• by DR. SHAILJA MEHTA
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Zika virus has been found in fluid around the eyes of some patients, shedding new light on how the virus affects healthy adults, according to a study published Thursday in Journal for the American Medical Association Ophthalmology.The eyes of six patients infected in South America were swabbed by researchers from the Guangdong Provincial Institute of Public Health in China. When they tested their eye fluids, they found the Zika virus RNA."Here we have some evidence when the adult is infected, it would appear that highly specialized neural tissue is infected," Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical School, told ABC News. He said the next step would be examining if the virus caused any vision problems.The virus was known to cause symptoms of severe eye damage in developing fetuses. Babies born with microcephaly have exhibited symptoms of eye infection, including lesions in the eye, but it was unclear if the development of microcephaly or the Zika virus itself led to the lesions.Until now, it was also unclear if the virus was present in the eyes of adults.Schaffner said researchers are still learning the many ways the Zika virus, which usually causes mild symptoms including fever, fatigue and pink eye, can affect adults and how it can remain in different parts of the body.Despite being discovered in 1947, the Zika virus was not widely studied until the recent outbreak that started in Brazil last year and that has been linked to birth defects.The virus has been found to cause severe birth defects in developing fetuses, including microcephaly, characterized by a small head, as well as other brain and eye defects.Schaffner pointed out that these case studies are important to also help unravel what happens to otherwise healthy adults when they become infected with the virus."Every time you seem to lift up a corner there's something else that Zika is involved in," said Schaffner. "The more we study it the nastier the virus becomes."
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  • iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical ContributorA video of a Minneapolis woman has gone viral for her wakesurfing skills despite being overdue for the birth of her baby -- which begs the question: Are sports dangerous right up to your due date?The woman said wakesurfing is a hobby she loves to do and is a great stress reliever. Although the activity didn't actually induce her labor immediately, her baby was born just five days after shooting the video. Here's my OB/GYN advice to you: Pregnancy is not a disease, so working out is not only safe, it's recommended. Labor and delivery are kind of like athletic events, so why not train for them? The only cautionary medical advice I have is to not do any sport during pregnancy that has a high risk of high velocity falls. This could be dangerous for your baby and its placenta.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(CHESTERFIELD, Mich.) — A 9-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who cannot walk or stand on his own was caught on camera giving his all to try to stand during the national anthem of an NFL game on TV.Logan Wilson, of Chesterfield, Michigan, was watching a recording of a Detroit Lions game on Monday at his home from the couch. When the national anthem began to play, Logan spent nearly 10 minutes trying to stand on his own.“He kept rewinding it from the DVR,” said Logan’s mom, Rebecca Wilson, who recorded her son from another room. “I was just kind of in shock.”Wilson told ABC News her son is a huge fan of the Lions and the Detroit Tigers so they record the games for him to re-watch. Logan asked his mom to sit him on the couch so he could watch the game after he got home from school Monday.“He walks with the assistance of a walker that he gets strapped into but it’s very supportive of him,” she said of Logan, who was born nearly four months early weighing 1 pound, 10 ounces. “I haven’t really seen him try to stand from that sitting position on his own like that," she said.Logan can be seen in the video putting his left hand to his chest since he has limited mobility on his right side, according to his mom.Wilson posted the video of Logan to her Facebook page, along with the caption, “Even my 9 year old with CP (who can't walk) knows you're supposed to stand up during the national anthem...He loves it!”The video has been viewed more than 14,000 times and sparked comments related to protests by some professional athletes during sporting events. Wilson said she posted the video just to share her pride in how far her son has come.“He’s made a lot of accomplishments in the last nine years, from being told that he wouldn’t be able to do much of anything to being where he is today,” she said. “He’s just an amazing little boy.”
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  • Ithica Police Department(ITHACA, N.Y.) — A 9-year-old battling terminal brain cancer has joined his local upstate New York police department as an honorary officer, allowing him to further his dreams of helping people, his parents said.On Monday, the Ithaca Police Department welcomed Colin Hayward Toland to the police force, holding an official ceremony where Colin's family, friends and fellow officers witnessed as he was sworn in as a police officer.Colin was 2 years old when he was first diagnosed with brain cancer in June 2009, his father, Ian Hayward, told ABC News. The family, who was living in Connecticut at the time, was planning a trip to Vermont for Colin's birthday and his parents' 10-year anniversary when all of a sudden he fell ill, Hayward said."Things kind of took off rapidly," Hayward said. "One day he was fine, the next he collapsed."Colin was then taken to Westchester Medical Center for emergency brain surgery, Hayward said. In the months that followed, he underwent two more brain surgeries and several months of high-dose chemotherapy before he went into remission.Colin was cancer-free for a little over four years, Hayward said, before he relapsed about 20 months ago. Since then, he has undergone three more brain surgeries, the most recent this past May as a "last-ditch attempt" to "buy him a little bit of time," Hayward said.Colin has been on and off hospice for the past eight months. Last month, doctors told Hayward and his wife, Tamiko Toland, that they "couldn't believe" that Colin was even walking considering how much the cancer had progressed. Once the family realized that Colin's prognosis wasn't looking good, they decided to do everything they could for him, Hayward said. They took him to Hawaii, to the Bahamas and to Camp Sunshine in Maine.For a better quality of life, the family moved back to Ithaca, where both Hayward and Toland attended Cornell University, Hayward said.Colin's 12-year-old brother Aidan got to join the action as well, sharing the stage as Colin as he was sworn in and riding in a squad car with Colin and a member of the Ithaca Police Department.After witnessing protests and violence against police in recent months, Colin "felt an immense amount of empathy" toward the officers, Hayward said, and decided that he wanted to become one. He told his parents that as a police officer, he would "love everyone.""Colin wants to help people," Hayward said. "He wants to reach out and make people feel okay."When asked what he wants his role to be at the police department, Colin jokingly said that he would probably be a receptionist, because he "wouldn't be good at catching bad guys," he told his father. Colin also would like to read bedtime stories to inmates, Hayward said.Colin's favorite part of his swear-in ceremony was the badge he was given, he told local media in Ithaca. But Toland said it's the message the badge represents that means the most to her son."He said, 'Everyone should go for their dreams,'" Hayward said, adding that he's "so inspired" by him and his dreams.Colin's dream came true on Monday, and about 300 people showed up to watch him be sworn in, including 150 fellow police officers and his entire fourth-grade class from Northeast Elementary School, which scheduled a field trip to watch their classmate's moment of honor.Hayward held Colin's hand as Toland pinned his badge to his uniform, according to the Ithaca Police Department. Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick then announced that Sept. 12 will now be known as "Colin Toland Hayward Day."Hayward and Toland were "moved to tears" while watching their son be recognized in such a big way, they said."When you lose a child to this disease, the one thing I feel parents are concerned or worried about is their child being forgotten or their child being a statistic," Hayward said -- not being able to become whatever it is they wanted to become."The Ithaca Police Department posted a photo album to its Facebook page titled Officer Colin Tol
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  • backpack555/iStock/Thinkstock(TORONTO) -- Canada has approved prescription heroin to be given to some patients in an effort to combat the effects of the ongoing opioid crisis. The news comes as some health experts and policymakers in both Canada and the U.S. are looking to implement more harm reduction strategies, which focus on diminishing risk associated with intravenous drug use.On Friday, Canada's health ministry announced that doctors will now be able to prescribe diacetylmorphine or prescription-grade heroin for the treatment of "chronic relapsing opioid dependence." The drugs will be given through Canada's Special Access Programme (SAP) which provides access to drugs not currently available on the market for the treatment patients with serious or life-threatening conditions when "conventional therapies have failed, are unsuitable, or unavailable.""Scientific evidence supports the medical use of diacetylmorphine for the treatment of chronic relapsing opioid dependence in certain individual cases," Canadian health officials said in a statement sent to ABC News today. "Health Canada recognizes the importance of providing physicians with the power to make evidence-based treatment proposals in these exceptional cases."Researchers in Canada have been using pilot programs to understand how giving prescription heroin or providing supervised injection sites could affect the health of intravenous drug users. These tactics are part of a harm reduction strategy aimed at reducing the risk surrounding opioid drug abuse without forcing an addict to stop using drugs. In the U.S. similar programs have been considered and the mayor of Ithaca, New York has plans to open the first supervised injection site in the country.There were record number of deaths related to opioid overdoses in 2014 in the U.S. with 28,000 recorded deaths according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Canada opioid-related deaths have risen sharply and make up half of all drug deaths, according to the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition.Dr. Scott MacDonald developed a pilot program that studied the effects of providing prescription heroin to certain users in Vancouver and said researchers have seen huge success with the program."This is a kind of last resort to get them into care to get them off the streets," MacDonald said. "We see them come to us every day rather than stay on the streets... that engagement and retention in care is a significant benefit."MacDonald said people who used to to be in and out of jail or the hospital have been able to reconnect with families, go back to school and retain employment."That's a major success," he said. In the pilot program users must be a long time heroin user, who has tried at least twice to stop using drugs. The drug users are allowed to come to the clinic between two to three times a day where they are provided a syringe and drugs for injection. Medical staff on site monitor the drug users and can intervene if they show signs of overdose.Daniel Raymond, policy director for Harm Reduction New York, said that providing prescription heroin could viewed as an extension of medicine-based rehab programs that utilize drugs like morphine or buprenorphine that help medically address symptoms of opioid addiction and withdrawal."I think the idea is not so much the Marie Antoniette style let them have heroin," said Raymond. "We know people who struggle with opioid disorder. We've been using bufneoprohine, morphine...none of them have been sufficiently scaled up."Raymond pointed out this treatment is only right for a small group of drug users."What we see from research is a small subset of people with entrenched treatment resistant drug problems," said Raymond. "It seems to stabilize them, it gets them off of the street."Raymond said a move among health experts and other policy makers towards harm reduction shows a growing awareness that asking drug users to quit drugs isn't always a feasible goal."There may be some
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