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Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A New York college student with measles boarded an Amtrak station from Penn Station earlier this week and may have exposed other passengers to the contagious virus.

The student at Bard College in Dutchess County took Amtrak train no. 283 from Penn Station to Albany, according to state health officials. He got off in Rhinecliff, N.Y.

He has been isolated during his recovery, said officials with the college.

"In order to prevent the spread of illness, DOH is advising individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to call their health care providers or a local emergency room BEFORE going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness," said a statement from the New York State Department of Health.

At Bard College, the Dutchess County Department of Health held a measles vaccination clinic for any students, faculty, or staff who have not been vaccinated against measles.

New York has had three cases of measles this year, the department said, one in Dutchess County and two in New York City.

New York requires that all college students show proof of immunity to measles. At Bard College, medical forms show that a student's immunity to the disease must be documented, but they don't state whether exemptions are allowed.

The current nationwide outbreak of measles has spread to 14 states and includes 84 cases reported this month.

Measles is one of the most contagious viruses in existence and will infect an estimated 90 percent of people who not immune to the virus. The incubation period is on average 14 days, but an infected person can be contagious up to four days before they start to show symptoms.



Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Make-A-Wish(MARTINSVILLE, Ind.) -- For cash-strapped families too beset with hospital bills to spend funds on vacations and events, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has long acted as a fairy godmother-type entity, creating once-in-a-lifetime experiences, connecting celebrities with super-fans, and providing unexpected trips to children with chronic and life-threatening medical conditions.

But what happens when a particular illness makes it impossible to go on an expedition?

For Levi Mayhew, a 6-year-old from Martinsville, Indiana, battling a rare congenital disorder that prevents him from traveling, the next best thing to going away himself was to send his best friend somewhere sunny.

"Levi's most heartfelt wish was to give his best friend Emma a trip to Florida to visit the theme parks and see the ocean," a representative for Make-A-Wish America told ABC News.

Emma Broyer, 10, is described by Make-A-Wish as having "provided tremendous support for Levi during his medical struggles." The buddies spend a lot of time together, and Mayhew wished to send Emma on the trip of a lifetime.

Upon learning that they would be traveling to Orlando, Florida, the Broyer family decided to bring along a "Flat Levi," a cardboard cutout with Levi's face glued to the head, making sure to include him in photos of their adventures.

“With all that we have been through with all of this, the best gift we have been given is Levi and his family added to our family," said Emma's mother, Shawnelle Broyer. "God has brought us all together and we are so thankful that we have them in our lives.”

Her daughter echoed that sentiment, telling strangers who asked about the cutout in Orlando that Levi was her best friend from school.

“It was the best experience of my life,” Emma Broyer said.

At a welcome home party, the Broyer family surprised Levi and his parents with a scrapbook of "Emma and Levi's Trip."

"Levi is such a happy kid," said Levi's mother, Rebecca Drake. "He loves people. Seeing his happy face on the Flat Levi means so much to us. We know that would be his reaction to everything that has happened with Make-A-Wish.”

"I have the Flat Levi posted on our refrigerator now," adds his mother. "We have had such a response from the community on Levi’s wish. I have a waiting list of people who want a Flat Levi to take with them to work or on vacation so he can travel the world.”


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Make Surgery More Tolerable?

RossHelen/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Surgery and anxiety go hand-in-hand, but having a distraction during a procedure may also help to relieve pain.

A new study in the European Journal of Pain compares distraction -- DVDs, stress balls, conversations -- to see if they can relieve anxiety and if they have an effect on pain as well.

Researchers from Surrey, England recruited 400 patients that were to have the same minimally invasive surgery, such as varicose vein removal, and had them undergo different “distractions” during the procedure.  

One group watched DVDs, the second listened to music, another had a nurse solely dedicated to conversation, the fourth kneaded stress balls, and the last group proceeded with surgery as usual, without intervention.

Pre and post-operative surveys on stress, anxiety and pain showed that human interaction fared best -- those patients had 30 percent less anxiety and 16 percent less pain than the control group.

The stress ball group had 18 percent less anxiety and 22 percent less pain.  

The DVDs helped decrease anxiety, 25 percent less than the control group, but had no effect on pain.  

The most surprising result however may have been the group who listened to music. Music, usually assumed to have a soothing effect, had no effect on pain or anxiety levels in the patients included in the survey.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(ALBANY, N.Y.) -- A person diagnosed with measles went to Penn Station this week and boarded an Amtrak train, possibly exposing fellow passengers, New York health officials said Friday.

"Anyone traveling on Amtrak train no. 283 from Penn Station in NYC to Albany on January 25, 2015, and who is not immune to measles or not sure of their measles immunity, should contact their primary care physician if they become ill with fever," the New York State Department of Health said in a statement.

The person who took the 1:20 p.m. train and exited in Rhinecliff, N.Y., was previously at Bard College in Dutchess County, where the diagnosis was made.

 "In order to prevent the spread of illness, DOH is advising individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to call their health care providers or a local emergency room BEFORE going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness," the Health Department said.

At Bard College, the Dutchess County Department of Health held a measles vaccination clinic for any students, faculty, or staff who has not been vaccinated against measles. New York State has had three cases of measles this year, the department said, one in Dutchess County and two in New York City.

New York requires that all college students show proof of immunity to measles. At Bard College, medical forms show that a student's immunity to the disease must be documented, but they don't state whether exemptions are allowed.

The current nationwide outbreak of measles has spread to 14 states and includes 84 cases reported this month.

Measles is one of the most contagious viruses in existence and will infect an estimated 90 percent of unvaccinated people who are exposed to the virus. The incubation period is on average 14 days, but an infected person can be contagious up to four days before they start to show symptoms.



Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(ALBANY, N.Y.) -- The New York State Department of Health was notified on Friday of a positive case of measles at Bard College in Dutchess County, north of New York City.

The DOH was informed the patient traveled on Amtrak train no. 283 from Penn Station in New York City to Albany on Jan. 25, so exposure to the public may have occurred beyond the college campus, according to the agency.

Anyone who traveled on Amtrak train no. 283 from New York City to Niagara Falls, New York on Jan. 25, and who is not immune to measles or unsure of their measles immunity, is asked by the DOH to contact their primary care physician if they become ill with fever.

The agency however recommends that individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to call their health care providers or a local emergency room before going for care.

Bard College has notified the campus community of the measles case and on Friday, the Dutchess County Department of Health held a measles vaccination clinic for any students, faculty, or staff who has not been vaccinated against measles.

New York State has had three cases of measles this year. One in Dutchess County and two others in New York City.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.





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