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Public health departments across US concerned about spread of potentially deadly fungus

Jasmin Merdan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Public health departments across the United States have expressed concern about the spread of a potentially deadly fungus after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported cases have spiked. Candida auris, or C. aurisis, is increasing at an "alarming" rate with cases doubling in 2021, the CDC said. Now, with infections reported around the country, health officials are working to prevent the drug-resistant yeast from spreading further. Two cases were recently reported to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The agency told local ABC affiliate Denver 7 that the patients had been receiving care in facilities out of state and were transferred to Colorado for additional care. On its website, CPDPHE said   ... Read More

Mom shares warning after son’s legs amputated following strep, influenza A infections

Courtesy of Michele Stevenson(NEW YORK) -- A Michigan mom is warning other parents to pay attention to their kids and take action if they seem unwell after her son developed strep A and influenza A infections in late December and had to get a double amputation earlier this month. Michele Stevenson of Grand Blanc, Michigan, told ABC News' Good Morning America her son Kaden, 7, started to get sick right before Christmas but she didn't think it was anything serious. She said he told her he felt tired and she thought he possibly had a stomach bug or a cold and let him rest. But after about four days, Kaden didn't seem to be getting any better -- instead, he   ... Read More

Does the TikTok trend of face taping to stop wrinkles work? A doctor weighs in

@lila50isthenewfword/TikTok(NEW YORK) -- Simply search the hashtag #facetaping on social media and you'll get tens of thousands of posts about this beauty trend that promises to help prevent wrinkles and smooth fine lines. Face taping, as the trend is known, involves placing tape on the areas of the face where a person wants to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, like the forehead and cheeks. The type of tape people use includes everything from regular clear, sticky tape to the kinesiology tape normally used to treat injuries to newer brands of tape marketed just for face taping. To see whether this viral trend is one that is safe to try at home, ABC News' Good Morning America spoke   ... Read More

Suicide can be contagious for teens, research shows. Here’s how parents can help

xijian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Rates of mental health emergencies are increasing among teenagers around the world, according to a new study from the University of Calgary. It found an increase in pediatric emergency room visits for suicide attempts, suicidal ideation, and self-harm during the first year of the pandemic. It’s a particular concern because for teenagers, suicide can be contagious. Teenagers with a friend or family member who died of suicide were at significantly higher risk of suicide than those without, according to a 2016 review published by the American Association of Suicidology. "[Teenagers'] emotional development means that they experience trauma and tragedy in slightly different ways," said Seth Abrutyn, Ph.D., and associate professor of sociology at University of British   ... Read More

COVID-19 death rates varied dramatically across US, major analysis finds

Stefan Cristian Cioata/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Death rates from COVID-19 varied dramatically across the United States, a major new analysis finds. The report, published Thursday in medical journal The Lancet, looked at the rate of deaths throughout the country between January 2020 and July 2022. COVID death rates in states like Arizona and New Mexico were roughly four times higher than in states like Hawaii, New Hampshire and Maine, researchers found. The highest COVID-19 death rates were seen in Arizona with 581 deaths per 100,000 and Washington D.C. with 526 deaths per 100,000. By comparison, the lowest rates of death were seen in Hawaii with 147 deaths per 100,000, New Hampshire with 215 deaths per 100,000 and Maine with 218   ... Read More

Rare conjoined twin returns home after successful separation surgery

Finley Family Photo(FORT WORTH, Texas) -- One Texas family is celebrating an extra special homecoming this week. Five-month-old baby JamieLynn Finley was discharged from the Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday, two months after undergoing successful separation surgery from her conjoined twin sister AmieLynn, according to a hospital press release. "We're excited that we get to get her home," JamieLynn's father James Finley said in a press release. "We'll have some good bonding time, but at the same time, Amie is still up there so it's kind of a double-edged sword. We're happy Jamie is coming home, but they're not going to be together for a bit." AmieLynn will remain in the Cook Children's neonatal intensive   ... Read More

Diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is on the rise in children, but it’s not necessarily bad news

ART4STOCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- A growing number of children in the United States are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder according to a report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, the report found that about 1 in 36, or 2.8%, of 8-year-olds in the U.S. were diagnosed with autism in 2020, compared to 1 in 44, or 2.3%, of 8-year-olds in 2018. This does not necessarily mean, however, that autism itself is becoming more common. Instead, it's likely that doctors, parents and communities are getting better at diagnosing children who may have been overlooked in prior years, the data shows. Autism, also known as autism spectrum disorder, is defined by the CDC as a   ... Read More

College student who suffered brain hemorrhage in Mexico able to squeeze her mom’s hand

Courtesy of Laura McKeithan(NEW YORK) -- An American college student is making a slow recovery after suddenly suffering a brain hemorrhage while on a spring break trip in Mexico, according to her family. Liza Burke, a senior at the University of Georgia, was vacationing with friends in Cabo San Lucas earlier this month when she complained of a headache and went to rest. When her friends found her unresponsive, Burke was taken to a local hospital, where doctors determined she had suffered a brain hemorrhage. She underwent surgery to relieve the bleeding in her brain and remained hospitalized in Mexico for several days . A family friend started a GoFundMe that raised over $140,000, with the money used to cover   ... Read More

Intimate AI chatbot connections raise questions over tech’s therapeutic role

(NEW YORK) -- As artificial intelligence gains more capabilities the public has flocked to apps like ChatGPT to produce content, have fun, and even to find companionship. "Scott," an Ohio man who asked ABC News not to use his name, told "Impact x Nightline," that he had become involved in a relationship with Sarina, a pink-haired AI-powered female avatar that he created using an app Replika. "It felt weird to say that, but I wanted to say [I love you]," Scott told "Impact." "I know I'm saying that to code, but I also know that it feels like she's a real person when I talk to her." Scott claimed Sarina not only helped him when he faced a low point   ... Read More

Invasive group A strep on the rise in parts of the US: What to know

urbazon/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Cases of invasive group A strep infections, which can cause severe illness and be deadly, remain elevated in some parts of the country, officials warned Wednesday. In a statement to ABC News, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that "preliminary" data from 2023 suggests cases have remained elevated above pre-pandemic levels in some areas of the U.S. This follows confirmed reports that five children have died of invasive Strep A so far this year in Illinois. After a lull of invasive Strep A cases during the COVID-19 pandemic, recently, cases of invasive Strep A have been ticking up again. The CDC warned in December that cases of Invasive Strep A were on the rise.   ... Read More

Biden administration plans overhaul of US organ transplant system

Peter Dazeley/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Health Resources and Services Administration announced plans to overhaul the U.S. organ transplant system, after congressional scrutiny of the current operation — which critics said has poor oversight that has led to wasted organs, serious errors, and patient deaths. The department says it aims to modernize the IT systems, improve transparency, and solicit contracts from various groups to manage various parts of the organ transplant system. Biden’s proposed 2024 budget also includes a $36 million increase in investment in the organ transplant system. HRSA, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, also launched an online dashboard sharing information about organ donors and transplant waitlists. “Every day, patients and families across the United   ... Read More

Idaho hospital says it is ending labor and delivery services amid ‘political climate’

Google Maps Street View(SANDPOINT, Idaho) -- An Idaho hospital said it will no longer be providing obstetrical care due in part to the state's "legal and political climate." In a news release, Bonner General Health in Sandpoint -- 400 miles north of Boise and serving about 9,000 people -- said it would end its labor & delivery services by mid-May. "We have made every effort to avoid eliminating these services," Ford Elsaesser, BGH's board president, said in a statement. "We hoped to be the exception, but our challenges are impossible to overcome now." The release cited several reasons for the maternity ward closure including a loss of pediatricians to provide neonatal and perinatal care, fewer babies being born at the hospital   ... Read More

All types of hormonal birth control raise breast cancer risk slightly, study finds

Shana Novak/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A new study is offering more information for women about whether the type of birth control they take increases their risk of breast cancer more than another. The study, published Monday in PLOS Medicine, found that new forms of progestin-only hormonal birth control -- including pills, patches, implants and injections -- carry the same, small increased risk for breast cancer as the types of birth control that contain both estrogen and progestin. "We've known for a while that estrogen and progestin birth control pills, oral contraceptives, have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer," Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a board-certified OB-GYN and ABC News' chief medical correspondent, said Wednesday on Good Morning America. "What we didn't   ... Read More

Death toll linked to contaminated eye drops rising as more report vision loss

Jrgen Hopf / EyeEm/ Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- The death toll of an outbreak linked to contaminated recalled eye drops has risen and more people have lost their vision. According to an update issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday, the number of deaths has risen from one -- which occurred in Washington state -- to three. What's more, at least eight people have gone blind and four people have had their eyeballs surgically removed. The CDC did not provide any information in its update about the affected patients including names, ages, sexes or where they live. More than 10 different brands of artificial tears have been recalled. Most cases have been linked to EzriCare and Delsam Pharma   ... Read More

Gerber powdered infant formula voluntarily recalled due to possible bacteria exposure

FDA(NEW YORK) -- Some of Gerber's powdered infant formula products that were manufactured at a facility in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, have been voluntarily recalled due to possible bacterial contamination. The infant formulas are "being recalled out of an abundance of caution due to potential presence of cronobacter sakazakii," Perrigo Company, which makes the recalled formulas, announced Friday. Cronobacter sakazakii is the same type of bacteria that led to the recall of Enfamil's plant-based powdered infant formula last month. No adverse events have been reported in connection to the recall, according to Perrigo Company, and no distributed product has tested positive for the presence of the bacteria. What type of infant formula is being recalled? Only powdered infant food products under   ... Read More

FDA investigating Lucky Charms after reports of illness

FDA investigating Lucky Charms after reports of illnessBy DEE-ANN DURBIN AP Business Writer The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating Lucky Charms cereal after dozens of customers complained of illness after eating it. The FDA said Saturday it has received more than 100 complaints related to Lucky Charms so far this year. “The FDA takes seriously any reports of possible adulteration of a food that may also cause illnesses or injury,” the agency said in a statement. Several hundred people have also posted on a food safety website,, complaining of nausea, diarrhea and vomiting after eating Lucky Charms. General Mills Inc., the Minneapolis-based company that makes Lucky Charms, Cheerios and other cereals, said it’s aware of those reports and takes them seriously. But the company   ... Read More

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