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Manufacturer of Scopes Cited in Spread of LA 'Superbug' Releases Updated Disinfection Process

ChrisPole/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Olym­pus Amer­ica, the com­pany that man­u­fac­tures the duo­deno­scopes that were cited in the spread of a super­bug at a Los Ange­les hos­pi­tal in Feb­ru­ary, released an urgent safety noti­fi­ca­tion regard­ing updated clean­ing processes to ensure high lev­els of dis­in­fec­tion in between uses.

The new process, which con­sists of “revised man­ual clean­ing and high level dis­in­fec­tion pro­ce­dures,” should be imple­mented “as soon as pos­si­ble,” the com­pany says. Olym­pus rec­om­mends using a small bris­tle clean­ing brush to clean the scopes. The com­pany antic­i­pates ship­ping these brushes to facil­i­ties by May 8. “Until your facil­ity has received the brushes, you should con­tinue to clean the…duodenoscope in accor­dance with the orig­i­nal clean­ing instructions.”

The new process also includes “addi­tional recess flush­ing” and “for­ceps ele­va­tor raising/lowering steps” dur­ing pre­clean­ing and man­ual clean­ing. Facil­i­ties are addi­tion­ally advised to flush the scopes with alcohol.

The com­pany says that the updated pro­ce­dures were reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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Ebola Patient at NIH Upgraded from Critical to Serious Condition

Photo by Andrew Councill/MCT/MCT via Getty Images(BETHESDA, Md.) — A patient being treated for the Ebola virus at the National Insti­tutes of Health Clin­i­cal Cen­ter in Bethesda was upgraded from crit­i­cal to seri­ous con­di­tion, the NIH said Thursday.

The NIH still did not share any addi­tional details about the patient, who was admit­ted on March 12. The patient was vol­un­teer­ing at an Ebola treat­ment unit in Sierra Leone when they tested pos­i­tive for the disease.

The patient is the sec­ond to receive treat­ment at the NIH Clin­i­cal Cen­ter. The first, Dal­las nurse Nina Pham, con­tracted the dis­ease while treat­ing Thomas Eric Dun­can. Pham was the first per­son to catch Ebola on U.S. soil in con­nec­tion with the out­break in West Africa. She was admit­ted to the NIH facil­ity in Octo­ber and later released Ebola-free.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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CDC Unveils New Anti-Smoking Ads Featuring Real Smokers

Credit: James Gathany/Centers for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion have launched a new set of anti-smoking ads fea­tur­ing real smok­ers who are liv­ing with the long-term health effects of smok­ing and sec­ond­hand smoke exposure.

The “Tips From For­mer Smok­ers” cam­paign was first launched in 2012. “Since its launch,” the CDC says, “the Tips cam­paign has fea­tured com­pelling sto­ries of for­mer smok­ers liv­ing with smoking-related dis­eases and dis­abil­i­ties and the toll that smoking-related ill­nesses have taken on them.”

In Sep­tem­ber 2013, the Lancet med­ical jour­nal pub­lished an arti­cle say­ing that the Tips cam­paign has moti­vated about 1.6 mil­lion smok­ers to attempt to quit smok­ing, with at least 100,000 U.S. smok­ers expected to quit per­ma­nently as a result of the campaign.  

The CDC posted videos fea­tur­ing 27 real peo­ple on their web­site. “I smoked and got mac­u­lar degen­er­a­tion,” a woman named Mar­lene says in one of the videos. “So I don’t see very well.”

After describ­ing the first time she received one of the med­ical pro­ce­dures she goes through as a result of her dis­ease, Mar­lene says she “went home and I felt mis­er­able, and I said to myself, ‘Why the hell did I ever smoke?’”

I would never have smoked if I knew that I was gonna be going through this,” she says.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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Blind Hawaii Woman Gets Bionic Eye to See Again

Fuse/Thinkstock(HONOLULU) — A Hon­olulu woman who went blind two years ago will soon be able to see again thanks to her new bionic eye.

Sur­geons at the Eye Surgery Cen­ter of Hawaii implanted the device on Tues­day into a 72-year-old Japanese-American woman who had gone blind two years ago due to an incur­able hered­i­tary dis­ease called retini­tis pig­men­tosa, said Dr. Gregg Kokame, who per­formed the oper­a­tion. He told ABC News the hos­pi­tal was not iden­ti­fy­ing the woman by name, but that she was the first per­son to receive the implant in the Asia Pacific region.

She’ll actu­ally start to see motion, actu­ally start to see some­body walk into the room and be able to see dif­fer­ent shades of grey,” Kokame said, explain­ing that she was totally blind and could per­ceive only some light before the four-hour surgery.

Kokame and his team implanted a micro­elec­trode array on the sur­face of the woman’s retina that con­nects wire­lessly to a pair of glasses with a cam­era, he said. The glasses process images and trans­mit them to the implant, which then sends that infor­ma­tion to the woman’s optic nerve and onto her brain.

The device will not help the woman to see color or fine detail, but as the soft­ware advances, he said the implant will still be able to com­mu­ni­cate with it.

The woman will heal for two weeks before Kokame and his team can turn the device on for the first time. He said she’ll be able to see her loved ones first because he’s sure they’ll want to be right there with her.

She was in very good spir­its,” he said. “She’s a very pleas­ant, very strong lady. She’s look­ing for­ward to hav­ing the implant turned on.”

The device, which is approved by the Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion, costs $144,000, but it was cov­ered by Medicare for this patient, Kokame said.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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Dallas Woman Behind Bars for Allegedly Giving Illegal Butt Injections

Dal­las County Sheriff’s Depart­ment(DALLAS) — A Dal­las woman has been arrested for allegedly admin­is­ter­ing to patients ille­gal cos­metic pro­ce­dures — butt injec­tions — with­out a med­ical license, accord­ing to police.

Denise Rochelle Ross, known as “Wee Wee,” turned her­self in to author­i­ties Wednes­day because she had been wanted for prac­tic­ing med­i­cine with­out a license, accord­ing to the Dal­las Police Depart­ment. Ross’ bond was set at $500,000, accord­ing to court records. Her alleged accom­plice, Jimmy Joe Clark, is still at large.

Ross was being held on $50,000 bond, and police did not know if she had yet entered a plea in the case.

Accord­ing to the arrest affi­davit, Ross, 43, allegedly made an appoint­ment with a “patient” over the phone who agreed to pay $520 for her first butt injec­tion ses­sion. At the appoint­ment, Ross allegedly injected a sub­stance into one but­tock and Clark allegedly injected it into the other, but they were vague about what they were doing when they explained the pro­ce­dure, the affi­davit alleges. Ross allegedly said it was water-based liq­uid saline and then said it was Hydro Gel.

The patient “felt intense pain and was told to be quiet after scream­ing in agony,” the affi­davit says. After­ward, Ross and Clark allegedly closed the injec­tion holes with super glue and cot­ton balls to keep any of the liq­uid from com­ing out. They gave the patient two tubes of the glue to take home.

Dr. Scot Glas­berg, pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Soci­ety of Plas­tic Sur­geons, said ille­gal cos­metic pro­ce­dures are on the rise among peo­ple hop­ing for a Kim Kardashian-looking rear end while look­ing to save money.

They can be harm­ful because often they’re not done with medical-grade sil­i­con, but rather with the type of sil­i­con used in con­struc­tion. The most com­mon side effects of these under­ground pro­ce­dures are pain from scar tis­sue and infec­tion, but some­times the patient expe­ri­ences exces­sive bleed­ing or the injectable mate­r­ial trav­els through the blood stream to the lungs, he said.

If you walk into a garage or a base­ment or a dimly lit lit­tle room some­where, your nat­ural instinct should be to walk away, to run away,” Glas­berg said. “The down­side of a lit­tle sav­ing on cost is, poten­tially, your life.”

Attempts by ABC News to reach Ross’ fam­ily mem­bers were unsuccessful.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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NASA Studies Kelly Twins to Understand Space's Impact on Human Body

Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NASA will exam­ine how a year of zero grav­ity will affect the human body when Scott Kelly blasts off for an extended stay on the Inter­na­tional Space Station.

But NASA isn’t just going to look at Kelly and fel­low astro­naut Mikhail Kornienko. The team also will be fol­low­ing Scott Kelly’s iden­ti­cal twin brother, Mark Kelly, as an earth­bound con­trol group.

Offi­cials hope to under­stand what exactly hap­pens to a human body hun­dreds of miles above Earth’s surface.

We need to fig­ure out how peo­ple are going to live in space for really long peri­ods of time, espe­cially if we want to send some­body to Mars or maybe we want to build a base on the moon,” Mark Kelly told ABC News’ David Kerley.

There are a num­ber of stud­ies being con­ducted, with col­lab­o­ra­tions among var­i­ous uni­ver­si­ties, includ­ing Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity, Col­orado State Uni­ver­sity, Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity and Cor­nell University.

The astro­nauts will be sub­ject to a bat­tery of tests look­ing at things such as mus­cle mass, bone loss and even the shape of their eye­balls. In a pre­vi­ous NASA study, some astro­nauts reported a change in vision after the phys­i­cal shape of their eye­balls changed.

NASA med­ical offi­cer Dr. Steven Gilmore said being able to com­pare sam­ples between iden­ti­cal twins would be help­ful for the research.

You can look at, in detail, how the genes and the pro­teins that are made from them change as a result of this unique envi­ron­ment,” he told ABC News.

Researchers will look at how genes go “on and off” dur­ing space flight and if being away from Earth in the vac­uum of space affects pro­teins in the body.

NASA wants to know how the stres­sors unique to space flight could change the body. This means see­ing how micro­grav­ity, con­fine­ment in the space sta­tion and radi­a­tion changes affects the pro­teins and meta­bolic sys­tems in the body.

NASA also wants to dis­cover how blood flow changes — a result of micro­grav­ity — can have unex­pected effects on the body. One hypoth­e­sis is that astro­nauts’ eyes change shape in space because blood vol­ume on their upper body increases with­out gravity.

Your nose gets stuffy, your eyes get a lit­tle bit of pres­sure,” said Jen­nifer Fog­a­rty, a clin­i­cal tran­si­tional sci­en­tist in a NASA video. “You feel like you have a really bad head cold.”

The study results could be key in find­ing a way to send humans to Mars to cre­ate a per­ma­nent colony on the moon.

That’s one of the things that make it excit­ing and some­thing I’m really happy to be a part of,” Scott Kelly said on ABC News’ This Week.

Scott Kelly is sched­uled to lift off Fri­day for his year in space.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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What Drew Barrymore Said About Her Post-Baby Body

Peter Kramer/NBC(LOS ANGELES) — For every star who seem­ingly bounces back to her pre-pregnancy size weeks after giv­ing birth, there’s Drew Bar­ry­more to keep it real.

After mak­ing two babies, holy cow, does your body do some crazy stuff! It’s hard to stay pos­i­tive and love your­self,” the 40-year-old actress admit­ted about her post-baby body in Glam­our mag­a­zine. “You feel like a kan­ga­roo with a giant pouch; everything’s saggy and weird. But you think about how beau­ti­ful it is that you’re able to make children.”

She added, “When I lose sight of that, I exer­cise, read Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, and spend time with my kids. Then I start to see things that are big­ger than myself.”

Bar­ry­more isn’t afraid to look less than per­fect in pub­lic, either.

You don’t always have to look stun­ning on Insta­gram,” she told Glam­our. “I’ve been makeup-less, preg­nant, and stuff­ing food in my face in many pic­tures; that makes it all the more excit­ing when I do do some­thing more attrac­tive. I don’t like it when every­one looks so per­fect all the time. Where’s the humor in that?”

Bar­ry­more is mar­ried to Will Kopel­man, with whom she has two chil­dren – Olive, 2, and Frankie, 11 months.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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Indiana Governor Declares Public Health Emergency to Battle Worst HIV Outbreak in State History

iStock/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) — Indi­ana Gov. Mike Pence Thurs­day declared a pub­lic health emer­gency for an Indi­ana county bat­tling what is believed to be the worst HIV out­break in the state’s history.

Pence said 79 cases have been con­firmed, and, with more test­ing under­way, “We expect that num­ber to go up.”

The cases have either been found in or are con­nected to Scott County, near the Ken­tucky border.

The state health depart­ment has attrib­uted the out­break to an opi­oid painkiller called Opana. It’s believed to be the worst HIV out­break in the state his­tory, a spokes­woman at the Scott County Health Depart­ment said.

For years we’ve been fight­ing Opana in our county,” said Brit­tany Combs, pub­lic health nurse at Scott County Health Depart­ment. “[Doc­tors] won’t give [pre­scrip­tions] for Opana unless absolutely nec­es­sary. Our doc­tors aren’t writ­ing for it. It’s com­ing from out of county.”

Combs said Opana is a painkiller nor­mally given in pill form to patients, and it is used as “last resort” for pain relief. Peo­ple recre­ation­ally using the drug often crush the pill and inject it for a longer-lasting high, accord­ing to Combs.

Every­one who has tested pos­i­tive for HIV has admit­ted to intra­venous drug use, although some have also had sex with other users, mean­ing it is not always clear how the virus was spread, accord­ing to Combs.

A pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign to alert res­i­dents about the increase in HIV cases has started in the region.

In addi­tion to local and state health offi­cials, the CDC has sent a team to the area to assist with the response.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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