• Cook Childrens(AMARILLO, Texas) -- A Texas mother burst into tears when she saw her 1-year-old daughter could hear sound for the first time.The little girl was born unable to hear and doctors implanted a hearing device in May, but they did not activate it until this week.Cook Children’s Hospital in Amarillo, Texas, released a video of the emotional moment when mother Anna Esler saw her daughter Ayla's reaction to having the cochlear implants turned on for the first time. The toddler is seen excitedly bopping up and down in her mother’s lap and touching her ear while her mother starts crying behind her.“When I saw her happy and dancing and responding to sound for the first time in her life I just lost it because we’ve been waiting a long time for that,” Anna Esler told Fox 4 News. Ayla’s father Will Esler said that they weren’t sure how they would react – or how Ayla would react.“Like Anna, I was excited and scared and nervous and hopeful all at the same time,” Will Esler said in a statement provided to Cook Childrens Hospital. “I thought she would probably cry and scream when her CIs were activated—and she did do that later when it became overwhelming—but to see her hearing sound and enjoying it was just incredible.”The moving scene took place on June 19, and it came after months of research into possible solutions.“Being deaf isn’t bad, it’s just different, and so we had spent a lot of time preparing ourselves for what life would be like without Ayla hearing,” the couple said in the statement. “We had to let go of some things, like her knowing the sound of our voices, the sound of music, the sound of laughter. We had to prepare ourselves to see her enjoy those things in a different way, through the vibration of them, to ‘hear’ with her eyes.”“When we found out that cochlear implants were an option for her, sound became a reality for her again, and we are so grateful for that,” they said. Ayla had the four-hour implant surgery in late May, and audiologist Lisa Christensen said that doctors try to have patients receive the implants at as young an age as possible to avoid delays in speech development, language and learning.“If we can make that happen right around six moth of age then those kids don’t show sign of speech, language or learning delayed,” Christensen told ABC News. “They can compete with all the other normally hearing peers.”The journey isn’t over for Ayla, however, as all children that go through such an implant surgery will have to undergo specialized speech therapy called auditory therapy and their families are also trained to teach their kids to speak by talking through things instead of just taking actions.“They spend a lot of time educating the family on talking to the child,” she said.
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Mary Jane Gacono suffers from dementia, but her husband and daughter have developed routines to try to help jog her fading memory."Mary will say, 'There's a picture, who's that? Who is that?' and it's one of our children," her husband, Carl Gacono, told ABC News. "She all of a sudden doesn't recognize some very close family members."Carl, 88, and Mary Jane, 86, have been married nearly 70 years -- since 1950 -- and together have six children, 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.Their daughter, Becky Gacono, 55, has spent time trying to help her mother remember the past, such as by reminding her of how she first met her husband. "Throwing a snowball," she told her mother."Oh yeah. Oh yes! Oh yes, yes," Mary Jane exclaimed.Doctors suggested Carl come up with a routine to help stimulate his wife's memory. He reminds her daily of the same things so that she can more easily make associations."I always tell her she has two earrings, she has two necklaces, and she has a watch and a separate bracelet on there. So I say she has '2, 2, and 2,'" he explained. "Tomorrow she might say, 'Where’s my third necklace?' And I would say to her -- 'it’s 2, 2, 2. Remember?'"Their daughter writes about her parents’ journey, sharing photos, updates and even a glimpse into what their life was like "BD," before dementia, as Becky details on a designated Facebook page, called "Our journey through our mom's dementia." Becky said her parents and family have found truth in an age-old adage; laughter is the best medicine."We just noticed that, if we were happy, she was happier," Becky said. "She actually feels better when we’re enjoying each other -- she doesn’t know us by name anymore, and that’s OK. But she does know that we're people she loves and that's enough for all of us."According to the Alzheimer's Association, 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, which is the most common form of dementia, and that number increases every year.Despite any difficulties, Carl said he is still thankful every day for his time with Mary Jane."I wouldn’t trade the experience I’ve had taking care of my wife, OK. I’d like to think she wouldn’t trade the experience of having [and] taking care of me," he reasoned. "We’ve had a great relationship. We’ve known each other for 70 years. We’ve been married for 67, I’d marry her for another 67 tomorrow."
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  • ABC News(ATLANTA) -- A Georgia doctor, whose medical license was suspended after she was accused by patients of recording music videos during surgeries without their consent, says she was “safe” and the patients in her videos had agreed to participate.“The videos were pre-consented, staged, and done at a safe interval,” Dr. Windell Davis-Boutte told ABC News in an exclusive interview. “Many [of the videos], most of them [were recorded] after the fact, during recovery, which was planned by me and the patient. So I would like everyone to understand that.”Watch the full interview on "Good Morning America" FRIDAY, June 22 at 7 a.m. ET.The state medical board suspended Davis-Boutte's license this month after it said the board-certified dermatologist’s actions were "a threat to the public health, safety and welfare," according to ABC News' Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV.The state medical board suspended Davis-Boutte's license this month after it said the board-certified dermatologist’s actions were "a threat to the public health, safety and welfare," according to ABC News' Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV.In multiple videos obtained by ABC News, Davis-Boutte and her staff could be seen singing and dancing as she operates on patients. The videos were posted to YouTube but have since been deleted.As a physician in the state of Georgia, Davis-Boutte had been allowed to perform surgeries in her office-based setting.Davis-Boutte is being sued by several patients who allege that their liposuctions and lifts went terribly wrong, according to WSB-TV. In her interview with ABC News, she declined to comment on specifics regarding lawsuits.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Another disease to blame on mosquitos, in addition to Zika, dengue, chikungunya? The list of viruses infecting humans through pesky mosquito bites continues to increase: Keystone virus has joined the ranks.What is Keystone virus? It’s from a family of viruses known as the Bunyaviridae group. These viruses have been associated with encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain that can be fatal.Where does it come from? The virus was first isolated in 1964 in samples from mosquitoes in Keystone, Florida. Little is known about it, except that is has been found in animals like white-tailed deer, raccoons, and squirrels. Though it was discovered in Florida, the virus has been found in coastal regions as far away as Texas.How does it make people sick? A recent case report described a boy with signs and symptoms of an infection; he had Keystone virus in his tissue samples. Until then, it has not been known to make humans sick. It’s not the first infection, since people who live in an area where the mosquito and virus are more prevalent have been found to have antibodies against the virus in their blood. That means people have been exposed to and infected with the virus, but no one seems to have previously reported getting sick from it. And no live virus had been found in humans until now. The virus is spread by Aedes atlanticus, a mosquito common in Florida and similar to Aedes aegypti, a mosquito known to spread viruses like dengue, Zika, and chikungunya.How does a person know if they have it? Experts agree it most likely has some nonspecific signs and symptoms that are similar to other viral infections. The patient in the first reported human case had a fever and rash, which are common in viral infections. More research is warranted to see if there are any unique features of this disease in humans. Further details are unknown, but it is not currently viewed as life-threatening.How is it treated and tested? There is no current test, vaccine, or antiviral treatment for the virus. Further details about its transmission, who is at risk of getting it, its short and long-term effects on humans, and its severity still need to be further studied.How is it prevented? If you can’t fight the virus, fight the bite. It’s recommended, especially this summer, to prevent mosquito bites by using insect repellent, staying in air-conditioned areas, wearing long-sleeved, loose-fitting clothes when outside, and using insect screens in windows, dormers, and vents. Communities should also continue mosquito control programs to prevent breeding and to kill mosquitoes.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- A Chicago resident has been confirmed as the first person in Illinois this year to have contracted mosquito-borne West Nile virus, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.The woman, who is in her 60s, contracted the virus and become sick in mid-May, IDPH reported Wednesday. The agency is urging residents to be aware of their surroundings and take preventative measures."West Nile virus can cause serious illness in some people so it’s important that you take precautions like wearing insect repellent and getting rid of stagnant water around your home," Dr. Nirav D. Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said in a statement.MORE: Confirmed 2018 West Nile Virus cases: What to know about the mosquito-borne diseaseNo vaccine or specific antiviral treatment for West Nile virus exists, and people with weak immune systems, health conditions, and people older than 60 could be at higher risk for severe illness if they contract the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.In mid-June, the California Department of Public Health announced its first West Nile virus cases.These first cases of West Nile virus are earlier than those of the first reported cases in 2017.In 2017, the first human case of West Nile was reported just over a month later, on July 20.California public health officials have said they believe the cases will increase and precautions remain important."West Nile virus activity in the state is increasing, so I urge Californians to take every possible precaution to protect against mosquito bites," said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith.There were 2,002 reported cases of West Nile Virus and 121 deaths across the U.S. in 2017, according to the CDC.Even though the virus was found in 47 states and the District of Columbia in 2017, the highest number of cases and deaths were reported in California, Texas and Arizona, according to CDC data.Illinois ranked fourth, followed by South Dakota, Nebraska, Mississippi, Utah and New York respectively.The virus is passed on through the bites of Culex Pipiens mosquitoes, also known as house mosquitoes, IDPH said. After the virus is transmitted, one out of five people infected could experience symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, headache and nausea for a few weeks or months. In rare severe case, the symptoms are meningitis, encephalitis or death, according to IDPH.Mosquitoes become infected with the West Nile Virus by biting birds that may have contracted the virus, according to CDC.West Nile virus was first detected in the U.S. in 1999.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A government study found that chemicals found in drinking water around the country could pose risks to human health at lower levels than the government currently recognizes, potentially opening the door for more states to begin cleaning up or regulating the chemical.The report released Wednesday by a branch of Health and Human Services examined a category of chemicals commonly called PFAS that have been used to make non-stick products, firefighting foam and water-repellant coatings.They've been found in water systems and soil around the country. The most researched types of these chemicals are referred to as PFOA and PFOS, both of which remain in the environment for a long time after they're introduced, raising concerns about the health effects to people living near areas contaminated by the chemicals.The report found that PFOA and PFOS caused negative health effects in rodents at a lower equivalent level in humans than previously recognized by the EPA. The finding could cause a ripple effect, possibly requiring new rules or laws as states work on cleaning up areas with high levels of the chemicals.The study reported that the EPA's advisory level of 70 parts per trillion is seven to 10 times higher than when HHS first said it noticed health effects in animals.The agency that evaluates potentially toxic chemicals also said that drinking fluids or eating food contaminated with the chemicals could potentially increase the risk of cancer, interfere with hormones and the immune system, and affect growth and development of children and infants. But, overall, more research is needed to understand the impacts of all types of chemicals in the PFAS category on human health.The study did not specifically recommend a new level that is safe for humans, but advocacy groups working on this issue said the new data show states and the federal government should act to clean up the chemicals."This study confirms that the EPA’s guidelines for PFAS levels in drinking water woefully underestimate risks to human health," Olga Naidenko, senior science advisor at the Environmental Working Group, said in a statement. "We urge EPA to collect and publish all water results showing PFAS contamination at any level, so Americans across the country can take immediate steps to protect themselves and their families."The Environmental Working Group has estimated that drinking water for 16 million Americans has levels of the chemicals higher than the EPA's recommended limit and that some amount of it has been found in more than 1,500 water systems serving more than 110 million people.The study was the center of a controversy earlier this year after Politico reported that officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, Pentagon and White House talked about delaying the public release of the report, writing in an email that it would be a "public relations nightmare." Those emails were obtained by the Union of Concerned Scientists through a public records request.EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced in May that the EPA will move to label PFAS chemicals "hazardous" and will look into a maximum level at which the chemicals are safe and provide recommendations to states looking to clean up contaminated sites. The agency held a summit with state officials that generated further controversy after reporters and a member of Congress reported they weren't allowed to attend some of the sessions.Dealing with PFAS "is one of EPA's top priorities, and the agency is committed to continuing to participate in and contribute to a coordinated approach across the federal government," the director of the agency's water office, Peter Grevatt, said in a statement. "Federal agencies are developing a variety of tools, including toxicity values, analytical methods and treatment options, that can work together to provide states, tribes, local governments, health professionals and communities with information and solutions to address these chemica
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