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Craig Spencer/LinkedIn(NEW YORK) -- The family of Morgan Dixon, the fiancée of the New York doctor who tested positive for Ebola, said in a statement Saturday that they are confident in the medical care he's receiving.

Dr. Craig Spencer has been in an isolation unit at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan since Thursday. His fiancée, Morgan Dixon, is also quarantined there, although she hasn't shown any symptoms of the virus.

"The Dixon family is asking for your thoughts and prayers for Craig Spencer and his fiancee, our daughter, Morgan Dixon," read the statement.

The Dixon family said they have not had physical contact with their daughter or Spencer, 33, since his return to New York from Guinea.

Two friends of Spencer are also under quarantine at home. Neither has shown symptoms of the virus.

Spencer became the fourth person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States after he was hospitalized Thursday. He developed a fever that morning and alerted authorities, who transported the doctor from his Harlem apartment in a specially designated ambulance.

"We have confidence in the medical care Craig is receiving and we are hoping for a complete recovery," the Dixon family said.

Health officials said he felt tired on Tuesday and then spent a day out in the city on Wednesday. Spencer returned to the U.S. on October 17 after treating Ebola patients for Doctors Without Borders.

"We are very proud of and support the work Craig has been involved with throughout this career," the Dixon family said.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Ridofranz/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Researchers from the Netherlands say that listening to gossip impacts the way we judge ourselves.

The study, published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, looked at two separate groups, consisting of a total of 305 undergraduate students. The students listened to either positive or negative gossip, and found that either form could have a positive impact on their feelings about themselves.

Listening to positive gossip, researchers said, allowed the listeners to use the information they heard for self-improvement. Meanwhile, listening to negative gossip gave listeners an ego boost, as they felt superior to the person being gossiped about.

Those students who listened to negative gossip were, however, more guarded, out of concern that they too may be the subject of gossip behind their backs.

The study also found that men and women react to hearing gossip slightly differently. Women who listened to negative gossip were more likely to be concerned about their own risk of being gossiped about than men, while men who heard positive gossip experienced more fear.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Evenflo(NEW YORK) -- Evenflo is recalling over 200,000 child car seats.

The buckles in the Embrace and AmSafe models can reportedly become difficult to unlatch, especially after a child has been eating or drinking in the seat. The buckle can allegedly get sticky if its spilled on, making it harder to get a child out during an emergency.

Owners can get replacement buckles if requested.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The New York doctor who tested positive for Ebola wasn't required to quarantine himself when he returned to New York City after treating Ebola patients in Guinea. Instead, Dr. Craig Allen Spencer went about his life, hitting a popular restaurant and bowling alley before his diagnosis -- and sending health officials scrambling in the aftermath.

But the rules on quarantines are changing.

Governors in New York and New Jersey announced Friday that they would enforce mandatory quarantines for all travelers who had contact with Ebola-infected people and were arriving from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. This comes one day after Spencer’s Ebola diagnosis, and two days after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control tightened guidelines to require 21-day self-monitoring -- but not quarantines -- for travelers to Ebola-affected regions.

Friday, a woman who cared for Ebola patients in Sierra Leone was quarantined in Newark, New Jersey, after her plane landed. She was originally quarantined despite not having any symptoms. Hours later, however, officials said the woman, who was not identified, has a fever. She is in isolation and undergoing tests.

"This marks a very different approach, quarantining someone who wore protective gear when they had contact with an Ebola patient. It would not be based on science, which would say she is not at risk," said Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News chief health and medical editor. "However, given all the work the city has decided to undertake because Dr. Spencer was around town before he got sick, perhaps that is why New York and New Jersey have decided to take a different approach."


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Doctors who have treated Ebola patients in West Africa are required to self-monitor for the 21-day incubation period, but they are not required to self-quarantine,according to guidelines from Doctors Without Borders, for whom Spencer was working overseas.

"Self-quarantine is neither warranted nor recommended when a person is not displaying Ebola-like symptoms," the organization said Thursday in a statement. "However, returned staff members are discouraged from returning to work during the 21-day period."

This fits with CDC guidelines, which indicate that because Spencer was wearing protective gear when he was around Ebola patients, he was not required to be quarantined.

Spencer, 33, had been treating Ebola patients in Guinea until Oct. 12, New York City Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said Friday. Spencer left Guinea on Oct. 14 and arrived in New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Oct. 17 following a stopover in Brussels, Belgium.

Doctors Without Borders Guidelines requires doctors like Spencer to take their temperature twice a day and to stay within four hours of a hospital for the 21-day incubation period. They are also supposed to contact Doctors Without Borders if they developed any symptoms.

The CDC announced on Wednesday -- after Spencer arrived back in the United States -- that all airline passengers traveling from Ebola-affected nations would get Ebola kits and be required to self-monitor for 21 days. They are required to take their temperature twice daily and answer several questions about their symptoms, according to the CDC. If they do not report, they will be tracked down, the agency said Wednesday.

In the days before Spencer was diagnosed with Ebola, he traveled to Manhattan's Highline Park and a popular restaurant called The Meatball Shop on Tuesday. The next day, he took a 3-mile run along Riverside Park and traveled on the subway to Brooklyn, where he went bowling. He was fatigued, but had no fever, officials said.

On Thursday morning, Spencer recorded a temperature of 100.3 and called Doctors Without Borders, who contacted New York authorities. Emergency responders arrived at his northern Manhattan apartment in full protective gear and took him to Bellevue Hospital, where he was placed in isolation and later diagnosed with Ebola, according to officials.

“Extremely strict procedures are in place for staff dispatched to Ebola affected countries before, during, and after their assignments,” said Sophie Delaunay, executive director of Doctors Without Borders. “Despite the strict protocols, risk cannot be completely eliminated. However, close post-assignment monitoring allows for early detection of cases and for swift isolation and medical management.”

Spencer's fiancee was placed in quarantine, but she has shown no symptoms so far, officials said.

"Until today, out of more than 700 expatriate staff deployed so far to West Africa, no MSF [Doctors Without Borders] staff person has developed confirmed Ebola symptoms after returning to their home country," Doctors Without Borders said in a statement.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- There are 846 doctors and dentists in 43 states who have been named by the U.S. Department of Education on a public list in a desperate effort to get them to repay their defaulted student loans.

And because the loans were federally guaranteed, it's taxpayers who are left with the bill.

"Physicians have a higher calling in the community. They have a higher responsibility," Tom Schatz of Citizens Against Government Waste told ABC News’ 20/20. “The Hippocratic Oath says, ‘Do no harm.’ Why should they be doing harm to taxpayers?”

Many of the doctors appear to be living lives of luxury and operate practices in high rent places, including Malibu, California, or Key Biscayne, Florida. But the doctors on the list have collectively defaulted on over $100 million in student loans.

Congress created the federally guaranteed loan program for aspiring doctors in the 1970s, but because of the high default rate, it pulled the plug on the program in the 1990s.

That’s when the government decided to publicize the list to shame doctors into paying up. The government has also seized doctors’ tax refunds, prevented the doctors from participating in Medicare, filed lawsuits and even garnished bank accounts.

"They were more likely to pay the money back because it’s embarrassing to them professionally," Schatz said.

ABC's New York station WABC launched its own investigation and tracked down several doctors on the list, including Brooklyn dentist Sammy Saadia, who owes $156,000, and Montclair, New Jersey, podiatrist Demi Turner, who owes almost $700,000, according to the Department of Education.

"They continue to practice medicine. They make money, and there’s absolutely no legitimate reason not to pay that money back," Schatz said.

Dentist Mladen Kralj is one of the doctors on the list. He runs a dental practice in the penthouse of an office building in Chicago’s Gold Coast section. Kralj owes the government over $394,107, yet he had the money to buy two condos in a renovated loft building in downtown Chicago.

“I’m actually in repayment form with them. I’ve had some issues here,” Kralj said when confronted by 20/20.

Kralj’s loans date back over 23 years. He was sued by the Justice Department and was ordered to pay back the money.

But as of today, Kralj's outstanding debt is bigger than ever because of principle and interest. Kralj told 20/20 that he went through tough times after losing an investor in his business. He said he hasn’t been paid in nine months.

“There’s circumstances in my life that are very sensitive that happened during this part, that I've never been able to catch up on,” Kralj said. “I’m trying to take responsibility for all of this simply because it’s caught up. And the thing is, trying to maintain a practice and trying to pay off loans and trying to get ahead, it’s difficult.”

Over the years, being on the public list has largely worked. Many doctors and dentists on the list have paid back thousands of dollars, leaving only the stalwart holdouts, like leading podiatrist and sports medicine specialist Dr. Scott Kantro.

Kantro, who also made a name for himself as a medical inventor, lives in an upscale home on five acres of property in New York. But according to the list, he currently owes $287,819 for loans he took out in 1979.

While he refused to speak to 20/20 on camera, Kantro claimed he had actually paid his debt off 30 years ago and that it was all a mistake. But when 20/20 asked for his permission to check out his story with the government, he refused.

“There’s some level of sympathy, perhaps, at this point, but not over this long period of time.” Schatz said. “It means that resources have been spent by the government to even get to this point. Thirty percent of these people have been on since 1995. That’s a really long time to keep fighting and not paying.”

Click here to find out if your doctor or dentist is on the list. Then tune in for the full story on ABC News' 20/20 Friday at 10 p.m. ET.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio





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