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Plane Carrying First Ebola Patient to Land in Georgia Saturday


iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- A United States official says the plane carrying the first Ebola patient will land Saturday in Georgia.

The State Department confirmed that they will be using a non-commercial aircraft and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention equipment during the medical evacuation.

It was announced on Friday that both patients, Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, will be treated at Emory University Hospital.

"Emory University Hospital has a specially built isolation unit set up in collaboration with the CDC to treat patients who are exposed to certain serious infectious diseases," hospital officials said. "It is physically separate from other patient areas and has unique equipment and infrastructure that provide an extraordinarily high level of clinical isolation. It is one of only four such facilities in the country."

"Emory University Hospital physicians, nurses and staff are highly trained in the specific and unique protocols and procedures necessary to treat and care for this type of patient. For this specially trained staff, these procedures are practiced on a regular basis throughout the year so we are fully prepared for this type of situation," they added.

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Tenn. Doctor in Quarantine After Ebola Outbreak: 'I'm Feeling Well'


iStock/Thinkstock(MORRISTOWN, Tenn.) -- A Tennessee doctor who placed himself in quarantine after volunteering in West Africa, where the Ebola virus is rampant, says he's "feeling well" and showing no sign of symptoms.

Alan Jamison, a retired pediatrician, returned home to Morristown, Tenn., after he was evacuated from Liberia by the aid group he was volunteering for -- working at the same hospital as Dr. Kent Bradley, an American now fighting the deadly virus.

"I feel very comfortable and I'm looking forward to being able to be with my family again," Jamison told ABC News via Skype.

Since landing in the U.S., he said he's had no physical contact with anyone and has only been near his daughter, who picked him up from the airport. Jamison said he plans to hole up at home until the 21-day incubation period is completed.

"I'm out of the major risk period right [now]," he said. "The isolation that I'm going through right now is in excess of what the CDC suggested for the precaution for my family."

Jamison added that he's comfortable at home and hasn't had any signs of fever or illness. The virus is not contagious until symptoms appear.

Medical Teams International, the group Jamison works for, said it pulled him out of Liberia for safety and security reasons. Jamison was working in the Ebola isolation unit at ELWA Hospital, near the Liberian capital Monrovia.

He described the protective equipment he and other doctors wore when working with infected patients -- a suit with goggles, rubber boots, two pairs of gloves and two face masks layered on top of each other.

Jamison isn't sure how Brantley, who is in isolation and expected to arrive in the U.S. next week, became infected with Ebola.

"He was very cognizant and careful with the hygiene precautions that he used," Jamison said. "I'm not sure how it occurred that he was exposed."

A second American has also contracted the Ebola virus in West Africa: Nancy Writebol, an aid group worker.


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Is It Safe to Bring Ebola Patients to the US?


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two Americans who are battling the deadly Ebola virus are being evacuated from Africa with the plan to fly them to U.S. hospitals to receive treatment.

The patients, who both caught the disease while in Africa, will be transported in elaborate isolation chambers and receive treatment by medical staff in protective suits.

Despite the precautions, fears about the disease have spread well beyond Africa.

"This concern about the introduction of Ebola and its possible spread in the United States has been an aspect of this story that has taken off and somewhat surprised those of us in infectious disease and public health," said Dr. William Shaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

"There are a number of reasons for that -- it’s a very very fatal virus, and this outbreak is the largest ever and it’s not controlled so that’s frightening. It’s exotic and mysterious coming from Africa, and now there are two American faces to it and in fact those American faces are coming home," he said.

The patients, Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, will be transported one by one, sources told ABC News Friday.

There are plans to transfer one of the patients to Emory University Hospital's special facility containment unit within the next several days, hospital officials said in a statement.

Officials added that it's unclear when the patient will arrive in Atlanta and where the other patient will be taken.

But the risk to the wider American public remains minimal, Shaffner explained.

"Even if a case were imported into the US -- and here we’re bringing two people for hospital care -- that actually the risk for Americans is essentially zero," he said.

The reason the risk is so small for the American public is that individuals who have Ebola only become contagious when they begin to show symptoms of the disease, and then can only transfer it via bodily fluids such as blood, vomit, and urine.

It does not spread through casual contact or by sharing the same air that an infected person is breathing.

Thus if a person in America began to show symptoms, they would be quarantined immediately and anyone with whom they had close personal contact with would be monitored closely for any signs that they had become infected.

Shaffner said he would feel comfortable sitting next to someone on a plane, in a taxi, or in a subway car even if the person was infected, which is incredibly unlikely.

"The average citizen I think can watch this and be pleased that there is an alert clinical and public health response mechanism and be reassured that this viral infection is not going to establish itself in this country," Shaffner said.

"We don’t have the environment that is conducive to this virus. We might get some imported cases, and God forbid it might spread to a healthcare worker but it would not spread further," he said.

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Do You Hear Sounds After Playing Video Games?


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you can hear the clanging of Candy Crush coins or characters' voices from League of Legends long after you've stopped playing, you're not losing your mind.

You might just have game transfer phenomena.

Psychologists from Nottingham Trent University’s International Gaming Research Unit gathered online data from 1,244 gamers and found extended play can induce "pseudo hallucinatory-like experiences."

Of the sample, 12 percent reported hearing sounds as a result of their gaming, including everything from characters' voices to bullets, ringing and explosions.

For Kim Kardashian Hollywood fans, that may mean hearing the theme music for the game, or Kardashian's voice telling your character, "You're the best," after helping her pick out an outfit.

It could also mean hearing bloodcurdling screams, bullets, sword fights and groans from other popular games, like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty.

The phenomena is so real, according to researchers, that some gamers reported hearing the sounds coming from external sources.

Game transfer phenomena was most prevalent after gamers played all night or for days on end, and cropped up during everyday activities, such as sleeping, walking and driving.

Researchers warned that extended game play can sometimes spur illogical thoughts, behaviors and distress in gamers -- making it crucial that gamers are able to understand when they're experiencing game transfer phenomena.

Ferris "AGent" Ganzman, the coach of Robert Morris University's first varsity League of Legends team, is immersed in a world of video games, but said he's never experienced "game transfer phenomena."

"If it does happen it's probably not that common," he said. "At least the majority of people I have talked to have never told me about this happening.”

But for the people who game transfer phenomena is all too real, Mark Griffiths, a research professor who worked on the study, offers this advice: "The best way for the tiny minority that may have longer lasting phenomena is to simply cut down the amount they play," he said.

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Some Birth Control Pills Linked to Higher Breast Cancer Risk: Study


Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In women ages 20-49, using oral contraceptives within the past year appears to be linked to a 50 percent higher risk of breast cancer. This, according to a new study of the potential link between birth control pills and breast cancer development.

Researchers looked at more than 1,100 women in this age group with breast cancer and compared them to roughly 22,000 women with similar demographic characteristics who did not have breast cancer. They then compared these women’s use of oral contraceptives within the past year using pharmacy records.

In particular, the increased risk was seen with moderate- to high-dose oral contraceptives. Use of low dose estrogen oral contraceptives did not seem to increase breast cancer risk.

The researchers say this study adds to evidence suggesting that oral contraceptives may act as tumor promoters.

It is important to note, however, that breast cancer risk in the age group studied is very low -- a 20-year-old woman’s risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer by age 50 is only 1.92 percent, according to statistics from the National Cancer Institute. Thus, even if there is a causal relationship between oral contraceptive use and breast cancer risk, the absolute risk in these women remains low.

If you do take birth control pills, there are things you can do right now to lower your associated risk of breast cancer.

"First of all, you want to look at the package of the pill, and look for a low number -- it's either 10 or 20 micrograms of estrogen. Second of all, taking a monophasic pill, where most of the pills in the pack are the same, has been found to be associated with a lower risk of breast cancer," says ABC News Senior Medical Contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton.

"And then there are things that have nothing to do with the pill, that bear remembering because they can lower our risk: watching alcohol consumption and increasing exercise has a powerful protective effect," she adds.

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Company to Launch Workout Gear that Knows How Hard You're Working Out


Athos(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A soon-to-be-launched line of workout gear claims it can take the place of your personal trainer.

Athos gear has sensors in the clothing that communicate with your smartphone to tell you if you're working out correctly.

Created by two students who worked out constantly but couldn’t afford personal trainers, the San Francisco-based company has grown to 31 employees and expects to ship its first gear this fall.

The technology will correct a person’s workout form in real-time. For example, if a person is doing squats, the Athos gear and app will give the wearer a complete view of the actions -- form, heart rate, breathing rate and muscle effort. If a person is doing a bench press, it will indicate if the back is being used instead of the chest.

“Adidas put cleats on shoes in the '50s, Under Armor introduced the use of synthetic fabrics. This is the next generation of performance apparel,” said Jake Waxenberg, a marketing executive at Athos.

The sensors are built into the clothes and everything is machine washable.

It was important to make Athos easy-to-wear, said Waxenberg, so the product would appeal to a mass audience. It’s for that reason that the gear is also meant to be just as fashionable as it is functional.

“It’s compression fit, sweat-wicking and cooling, the same way Lululemon is,” said Waxenberg. “It has to look good and feel good to appeal to the fashion people.”

Athos gear doesn’t have wires which, the company said, keeps it as comfortable as any other piece of workout gear on the market.

Each piece of clothing -- tops and bottoms -- is $99.

In addition, the company sells a "core" -- the hardware that makes the system all work and costs $199, a one-time purchase that works with all the clothes. It snaps into the garments, understands the signals from the clothing sensors and sends the information to your phone via Bluetooth. The app then tells the wearer how hard -- and how well -- they’re working out.

While the company says the gear could certainly replace a personal trainer, it also envisions the trainer and the technology working together to optimize a client’s workout.

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New Show Explores Shocking Extreme Parenting Techniques


Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- No one ever said parenting was easy, but these families think they've got it all figured out.

Meet the offspring of parents with off-the-wall child-rearing techniques in Bravo's latest docuseries, Extreme Guide to Parenting.

From "hypno-parenting," to helicopter and conscious attachment parenting, to push parenting where their child is pushed to be the best, the nine admittedly eccentric households all insist their alternative parenting techniques are the best and that everyone else has it wrong.

The families range from the woman who breastfeeds her school-age child and refuses to vaccinate, to the overbearing Los Angeles gay dads who won't leave their toddler's side for a second. And then there's the family that is adventurous and minimalist, living such a nomadic lifestyle that they don't inhabit a house but choose to live in their car.

"We may see a family who's making a choice and it may change the way you think about it, and I think that's what makes it interesting to viewers," Maggie Furlong, TV editor at Yahoo, told ABC News.

The families admitted they have unconventional styles of parenting, like the family that punishes their children with physical activities like planks, push-ups and wall sits, or the parents who insist their son plays five sports, knows the United States presidents and can write his name -- all at the age of 4.

While it may be television gold, some say this form of reality TV exploits children.

"No. 1, it pits parents against each other," said Ericka Souter, editor at TheStir.com. "No. 2, it seems less about the children and more about parents. And No. 3, it's making legitimate parenting choices kind of like a joke."

No matter how you look at it, they're taking child-rearing to a whole new level.


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Has the Pressure on New Moms to Be 'Hot' Gotten Out of Control?


Destination Maternity(NEW YORK) -- If the covers of celebrity magazines are any indication, new moms had better shed those pounds and get back to looking hot, stat. No doubt there's a lot of pressure on moms to juggle a lot and, now more than ever, to look good while doing it.

But a new line of celebrity-designed, sexy, post-maternity wear has some new mothers questioning if the pressure to look good has just gotten out of hand.

Destination Maternity has just-released Von Follies, a collection by retro-glam burlesque model and dancer Dita Von Teese. It's sold at Destination Maternity, Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod stores nationwide.

"There's already so much pressure around breast feeding and sleep training and everything else that goes along with having a newborn," said Beth Nielsen, mom to a 3-month-old girl. "Now I have to worry about looking sexy while nursing too?"

Von Teese doesn't have children of her own, but said she believes lingerie should be glamorous and functional.

“Elegant underpinnings are a simple way to create everyday moments of luxury and beauty," she said in a news release, "and why wouldn't a new mother enjoy beautiful lingerie, too?"

The line includes three kinds of postpartum shaper underwear and five nursing bras, including one for sleeping.

Some moms are happy to have a better-looking option for post-maternity lingerie than what's been traditionally available.

Alison Mitzner, mother of a toddler and a 6-month-old, said that although there's "definitely pressure on us even while nursing," which she plans to do for another six months, she appreciates choices.

"I would definitely wear prettier options as long as they are comfortable," she said.

Meri Barr, a nursing mom of a 14-month-old, agreed.

"I'm still breastfeeding my daughter, but am still wearing the same basic bras," she said. "It would be great to have something in black lace or something similar that I can wear under work- or evening dresses."

Experts agree there's a place for sexy post-maternity wear in the marketplace.

“In a survey we just did about pregnancy and body image, our moms told us that looking sexy and desirable to their partner is important to them during and after pregnancy,” said Linda Murray, BabyCenter global editor-in-chief. “Pregnancy affects a woman’s body in profound ways, and moms today seem to have a sense of pride for what they’ve accomplished. It’s refreshing to see products that are encouraging moms to embrace their bodies.”

As for all those celebs flaunting their fabulously fit post-baby bodies?

“For celebrities, it's their job to look good and they have the resources and time to get back into shape quickly," said Jenna Autuori-Dedic, fitness editor at Fitness Magazine and mother to a 7-week-old baby. "I think new moms, and moms in general, need to readjust their expectations and realize that celebrities are not people they should compare themselves to.”

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Worry More About Lightning, Not Floods


iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- The odds being killed by a lightning strike are something like 700,000 to one, and yet, most everyone ducks for cover with they see an electrical storm in the distance.

Even with those long odds, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there’s another weather event that's even less likely to cause death, and that’s floods.

In fact, the CDC says that between 2006 and 2010, just 93 people in the U.S. died in a flood, compared to the 182 killed by lightning during the same period.

All told, according to the CDC, close to 10,650 people died as the result of a weather event in that five-year span, which took into account extreme heat and cold, lightning, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards.

What killed more Americans than any other weather calamity was cold or hypothermia, which accounted for 6,660 deaths. Heat stroke or sun stroke was next, with 3,340 fatalities.

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Scientists Developing Test to Detect Caffeine in Drinks, Food


Ingram Publishing/ Thinkstock(IOWA CITY, Iowa) -- Many parents have used home drug tests to determine if their children are taking illicit substances. However, not everything has to be against the law to be dangerous when used in large amounts. Too much caffeine, for instance, can result in insomnia and hallucinations, and in extreme cases has been linked to cancer and even death.

As a result, Mani Subramanian and his colleagues from the University of Iowa are developing a way for people to learn if there are even small traces of caffeine in their food or drinks.

By using an enzyme called caffeine dehydrogenase,  Subramanian was able to find caffeine within one minute in a variety of drinks -- with the exception, curiously, of tea.

The plan is to make the enzyme available commercially in the form of a dip stick. It certainly will come in handy, since Subramanian and his team say that caffeine is included in over 570 beverages and 150 foods.

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More Americans Pledging to Kick the Soda Habit


iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- It appears the days of soda being America’s favorite soft drink may be numbered. More and more people are trying to avoid drinking carbonated sugar beverages as evidenced by a new Gallup poll.

Sixty-three percent are at least attempting to cut back on drinking soda, a marked difference from just 12 years ago when 41 percent of respondents made that same claim.

The main culprit in soda is sugar, which has been linked to the obesity epidemic and all the health-related problems that come from being overweight.

But as much as Americans have learned about sugar’s detrimental effects, ironically, the Gallup poll found that attempts to avoid sugar have not been all that successful during the past 12 years.

In fact, sugar intake has been more or less unchanged since 2002, providing that eschewing the sweet stuff is a hard habit to break.

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Share the Housework and Some Good Times in Bed


iStock/Thinkstock(ITHACA, N.Y.) -- The great debate about whether men and women should share equally in household chores has been revived, thanks to a Cornell University study that apparently debunks the findings of a University of Washington study that only came out last year.

According to the previous research from 2013, men who partook in so-called feminine chores like cooking and cleaning weren’t as sexually active as guys who stuck to more masculine activities like fixing a leaky faucet.

However, Cornell social demographer Sharon Sassler claims the results were skewed because virtually all of the 4,560 couple surveyed had been together two decades or longer.

For her research, Sassler interviewed couples married no more than 20 years and discovered that men and women who split their chores, even the ones perceived as feminine, enjoyed just as good a sex life as those where the women did most of the heavy lifting around the house.

In fact, the only time when activity in the bedroom fell off was when men reported that they did most of the household work.

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California Company Recalls Food Linked to Botulism


iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- A California company has issued a recall on food that may be linked to botulism.

Two botulism infection cases might be tied to the pine nut basil pesto sauce made by VR Green Farms, a company that sells food products online.

VR Green Farms has recalled the pesto as well as a pickled farm mix, Old World tomato sauce, sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, Tuscan grilling sauce, and pasta sauce.

Health workers say botulism -- a rare infection caused by toxins in bacteria -- can be fatal.  

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Consumer Reports: FDA Should Make Painkillers Safer


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Consumer Reports is calling on the Food and Drug Administration to make painkillers safer. 

According to Consumer Reports, every day, 46 people die and more than 1,000 go to emergency rooms because they're taking legal drugs to kill pain.

Consumer Reports says it's time for the FDA to require mandatory training so doctors know how to prescribe opioid painkillers -- like oxycodone and hydrocodone -- and also how to properly monitor patients for signs of tolerance, abuse, and dependence.

According to Lisa Gill, deputy content editor of Consumer Reports, there should also be tighter regulations on acetaminophen -- the main ingredient in Tylenol -- because too much can lead to liver failure.  

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Why We Don't Have an Ebola Vaccine Yet


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Though Ebola was first discovered nearly four decades ago, there's still no vaccine that's regularly administered to humans to prevent it.

But why?

"There's always the layperson's query of 'Why don't they rush this? 'Why don't these guys work a little later at night?'" said Dr. Willian Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. "It's a little more complicated than that."

Because Ebola cases are so rare, drug manufacturers hadn't been interested in investing in finding its vaccine, Schaffner said. In addition, Ebola's rarity makes it impossible for scientists to do field studies, which they were able to do with viruses like measles, which people were likely to be exposed to anyway because it was so common.

Before this current outbreak, there had been only about 2,000 cases in total since it was discovered in 1976, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

However, the current Ebola outbreak in Africa has infected 1,323 people in three countries and killed 729 of them, making it the largest Ebola outbreak to date, according to the World Health Organization.

The dire situation in Africa has prompted more than 4,500 people to sign a Change.org petition to fast track Ebola vaccines and drugs within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration -- something that's actually been in the works since March, Fauci said.

The NIH's Ebola vaccine has been studied in monkeys and is set to begin its first phase I clinical trial in humans sometime in September, Fauci said. If it is successful, it will take until mid- to late-2015 before a limited number of vaccine doses would be ready to administer to health care workers, he said.

The clinical trial participants won’t be exposed to the Ebola virus, Fauci said. Instead, they'll stay in the U.S., where they'll be given a dose of the vaccine and tested to see if their antibody levels match the levels shown in monkey studies to protect the monkeys from Ebola. Scientists will also be watching for adverse reactions to the vaccine to make sure it is safe.

Since the locals already fear the health care workers, wrongly blaming them for bringing Ebola to their villages, Schaffner and Fauci said making sure the vaccine is safe is extremely important.

"That's the case whenever you have terror and fright and death and people being extraordinarily frightened of things they don't understand," Fauci said.

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