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Arizona Patient Tests Negative for Ebola

VILevi/iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) — Tests have come back neg­a­tive for Ebola for the Ari­zona patient who had recently returned from Sierra Leone, county offi­cials said Friday.

The patient had been taken from a Mari­copa County res­i­dence on Fri­day after mak­ing a 911 call for gas­troin­testi­nal issues. The deci­sion was made to trans­port the indi­vid­ual for test­ing for pos­si­ble Ebola, in part due to his hav­ing recently returned from an Ebola-affected nation.

On Fri­day, the Mari­copa County Pub­lic Health Depart­ment said that tests had been returned and were neg­a­tive for Ebola. “With this alter­nate diag­no­sis, it makes all of us feel much bet­ter that we have another clin­i­cal rea­son as to what made this per­son ill,” Dr. Robert Fromm, chief med­ical offi­cer for the Mari­copa Inte­grated Health Sys­tem said.

The patient will be mon­i­tored for 21 days out of an abun­dance of caution.

Dr. Rebecca Sunen­shine, med­ical direc­tor for dis­ease con­trol for MCPH called the expe­ri­ence “a good exer­cise for all of our part­ners and we are thrilled to hear…that the patient has an alter­nate diag­no­sis.” She added that it was impor­tant to note that “because this patient was not symp­to­matic in flight, there is no risk to any­one who flew with this patient nor did he expose any­one in Mari­copa County.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio

Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Too Few Americans Receive Clinical Cognitive Evaluations

AlexRaths/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new study shows that only about 50 per­cent of Amer­i­cans who later devel­oped demen­tia were sub­ject to a timely men­tal assessment.

Accord­ing to the study, pub­lished in the jour­nal Neu­rol­ogy, looked at 300 older Amer­i­cans and found that about half had received a clin­i­cal cog­ni­tive eval­u­a­tion. The test, per­formed by either a neu­rol­o­gist, a psy­chi­a­trist or a fam­ily doc­tor, is sup­posed to diag­nose cog­ni­tive impair­ment or dementia.

Researchers say that while there is no cure for demen­tia, treat­ment can lead to improved qual­ity of life for both the patient and their loved ones. Early eval­u­a­tion can also lead to more time at a more mild stage of the disease.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio

Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


California Woman Celebrates 110th Birthday

moodboard/Thinkstock(IRVINE, Calif.) — A Cal­i­for­nia woman who turned 110 this week has good genes, a pur­posely low-stress lifestyle and a farm-fresh diet to thank for her long life, accord­ing to her 76-year-old daughter.

Sally Mitchell of Irvine, Cal­i­for­nia, was feted with a birth­day party Nov. 25 that fea­tured singing, birth­day cake and a city procla­ma­tion read by a city coun­cil mem­ber on behalf of the mayor of Irvine.

She really kind of held court,” Mitchell’s only child, Suzanne Becker, said of her mother. “I was sur­prised that she had the stay­ing power but she was right there with bal­loons and they did a lot of singing which was great because music has been a part of her life always.”

Also cel­e­brat­ing at the party was Mitchell’s youngest sib­ling, 94-year-old Max­ine Baker. The two sis­ters grew up with four other sib­lings on a farm in Michi­gan, some­thing that Becker believes attrib­utes to both of their longevity.

They breathed good air every day. They ate from the land and from their gar­dens. Their diet was one that was free of hor­mones and pes­ti­cides,” Becker said.

Mitchell left Michi­gan for Cal­i­for­nia after her fam­ily sold their farm and con­tin­ued to work for AT&T, where she would even­tu­ally meet her hus­band, and Becker’s father, Howard Mitchell.

Becker remem­bers her mother as liv­ing a “very com­mon life,” one that was very pur­posely not filled with a lot of stress.

I real­ized that she ordered her day in such a way that she didn’t have stress,” Becker told ABC News. “I’d say, ‘Let’s do this,’ and she’d say, ‘No, we have these other things we have to do.’”

Mitchell was also a dis­ci­plined exer­ciser – walk­ing and tak­ing water aer­o­bics classes – a “cover-to-cover” daily news­pa­per reader and main­tained a ful­fill­ing social life.

She and my father were found­ing mem­bers of a club in New­port Beach, a social orga­ni­za­tion that met monthly and had lots of activ­i­ties,” Becker said. “They were very active in the Pres­by­ter­ian church, too.”

Howard Mitchell died in 2000 at the age of 97, leav­ing behind his wife of over 60 years.

Mitchell moved in with her daugh­ter, who gave her three grand­chil­dren and one great-grandchild, before mov­ing on to the assisted-living facil­ity nearby.

Even at the age of 110, Becker says, her mom takes no med­ica­tions and has never suf­fered from any major health set­backs, like cancer.

Her long-term mem­ory is pretty darn good and her short-term mem­ory needs to be prompted a lot but when she is prompted, she is right there with you,” Becker said. “One of the big prob­lems is hear­ing impair­ment and that makes it far more dif­fi­cult for her.”

Becker says her mother also voted in every elec­tion right up until the past three years or so and often debated with Becker and her hus­band over polit­i­cal issues.

She used to ques­tion my hus­band and me about things polit­i­cal and local activ­i­ties that we didn’t even know about,” Becker said.

She still has the [news]paper in her lap when I visit,” she said. “I don’t think it’s the old cover-to-cover any­more but if she sees some­thing of inter­est, she’ll read it.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio

Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Patient Hospitalized in Arizona After Traveling to Sierra Leone

iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) — Phoenix, Ari­zona expe­ri­enced an Ebola scare Fri­day after some­one who recently returned to the United States from Sierra Leone fell ill.

The patient was rushed to a hos­pi­tal where he under­went an eval­u­a­tion. Doc­tors quickly deter­mined the patient is most likely sick with some­thing else.

In a news con­fer­ence, Dr. Robert Fromm, chief med­ical offi­cer for Mari­copa Inte­grated Health Sys­tem, said the patient isn’t show­ing enough symp­toms to worry doctors.

This patient’s symp­toms and pre­sen­ta­tion aren’t strongly sug­ges­tive of Ebola dis­ease,” Dr. Fromm said.

Phoenix Fire Cap­tain Aaron Erns­berger says the patient was han­dled by a trained unit of first respon­ders in full HAZMAT gear.

With this being a sce­nario with his recent trav­els to Sierra Leone, we upgraded this to a haz­ardous sit­u­a­tion to pro­tect our mem­bers, the patient, and the pub­lic as well,” Erns­berger said.

Dr. Fromm said the patient could be sent home by the end of the day Friday.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Researchers Identify Gene Mutations Linked to Blood Cancer Risk

Niko­lay Suslov/Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers at Har­vard Med­ical School said that as many as ten per­cent of adults over the age of 65 may have a gene muta­tion linked to the devel­op­ment of blood cancers.

Accord­ing to the study, pub­lished in the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Med­i­cine, researchers looked at two groups includ­ing a total of 29,000 patients. Patients with that par­tic­u­lar set of gene abnor­mal­i­ties had a sig­nif­i­cantly increased like­li­hood of can­cer — an increase of 11 to 13 percent.

Researchers say it is too early to test for the muta­tions on a large scale, as there is no per­fect treat­ment for those with the muta­tion. The muta­tions are tougher to iden­tify in younger indi­vid­u­als, researchers say.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio

Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Study Shows Promise in Development of Possible Ebola Vaccine

luiscar/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A pre­lim­i­nary study con­ducted at the National Insti­tutes of Health Clin­i­cal Cen­ter deter­mined that a poten­tial Ebola vac­cine researchers have been work­ing on has sig­nif­i­cant promise.

Researchers pub­lished the data from the pre­lim­i­nary study in the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Med­i­cine on Wednes­day. The study con­tained 20 par­tic­i­pants who were given the vac­cine and tested about four weeks later for the pres­ence of Ebola-specific antibodies.

Accord­ing to researchers, the par­tic­i­pants were split into two groups, each given dif­fer­ent dosages of the vac­cine. Four weeks after vac­ci­na­tion, 90 per­cent of those given the smaller dose and 100 per­cent of those given the higher dose showed the pres­ence of anit­bod­ies against the Zaire strain of Ebola induced by the vac­cine. Even when look­ing at the strain for which the vac­cine was least effec­tive, at least 70 per­cent of par­tic­i­pants showed vaccine-induced antibodies.

None of the par­tic­i­pants showed sig­nif­i­cant side effects, though two of 20 did develop a fever.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio

Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


US Adult Smoking Rate Falls to 18 Percent

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion says smok­ing rates are down again.

For the first time, the num­ber of Amer­i­can adults who smoke has dipped below 18 per­cent, or about 42 mil­lion people.

For years, the nation’s smok­ing rate had stalled at around 20 percent.

Smok­ing is still the United States’ lead­ing cause of pre­ventable illness.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


The Fire-Safety Tips You Should Be Keeping in Mind This Thanksgiving

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The kitchen is where the hol­i­day meal magic hap­pens, but it can also be a dan­ger zone, espe­cially on Thanksgiving.

Steven McGill, the bat­tal­ion chief of Engine Com­pany 9 in Jer­sey City, New Jer­sey, said Thanks­giv­ing is typ­i­cally the most dan­ger­ous day of the year.

Everybody’s cook­ing in the kitchen and it’s one of the few days where almost every­one is prepar­ing a meal,” he said. “The house is more con­gested than nor­mal. … So you have to con­trol the flow in your kitchen to make sure there’s no accidents.”

More fires start in the kitchen than any­where else in the home. And on Thanks­giv­ing, in par­tic­u­lar, there are three times as many house fires than any other day of the year, accord­ing to the US Con­sumer Prod­uct Safety Commission.

We’ve had fires where peo­ple took the turkey right out of the freezer, put it right in the oven, for­got to take the plas­tic off and next thing you know, you have an oven fire,” McGill said.

McGill and his five fire­fight­ers feasted on Thanks­giv­ing eve, a tra­di­tion for his crew, because Thurs­day is expected to be one of their busiest days.

They shared some safety tips for the holiday:

1. Don’t wear loose-fitting cloth­ing around open flames.

2. Don’t leave your food unat­tended on the stove or in the oven. McGill said to make sure a per­son is always in the kitchen watch­ing the food that’s cooking.

You should have a zone, around any­thing around the stove, within like a 3-feet range for chil­dren,” he said.

3. If deep-frying turkey, do it outside.

4. Never put water on a grease fire.

5. Store fire extin­guish­ers in plain sight and near an exit — not under the sink, accord­ing to the National Fire Pro­tec­tion Asso­ci­a­tion. Because fires can dou­ble every five to 10 sec­onds — and can con­sume a room in just one minute — call 911 first.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio