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Health

International team sends life-saving insulin to a remote island via drone

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iStock(NEW YORK) — An international team of scientists and health care workers have completed the world’s first drone insulin delivery — dropping off the life-saving medicine to a remote island in Ireland. Spearheaded by researchers at the National University of Ireland, Galway, the team oversaw the takeoff and landing of a drone carrying insulin and glucagon prescription medicines as well as a collection of blood samples between the Connemara Airport in Galway; to Inis Mor in the Aran Islands. “Insulin is essential for my survival and having a diabetes drone service in an emergency situation would ensure this survival while living on an offshore island,” Marion Hernon, a patient living with diabetes on the Aran Islands, said in a statement. The successful landing of the drone last Friday shows that this technology could be used in the future of health care to transport medicine and other supplies via the unmanned aircraft even to remote regions or in times of natural disaster, NUI Galway said in a statement. “Climate change means that these types of severe weather events are becoming more

New single pill combines blood pressure and cholesterol medicines

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DNY59/iStock(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Two medicines for high blood pressure, another two to lower cholesterol – what if you could take just one pill for all of them? That new all-in-one medication, also known as a polypill, worked just as well to prevent and treat elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol, according to a new study by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Franklin Primary Health Center. The pill could be a game changer for lower-income patients. “We have made a lot of progress in preventing and treating cardiovascular disease but that progress hasn’t reached everybody,” said Dr. Daniel Muñoz, an assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in an interview with ABC News. Munoz was involved in the study testing the pill. If the benefits seen in this study continue, the researchers predict that the polypill would lead to a nearly 25 percent reduction in the number of new cardiovascular events in the lower-income population — which is particularly at risk. Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, especially in minorities and

Bipartisan bill proposes banning flavored e-cigarettes amid vaping crisis

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HAZEMMKAMAL/iStock(WASHINGTON) — As public health concerns over vaping continue to build, two congressmen are introducing bipartisan legislation aimed at curbing the habit, especially among underage users. The move comes as the Trump administration has proposed banning all flavored e-cigarettes and at least two states — New York and Michigan — have taken action to do the same. At least 360 cases of severe lung disease in 36 states and one territory are being tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And while a cause for the lung disease is not known, “most” of the patients have a history of using THC-containing vape products, the CDC said. Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y. and Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y. are behind the “Quell Underage Inhaling of Toxic Substances (QUITS) Act,” which proposes a federal ban on flavors in e-cigarette and tobacco products, creating a federal tax on e-cigarettes, raising the existing federal taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products and increasing the budget for the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. The legislation is the most comprehensive of its kind to be

How to best protect against the flu this season

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ljubaphoto/iStock(NEW YORK) — Some experts have already predicted a severe flu season so it’s time to take the proper health precautions and understand the best ways to protect against the virus. ABC News’ chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton weighed in on Good Morning America to share her take on this year’s strain, the vaccine and how to stay healthy. “It’s so difficult to predict, we only know in hindsight,” she explained. “You can’t predict it.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releases a weekly influenza surveillance report which has shown a spike in the number of new cases currently above the national baseline. Why is the flu expected to be so bad this year? Ashton said that much of what we use as an indicator comes from the southern hemisphere, which saw a busy flu season this year with the H3N2 strain. There are two main groups of influenza viruses: influenza A and influenza B. The H3N2 strain belongs to the influenza A family. “We look to the southern hemisphere, what has gone on there because they tend

Two dads welcome two babies born nine days and hundreds of miles apart

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Courtesy George Arison(SAN FRANCISCO) — Newborns Luka Arison Luo and Emilia Arison Luo are siblings who arrived in the world nine days and more than 300 miles apart earlier this month. The babies, who share the same biological mother, were birthed by two different surrogate women and share two dads who spent nearly three years bringing them into the world. “We look at each other all the time and say, ‘We can’t believe we did it,'” one of Luka and Emilia’s dads, George Arison, told ABC News’ Good Morning America, referring to their other dad, his husband, Dr. Robert Luo. “It’s incredible.” Arison, the 41-year-old co-founder of Shift, an online car selling platform, and Luo, a 40-year-old pathologist, wed in March, a marriage documented by the New York Times. Their journey to having children together began much earlier, in 2015, when they met in San Francisco and fell in love. Soon after, they began planning how they would start a family together. The couple knew they wanted their children to be related to each other and were hopeful they could

Mosquito-borne virus threat grows with new Michigan cases

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iStock(NEW YORK) — Michigan health officials amped up their warning about a rare mosquito-borne virus Tuesday, after the state’s Department of Health and Human Services confirmed four new cases of Eastern equine encephalitis disease (EEE). Two of the state’s seven cases so far this year were fatal. “Michigan is currently experiencing its worst Eastern equine encephalitis outbreak in more than a decade,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health said in a statement. “The ongoing cases reported in humans and animals and the severity of this disease illustrate the importance of taking precautions against mosquito bites.” There are typically about seven cases of EEE reported each year in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with those cases tending to be clustered along the Eastern Seaboard and in the Great Lakes regions. In addition to Michigan, a handful of states, including New York, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and Massachusetts have seen an uptick in cases, bringing this year’s total to 73. Last year there were only six cases reported nationwide. EEE

A doctor joined an app popular with teens to teach about the dangers of vaping

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high-number/iStock(ROBBINSDALE, Minn.) — One doctor has found a foothold with the trendy social media platform TikTok to try and appeal to teens in hopes of discouraging e-cigarette use. Dr. Rose Marie Leslie, a family medicine resident at the University of Minnesota North Memorial Hospital, has taken a new approach to the app popular among younger users for sharing short videos to make a difference in the wake of recent health warnings. “There were a lot of adolescents and young adults, millions really, making up the population on this social media platform, but relatively few medical professionals,” Leslie told ABC News. “So I really felt like it was a space where I could come in and use the health information that I know.” The soaring popularity of vaping has sparked new concerns over the potential health risks that could come with it after a sixth person died from a vaping-related lung illness. Dr. Leslie shares information first hand like showing, side by side, x-rays of patients with healthy lungs and patients with a “mysterious disease associated with vaping.” “The response has

Major new beverage guidelines for kids 5 and under: What parents should know

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SilviaJansen/iStock(NEW YORK) — Give kids little to no juice and more water. That’s the top line of what parents need to know about major new beverage guidelines for children from birth to age 5 issued by an unprecedented collaboration of major health organizations. The guidelines show that beverages “may have the same impact on our overall level of nutrition, wellness and disease as food,” according to ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, who was not involved in their creation. They are the first “comprehensive recommendations” for beverage consumption for kids from birth to age 5, according to Healthy Eating Research, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focused on kids’ nutrition. Healthy Eating Research released the guidelines Wednesday after convening a panel of experts from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Heart Association.Here is what parents need to know about the guidelines:0-6 months: Breast milk or infant formula only; no fruit juice or other liquids of any kind. 6-12 months: Breast milk or

Brother surprises sister, his bone marrow donor, with the honeymoon of her dreams

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Jack Santos was just like any other 18-year-old kid who had the whole world ahead of him. He loved sports and spending time with his family, and he was planning for college. Things came to a halt last year when he went in for a yearly checkup and his bloodwork revealed he had aplastic anemia, a rare, life-threatening blood disease that leaves those who have it feeling fatigued with uncontrollable bleeding. Santos said, “I was getting a lot of nosebleeds but I didn’t really think I felt anything wrong.” In order to survive, he would need a bone marrow transplant. And while finding a match can be challenging, Santos’ siblings got tested and his older sister, Shelby, was the perfect match. “I didn’t want to see him go through something like this,” Shelby said. “It was terrifying, but we were ready for whatever brought with it at the time.” On September 12, 2018, she became her brother’s bone marrow donor. “Shelby saved my life,” said Santos, now 19. Today, the two siblings are healthy and Shelby