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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In case you needed another reason to fear flu season, researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) released new pictures showing the physics behind sneezing.

Just a warning, there's a lot of splatter.

The researchers used high-speed cameras and examined 100 sneezes from three healthy subjects. Their goal was to photograph the split second when the sneeze hits the air to see just where those droplets end up.

Researchers found that instead of a uniform cloud of droplets, a single sneeze would fragment in the air similar to paint being flung onto a canvas, the researchers said.

“It’s important to understand how the process of fluid breakup, or fluid fragmentation, happens,” said Lydia Bourouiba, the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and head of the Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory at MIT.
Part of the mission was to explore the physics of "droplet size distribution, and the resulting prediction of the downstream range of contamination,” Bourouiba said in a statement.

The researchers were surprised to see that fluid from a sneeze can balloon into the air before bursting into tiny filaments.

“What we saw was surprising in many ways,” Bourouiba said. “We expected to see droplets coming out fully formed from the respiratory tract. It turns out that’s not the case at all. And this gives us a good baseline to expand our mechanistic understanding of violent expirations.”

By seeing how a sneeze travels, Bourouiba said researchers will have a better understanding of how a disease can spread through a population.

Dr. Frank Esper, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies, said the study give a clear example of why it's so important to cover your nose and mouth with your elbow or sleeve.

"This is goes to show why the germs are so transmissible just like paint it can splatter," said Esper, who was not involved in the MIT study. "This is still a 2-D image. You don’t get the depth. Its cone of splatter and cloud of splatter [a 3-D image] would truly show you why the flu is able to go through schools and daycare and your home so quickly."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(GARDENDALE, Ala.) -- An Alabama woman said her daughter remains partially paralyzed 18 months after being infected with enterovirus D68.

Kim Dillashaw said her daughter Kinley Galbreath, 7, can only move her right leg and her left hand months after coming down with the virus.

"She was quadriplegic and on life support in 24 hours," Dillashaw told ABC News.

In 2014, enterovirus D68 quickly spread throughout much of the U.S. although most people infected experienced minor respiratory symptoms before recovering. Enterovirus D68 causes wheezing, coughing and runny nose. Enterovirus D68 poses serious risks for individuals with asthma because they're more susceptible to respiratory illnesses.

The spread of enterovirus D68 also coincided with a rise of pediatric paralysis cases throughout the U.S. While officials have not definitively linked the virus to the paralysis, they are still looking at a possible association.

There were 1,153 confirmed cases of enterovirus D68 during the outbreak from 2014 to 2015. Officials from the Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the actual number was likely far higher.

Dillashaw, of Gardendale, Alabama, said that Kinley had mild asthma but that her infection progressed quickly. At first she just showed signs of sluggishness but Dillashaw said she felt "in my heart that something wasn’t right when she became sick."

Although she took her daughter immediately to the emergency room, Kinley became so sick that she needed help breathing and swallowing.

"She became completely quadriplegic," said Dillashaw. "Now in an 18-month period she has regained the [use of her] right leg and her left hand and wrist."

Dillashaw said Kinley needs machines to breathe but her condition hasn't impacted her fun-loving personality.

"She loves drawing and coloring and does that with her right foot," said Dillashaw. "She plays her iPad with her foot."

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, said other viruses, like polio, can lead to severe inflammation in the spinal cord that can cause permanent or long-term damage.

"[Viruses can] attack the critical cells involved with movement and motor function" causing pressure to build, Schaffner explained. "If the cells had not been actually destroyed but only rendered dysfunctional," a patient may recover and regain movement and feeling, he noted.

Schaffner, who has not treated Kinley, said the issue is that too much pressure can cause cells to die, leading to permanent damage.

Dillashaw said with intense therapy, Kinley has been able to move her left hand again and she's hopeful her daughter will keep making slow but steady progress.

Dr. Frank Esper, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, said it's difficult to link Kinley's symptoms to enterovirus D-68.

"It’s not been clear cut, it’s difficult to diagnose...a link," he said. "To figure out we do a brain biopsy," which is difficult to do in living patients, he noted.

Esper said people with lingering paralysis after a viral infection can be in treatment for months or even years as they retrain their muscles.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(COLUMBINE, Colo.) -- Sue Klebold, the mother of Columbine killer Dylan Klebold, sat down with Diane Sawyer for her first television interview to talk about the son she remembers and how she missed warning signs that could have helped save him and other victims.

In her book, A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy, out on Feb. 15, Sue Klebold writes about how it took her years to come to terms with the fact that her son had committed such a brutal and horrific crime before ending his own life. Klebold said she is donating her book profits towards research and charitable foundations focusing on mental health issues.

ABC News spoke to several experts who have studied mental health in children and teens, as well as studied the Columbine tragedy.

“Early on everyone was looking for the profile of a school shooter,” said Dr. Peter Langman, psychologist and author of “School Shooters: Understanding High School, College, and Adult Perpetrators.” “The consensus now is there is no profile. Different types of people commit different types of attacks for different reasons. And it's important to recognize just how diverse school shooters can be.”

In a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of nearly 14,000 American teenagers, 17 percent of high school students report they seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. Eight percent had attempted suicide one or more times in the past year, and 2.7 percent of high school students actually made a suicide attempt that resulted in an injury, poisoning, or overdose that required medical attention.

“And many times, those attempts have not ever been detected by anybody,” said Dr. Gregory Fritz, president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. “This is self-report data, but it’s very consistent year over year."

Experts discussed tips for parents who may be concerned about their children and how to recognize certain warning signs that could mean a child needs help.

1. Watch For Changes in Behavior

Parents know their child’s behavior patterns better than anyone, experts say, so parents should look out for changes in their kid’s mood or behavior that seems out of place.

“First, what you do is [ask] ‘what is the typical, normal behavior of this person on any given day?’” said Dr. Mary Ellen O’Toole, a former FBI profiler and psychologist. “And now, let's compare and contrast it to the behaviors seen now. And how is that different? Then, you can start to give more credibility to those behavioral changes.”

Fritz agreed and suggested parents take notice of when their child’s personality changes and how it changes over time. It’s not so much that they are happy one day and grumpy the next, he said, it’s that they seem to get progressively more down or angry.

“It's sort of a continuum, a gradual increase from no depression to very profound depression,” Fritz said. “But instead of sleeping late, it's in bed all day, or instead of complaining about the food, they stop eating.”

2. Recognize Problems Without Rationalizing Them Away

Experts say parents shouldn’t ignore their instincts if they feel a child isn’t doing well or something seems to be bothering them and they are shutting down. They should seek outside help.

“If they [parents] are sensing pain or problems in their kids, they just want so much for it to go away and not be there in the first place,” said Fritz. “But it also gets in the way of recognizing problems when they need to be recognized or, rationalizing away evidence that really shouldn't be rationalized away.”

Sometimes, Langman said, a child can be very direct and openly talk about wanting to kill or hurt others or themselves, and parents shouldn’t ignore those statements.

“I once had a student in the hospital I evaluated, he had articulated seven different methods of mass murder at his school. He had thought about this a lot,” Langman said. “But the mother's response was, ‘You know, he's a nice boy. He's never hurt anyone. It's just fantasy.’ And maybe he never would've done anything. But there was reason to be concerned. But it was hard for her to believe the boy she had always loved would be capable of that.”

3. Parents Should Focus on ‘Active Listening’

Fritz suggests sitting down with your child in a quiet place without distractions where you can calmly ask them what’s wrong and explain to them why you are concerned.

“You say,‘you said nothing was wrong yesterday when you came home from school, but I can tell that you were feeling bad. Tell me what went on yesterday. I just want to understand,’” Fritz said.

He added that parents shouldn’t feel afraid to ask their kids directly if they are feeling suicidal if there is that concern.

Experts say it’s important for parents to talk to their child from a place of love instead of demanding their child to tell them what’s wrong.

“Say it with the idea that, ‘The reason I'm talking to you is because I love you, and I don't want anything ever in the world to hurt you, and I know you're sad and I know … your world is very dark right now, but I love you this much, that whatever we need to do, we're going to do,’” O’Toole suggested.

4. For Parents, Normal Rules of Privacy Don’t Always Apply

It can depend on the age of the child, Fritz said, but parents should have access to their kids’ social media passwords and even regularly ask their kids to show them their writings or share what they talk about or read online.

There’s a difference between a student writing a dark fiction story and a troubled kid planning to carry out an attack, experts say, so it’s important for parents and teachers to pay attention to detailed descriptions their kids might say in conversation or write down.

“Look for steps that the student has taken to carry out the threat,” O’Toole said. “For example, a student writes that they are going to go into the school, and they are going to shoot and kill fellow students on February the 1st, that's very specific. But you also want to look for, okay, has the student been purchasing guns? Have they gone on a website and tried to purchase ammunition? Have they been going to a firing range? So each detail you get, you take it the next step further to make sure that this is not a student who is just saying some scary things.”

5. Engage Your Child’s Community of Teachers, Doctors and Mentors on Mental Health

If parents feel they aren’t getting anywhere with their child but still feel something is wrong or their child is depressed, Fritz suggests parents reach out to their child’s teachers, coaches, physician, pastor or other adults in the child’s life.

Parents who are especially worried about their kids often have a harder time getting through to them, Fritz added.

“It's not easy, and especially … not easy in teenage years, because there's so much turmoil, there's so much change, teenagers are uncomfortable with themselves much of the time and they're in the process of breaking away from their parents and establishing their own identity,” Fritz said. “So there's always that little bit of tussle and some acting out and that sort of thing… [but] if there's a problem there that the parent can't get to. And I would encourage them to get professional help.”

6. Treat Mental Health the Same Way You Treat Physical Health

While it can be hard to find mental health services in certain areas, Fritz said parents shouldn’t be afraid to book an appointment with a therapist for their child or have their child undergo a mental health screening, even if it’s just the child’s primary doctor asking a few questions.

“I think that parents shouldn't feel like that getting an evaluation from a mental health professional is any different than getting an evaluation for a cough or a chest pain or something from a pediatrician, and the threshold shouldn't be very high,” Fritz said. “There's rarely a downside to it.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Unlike New Year’s Eve or the Fourth of July, Valentine’s Day is not known for being one of the most dangerous days of the year. Overdosing on chocolate, it turns out, is less likely to kill you than drunk driving or fireworks gone awry.

But on any day when emotions are running high, emergency room doctors are destined to bear witness to insane -- and sometimes intimate -- episodes in their ERs.

Chocolate Mousse Surprise

Sometimes, for example, the excitement of a Valentine’s Day proposal ends in tears -- and not just the happy kind.

“I had a woman who swallowed her engagement ring in chocolate mousse and then was so excited, she passed out and broke her nose at a restaurant,” recalls Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency room physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York and spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

A trip to the ER might have dampened the mood for some couples, but not this one, he said.

“She was so happy to be engaged, all of the drama really didn't upset her,” Glatter said. “She passed the ring a few days later in her stool, and then sent us a box of chocolates as appreciation.”

Risky Business

Based on Glatter’s tales, it seems as though Valentine’s Day marriage proposals are an under-publicized public health risk.

Glatter remembers treating another woman who suffered a cervical spine fracture when she hit the headboard during a passionate night in the bedroom on Valentine’s Day. One might think that an emergency room visit would have put an end to further romantic gestures for the night, but “her boyfriend still proposed to her on a gurney” in the hospital, Glatter said. Fortunately, she recovered fully and the couple went home engaged.

Glatter said that people tend to get overly enthusiastic on holidays, taking risks and possibly endangering themselves or others.

“People are excited, they want to do novel things,” he said. “The problem is when they overdo it.”

For some novelty-seekers, risks result in a “Casanova Fracture.”

Dr. Alexander Kleinmann, an emergency physician at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, explained that a Casanova Fracture is a heel fracture associated with lumbar spine fracture that ensues after jumping out a window -- “historically when the husband comes home to find his wife in bed with another man,” explained Kleinmann. He has seen numerous such cases, particularly around Valentine’s Day.

Glatter also noted that Valentine’s Day can be a time when lonely hearts get lonelier, putting those who are prone to depression at risk.

“Be mindful of that. Support your friends,” Glatter advised. And for goodness sake, be careful with drinking and engage in safe sex, he cautioned.

A Valentine’s Day Miracle

While ingesting a wedding ring or jumping out a window may not make for the perfect holiday, not all Valentine’s Day surprises are unwanted.

Dr. Eric Lavonas, an emergency room physician at Denver Health Medical Center and ACEP spokesman, recalled treating a couple who came in to the emergency room after a Valentine’s Day car crash. They were moderately banged up, he said, nothing too serious. But in an instant, their routine exam turned into something life-changing.

“In the course of taking their medical histories, it came out that they had been struggling with infertility,” he said. Before taking an X-ray, he did a routine pregnancy test. “Surprise! The routine test confirmed she was pregnant.”

Lavonas said he got the couple in a room together -- the mother-to-be in a neck brace and the father with his leg suspended in traction -- and broke the happy news.

While most people who come in to the ER don’t leave with unanticipated positive news, Lavonas said the “privilege of being participants in important moments in people’s lives” is a “tremendous pleasure” of his job.

“I remember the two of them hugging and crying in the emergency department,” he said. “It was the thing they most wanted in the world -- and I got to tell them they had it all along.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Two U.S. women suffered miscarriages after being infected with the Zika virus, according to officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The virus, which usually causes mild symptoms including fever, rash and fatigue, has already been associated with a rare birth defect in Brazil called microcephaly. The defect is characterized by an abnormally small head and brain.

Officials have also been concerned that the virus could cross the placenta, an organ that develops in a woman's uterus during pregnancy and provides oxygen and nutrients to the fetus. This development could potentially lead to miscarriages.

CDC officials confirmed to ABC News that the women who miscarried were being monitored by their doctors after they were diagnosed with the Zika virus. In total, at least three women in the U.S. have been infected with Zika after returning from abroad with the virus.

One woman in Hawaii gave birth to a child with microcephaly in January. That woman is believed to have been exposed to the Zika virus in Brazil last year. In all three cases the Zika virus was found in the placenta.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical School, said the possibility of the virus being associated with miscarriages has been an ongoing concern for health officials.

"There has been a concern that it is possible that this virus...could also create sufficient inflammation in the placenta such that miscarriages can occur," said Schaffner, explaining that the link was not yet definitive. "Two cases don't make the whole story but it certainly would be biologically consistent with the [fact.]"

Schaffner said researchers would need more evidence going forward and would likely look to see if there is more physical evidence of the virus being linked to miscarriages in countries where virus transmission is active.

At least 72 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the Zika virus. In all cases except one, the virus was contracted while outside the U.S. One case was transmitted through sexual contact.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- David Spisak Jr., the 8-year-old with cancer who found the love of his life, has died.

"There's never been a morning with such sadness as today and no words will do it justice but I'll try," David's mother Amber Spisak wrote on Facebook Thursday. "Our little man's last moments were laying with his mommy and daddy in the middle of the night, with a house full of family, friends and loved ones after days of being surrounded by love. This day was supposed to come about 9-10 months ago but David just wasn't done living yet so he made his own timeline and defied the rules."

She continued: "I'm not ready to say things happen for a reason or a message of rainbows and sunshine just yet, but our baby boy was a fighter, a beautiful soul, a force to be reckoned with and of all the things, he is most definitely a hero. Rest easy sweet boy, you fought an unfair fight with the strength of a thousand soldiers that I could've never done...but you did it with grace; no more struggling. Just rest."

Spisak told ABC News in November that David was first diagnosed with leukemia when he was 2 and beat cancer three times before his diagnosis in March. He underwent extensive chemotherapy treatment.

With a fourth cancer diagnosis, David would have to spend more time in the hospital, unable to play with other children.

"We just decided it was time to give him a childhood,” Spisak said. “If the outcome was going to be the same, if he was going to continue to get cancer, we decided that if he wasn’t going to win, that we would give him everything right now.”

In March, doctors told the Spisaks David would live four to six weeks without treatment.

But months passed and David looked well. He was well enough to start second grade in September.

It was there in school where David met Ayla, a girl in his class, who his mother said he had a crush on.

After David’s disease pulled him from school, not only did his classmates write letters about how much Ayla, 7, missed him, but Ayla herself sent multiple letters with her phone number "all over," according to Spisak.

“He said, ‘Actually, she's kind of like the real Snow White because she's so kind, especially to me because she loves me,’” Spisak said.

David and Ayla’s bond proved even more special when he asked her out on a date, planned by both their mothers, to a bowling alley with a teddy bear and flowers.

By the end of the date, David had lived more than many 8-year-olds: he had his first date and his first kiss (on the cheek). At one point, he even stood up from his chair, walked and bowled standing up, his mother said.

"He was just so determined for her, he really pushed himself for her," Spisak said. "Once we realized that this wasn’t the typical elementary school crush, once we saw this heartfelt connection that they have, we were so happy that she came into his life and that he came to her life for some reason."

“We never thought he was going to ever experience this because his time is so limited, but we saw it and it's real,” she added.

Sadly, David died in the early hours of Thursday morning at home, according to Christy McCloud, founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization Adipsy, which has provided meals for the Spisaks during this difficult time.

"We're deeply saddened and doing everything we can in assisting to make this as easy as possible," McCloud told ABC News Friday. "[David's mom] feels pretty numb right now, so a lot of her friends are rallying around her to help get her through things."

McCloud said the family pulled David from the hospital Sunday so he could die comfortably in his own home.

Adipsy will also be assisting the Spisaks with funeral arrangements for their son.

"One of the things [David] said was that he wanted to be a hero, so his mom wants to give him a hero funeral," McCloud said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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luiscar/iStock/ThinkStock(GENEVA) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) says that possible Zika vaccines could be months away from broad trials.

Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, the Assistant Director-General of Health Systems and Innovation at the WHO on Research and Development said at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday, "vaccines are at least 18 months away from large-scale trials."

She also noted that the landscape "is evolving very rapidly and numbers change daily." Dr. Kieny also said that two vaccine "candidates seem to be more advanced: a DNA vaccine from the US National Institutes for Health, and an inactivated product from Bharat Biotech, in India."

Ten companies were identified "so far that can provide nucleic acid or serological tests. Nucleic acid tests are based on a molecular technique used to detect a virus in the blood; serological tests measure the levels of antibodies as a result of exposure to a particular virus."

An additional ten companies are also in the process of various stages of development. Dr. Kieny made a point to mention that the UN health agency's response to the outbreak was also "proceeding very quickly."

The biggest task will be however, "to ensure an adequate reference method is used by manufacturers when generating their data so that the performance of the various Zika diagnostic can be tested through an independent assessment."

This, in turn, "will help prevent the distribution of poor quality or fake Zika tests that are sure to come up rapidly - as was the case with Ebola," she said.

Zika is a mosquito-transmitted infection that has been spreading rapidly throughout South America. Zika is believed to be linked to microcephaly, which causes brain damage in infants. WHO officials have declared Zika a public health emergency.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Courtesy of Richard Woodruff(SALT LAKE CITY) -- A therapy kangaroo is bringing hope to retired servicemen while hopping around a home for veterans in Salt Lake City.

Charlie the kangaroo has been working at the William E. Christoffersen Salt Lake Veterans Home since March 2015, Noralyn Kahn, an administrator at the home, told ABC News.

"His job is just to love them," Kahn, who also owns Charlie, said. "They can hold him and give him a bottle, or he will go and jump around and make everybody smile."

"It's been proven that therapy animals lower blood pressure, and they lessen the need for a lot of anti-depressants because they just uplift everybody. For those residents who sometimes seem like they are not there with us, we can put an animal in their arms and it is just the most amazing thing," Kahn said. "They just love Charlie."

Charlie will be recognized for his achievements next month when he is honored as the American Red Cross' "Animal Hero of the Year," Rich Woodruff, communications director for the Utah region of the American Red Cross, told ABC News.

"The Red Cross has an annual event called Everyday Heroes, and we have all kinds of categories that people are nominated for, and a few years ago we started a category called Animal Heroes," Woodruff said. In the past they have honored canines, but this year Charlie the kangaroo was nominated.

Kahn explained that one of Charlie's greatest contributions to the home is bringing families together. The presence of a kangaroo attracts previously wary or timid visitors.

"Oftentimes the grandkids won't come in this building because of the way Grandpa acts, or because he has an oxygen machine or there are people they don't know," Kahn said, "but they come and see Charlie and they are always so happy."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News(NEW YORK) --  The three models who are breaking barriers in this month’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue say they are doing so because brands are finally looking beyond the conventional size and age for models.

Nicola Griffin is a 56-year-old mom who started modeling at the age of 53 after her children left home for school. Now, Griffin is rocking a gold bikini in a one-page ad for plus-size swimsuit retailer Swimsuits for All in Sports Illustrated’s famous issue.

“It’s amazing,” Griffin said Friday on “Good Morning America.” “I’m very, very proud.”

Like Griffin, plus-size model Precious Lee is featured in an ad in the Swimsuit issue for Lane Bryant. The model said confidence is a strength she works on building every single day.

“Can’t in my household was like saying a curse word so I’ve built on that through the years,” Lee said. “[Confidence] takes practice every single day.”

“It’s something that you have to work on and build on every day,” she said. “There’s no magic pill.”
Ashley Graham, best known for her work as a lingerie model for Lane Bryant, is a member of the SI Swimsuit 2016 Rookie Class. She’ll be one of five rookie Swimsuit issue models featured in the magazine when it hits newsstands next week.

“I’m still so speechless about it all,” she said.

Graham, a Lincoln, Nebraska, native, made history as the first so-called curvy model to have an ad in the SI Swimsuit issue. Last year she generated huge buzz when she walked the New York Fashion Week runway in her own Modern Boudoir lingerie line for Addition Elle.

The model said it is about time brands started paying attention to models who are not stick-thin.
“Nobody’s been listening to us,” Graham said on “GMA.” “I’ve been doing this for 15 years and finally Sports Illustrated has come out, Lane Bryant, ‘Swimsuits for All.' There’s been so many brands that are finally saying, ‘You know what, we are going to be the pioneers.'”

“We are going to be the ones that say, you know, it doesn’t matter what size you are. It doesn’t matter if you have cellulite. It doesn’t matter if things jiggle where they’re not supposed to. That’s still beautiful,’” she said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Within in the medical community there really is no debate about the benefits of childhood vaccines. But socially, the topic is a loaded one.

So what should you do if you have questions about getting your baby vaccinated?

  • Talk to your baby's pediatrician. So much fear, myth and misconception continues to exist.
  • There is a set schedule. Parents should ask their pediatrician what's due and when.
  • Hold on to copies vaccination records. Many schools and camps will request documentation.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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David and Ivonne Trinidad(NEW YORK) -- Forget the stork.

A New York City couple said they found out they were expecting their first child with the help of a little technology -- Fitbit data.

David Trinidad’s 2016 New Year’s resolution was to get in shape and have a child with his wife of three-and-a-half years, Ivonne Trinidad. When Ivonne fell in love with her husband’s Fitbit, David got her one of her own.

“I wanted to get a Fitbit to use the sleep tracker and see if I was hitting my sleep goals,” Ivonne said. But little did she know the gadget was about to tell her something else.

“Weeks later I thought something was wrong with the tracker because [Ivonne's] heart rate was consistently high,” David said. “I thought something was wrong with the watch and didn’t want to contact customer service and go through all of that so I posted in reddit where I was active.”

One Reddit user suggested that Ivonne’s elevated heart rate may be explained by stress or pregnancy.
“We had begun to try to have our first child, but that was really fast, but could be a possibility,” David said.

Ivonne says she took nearly 10 pregnancy tests which all came back positive.

“I was down $200 bucks before the baby was even born,” David said.

Christine Zirafi, Director of the Women’s Cardiovascular Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center’s Harrington Heart and Vascular Institute tells ABC News that an elevated heart rate can be a sign of pregnancy, and is not uncommon. But there are many other diseases that can cause a faster heart rate.

“Your heart rate goes up during pregnancy as your heart puts more blood out because of the placenta and the baby,” Dr. Zirafi said. “There are also changes in the mother’s vascular resistance because of the placenta and the baby.”

The couple’s doctor confirmed they are expecting. The due date is October 2016.

After sharing the news with the Reddit community, David has received notifications and messages from people all over the world.

“It’s been insane,” Ivonne said. “All the emotions, I’m super hormonal. People from South Africa to Germany have reached out to say congratulations.”

A Fitbit spokesperson told ABC News it is always exciting to hear from the community of Fitbit users, and they are very happy to learn of this story.

The first time parents say the response has been so positive that they have decided to let people continue to follow their journey via twitter and Instagram @babyfitbit.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Tim Boyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- While outlining its Zika virus response plan, the Department of Homeland Security said today it will not direct U.S. Customs officials to add new screening measures for travelers into the United States.

“Based on our current understanding of the virus, enhanced public health entry screening for Zika would not be effective,” a DHS statement said.

Most people who are infected with Zika are asymptomatic and, therefore, would not be identified during the screening process, according to DHS.

The Zika virus has been spreading throughout the Americas and has been linked to birth defects and other negative health issues. The virus’ spread prompted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to activate its highest emergency operations level Monday.

The White House also announced earlier this week that it was seeking more than $1.8 billion in supplemental funding from Congress to address the U.S. response to the virus.

“Just like with our response to Ebola, our response to Zika must be an all-hands-on-deck effort,” said Sen. Carper, D-Del., in a statement last month calling on DHS to provide a response.

As part of their day-to-day practices, officials look for overt signs of illness at all U.S. ports of entry and on the border

But CDC officials are not recommending active symptom monitoring and temperature checks like they did for Ebola screening.

Because Department of Homeland Security is responsible for immigration - legal and illegal - homeland security officials are adding “mosquito control measures” at facilities where people are in DHS custody in the areas of the country where mosquitoes have transmitted the virus.

Pregnant women in immigration custody who are from areas with a high incidence of Zika virus will be screened for symptoms, receive blood testing and be provided prenatal care while in custody, DHS said.

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moodboard/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  After beginning her professional modeling career last year, Madeline Stuart has jetted across the globe for photo shoots and runway shows. A hectic schedule comes with the modeling territory. But Stuart has something else to prove to the world.

She was born with Down syndrome and is working hard to change society's perceptions of modeling. According to Stuart, she is the only professional model with the genetic disorder. But her condition has not slowed down her career. The teenager is walking in the FTL Moda show during New York Fashion Week -- her second time modeling at the fashion event.

"I hope through modelling I can change societies view of people with Disabilities," she wrote on her Facebook page. "Exposure is creating awareness, acceptance and inclusion."

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that develops when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. Individuals with Down syndrome often have a lower IQ and slower speech. The disease can also affect a person in physical ways. including smaller hands and feet, almond-shaped eyes and small ears.

Rosanne Stuart, Madeline's mother and manager, told ABC News that Madeline has become more outgoing and communicative as a result of her time in front of the camera.

"We always get fantastic feedback from makeup artists, photographers and product companies. She is not pretentious and very focused and down to earth, which I think is amazing as before this she could not get any type of work," Stuart wrote in an email. "She has also developed a very outgoing personality and communicates a lot more."

 She said that she and her daughter have received a lot of support and encouragement.

"I think the most exciting thing is all the thousands of people that have reached out in appreciation of what she is doing and what our beliefs are on changing the world's perspective on disability," Stuart said. "It has been really touching and has made us want to keep going and to keep trying to help people."

Stuart added that Madeline was especially happy about returning to New York Fashion Week.

"We are so grateful for all the support [Madeline] gets as it not only makes her a very happy young woman but it gives us faith in humanity," Stuart said.

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Courtesy Lindsay Rhoades(NEW YORK) --  A Virginia mom is hoping to raise awareness of pediatric cancer by sharing a tearful video of herself reading a letter she wrote to her recently deceased daughter.

"The day that she passed, I wrote it that morning - after I got back from the hospital," Lindsay Rhoades, of Herndon, Virginia, told ABC News today. "I read it at her service. I've written letters to Kate for a long stretch of time, but this particular letter I thought about all the things I wanted to say to her if I had the opportunity to say them to her."

 Rhoades, 39, said her daughter Kate was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the summer of 2013 and completed her treatments in September 2015.

But on Jan. 11 blood work revealed that Kate had relapsed and one day later, she died at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia. She was just 4 years old.

"She did so well through treatment and she was perfect, so this was truly the ultimate shock," Rhoades said. "It was absolutely the most gut-wrenching [feeling].... There's a lot of guilt wondering if there's something we could’ve done differently ... and utter disbelief because she was are only child and she just started living.

"She was an angel," Rhoades added. "She was very patient, very gentle, very studious, very, very sweet. She had a big place in her heart for other people that didn’t feel well.... She was also funny - so, so funny. She would’ve done big things, I think."

 On Feb. 5, Rhoades said Mike Gillette, founder of The Truth 365, a social media campaign for children fighting cancer, encouraged her to appear in one of his videos, after hearing her read a letter she wrote to Kate at her funeral. It reads, in part:

"Our Dearest, Darling, Kate,

"Did you know how much we love you? How many times a day did we tell you while we kissed your sweet cheek? If you knew even half as much as we hoped you would, then we did our job as your mommy and daddy.

"... We always wanted to be your mommy and daddy, you know. We dreamed about who you would become, what music you would like and who your first crush would be. I was secretly excited to find out who your first boy band would be so that I could pretend to like their music for you. We wondered how you would like school. Would you be athletic or studious? Where might you go to college and what would you study? This nightmare of never knowing who you will grow up to be will haunt us for the rest of our lives - forever for, they say.

"Since 4 is the forever we were given, I'd say it was a mighty fine 4, and without even knowing it, we spent the last four months building one heck of a lifetime together.... Kit-Kat, we promise that your life will be remembered for the cheerful, bubbly, way you lived, and that your beautiful spirit will be with us forever.

"... God only knows how we'll get along without your sweet face, adorable voice and cheeky grin. When you see him, ask him if he has any pointers on that. Then come by and share them with us. Maybe through a pretty snowfall out back this winter, a breezy day hammocking this spring and the smell of the honeysuckle you loved in our backyard this summer, or as a beautiful fox in our front yard. Come visit us, baby, We know you can't stay. Just promise you'll come...."

 The video, titled "Letter to Kate," has been viewed more than 124,000 times since being posted on The Truth 365's Facebook page.

"The part toward the end, we talk about how we will not let her passing be in vain," Rhoades said. "We want to to raise awareness for pediatric cancer and ultimately for a cure. When she passed, I promised we will not let it be for nothing. We will do big things in her name."

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iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  A 9-year-old boy with cystic fibrosis saw his wish to be Iron Man come true when the entire city of Sydney, Australia, got behind him and turned him into "Iron Boy" for the day.

Domenic Pace even got a shout-out from Iron Man himself, Robert Downey, Jr., who played the superhero on the big screen.

The actor tweeted about Pace’s "top secret mission" on Wednesday.

Sent a very special boy on a top secret mission today. Go get ‘em, Domenic! #IronBoyAU @MakeAWishAust

— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) February 11, 2016

Domenic’s mom told Make-A-Wish Australia, which coordinated Domenic’s adventure, that he would only answer to “Tony” (Tony Stark, or Iron Man) starting at a young age.

On Wednesday, Domenic was whisked to New South Wales police headquarters via a helicopter and outfitted in an Iron Boy costume.

He was then taken to a nearby island to help rescue a Make-A-Wish news reporter who had “been kidnapped by Ultron’s henchmen,” according to Make-A-Wish Australia.

Domenic, as Iron Boy, then traveled back to Sydney, where he defeated Ultron on the steps of the iconic Sydney Opera House.

In an epic conclusion to the day, Downey recorded a special video message for Domenic and made him an honorary member of the Avengers.


News outlets throughout Australia and the world tweeted about Domenic's day, which was reminiscent of the day in the U.S. nearly two years ago when San Francisco transformed into Gotham City to fulfill a then-5-year-old boy's wish to be Batman for a day.

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