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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you're heading to the beach for Fourth of July fun this weekend, remember to be mindful of sharks.

Shark attacks were reported on both ends of the country in the past two months, from Vero Beach, Florida, to Newport Beach, California.

So whether you're on the East Coast or West Coast this weekend, experts say it's important to know how to stay safe in the water.

Here are some tips from former Green Beret and survival expert Terri Schappert:

1. Stay calm.

If you see a shark, don't thrash or scream, Schappert told ABC News last summer. Just turn around, get out of the water and tell everyone else to get out, he said.

Sharks pick up vibrations and smells, but they can't see you most of the time, Schappert said.

"The more you flail around ... [the sharks] are very attracted to that," Schappert said.

2. Have a plan.

Every beach-goer should have an evacuation plan, which includes knowing where the closest hospital is, Schappert said.

"Just think in your head, what would happen ... if someone you love just got bit? What now?" he said. "Don't be paranoid, but have a procedure. Think about how you'd get out of the water, then think about ... the chain of what would happen next."

"Try not to freak out," Schappert added. "But know it's a possibility."

3. Know first-aid.

Most shark bites are on the limbs, according to Schappert, and when a shark's mouth hits a swimmer's arm or leg, "it's bound to sever an artery."

"Shark bites are not smooth -- they're jagged -- which makes the wound worse," he said. And the more jagged the wound, the more it will bleed, so it's important to know first-aid.

"The best thing you can do for that person is to stop the bleeding," Schappert said, which, if the victim is bit on a limb, means applying a tourniquet.

In 2014, Schappert took ABC News' Matt Gutman swimming in shark-infested waters off the Bahamas.

To properly learn how to fend off sharks, Gutman pulled on 15 pounds of chain mail armour, and then put clothes on top to simulate real people’s finding themselves stuck in shark-infested waters after a plane or a boat crash.

Gutman and Schappert then did what experts say not to do: flapping around in waters where sharks were feeding, wearing regular clothing.

While they were in the water, Schappert's advice to Gutman was to:

1. Slow down your movements.

Fast movements give off the signal of prey, he said. Also conserving energy is key to survival in the above scenario.

2. Team up.

If there are two people in the water, Schappert recommended treading water back to back to limit the spheres of control by half, to 180 degrees each.

3. Fight back.

If the sharks begin attacking, fight them off, Schappert said.

He recommended striking the sharks using quick, downward punching motions.

"All you can do is fight and let them know, 'I am not going down easy,'" Schappert told Gutman.

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

Gynecologists, dermatologists and women alike are excited about the latest option for giving women a way to improve intimacy.

It's called ThermiVa and it's a Food and Drug Administration-cleared technique to improve skin tightening, help collagen formation and better blood vessel growth to the lower genital tract.

The device uses temperature-controlled radio frequency technology in an office setting with no discomfort or downtime. It comes with a price tag of several thousand dollars for three treatments.

Though not yet endorsed by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ThermiVa use is growing as part of a mommy makeover and for women after menopause.

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iStock/Thinkstock(LAMPANG, Thailand) -- Prosthetic limbs aren’t just for people. They can be for elephants, too.

Mosha the elephant, a permanent resident of the hospital run by the Friends of the Asian Elephant foundation in Thailand, is the first elephant ever to receive an effective and functional prosthetic leg.

Mosha was just 7 months old when she lost her leg to a landmine on the Burmese border, according to the FAE’s website.

As she continued to grow, her missing leg put tremendous pressure on her remaining three limbs and her spine. Luckily, the FAE was able to give Mosha a prosthetic leg, and the organization is continuously designing and creating new molds to accommodate the growing elephant. At the time of her injury, Mosha weighed about 1,300 pounds. Now, she weighs over 4,400 pounds.

When Mosha waits for a new prosthetic leg, she is able to do things like lean against rails in order to relieve some of the pressure, the site says. Designing and constructing her new prosthetic is a very complex process.

Fellow FAE hospital resident, Motola, also has a prosthetic leg. She was right behind Mosha as the second elephant to receive one. Unfortunately, Matola is not quite as comfortable in her new leg as Mosha is due to her growth patterns.

FAE recently added a prosthesis factory to its facility, which will make the process more affordable and efficient, according to the website.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — What’s a Fourth of July cookout without corn on the cob?

When butter, salt and pepper simply aren’t enough, try these four uncommon recipes to jazz up those ears of corn from Health.com.

Naturally, the recipes call for fresh corn to be shucked then boiled or grilled. If boiling, drop the ears of corn in salted water for three minutes; if grilling, use your best judgment but don’t burn them.

Be certain to slather these toppings onto cooked cobs.

Maple Butter Corn on the Cob

4 Tbsp. softened unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
Pinch of course sea salt
Brush 1 to 2 teaspoons on each ear of corn. (Save any extra for toast.)

Creamy Chipotle Corn on the Cob

1 seeded, minced chipotle
1 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
Pinch of salt and pepper
Brush 1 to 2 teaspoons on each ear of corn.

Pesto Parm Corn on the Cob

1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. pesto
1 to 2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Spread on 1 ear of corn.

Classic Boil Corn on the Cob

2 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter
3/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Pinch of salt
Brush 2 to 3 teaspoons on each ear of corn.

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DigitalVision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  A 75-year-old man from Renton, Washington, recently called 911 claiming he was in a small plane crash, only to discover it was all a dream that he says may have been brought on by a prescription sleeping aid he’d taken before bed.

In audio of the emergency call, the man can be heard telling the operator that he's "pinned in" a plane that was in a "field with trees." He can be heard adding that there were three other people on board who were unconscious.

Renton firefighters and police were dispatched to the man's home, where they found the caller not in a plane, but in his bed at home, according to NORCOM, a dispatch agency that services King County, Washington.

The man was embarrassed and told emergency personnel that "it was all just a dream," a NORCOM spokesman told ABC News today, adding that emergency personnel determined he was OK and left.

The caller, who wished not to be identified by name, told ABC News today that the incident happened in May after a recent surgery. He said he had been having trouble sleeping, so his daughter gave him half a pill of the sedative.

"It was a bad, terrible experience," he said.

The 75-year-old added that he will "never again" take the drug and that he now just wants to put the scary episode behind him.

The drug's developer says it has a 20-year track record and is perfectly safe when as directed.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  Stem cells represent for some the promise of a cure from disease or relief from chronic pain conditions -- and businesses have taken notice, opening clinics that market different stem-cell treatments directly to consumers.

While the use of unapproved stem-cell therapies is commonly associated with international “stem cell tourism,” a new analysis in the journal Cell Stem Cell indicates that this marketplace may be much larger in the United States than previously thought.

By using internet key word searches, text mining, and content analysis of company websites, UC Davis stem cell researcher Paul Knoepfler and University of Minnesota bioethicist Leigh Turner found a total of 351 U.S. businesses offering stem-cell treatments in 570 clinics throughout the United States. Clinics were found throughout the country, with California, Florida and Texas having the highest number of clinics. Similar clusters were also seen in certain cites, most notably Beverly Hills, followed by New York and San Antonio.

The majority of clinics advertised autologous treatments, which means using stem cells that come directly from the patient, usually from fat cells or bone marrow. However, an estimated one in five clinics marketed treatments with stem cells derived from other people, and two clinics offered “bovine amniotic cells” to patients -- meaning cells derived from the amniotic fluid of cows.

The purported treatments offered by these clinics were varied, with the most common interventions advertised for orthopedic issues, followed by pain, sports injuries, neurologic conditions, and immune disorders. The authors note specific concern about the marketing of treatments for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, for which there is currently no consensus from the medical community that there are safe and effective stem cell treatments.

James Hendrix, director of Global Science Initiatives at the Alzheimer’s Association, shares these concerns.

Although there are clinical studies being conducted to assess the safety and efficacy of stem cells in the treatment of disease and injury, he stressed that it is important to “make the distinction between what is research, and what is ready to be sold and marketed and provided to patients.”

The treatments offered in these clinics “are unproven and not tested appropriately at this point," Hendrix added. "There’s no way to confirm that any of these clinics are providing stem cells, let alone whether they actually work.”

His points echo those made by Turner and Knoepfler, who note that some clinics may not be meeting federal regulations regarding cells and tissues.

"From around 2009 to the present, businesses have been entering the marketplace on a routine basis, they've been coming in making marketing assertions about stem cells treating 30-40 different diseases, and no one's taking meaningful regulatory action," Turner said in a statement.

"Does that mean that people are getting access to safe and efficacious interventions or is there basically unapproved human experimentation taking place where people are going to these businesses and receiving experimental investigational cell-based interventions without being given a meaningful account of the lack of knowledge and evidence that they're being charged for?" Turner added.

For now, it seems additional discussions into the ethical, legal and medical ramifications of these clinics are needed. Per Hendrix, stem cells and stem cell research “may lead to really great new understanding of disease as well as new therapies," he said. But "that is a step separate from what these clinics are doing today.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  When it comes to jobs that are detrimental to your health, experts often refer to the three Ds -- dirty, dangerous and dull.

But jobs in the three Fs -- fishing, forestry and farming -- had the highest suicide risk, according to a report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report examined suicide rates in different occupations in 2012.

Workers in the farming, fishing and forestry industries had a suicide rate of 84.5 per 100,000, while the lowest suicide rate was found in people working in education, with a rate of 7.5 per 100,000, the study found. That's more than a 10-fold difference in suicide risk. Of the 12,313 reported suicides, 77.2 percent were male while 22.8 percent were female.

While suicide can occur for a variety of reasons, the report found certain factors such as social isolation and access to lethal materials could contribute to suicide risk. The report is not conclusive when it comes to the reason behind the higher suicide rates seen in some professions.

“Previous research suggests that farmers’ chronic exposure to pesticides" may “contribute to depressive symptoms," according to the report.

Other occupational groups with high suicide rates include maintenance/repair, construction and management. The report cited reasons such as lack of steady employment and work overload as possible factors that could contribute to suicide risk. However, the occupational risks for suicide were slightly different for women, with those in protective services such as law enforcement and firefighting having the highest rates of suicide, the study found.

One limitation of the study was that the data was collected from 17 states, so it's unclear if these suicide rates would match up with national rates, the researchers noted. The 17 states were Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

John Draper, director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, explained that the people at risk are often in rural areas with reduced access to mental health services and are often working alone.

"Aloneness and disconnection is often associated with greater distress and a harder time coping," he told ABC News.

For those in rural areas, accessing help through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or the Crisis Textline can help people even if they are not in crisis, Draper said.

"About three out of four people who contact National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are not suicidal, they’re people in emotional distress," said Draper, who was not involved in this CDC study. "There’s a significant reduction not only in suicidality but in emotional distress," after people call a hotline.

The findings of the study could be used to help people at risk of suicide, according to the study authors, who noted that prevention activities directed toward specific groups can “enhance social support, community connectedness and access to preventive services." And workplace wellness programs can promote coping skills, the study authors noted.

The five occupation groups with the highest suicide rates per 100,000 workers

    Farming, fishing, forestry 84.5
    Construction and extraction 53.3
    Installation, maintenance and repair 47.9
    Production 34.5
    Architecture and engineering 32.2

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Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  When mom of two Christina Torino-Benton's 6-month-old daughter Gemma wouldn't stop fussing, she just did what she would normally do.

She breastfed her.

Never mind that Torino-Benton was in the middle of her wedding ceremony to childhood crush Danny Benton and no matter that she was as dressed up and glammed up as a bride could be.

 "It wasn't even a thought that crossed my mind to not feed her," Torino-Benton told ABC News. "It's always my reaction when she gets upset. It was the only thing to do. That's what she wanted. So I complied. I always do. It was so natural and instinctive. When I looked at Danny to let him know that's what was happening, it was more of a giggle between him and I, rather than a discussion. He is just as on board as I am when it comes to caring for our baby."

She posted to popular Facebook page Breastfeeding Mama Talk. From there, it took on a life of its own.

"I have shared a few breastfeeding bride photos in the past," the page's founder, Kristy Kemp, told ABC News, "but what made this one different is it was during the actual ceremony. I think it shows a mom willing to put her child ahead of her even on a day where it's generally supposed to be all about her."

 Because baby Gemma was crying, Torino-Benton said, "I was in no way able to concentrate on my wedding because I never ever let her cry. So I just turned to my mom and asked her to give her to me. I was able to discreetly pull down one side of my gown and feed her. And she fell asleep within five minutes."

No one reacted, she said.

"I'm pretty certain nobody even knew what was going on. It was only after the fact that they had asked me if I breastfed her during the ceremony. And when I answered yes, everyone said 'awesome!' Or something similar. Our family is very supportive, always."

And though most of the public has been supportive too, there have been critics.

"I had never felt judged or anything before now when it came to breastfeeding," Torino-Benton said. "I've heard of people coming down on breastfeeding women and I thought that was just so horrible, but now that I've experienced it first-hand, and widely, from people all around the world, I now truly know what an issue this is.

"I hope that my photo, along with the photos it has helped inspired to come forward, really changes the views some people may have. Or at least let the women who still feed in the bathroom stalls know that it's okay, you can come out. We're all just feeding our babies."

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Cookie dough may be tempting to taste before it's been baked, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning people to resist that temptation due to concerns that the dough could be contaminated with E. coli bacteria.

Dozens of people have been sickened due to an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O121 linked to flour, prompting the FDA to issue a warning on Wednesday to avoid eating raw cookie dough or batter -- whether it’s for bread, cookies, pizza or tortillas.

The E. coli outbreak in at least 20 states, likely caused by flour, was reported earlier this month by the CDC and led General Mills to voluntarily recall 10 million pounds of flour.

The products were sold under the names Gold Medal, Signature Kitchen’s and Gold Medal Wondra. At least 38 people have been infected with E. coli in the flour-related outbreak, including 10 people who were hospitalized, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Flour produced at a General Mills facility in Kansas City, Missouri, is believed to be the source of the outbreak, CDC officials said earlier this month. General Mills said that the FDA has confirmed one sample from its recalled flour tested positive for E. coli O121.

“Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria,” Leslie Smoot, a senior adviser in the FDA’s Office of Food Safety and a specialist in the microbiological safety of processed foods, said in a statement.

E. coli can be killed through common cooking methods, including baking, boiling, roasting or frying. Symptoms of an E. coli infection include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and, in rare situations, kidney failure.

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

Are you considering a hysterectomy? The surgery is the second most common amongst women.

There is growing evidence that premenopausal removal of the ovaries is associated with worse long-term health outcomes. Yet, in a significant percentage of cases, ovaries were removed at the time of hysterectomy for no apparent reason.

Here's my GYN advice:

  • Ask your gynecologist for all the treatment options -- not just the ones he or she offers.
  • Ask about the surgical approach. A hysterectomy can be done via a large skin incision, laparoscopically or vaginally, and they all have different pros and cons.
  • Ask what will be removed and why. Hysterectomies include the cervix, ovaries and/or fallopian tubes.

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Desiree Navarro/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Actress Stephanie March, best known for playing an assistant district attorney on Law & Order: SVU, has opened up about a dangerous reaction she experienced after undergoing breast augmentation.

March, 41, described the episode in a candid essay she wrote for Refinery29. The actress said she decided to have the surgery during a painful time in her life -- her split from her then-husband, chef Bobby Flay.

“The other thing that was happening was that my marriage of nearly 10 years (and 14 together) was falling apart. And nothing, nothing was helping me cope,” March wrote. “I decided to try one last thing. And what I did next was exactly what you are not supposed to do when it comes to plastic surgery. I decided to change my body because I couldn’t change my life.”

March wrote that just two months after the surgery she experienced complications and learned her right implant was infected and the seams of her scar on her right side had burst. Her surgeon removed the implant and sent her to an infectious disease doctor.

“I a hole in my breast for six weeks while I blasted my body with antibiotics. I had the implant put back in. I had another infection and rupture on Christmas Eve. I had it taken out again. I had more cultures and tests and conversations with doctors than I care to recall,” March wrote.

March said she came to the conclusion that her complication was not something anyone could have prevented but that, “I am allergic to implants. Plain and simple. My body did. Not. Want. Them. I kept trying to 'fix' my body, and it kept telling me to leave it alone.”

The actress, whose divorce from Flay was finalized in July 2015, ultimately had her implants removed.

“I have accepted this episode as a part of my larger story. And I refuse to be ashamed of it. I am taking back my body, my story, and myself in a bathing suit,” March wrote. “All that I had, all that I was, from the beginning, was all I needed to be. And now, I anticipate summer of 2016 with great joy.”

March told ABC News in a statement she is “overwhelmed” and “very moved” by the “positive reaction” to her article.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News Chief women's health correspondent, said Thursday on  ABC's Good Morning America that even common plastic surgery procedures like breast augmentation are "not without complications."

"You need to know about these possible complications and they do differ based on the type of implant used, the approach used, the incision and generally the skill and the expertise of the surgeon, although these can happen with the best surgical technique,” Ashton said, adding that March noted in her Refinery29 article she did not blame her own surgeon.

Ashton recommends that patients ask their doctor the following three questions before undergoing plastic surgery: Are you board-certified in plastic surgery? How many of these operations you do per year? What is your complication rate?

"If you think that having cosmetic surgery is going to change your life, it’s not," Ashton added. "And there’s no such thing as minor surgery. You get a complication, it becomes major real fast."

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The deafening crack of thunder or the startling burst of M-80s is enough to turn some dogs into scaredy-cats.

The New York Times reports that, according to some estimates, 40 percent of dogs experience noise anxiety. Animal shelters say that July 5 is the busiest day for taking in runaway dogs.

Dr. Melissa Bain, an associate professor of clinical animal behavior at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine says that noise anxiety for dogs is very serious: “It’s a true panic disorder with a complete flight response.”

The Food and Drug Administration approved a drug to combat canine noise aversion that became available this month. The drug is called Sileo and inhibits norepinephrine, a brain chemical associated with anxiety and fear response.

Sileo is a flavorless gel that is squeezed between a dog’s cheek and gum using a syringe and absorbed in 30 minutes. It's a micro-amount of a drug already approved for minor vet procedures.

Orion, a Finnish company, developed Sileo and tested it on several hundred afflicted dogs during two years of New Year’s fireworks. Three-fourths of the owners rated the dogs’ response as good to excellent. The drug lasts for several hours. A syringe costs about $30 and doses are designated by the weight of the dog. Side effects?  In some dogs, vomiting.

“I’m not naïve enough to think this is the miracle cure,” said Dr. Emily Levine, a veterinary behaviorist in Fairfield, N.J. Yet she thinks it might be a worthy option.

However, most vets say the ideal solution is catching the response early and gently desensitizing the dog with recordings of the offending noises, plus positive conditioning.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The first big holiday weekend of the summer is almost here, meaning lots of us will be headed for the local swimming pool, lake or the beach for some fun.  The American Red Cross is offering these important swimming safety tips for kids and adults:

  •     Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  •     Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  •     Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  •     Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  •     Maintain constant supervision.
  •     Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and learn-to-swim courses.
  •     If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.
  •     Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
  •     If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  •     Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
  •     Know how and when to call 911 or the local emergency number.
  •     Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
  •     Protect your skin. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.
  •     Drink plenty of water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.

For more information, visit the Red Cross website or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Americans overwhelmingly support plans to spend nearly $2 billion to prevent the spread of the Zika virus, but don't feel the issue is urgent. One in three is worried about contracting the virus, one in four is taking steps to avoid exposure –- and most are confident that the federal government can respond effectively to an outbreak.

Seventy-three percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll favor the spending level proposed by the Obama administration, but many fewer, 46 percent, say Congress should approve it immediately; an additional 24 percent think approval should be contingent on budget offsets to be agreed by the Obama administration and Republicans in Congress. Two in 10 surveyed in the poll, produced by Langer Research Associates, oppose the spending.

See PDF with full results here.

A third of Americans are worried that they or someone in their immediate family will contract Zika, which is spread primarily by mosquitoes and can cause serious illness and birth defects. This concern has some influence on funding preferences: Among those who were more worried, 51 percent want immediate funding approval vs. 40 percent among those who were not worried at all.

Views on the Zika Virus


The level of concern about being infected with Zika is somewhat lower than it was for other epidemics tested in previous ABC/Post polls. Worries about Ebola, the H1N1 swine flu, bird flu and the SARS virus peaked at 43, 52, 41 and 38 percent, respectively.

Concern might increase if more Americans become infected, as occurred with swine flu. At the same time, those experiences –- in which feared epidemics did not occur -– may contribute both to diminished worry and to confidence in the government’s response.

As things stand, about one in four adults –- 27 percent -– report taking steps to try to limit their exposure to Zika (rising to 37 percent of those who are personally concerned about infection). Among those taking action, using bug spray is the top volunteered response to what they’re doing, mentioned by half. Just fewer than a quarter say they’re staying indoors or draining standing water, and slightly more than one in 10 are trying to avoid areas with mosquitoes or are making sure that clothing covers their skin.

As percentages of the full population, these are small numbers –- from a high of 13 percent using bug spray to the single digits for all other mentions.

The public’s wait-and-see approach is consistent with confidence in the federal government’s capacity to prevent an outbreak; similar to past infectious disease threats, two-thirds are at least somewhat confident of an effective response, though only two in 10 are highly confident. Just one in 10 are not at all confident in the federal’s government’s ability to contain the disease. Sensibly, those who are not confident in the government are substantially more likely to be taking their own steps to avoid infection.

This relatively high confidence also relates to support for the administration’s spending plan –- 12 points higher among those who are confident in the government. This group also is 8 points more likely to support immediate approval of the funding request.

Groups


Confidence in the government’s response varies predictably along political lines, but consistently reaches majorities across key demographic groups. It peaks at more than seven in 10 among those 18-29, college graduates, those in higher-income households, urban residents and Democrats. It’s somewhat lower among others, strong conservatives and rural residents in particular (52 and 56 percent confident, respectively).

Consonant with the possible path of the disease, concern peaks at four in 10 among Gulf Coast state residents, compared with 36 percent of those in Atlantic coast states from South Carolina to New York and 29 percent of those living elsewhere. Gulf Coast residents also are more likely than others to say they’ve taken action to prevent the spread of the disease, though there’s little difference in support for the administration’s plan.

Though women are no more personally worried about Zika than men, they are more likely to have taken precautions, 31 to 23 percent. The lower rate of action by men is driven by men age 18-35, who are also substantially less worried than older men and all women about the disease. Only 14 percent in this group have done anything to prevent contracting Zika, about half the rate of others; they’re also 15 points less likely than their female counterparts to be worried about it personally.

Zika Views by Groups


In other groups, compared with whites, nonwhites are substantially more worried about Zika ( 17 points) and to say they’ve taken preventative action ( 12), as well as slightly more apt to support immediate funding approval ( 8). Democrats are also more worried ( 10) and more supportive of immediate Zika funding ( 23) than are Republicans. Finally, those without a college degree are 16 points more likely to say they’re concerned personally about the disease – but also 10 points less likely than those with a college degree to support swift funding approval.

Methodology


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone June 20-23, 2016, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Owen Suskind’s world came to a halt in 1993. The toddler stopped talking, showing affection and engaging in the world around him.

His parents Ron and Cornelia Suskind took him to a doctor and heard a shattering diagnosis: regressive autism.

“We just froze,” Ron Suskind told Nightline. “The doctor started to explain, ‘OK, this is going to change your life. He may never get his speech back. Many of the kids don’t.’”

Ron Suskind, an award-winning Wall Street Journal reporter, said that around this time his son “started to vanish.”

“He couldn’t look at you,” Ron said. “He walked around like someone with their eyes closed.”

At age 4, Owen’s language became gibberish and his frustration grew, but he found comfort in animated movies. Then one day, there was a breakthrough. Ron said Owen had been watching “The Little Mermaid” and started saying what sounded like, “Jucervus, Jucervus.”

“Cornelia thought he wanted more juice,” Ron Suskind said. “So she gives him the juice. He knocks the cup over."

That's when Ron said they realized he was referring to the movie. "He rewinds it the second time. Then the third time, and Cornelia [says], ‘It’s not juice.’”

Owen was fixated on a pivotal scene in the movie when Ursula the sea witch says to Ariel, “Just your voice.”

“I grab Owen and say, ‘Just your voice!’ and he looks at me for the first time in a year and says, ‘Jucervus,’” Ron said. “Pandemonium broke out in the bedroom.’”

The family discovered Owen had memorized every line from every Disney movie and eventually realized that by speaking dialogue in those characters’ voices, they could communicate with their son. Ron first started talking to his son with an Iago puppet, the parrot from the movie, “Aladdin.”

The Suskinds spent the next several years immersing themselves in Owen’s world. Now 20 years later, Owen and his family are sharing their hard-won journey in a new documentary, “Life, Animated,” the same title of Ron Suskind’s 2014 book about their experience. "Life, Animated" is opening in theaters on Friday.

“We were living a kind of double life,” Ron said. “I'm interviewing presidents, and at night, we're animated characters.”

For Owen, watching those movies made him feel like he was in a better, safe place.

“The world was so noisy coming at him, overwhelming him,” Ron added. “The movies were the one thing that didn’t change.”

Dr. Rebecca Landa has spent 20 years working with children who have autism and said it’s important to pay close attention to what the child is trying to express. She said one of the things that can happen with these animated movies is that children will learn parts of the script.

“They can't put together the words from scratch to express their idea," she said. "So they’re borrowing from the movie."

Beyond the storylines, Owen, now 25 years old, said he feels a kinship with certain animated characters.

“The sidekicks,” he said. “They're so fun-loving and entertaining and also help the heroes fulfill their destiny.”

In fact, Owen compares people in his life to sidekicks from Disney movies. He said he sees his father as Merlin from “The Sword and the Stone” and his mother as Mrs. Potts from “The Beauty and the Beast.” The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC News.

Owen is just one of many with autism who are drawn to animated stories. Colleen Sottilare said her 22-year-old son Jonathan finds great comfort in these movies, especially “Toy Story.”

“His mood changes if it comes on, he’ll just stop and watch it, and calm down,” Sottilare said. “So I think it really has just a really calming influence on him.”

The animation connection has offered Owen a way to make friends. He even started a Disney club at his school, where he said they discuss the films and how they relate to their lives.

“They start to talk and they're speaking the language of Disney to each other,” his father Ron said. “It's like magic.”

Embracing their son’s complex world led Ron and Cornelia Suskind to see the world differently.

“We saw there are many affinities,” Ron said. “The kids who are Harry Potter kids and Star Wars kids -- they use these passions as code breakers to crack the codes of themselves, their place in the world, their identity.”

It’s a lesson for parents of children with autism who worry that their kids are too obsessed with certain subjects, Landa said, and that can be a good thing.

“If you take those interests but you just wiggle a little further away from them, slowly but surely, you can bring in new experiences for children,” she said.

One of those new experiences is real-life interaction with an animated character. On a recent trip to New York City, Owen got to meet Jonathan Freeman, who voiced the evil villain Jafar in the animated movie, “Aladdin,” and now plays the character in the Broadway show version. At the New York premiere of “Life, Animated,” Owen had a sing-a-long with award-winning composer Alan Menken, who wrote many of his favorite Disney movie tunes.

Today, Owen is working and living on his own.

“He changed, but he didn't become less," Ron Suskind said. "We just needed to learn who he was.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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