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iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- A patient in California is being tested for Ebola on Tuesday.

According to a statement from Dr. Stephen Parodi, Infectious Diseases Specialist and Director of Hospital Operations at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center, the patient, "may have been exposed to the Ebola virus."

The statement does not provide any identifying information about the patient, their recent travels or their symptoms.

The hospital says it is acting cautiously to protect its other patients and its staff, even though the patient has not been confirmed to have Ebola. The patient is reportedly being isolated in a specially-equipped negative pressure room, and hospital staff in contact with the patient are using personal protective equipment.

Doctors and infectious disease experts at the hospital are also working with local and state public health agencies to monitor the latest developments and share information on the case.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Teen pregnancies continue to drop, with the latest figures from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) showing that the teen pregnancy rate is less than half of what it was in 1991.

In 2013, the NCHS says that there were just 26.6 births per 1,000 teens, 9.5 percent lower than the 2013 figure. That drop-off is the second-largest one-year dip in teen pregnancies since 1945.

The National Vital Statistics Report released recently indicated that teen pregnancies are lowest in the Northeast and highest in the South.

Still, however, the teen pregnancy rate in the U.S. continues to outpace that of other developed nations. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the latest data indicates just 21.8 births per 1,000 teens.

The NCHS warns that teen pregnancies bring heightened risk of low birth-weight and premature birth, which are linked to a number of health complications."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Virginia finds that survey subjects who waited longer to have sex with their significant other were more likely to have a higher quality marriage.

The study, conducted as part of the National Marriage Project, found that nearly one-third of respondents said that their relationship with their eventual spouse began as "a hook-up." The researchers did not define "hooking up," rather, allowing the respondents to do so themselves. However, those respondents who said their relationship began as a "hook-up" were less likely to have a higher quality marriage. Of those who said their relationship began that way, only 36 percent ranked in the top 40 percent of overall respondents for marriage quality. Forty-two percent of those who said their relationship did not begin as a hook-up placed in the top 40 percent of marriage quality.

Researchers also said that the longer into their relationship that couples waited to have sex, the more likely they were to see higher levels of marital quality.

A larger gap in marriage quality, however, was seen when looking at responses to whether or not respondents and their spouse had lived together before making the commitment to get married. According to the research, just 31 percent of those who cohabited before having plans to marry ranked in the top 40 percent of overall marriage quality. However, 43 percent of respondents who had waited until after making plans to marry one another ranked in that same upper class of marriage quality.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Consumers are being urged to stop using Brita hard-sided water filter bottles for children after the Consumer Product Safety Commission said that the lid can break into pieces with sharp points.

According to the CPSC, about 242,500 of the bottles have been recalled, including four different styles. Among the recalled products are versions featuring Dora the Explorer on a violet bottle, Hello Kitty on a pink bottle, SpongeBob Square Pants on a blue bottle and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on a green bottle.

Brita has reportedly received at least 35 reports of the lids breaking or cracking, which poses a threat to children drinking from the bottle. No injuries have been reported, however.

Consumers are asked to stop using the bottles and contact Brita to receive a pre-paid shipping package to return the bottle. Customers will receive a full refund.

The bottles were sold at a number of retailers, including Target and Walmart stores and online on Amazon.com between June 2013 and July 2014.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Vince Bucci/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Comedian Rob Schneider’s Twitter rant blaming Parkinson’s drugs for Robin Williams’ death has highlighted the delicate balance between the risks and benefits of the prescription drugs millions of people take every day.

In a series of tweets Monday, Schneider blasted the “evil pharmaceutical industry” for admitting that “100,000 people in the USA die a year from prescription drugs,” some of which list suicide as a side effect.

But Parkinson’s disease experts say Schneider is out of line.

“Suicide is of no more concern in patients with Parkinson’s versus those who don’t have Parkinson’s,” said Dr. Irene Richard, a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center and a science adviser to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

In fact, a 2008 Howard University study found that people with Parkinson’s are 10 times less likely to commit suicide than the average person. Williams' widow revealed after the comedian's death that Williams had been diagnosed with Parkinson's.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive condition of the nervous system marked by tremors and general difficulty with movement. It attacks the nerve cells that produce neurotransmitters associated with mood and, along with the shock of the diagnosis, can lead to depression, studies suggest.

More than 50 percent of people who receive a Parkinson’s diagnosis develop clinical depression, according to Parkinson's Disease Foundation. The foundation notes that about 30 percent of patients reported being depressed even before their diagnosis and that antidepressants are often an effective treatment. Parkinson’s medications like pramiprexole even have an antidepressant effect, according to the foundation.

However, some Parkinson’s drugs do list an increased risk of suicide as a possible side effect.

For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that patients taking either levodopa or SINEMET, two drugs commonly used to treat Parkinson’s, “should be observed carefully for the development of depression with concomitant suicidal tendencies.”

Some Parkinson’s drugs have also been shown to increase impulsive behaviors that can lead to out-of-control gambling, sex addiction and other compulsive disorders. But Richard, who studies Parkinson’s related depression, cautioned against linking impulsiveness to suicidal tendencies.

The only Parkinson’s treatment that has an outright possible association with increased suicide risk is deep brain stimulation, Richard noted, a surgery where electrodes are implanted in the brain to control its electrical activity. Any candidate for such an operation would be carefully screened for history of depression and other mood disorders, Richard said.

Several prescription medications list suicide as a possible side effect -- a labeling requirement based on safety data, patient reports and other relevant information, according to the FDA.

“It is limited to those events for which there is some basis to believe there is a causal relationship between occurrence of an adverse event and the use of a drug,” FDA spokeswoman Sandy Walsh told ABC News.

The agency is currently examining concerns about suicidal tendencies linked to a diverse list of medications, including some for asthma and controlling seizures, and even one for quitting smoking. All antidepressants in the United States carry a warning that they are associated with an increased suicide risk in adults aged 18 to 24 during initial treatment, according to the National Institutes of Health.

So long as their depression is properly managed, James Beck, vice president of scientific affairs for the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, said that suicide shouldn’t be a primary worry for the majority of Parkinson’s patients. He added that if Schneider did not know the specifics of Williams’ treatment, then his tweets were ill-informed and irresponsible.

“Williams had a lot of issues and it’s hard to say what was going through is mind,” said Davis, who was not involved in Williams’ care. “I don’t think you can blame his suicide on one particular thing.”

Schneider’s spokesman told ABC News that the comedian, who was a longtime friend of Williams’, would not be commenting any further.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio





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