion shots, and rou­tinely wash­ing and dis­in­fect­ing work surfaces.”

Per­haps even more impor­tant than all that, man­agers and super­vi­sors should make it a point to tell work­ers early on that if they’re sick, stay home.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Study: Without Exit Screening, About Three Ebola-Infected Individuals Could Fly Out of West Africa Monthly

Purestock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A study released on Tues­day by the Cana­dian Insti­tutes of Health Research found that with­out exit screen­ing, about three peo­ple infected with Ebola could fly out of West African nations impacted by the disease’s out­break each month.

The study, pub­lished in The Lancet, ana­lyzed his­tor­i­cal flight itin­er­aries and con­cluded that 2.8 trav­ellers infected with Ebola leave impacted coun­tries on com­mer­cial flights every month. Notably, 64 per­cent of trav­ellers leav­ing Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone were trav­el­ing to low-income and lower-middle-income countries.

While researchers con­tinue to note the impor­tance of bal­anc­ing the poten­tial harms caused by travel restric­tions, exit screen­ing in West Africa “would be the most effi­cient fron­tier at which to assess the health sta­tus of trav­ellers at risk of Ebola virus exposure.”

Such action, how­ever, would require inter­na­tional sup­port to prop­erly implement.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Drawing Attention to the Risks of Drowsy Driving

Tomwang112/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — When it comes to drowsy dri­ving dan­gers, the National Trans­porta­tion Safety Board said Tues­day that Amer­i­cans need to wake up.

The NTSB, for the first time, held a forum on drowsy dri­ving in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Mark Rosekind, a board mem­ber, said one of the biggest prob­lems is that peo­ple under­es­ti­mate just how tired they are.

Humans are just hor­ri­bly inac­cu­rate if we have to self-diagnose fatigue,” Rosekind said. “That’s what allows us to put our­selves in life-threatening situations.”

Accord­ing to the AAA, 40 per­cent of dri­vers have admit­ted to falling asleep at the wheel.

Los­ing two hours of sleep in just one night can affect a person’s reac­tion time by 20 per­cent, the NTSB said.

All that can add up to one of the most under-reported prob­lems on the road. One study has sug­gested that 20 per­cent of crashes — one out of every five acci­dents — involves a tired driver.

On test tracks at Vir­ginia Tech, researchers are assess­ing dri­vers for alert­ness and signs of fatigue.

Cam­eras are also being tested to see whether they can look at a person’s face and find tell­tale signs of a lack of sleep. Some cars have even been equipped with tech­nol­ogy that can sense a dri­ver drift­ing into another lane.

For now though, the NTSB is issu­ing this bit of advice: If a dri­ver has not had enough sleep, they should not get behind the wheel.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio