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More than 75,000 health care workers begin strike at Kaiser Permanente

pablohart/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- More than 75,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente launched a strike Wednesday, with a coalition of unions alleging the health care system is engaging in unfair labor practices. Employees in Virginia and Washington, D.C., walked off the job at 6 a.m. ET while those in California, Colorado, Washington and Oregon began striking at 9 a.m. ET, beginning the largest health care workers strike in U.S. history, the unions say. Those in mid-Atlantic states will be striking for one day while those in western states will be striking for three days. The strike includes hundreds of positions, including nurses, emergency department technicians, pharmacists, optometrists, home health aides, medical assistants, dental assistants and more. The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente   ... Read More

What to know about the looming health care workers strike at Kaiser Permanente

ATU Images/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- More than 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers across the country are planning to strike Wednesday morning over what a coalition of unions allege are unfair labor practices. The strike -- which will last for three days in most locations and include employees in California, Colorado, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, Washington and Washington, D.C. -- would be the largest among health care workers in U.S. history, according to the unions. The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, which represents more than 85,000 workers, and the health care system have been negotiating since April but were unable to come to an agreement before their contract expired on Sept. 30, officials said. Workers allege in a release that the COVID-19 pandemic   ... Read More

Teen athlete has hands, legs amputated after rare complication from the flu

Edgar Uribe(NEW YORK) -- Mathias Uribe was a healthy 14-year-old kid looking forward to his freshman year of high school, during which he planned to join the cross-country team and continue to play piano, according to his parents Edgar and Catalina Uribe. That all changed in late June, when Mathias developed flu-like symptoms, including a high fever. "His body was red and he was also showing some rashes, which [doctors] told us was due to the high fever," Edgar Uribe told ABC News' Good Morning America, noting they took Mathias to the doctor twice. "And that was for about four to five days." At the end of June, Mathias' condition quickly worsened, which prompted his parents to take him to   ... Read More

Pennsylvania woman dies of West Nile virus, 1st case in Pittsburgh area this year

Joao Paulo Burini/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A Pennsylvania woman in her 80s has died after contracting West Nile virus, health officials said this week. The woman lived in Pittsburgh and is the first human case reported in Allegheny County this year, according to the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD). Officials said the woman experienced fever and weakness and was eventually hospitalized before she passed away in late September. No other information about the patient will be released, the department said. Earlier this summer, the ACHD said it had detected West Nile virus in Pittsburgh-area mosquitoes. ACHD officials said in this week's announcement that they are setting up additional traps, including in the neighborhood where the patient lived, and are targeting   ... Read More

Why you should wait a few days before taking an at-home COVID test if you’re sick

Carol Yepes/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The best time to take an at-home COVID-19 test is on the fourth day of having symptoms, according to a study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Researchers looked at nearly 350 people and found that viral load peaked a few days after symptoms started. “Viral load just refers to the amount of virus that is replicating in your body, So the more virus that is replicating, the more chance of a test turning positive,” said John Brownstein, Ph.D., chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital and an ABC News Contributor. “Right at the beginning point of an infection, there's limited viral copies. But as the infection progresses, you'll have an increasing amount of   ... Read More

Woman diagnosed with breast cancer at 34 credits clinical trial with saving her life

Courtesy Kate Korson(NEW YORK) -- Kate Korson was living out her dream of caring for rescue horses in Colorado and preparing to celebrate her 34th birthday when she said she received a surprising diagnosis. Just one week shy of her birthday, Korson said she was diagnosed with stage 3, triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive and invasive form of the disease. "How am I 34 with stage 3 breast cancer," Korson told Good Morning America, describing her thoughts at the time of her diagnosis last January. "Why is this happening to me? How is this possible?" Triple-negative breast cancer is one of the smallest categories of breast cancer groups, only accounting for about 10-15% of all breast cancers, according to the   ... Read More

Military family worries they can’t afford child’s lifesaving medications if government shuts down

Courtesy the Carrigg family(WASHINGTON) -- For one military family, the consequences of a partial government shutdown would be dire: It could mean not affording treatments and medications for their child who is fighting for her life. Austin Carrigg and her husband, Master Sgt. Joshua Carrigg, are parents of three -- their youngest, 11-year-old Melanie, has Down syndrome, a congenital heart defect and a metabolic disorder. Melanie recently had a catastrophic stroke. Carrigg spoke with ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Rachel Scott and said her family pays around $300 out of pocket for medication each month. With the government on the brink of a shutdown as soon as Sunday, she said she's had sleepless nights worrying about how they'll be able   ... Read More

New consumer warning about websites selling drugs like Ozempic, Mounjaro used for weight loss

Tetra Images/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Amid the high cost and rising popularity of drugs used for weight loss like Ozempic, Mounjaro and Wegovy, pharmacists and medical doctors are warning consumers about some websites that sell discounted versions of the drugs. When a consumer orders a drug online, they have no way of knowing what is in the medication, among other things, according to Dr. Konstantinos Spaniolas, director of the metabolic weight loss center at Stony Brook Medicine. "Even if you assume that the medication is the correct substance, if this is not processed correctly and it's not sterile, there are infectious concerns," Spaniolas told ABC News' Becky Worley. "People really have to be careful because this leap of faith of   ... Read More

An FDA committee said one type of nasal decongestant doesn’t work, but experts say here’s what does

Jennifer A Smith/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Over-the-counter agents to treat upper respiratory symptoms like nasal congestion make up a multi-billion-dollar business. But recently, a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee ruled that oral phenylephrine, commonly found in some over-the-counter, or OTC, products like Dayquil, Mucinex, and Sudafed PE, does not work as a decongestant. The decision has left many consumers confused when searching for relief among all the available products on store shelves. "It really is stressful for a lot of consumers," board-certified pulmonary critical care and sleep medicine physician Dr. Raj Dasgupta, MD, chief medical advisor at Sleep Advisor, told ABC News. The Food and Drug Administration said in a public statement that the product will stay on the   ... Read More

Free at-home COVID tests from the US government are back. Here’s how to get them

Tim Sheehan/The Fresno Bee/Tribune News Service via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Biden administration this week relaunched the website where Americans can once again order free at-home COVID tests. The website had been shut down since June but came back online just as updated COVID vaccines rolled out across the country. Here's how to order the tests and why you should not throw out old ones. How to order free COVID test kits through USPS Visit and you will see instructions directing you to a website run by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to order a kit that comes with four tests. You don't have to pay for shipping. Just provide your name and address to place the order. The Federal   ... Read More

Mom says bullying led to her daughter’s suicide. Now she’s trying to help save other kids

nazarethman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Brittany Tichenor remembers her daughter Isabella, whom she called Izzy, as the "sweetest person" she has ever met, someone who was resilient and amazing, a 10-year-old child whose eyes were "big and brown." Those memories of her daughter as a vibrant fifth-grader make it harder, she says, to reconcile that her daughter died by suicide nearly two years ago, on Nov. 6, 2021. "I just didn't know how bad it was," Tichenor told "Good Morning America" of Izzy's mental health struggles, which she said were a result of bullying. "I think she made a temporary decision in a moment of hurt, and I'll never forget that." Tichenor said it was only after her daughter's death that   ... Read More

Almost half of US adults plan to get new COVID-19 vaccine, survey finds

IMAGINESTOCK/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Nearly half of all adults in the United States plan to get the newly recommended COVID-19 vaccine, according to results from a survey released Wednesday. The latest poll conducted by the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor found that 23% of U.S. adults say they will "definitely" get the updated booster, 23% say they will "probably" get it, while 19% say they will "probably not" get it and 33% say they will "definitely not" get it. The new shots from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which are formulated to target newer variants of COVID-19, are recommend for everyone 6 months and older, but the survey found that the majority of U.S. parents say they aren’t planning to get it for   ... Read More

What one year in space does to the body as NASA astronaut Frank Rubio returns home

NASA(NEW YORK) -- After 371 days in space, NASA astronaut Frank Rubio is returning to Earth Wednesday. The 47-year-old broke the record for the longest time spent in space by a U.S. astronaut earlier this year after his original six-month mission at the International Space Station was extended by an additional six months. Rubio told ABC News' Good Morning America in August that he will be examined by a medical team upon his arrival and he may need some time to readapt to Earth's gravity and rebalance his equilibrium for everyday tasks such as walking and standing upright. Experts say spending a prolonged period in space -- especially one year -- comes with many changes to human physiology and psychology.   ... Read More

Genetically modified mosquitoes and vaccines — what you need to know about dengue fever

Joao Paulo Burini/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- More than three million cases of dengue fever have been reported in the Americas this year with over 882 in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is the second highest annual rate in the Americas since 1980. Dengue is spread through mosquitoes, which thrive at hotter temperatures and humid conditions. These conditions have become more frequent in the past few years as a result of record heat and extreme weather, which results in more cases of dengue, according to Nature. Experts say the rise in cases are a "canary in a coal mine" for what is to come as we see changes in rainfall and temperature patterns.   ... Read More

Scientists say some tests may be able to identify the markers of prolonged COVID symptoms in the future

Jackyenjoyphotography/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- While there is no specific test to determine if someone is experiencing long COVID, a new study published in Nature used blood tests to find new insight into what biological markers are associated with this collection of mysterious conditions reported by millions of Americans. Researchers used machine learning to help analyze immune markers and hormone levels in 273 adult participants at Mount Sinai and Yale University and compared those with and without long COVID symptoms at least one year after having COVID-19. Long COVID, defined in this study as persistent symptoms more than six weeks after infection, was associated with lower levels of a hormone called cortisol and had some distinct differences in certain immune cells   ... Read More

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