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undefined undefined/iStock(ATLANTA) -- The E.coli outbreak in romaine lettuce has been linked to a single water reservoir on a farm in California.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration identified sediment from a farm as being the source for the November outbreak.

The CDC reported that the farm in question is owned by Adam Bros. Farming Inc., located in Santa Maria, California, about 160 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Santa Barbara County is one of three California counties, along with San Benito and Monterey, that the CDC is advising consumers to avoid when choosing romaine lettuce. Some romaine products are now being labeled with their harvest regions.

In addition to romaine, the farm's website notes that it produces red and green leaf lettuce, celery, cauliflower and broccoli.

 Adams Bros. Farming is also recalling red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce and cauliflower harvested between Nov. 27 and Nov. 30 “out of an abundance of caution, because it may be contaminated” with the same strand of E. coli that was found in the earlier romaine, according to a statement it released on Thursday.

“The recall was initiated after it was discovered that sediment from a reservoir near where the produce was grown tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. Filtered and treated water from the reservoir may have come in contact with the produce after it was harvested. None of the filtered, treated water has tested positive for E. coli, all E. coli tests returning negative,” the farm said in the statement.

All told, there have been 59 reported cases in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Twenty-three people have been hospitalized.

Two individuals developed a type of kidney failure, though the CDC did not disclose the states where those individuals were located.

California and New Jersey had the most reported cases.

The illnesses were reported between Oct. 5 and Nov. 16.

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Nixxphotography/iStock(BENI, Democratic Republic of the Congo) -- A baby who was admitted to an Ebola treatment center in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo just six days after she was born is now recovered from the lethal virus, according to health officials who called her the "young miracle."

The newborn girl, named Benedicte, received treatment in the city of Beni, one of the current epicenters of the outbreak, after her Ebola-stricken mother died in childbirth on Oct. 31.

Benedicte was discharged Wednesday. The baby is said to be the youngest survivor thus far in the world's second-largest, second-deadliest Ebola outbreak.

"She went home in the arms of her father and aunt," the country's health ministry said in a statement Thursday

Pediatricians, intensive care specialists and nannies took turns watching over the infant 24 hours a day for over a month, according to the health ministry. The nannies at the Ebola treatment center in Beni are former patients who have recovered from the disease and are better able to care for sick children by wearing lighter protective gear.

"They play a fundamental role in caring for sick children who need more attention and a reassuring presence at their side during treatment," the health ministry said.

Global health organizations have sounded the alarm over the high number of young children infected in the current Ebola outbreak, which began on Aug. 1 and now has 515 confirmed and probable cases, resulting in 303 deaths, across two northeastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo bordering South Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda.

Children, who are at greater risk than adults of dying from the often-fatal type of hemorrhagic fever, account for more than one-third of all these cases, while one in 10 Ebola patients is a child under the age of 5, according to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

"We are deeply concerned by the growing number of children confirmed to have contracted Ebola," Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF’s regional director for West and Central Africa who returned this week from Beni, said in a statement Tuesday.

"The earlier children infected with Ebola receive treatment in a specialized health facility, the greater their chances of survival. Community mobilization and public awareness activities are also crucial to ensuring early detection and quick referral of suspected cases to Ebola treatment centers."

More than 400 children have been orphaned or left unaccompanied in this outbreak as their infected parents or caregivers are taken away for treatment or die, according to UNICEF, which said it has opened a kindergarten next to the Ebola treatment center in Beni "to assist the youngest children whose parents are isolated" there.

"Children are suffering a lot because of this epidemic –- both those who have lost parents or caregivers as well as those who have been infected themselves," Poirier said. "That’s why it’s imperative that children are put at the heart of the Ebola response."

This is the 10th outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the most severe that the country has seen since 1976, the year that scientists first identified the virus near the eponymous Ebola River.

The virus, which has a long incubation period of approximately eight to 21 days, is transmitted through contact with blood or secretions from an infected person, either directly or through contaminated surfaces, needles or medical equipment.

The ongoing outbreak is one of the world's worst, second only to the 2014-2016 outbreak in multiple West African nations that infected 28,652 people and killed 11,325, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This is the first time that a vaccine for prevention and therapeutic treatments are available for use in an Ebola outbreak. Yet this epidemic has posed a number of challenges to health workers, as they struggle to contain the spread in both remote villages and densely populated urban areas amid sporadic attacks from armed groups and resistance from the local population in an area that had never before experienced an Ebola outbreak.

The World Health Organization, the global health arm of the United Nations, described the context of this outbreak as "unforgiving" in its latest assessment on Thursday.

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iStock/Thinkstock(CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.) -- A Tennessee doctor has been charged in connection with "a massive opioid distribution and healthcare fraud scheme," authorities said, accusing him of preying "upon an already addicted population" and engaging in "reckless disregard for patient safety."

Dr. Samson Orusa was charged in an indictment unsealed Thursday with "maintaining a drug-involved premises, 22 counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance outside the bounds of professional medical practice, 13 counts of healthcare fraud; and nine counts of money laundering."

If found guilty, Orusa could face up to 20 years in prison for each drug-related count and up to 10 years for healthcare and money laundering counts.

U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Dan Cochran alleges that Orusa opened up his practice with the purpose of distributing controlled substances such as oxycodone "not for legitimate medical purposes and beyond the bounds of medical practice," the indictment reads.

“Anyone who contributes to the opioid epidemic plaguing this nation should expect to be targeted by our law enforcement partners and held accountable,” Cohran said.

The indictment alleges that in 2015 Orusa prescribed what is known as "The Holy Trinity" of drugs which contains oxymorphone, Soma which is a muscle relaxer and alprazolam, an anti-anxiety drug. The combination is potentially dangerous and, in fact, according to the indictment, the patient who took the combination of drugs overdosed as a result.

The indictment alleges another patient overdosed on heroin in the waiting room of the doctor's office after being prescribed oxycodone and other "Schedule II drugs" which have a high potential for abuse. Orusa wrote almost 2,500 prescriptions for Schedule II drugs between July and August 2018, authorities said.

The pattern was so bad, they said, that on the same day this past September that the state of Tennessee revoked his pain management certificate, Orusa wrote 12,754 Schedule II controlled substance prescriptions.

The government also alleges that Orusa defrauded health insurance benefit providers such as Medicare and that he transferred money to disguise "the nature of the unlawful activity."

“The arrest of Dr. Orusa should serve as a warning to all doctors who fail to practice medicine in an ethical and responsible manner,” Special Agent in Charge D. Christopher Evans of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Louisville Field Division, which oversees DEA activity throughout Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, said in a statement.

“The men and women of DEA are committed to using every available resource to stop the flow of drugs into our communities, especially when the drug dealer is a physician.”

Orusa has not responded to ABC News' request for comment.

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Rawpixel/iStock(NEW YORK) -- A Chicago couple who previously suffered two miscarriages recently welcomed a healthy baby boy thanks to a breakthrough new fertility test which helps women struggling with achieving a successful pregnancy by examining the mother's DNA.

The test is offering new hope to many family's struggling to conceive.

Carolyn Bilson and Tim O'Brien met three years ago, and say it was love at first sight.

"Literally a month later we knew, we wanted to have children," Bilson told ABC News' Good Morning America.

But after two miscarriages, Bilson, then pushing 40, said the couple sought help from a fertility specialist in Chicago who recommended in vitro fertilization.

Their first attempt at IVF, however, failed too, according to Bilson.

"I think it was just so devastating, because we didn't anticipate that," she said. "We thought the hard part would be getting pregnant, not staying pregnant."

O'Brien added that the most "frustrating thing" was that "you didn't learn anything from the previous miscarriage. So, there wasn't, 'What could we do differently?'"

The couple then learned about a new way to tailor fertility treatments specifically to the DNA of the mother, using a test that can help couples figure out the perfect time for conception, based on that DNA.

The Endometrial Receptivity Test uses a tissue sample to look at 238 genes to find out the optimum time for conception, thus increasing the couple's chance to conceive.

For Bilson, that time is two days later than the average woman.

Dr. Ilan Tur-Kaspa, an OB-GYN and the director of Chicago's Institute for Human Reproduction, described the process as "personalized medicine."

"This is what we are trying to do here by personalized medicine," Tur-Kaspa said, adding that you can "make sure" that "the uterus is ready, and optimize a time for implantation."

The result: Their beautiful baby Westley, who is now nine months old.

"We're so lucky," Bilson said. "We're so blessed."

OB-GYN Dr. Jessica Shepherd told GMA that this breakthrough new treatment is very exciting to the medical community because it offers another avenue for women who have recurrent miscarriages to potentially get pregnant, when it is something they never thought they could look forward to.

The new technique works by having a doctor take a sample of the women's endometrial tissue, which you can get DNA from, and from that DNA you can tell what part of the cycle is prime time to take the fertilized egg and implant it via IVF, Shepherd added.

Shepherd said that the ideal candidates are women who have had three or more miscarriages or women over 40, but emphasized that the test is not for everyone and infertility is a spectrum.

One risk of the procedure many women may not take into account is the emotional effects of it not working and you still miscarrying, Shepherd said. It is a new process and important to go over the risks of the procedure -- which can vary per person -- with your health care provider.

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Hailshadow/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- A new federal report shows the astonishing pace in which fentanyl rose to become the drug associated with the most overdose deaths in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report Wednesday detailing the top 15 drugs involved in drug overdose deaths from 2011 to 2016.

During that time frame, fentanyl rose from 10th place to take the top spot. From 2011 to 2016, the potent opioid went from being involved in 4 percent of drug overdose deaths to 28.8 percent.

Fentanyl's involvement in overdose deaths was drastic and sudden. It was mentioned in approximately 4,223 overdose deaths in 2014, then 8,251 overdose deaths in 2015, and 18,335 overdose deaths in 2016.

“Fentanyl is 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin, depending on how pure the heroin is,” Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, an addiction specialist, told ABC News.

“It was the most powerful and potent painkiller that, back a few years ago, used to be used for end-stage terminal cancer patients via a patch, and the patch was time released,” he said.

Overall, in the six years observed in the report, the number of annual drug overdose deaths increased by 54 percent. In 2011, there were 41,340 overdose deaths, and by 2016, that number had increased to 63,632 deaths.

“The spike in fatal overdoses can best be explained by availability and the prevalence of extremely powerful opiates like OxyContin and fentanyl, and a population that's in increasing psychological and emotional distress that's looking to escape,” Kardaras said.

While fentanyl use skyrocketed, however, the CDC found there was a drop in overdose deaths connected to OxyContin, a prescription opioid whose generic name is oxycodone. Whereas in 2011, oxycodone was associated with 13.5 percent of overdose deaths, in 2016, that dropped to 9.7 percent.

The most consistent drugs at the top of the yearly lists were heroin and cocaine, both of which were ranked within the top three spots every year between 2011 and 2016.

That said, the number of deaths -- and, therefore, the percentages -- were always larger for heroin, with the exception of 2011.

This report comes amid the ongoing opioid crisis, which President Donald Trump has declared a nationwide public health emergency.

Heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone are all opioids, while cocaine and methamphetamine are stimulants.

The CDC report also looked at which drugs were used when the overdose death was intentional -- for suicide -- versus when it was unintentional or when the intent of the overdose death was undetermined.

The report states that in cases where the intention was for the person to kill themselves, they most often turned to oxycodone or several other drugs that were listed in the study. Heroin, fentanyl and cocaine were not included in the list of the 10 drugs most commonly associated with suicides.

Fentanyl and heroin were ranked first and second for the drugs most commonly associated with unintentional overdose deaths and overdose deaths where the intent was undetermined.

Kardaras explained this by saying that if someone is going to kill themselves, it's more likely they're going to use a prescription drug where they know what the effect is going to be.

"It's a much more precise way of to potentially hurt yourself," he said. "But with street drugs [like fentanyl, cocaine or methamphetamine], it’s much more Russian roulette."

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nicolas_/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The National Institutes of Health said Thursday it has stopped procuring human fetal tissue for some research projects while it waits for the Trump administration to complete an audit of the role the tissue plays in federally-funded experiments.

The NIH, a primary federal hub for U.S. medical research overseen by the Health and Human Services Department, also said it has initiated a $20 million effort to find alternatives.

The review is likely to revive a fierce debate between anti-abortion groups, which contend the use of fetal tissue in science is unethical, and much of the scientific community, which says it plays a vital role in studying things like cancer in children, the impact of the Zika virus and new therapies for HIV.

The dispute is reminiscent of President George W. Bush's fight to restrict stem cell research, which divided Republicans and ultimately resulted in his administration allowing government-funded research using 21 existing stem cell lines created before August 2001. President Barack Obama reversed that restriction.

“We are a pro-life, pro-science administration,” said Caitlin Oakley, a spokesperson for the Health and Human Services Department, in an emailed statement to ABC News.

“This means that we understand and appreciate that medical research and the testing of new medical treatments using fetal tissue raises inherent moral and ethical issues,” she said. “This also means that we place a high value on the work NIH does in creating new discoveries that result in cures and improved quality of life.”

HHS Secretary Alex Azar is conducting a review of fetal tissue use in federally-funded research "with the utmost seriousness and concern," Oakley said.

Last week, the Science Insider first reported that the Trump administration had ordered NIH to stop acquiring fetal tissue for experiments.

HHS had already announced last September it was reviewing the use of fetal tissue.

On Thursday, an NIH spokeswoman said in an emailed statement to ABC News that the organization had decided to "put a pause in place for procuring new human fetal tissue within its intramural program (research conducted by NIH investigators) until the conclusion of the audit, an action NIH thought was prudent given the examination of these procurements."

The spokeswoman added that "research with tissue already on hand could proceed, and NIH leaders asked to be notified by intramural investigators if new procurement would be necessary." She said there was no procurement block for "extramural research," or work done at institutions that receive funding from NIH.

"The intent was to pause procurement, not the research," according to NIH. "We are determining appropriate next steps to obtain tissue so that the research project can resume."

Researchers use fetal tissue to create cell cultures that can mimic certain attributes of the human body in a way that's difficult to replicate, many scientists say. According to the Congressional Research Service, NIH began supporting research involving fetal tissue in the 1950s, and in 2017 spent $98 million on grants and projects that had some involvement with fetal tissue.

"This tissue would be discarded if not donated for crucial biomedical research," said Sally Temple, former president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research and co-Founder of the Neural Stem Cell Institute in Rensselaer, New York.

Temple testified Thursday on the matter before a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee. In prepared testimony, she said fetal tissue has been vital in studying developmental conditions such as the effects of the Zika virus on an unborn child.

"The use of donated fetal tissue, including placental tissue, improved our understanding of how Zika behaves in the body and crosses the placenta to infect specific types of fetal brain cells" and cause malformations such as microcephaly, she said. Other "research models" don't exist, she said.

Tara Sander Lee, an associate scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, an anti-abortion group, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that "very little research" currently relies on "abortion-derived fetal tissues."

"We do not need fetal body parts from aborted babies to achieve future scientific and medical advancements," she said in prepared testimony.

On Monday, NIH announced that it plans to spend $20 million to find other alternatives.

"Research using these tissues has been important in shedding light on scientific questions fundamental to biomedical research, ranging from understanding basic physiologic mechanisms to understanding normal human tissue developmental and disease processes," the NIH wrote. "However, new technologies raise the potential of reconstituting these model systems without fetal tissue yielding more replicable and reproducible system for broader uses."

House Democrats said Thursday they aren't convinced there is a viable alternative to fetal tissue, setting up a potential clash between the Trump administration and Congress when Democrats take control of the House next year.

"Scientists are actively investigating potential alternative sources, and we should support those efforts," said Rep. Gerald Connolly of Virginia, a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

"But for now, fetal tissue is simply irreplaceable, and any efforts to substitute it would be harmful to the critical research it supports," he said.

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YinYang/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Don't worry -- it's possible to indulge in delicious Christmastime treats this holiday season without gaining the extra pounds by following some simple tips.

Nutritionist and health writer Jessica Sepel, creator of the JS Health brand, shared some of her favorite tips and tricks for getting through the holidays without maxing out your calorie bank. Read them below:

Don't deprive yourself of your favorite foods, but practice 'moderation'

Sepel said her first tip for those looking to avoid holiday weight gain is not to deprive yourself, but to "enjoy everything in moderation."

"When we deprive ourselves of food, it often backfires," she said. "We want to give ourselves permission to try all of the holiday treats ... You want to balance with the healthier options, but don't deprive yourself."

'Never arrive at a holiday event hungry'

While some people will "fast all day long" because they know they have a big Christmas dinner coming up, Sepel said this tactic often results in you overindulging or overeating when it comes to dinner time.

"I say eat balanced meals throughout the day and especially have a healthy, protein-rich snack in the afternoon," Sepel said. "You will find that you can really control your portion sizes and control by doing that."

Watch what you drink

Sepel also acknowledged that alcohol can be a big contributor to holiday weight gain, and while she says she recommends "absolutely" allowing yourself to drink, try to "go for the sugar-free version of cocktails, in moderation."

"My personal stopping at one to three drinks at a sitting, and then sipping the alcohol slowly," she said. "So many of us drink so fast, it's really nice to slow down and sip alcohol slowly."

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undefined undefined/iStock(NEW YORK) -- U.S. officials said Thursday they are cautiously optimistic that romaine lettuce tainted with E. coli that prompted a nationwide recall is off the market, but are warning the public to still avoid eating lettuce packed in certain regions of California, or if the origin of their lettuce is unknown.

There have been 59 people sickened in the past month across 15 states, with 23 people hospitalized, according to the Food and Drug Administration. No deaths linked to the outbreak has been reported.

The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was still advising people to avoid lettuce grown in some areas of California: Monterey, San Benito and Santa Barbara counties. Romaine lettuce harvested outside those counties after Nov. 23 doesn’t appear to be related to the current outbreak, officials said. Hydroponically- and greenhouse-grown romaine also doesn’t appear to be related to the current outbreak.

Officials told reporters that one source has been found: a water reservoir on a California farm called Adam Brothers Family Farms. Officials said they believe the E. coli somehow ended up in the water used for irrigation. The farm was fully cooperating with the investigation and hasn’t shipped any lettuce since Nov. 20, FDA and CDC officials said.

The farm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"The company has committed to recalling products that may have come into contact with the agricultural water reservoir and we are working with the farm to determine how the contamination occurred and what corrective actions they would need to take before their next growing season," the FDA said in a statement.

The bacteria on the lettuce is E. coli O157:H7, which is similar to a strain connected to an outbreak in the U.S. this past May. E. coli bacteria produces Shiga toxin, which can be deadly to humans.

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Allison Shelley/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Julia Louis-Dreyfus is slowly opening up about her battle with cancer in the past year.

The 57-year-old mother-of-two was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2017. She completed three rounds of chemotherapy, taking time off from her projects to prioritize her health.

Louis-Dreyfus has since returned to her hit HBO show Veep, which she both stars in and produces, to film its final season.

After dealing with such a serious illness, she’s says she’s changed.

"I have a different kind of view of my life now, having seen that edge—that we’re all going to see at some point, and which, really, as a mortal person you don’t allow yourself to consider, ever. And why would you? What are you going to do with it?" she said in a recent profile with The New Yorker. "I was a little more breezy before. I was a little . . . breezy."

The star’s mother, Judith Bowles, said that her daughter’s battle with breast cancer “was horrific.”

"Her strength, just now, is coming back. It takes about a year," she said.

Despite how difficult and painful the illness was for Louis-Dreyfus, she never let herself imagine the unimaginable — succumbing to the disease.

"Don’t misunderstand: I was to-my-bones terrified. But I didn’t let myself—except for a couple of moments—go to a really dark place. I didn’t allow it," she said.

Louis-Dreyfus recalled one day in particular when she was undergoing treatment. She was preparing for her acceptance speech for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which she received in October 2018, with writer friends and colleagues.

She told The New Yorker, "The old cliché about laughter being the best medicine turns out to be true: when I was getting my hideous chemotherapy, I’d cram a bunch of friends and family into the tiny treatment room with me. Gosh, as I’m saying this I’m going to cry."

Along with battling cancer, Louis-Dreyfus lost two family members in the last two years.

Her father died in September 2016 and her sister, Emma, 44, died suddenly in August on a camping trip from a fatal seizure.

An autopsy found she had cocaine and alcohol in her body.

"Given the fact that that heinous s--- came out, I would simply say I’ve kept this under wraps out of reverence for my dearest Emma," Louis-Dreyfus told The New Yorker.

"It’s been a very bad period of time," she added.

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izusek/iStock(NEW YORK) -- From standstill traffic to airport security lines that never seem to end, travel stress during the holidays is nothing to ho, ho, ho about.

You might be anxious about losing your luggage or making a connecting flight, but don’t let holiday travel become something you dread. With some planning, you can survive the traveling frenzy without feeling frantic.

Here are five tips from travel experts to de-stress while traveling:

Avoid airline counters

Save time and hassle by checking into your flight online. You won’t have to deal with those check-in kiosks and can skip a few lines just by printing out your boarding pass at home or sending it to your email.

If you’re not checking luggage, you can skip the check-in lines entirely and head straight for airport security.

If you are checking luggage, travel experts say try curbside check-in before heading inside the airport.

Apps can help with traffic

If you’re driving this holiday season, remember to be patient once you hit the road.

“Don't try and rush your drive time,” said Pauline Frommer, editorial director at “There are more cars on the road during the holidays so expect your road trip to take longer than normal.”

Apps like and OsmAnd have traffic features to get you on the fastest route available. Both work offline so you don’t have to worry about losing internet connection in some of those more remote areas on your drive.

If you’re headed to the airport, apps like GateGuru and iFly Pro provide real-time flight status updates and push notifications customized to your flight itinerary.

Noise canceling headphones can save the day

Even if you’re not the type of person who wants to listen to music or watch movies for eight hours straight, a pair of noise canceling headphones can be a lifesaver to get some sleep and cancel out the noise of the toddler crying behind you.

“This time of year is peak travel time for families and as much as we love children, there is nothing worse than sitting on a plane next to a crying baby,” said Christie Hudson, head of public relations at

Luggage stress? Take a picture of your suitcase

Snap a picture of your bag before handing it over to an airline if you’re worried about losing it. That way you won’t have to stress trying to remember if your bag was black or dark blue and airline staff will know exactly what to look for.

Travel experts also say it’s a good idea to tie a colored ribbon to your suitcase, especially if it’s a common color like black or brown. It’ll make it easy to spot your bag on the luggage carousel.

Think about swapping a few essential items with a family member as well. Then no one will feel helpless if one bag doesn’t make it on time.

Have something to look forward to when you arrive

If possible, schedule a fun activity for when you first arrive at your destination. A spa visit, massage or a nice meal will give you something to look forward to when you’re stressing at the airport.

“Not only will it be great for when you get to your destination, but the anticipation could keep you relaxed you when you're in the moment of traveling,” said Frommer.

Consider planning something relaxing for your return home, too. Getting back to your house after a long trip with the relatives is tiring and it can be tough to get back into a rhythm of things. Do a 15-minute meditation, take a warm bath and relax with some time to yourself. Making sure you have time to recharge before diving back into your daily routine can make all the difference.

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DNY59/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The stethoscope has long been an iconic symbol of health care used for listening to the heart, intestines, lungs and blood flow. But while it’s an invaluable tool that every medical student must learn to use, it seems they didn’t learn how to clean them.

That’s according to a new study that analyzed the DNA found on stethoscopes in an intensive care unit. Results showed that they were loaded with different kinds of bacteria, including some that can cause infections, such as Staphylococcus.

Dr. Ronald Collman, senior author of the study, told ABC News that he wasn’t taught how to clean a stethoscope in medical school, and that he doesn’t know if it’s taught now.

“But it would be an excellent idea,” said Collman, a professor of medicine, pulmonary, allergy and critical care at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

The study highlights the importance of “adhering to rigorous infection control procedures” recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for decontaminating stethoscopes, Collman said. At the very least, he added, health care providers should be using the individual-use stethoscopes that are often kept in the patients’ rooms.

For the study, researchers tested practitioners’ stethoscopes and individual-use stethoscopes as well as clean, unused stethoscopes and stethoscopes that had been cleaned with standardized or practitioner-preferred methods. They found that the practitioners’ and individual-use stethoscopes had bacterial communities that were “indistinguishable and significantly different from clean stethoscopes and background controls,” the study said.

Though the study did not look into whether the stethoscopes ever made patients ill, it did find high levels of Staphylococcus, the bacteria responsible for Staph infections, on more than half of them. Other bacteria, such as Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter, were also widely present on the stethoscopes, though in smaller quantities.

“There is bacteria in the environment all around us, so the presence of bacteria isn't a gross factor or inherently dangerous,” Dr. Graham Snyder, medical director of infection prevention for UPMC, told ABC News.

He added that although these bacteria are “not a common reason for hospital-acquired infections, evidence has shown that contaminated stethoscopes can contribute to infections."

The study might serve as a wakeup call for medical institutions to implement protocols for stethoscope safety, Collman said.

“[The stethoscope] should be cleaned regularly and always between patients, using one of several EPA registered disinfectants,” Collman said. “At the very least, it should be thoroughly cleaned with 70 percent alcohol, which is always available.”

And this should be done by every health care provider, Collman said, not just ICU doctors and nurses.

"I think the results would be the same if we tested outside of the ICU because patients outside of the ICU are also colonized or infected with various bacteria," he said. "Also, many practitioners rotate in and out of the ICU settings."

If you're concerned about the stethoscope that your doctor uses, Snyder said it's OK to speak up.

“Just like it’s important for patients to ask questions about their diagnosis and treatment, patients should ask about the safety of their care,” Snyder said, adding that many organizations like the CDC encourage patients to “speak up.”

“Just like you expect that your doctor washes their hands before examining you, they should clean their stethoscope,” Collman added, agreeing with Snyder. “It is reasonable to gently ask, ‘Is your stethoscope as clean as your hands?’”

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Courtesy Jennifer Harrison(ITHACA, Mich.) -- A 9-year-old girl who almost gave up on recess because it took too long to bundle up has joined her mom in helping other kids around the world.

Zoey Harrison loves playing outside with her friends, but was running into some trouble when it came to keeping warm while sitting in her wheelchair.

"She's sassy she has no filter," mom Jennifer Harrison of Ithaca, Michigan, told ABC News' Good Morning America. "She would come home and she'd say, 'My blanket fell off in recess and it got caught in my wheel.' and 'By the time I'm done getting ready, I get outside and the bell rings.'"

Harrison, a mom of 11, said she adopted her daughter Zoey when she was a 1-year-old. Zoey has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to get around.

"Zoey brought a lot of joy to our family," Harrison said. "She's got the most amazing sense of humor in the world. She loves to read joke books, and [loves] playing jokes on people."

Harrison went on, "She loves to go out and do things and that's what's great about the Bodycoat."

In the winter of 2017, Zoey asked her mom to make something that didn't take long to put on so she could play outside at recess.

Harrison went shopping and purchased two purple coats, to which she made specific modifications.

The creation was later named the "Bodycoat."

Harrison then created a demonstration video for Zoey's teacher -- to show the teacher how to put Zoey in her Bodycoat. The video was viewed 11 million times.

Harrison said she's received hundreds of thousands of requests for a Bodycoat. Her husband, John Harrison, contacted the Central Michigan University Research Corporation (CMURC), a business accelerator program. From there, the Harrisons were put in touch with a patent lawyer.

The patent-pending Bodycoat, priced from $115 to $185, is sold on the Harrison family's company website. The name of their business is "X-Ability." The "dis" in the word disability is crossed out.

"See my ability -- not my disability," Zoey told ABC affiliate WZZM-TV adding, "I saved recess for myself and a million other people."

X-Ability is currently running low on inventory, but are stocking as fast as they can and are turning all profits into more Bodycoats, Harrison said. There is also a place on their website where customers can donate to kids whose families cannot afford the Bodycoat.

"When I did this, I purely did it to help her," Harrison said of her daughter. "If I was a millionaire, I'd make them and give them away. We are at the point where we want to find an investor."

"I think the best part is getting a picture of a smiling kid," Harrison added. "Words cannot express how much joy it's brought me that something I made has brought so much ease to a parent, because I know how easy it is and how convenient it is to have."

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DNY59/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Sitting all day has been proven to be detrimental to one's health -- so if you've got one of those standing desks, great.

However, if you think standing up at the old grind is going to get you shredded, you may want to sit down for this: A new U.K. study shows you'll burn fewer than 10 calories an hour.

So standing for an entire eight-hour day will offset your morning coffee -- provide you take it with no cream or sugar.

"The very small increase in energy cost of standing compared to sitting that we observed suggests that replacing time spent sitting with time spent standing is unlikely to influence our waistlines in any meaningful way," says study co-author Dr. Javier Gonzalez, a senior lecturer with Bath’s Department of Health.

Scientists tested dozens of men and women, checking how many calories they burned sitting, laying down, or standing during an average day. The difference between sitting and standing only worked out to be around a 12 percent difference.

Gregg Afman, a professor of kinesiology, noted that, "current interventions to reduce prolonged sitting like standing desks or wearable technologies only increase standing by a maximum of two hours per day..." -- which works out to be around 20 calories in a given day.

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matka_Wariatka/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Kimberly-Clark issued a voluntary recall yesterday for some of their U by Kotex tampons, amid reports from consumers of them "unraveling and/or coming apart upon removal," according to a statement on their website.

The tampons being recalled include the U by Kotex Sleek and Regular Absorbency Tampons, which are currently being sold in the U.S. and Canada and limited to those that were manufactured prior to Oct. 16, 2018, according to the U by Kotex website. You can check if tampons you purchased are being recalled by inputting the lot number (found on the box) into a checker on the site.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also posted a full list of the lot codes of products impacted by the recall on their site here.

The recall was initiated after the reports of unraveling or coming apart from consumers, "and in some cases causing users to seek medical attention to remove tampon pieces left in the body," according to the company's website.

"There also have been a small number of reports of infections, vaginal irritation, localized vaginal injury, and other symptoms," the statement on the site added.

ABC News' chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, an Ob-Gyn, told "Good Morning America" that leaving foreign material in the body can cause infection.

"In Gynecology, we have a saying: the vagina is like a self-cleaning oven, which means that it constantly flushes out bacteria or other particulate matter," Ashton said. "However, if larger pieces of cotton are left behind, it is possible to develop an infection similar to that seen with any retained 'foreign material.'"

"Women having any abnormal discharge, bleeding or pain should see their health care provider," she added.

Kimberly-Clark launched a full FAQ page related to the recall for consumers here.

The company also said it is taking steps to prevent this from happening in the future.

"The safety of our consumers is our top priority. We are putting systems in place to prevent the occurrence of similar issues in the future," the company wrote.

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DelpixartiStock(MIAMI) -- U.S. diplomatic personnel residing in Cuba's capital who felt ill after hearing loud, high-pitched sounds or feeling pressure sensations suffered damage to a part of the inner ear responsible for maintaining balance, according to a study by the doctors who first treated them.

Beginning in the fall of 2016, more than two dozen American government employees posted at the U.S. embassy in Havana reported neurological, cognitive and emotional issues following exposure to an unknown, directed energy source inside their homes, according to physicians at the University of Miami who examined the patients and revealed their findings in a scientific paper published Wednesday in the journal Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology.

"Objective testing showed evidence of a balance disorder that affects the inner ear and a unique pattern of cognitive and behavioral dysfunction," Dr. Michael Hoffer, the lead author of the study, said in a press release.

The patients complained of intense ear pain, hearing loss, headaches, dizziness and difficulty with balance, as well as increased anxiety and irritability, doctors found, but who or what caused the damage is still unknown.

"The possible sources and the medical findings we have here do not have a quick or easy solution," said Dr. Carey Balaban, a professor of otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine who contributed to the study. "I wish someone could tell us that right now. I wish we'd have that."

The study is the first to look at patients as soon as four days after they were exposed to sounds or pressure -- a time period described as the "acute presentation" of symptoms, meaning very soon after they began to show. The study examined 25 people with symptoms and 10 people who were their roommates but did not have any symptoms.

Wednesday's paper differed from a study published in February by a team of doctors at the University of Pennsylvania, which found patients may have suffered "a possible acquired brain injury."

The study released Wednesday found the symptoms didn't resemble "more classic traumatic brain injury," but did find there was injury to the ears that affected the brain.

The authors of this latest study also emphasized that it further showed that the patients' symptoms weren't stemming from their imaginations or caused by anxieties.

Balaban described it as "measurable, quantifiable evidence that something really did happen."

"It's not just hysteria," Balaban added.

Hoffer, who served for 21 years in the military and has experience in blast trauma, highlighted the ways the study, and the situation, are unique.

"I never even got this phone call when I was in the military, and the phone call was: 'This is the State Department, we have a problem,'" Hoffer said in a press conference in Miami on Wednesday.

A State Department spokesperson told ABC News that while it has "welcomed any clinical publication that would help the scientific community better understand what may have caused the observed symptoms" it was not informed about this study's publication.

"The State Department reviewed, cleared, and in February 2018 informed Dr. Hoffer that it had no objection to his proposed New England Journal of Medicine article," the spokesperson said. "With regard to his Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology article, the Department was not informed of nor aware of this publication. The Department did not authorize or clear on this study."

But Hoffer told reporters Wednesday that the State Department "saw the study, they cleared the study, they had to clear the study. In fact, the study spent nine months in the state department getting cleared to make sure it didn't have any classified information in it."

The source of the localized noise or pressure sensation that caused the symptoms has not been determined, though the study found it would be "imprudent to exclude any potential directed or non-directed energy sources at this time."

"We have incontrovertible objective evidence that they had an abnormality when they represented acutely," Hoffer said. "What caused it, who did it, why it was done, we don't know any of those things."

Hoffer acknowledged frustrations with the lack of answers but said studies were ongoing.

"I think its vexing for all Americans, all people around the world, that people can be harmed and not know why. But we have to let the science play out," he said.

Balaban, the only professor on the study not from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said he's currently doing a study sponsored by the Office of Naval Research to "try and get an idea of what are likely possibilities."

"I want to make it imminently clear that we don't know what they were exposed to and certainly can't make any inferences as to whether it was deliberate or inadvertent -- no idea," Balaban said of the patients.

According to Balaban, there are a number of easily purchased items that could be used, like pest-control devices, and there have been other examples of biological exposure or directed energy that could cause such symptoms.

"These are in the safe range but it shows you the technology is there and could be placed inside a room that could do such a thing," Balaban said.

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