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More Health Care Cuts Expected in Puerto Rico

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Health care offi­cials in Puerto Rico are brac­ing for more Medicare cuts, accord­ing to The New York Times.
The island is fac­ing a huge cut to Medicare as well as a short­age of fund­ing for Med­ic­aid.
The Times reports that m…

 

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Four Legionnaires' Disease Deaths in the Bronx

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Four peo­ple have died from Legion­naires’ dis­ease in the Bronx this summer.

A fourth per­son died from Legion­naires’ dis­ease in the South Bronx part of New York, accord­ing to a report on Sat­ur­day. There have been 65 con­firmed cases of peo­ple with Legion­naires’ since July 10, 55 of which were hospitalized.

The four peo­ple who died from the dis­ease were older and had addi­tional med­ical conditions.

Five loca­tions have tested pos­i­tive for legionella and all have been dis­in­fected, though offi­cials say they are expect­ing more cases to rise.

Daniel Tejada bat­tled the dis­ease and spoke to ABC News affil­i­ate WABC-TV about his condition.

I was about to wait one more day to go to the hos­pi­tal and if I would have waited that one more day, I don’t think I’d be here right now,” Tejada, who was back home Sat­ur­day night, told WABC-TV.

Accord­ing to WABC-TV, High­bridge, Mor­risa­nia, Mott Haven and Hunts Point are four neigh­bor­hoods where the out­break is most prominent.

I can’t say where I got it from because I’m a cab dri­ver and I’m every­where so I could have caught this in any bor­ough,” Tejada told WABC-TV.

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FL Blind Woman Gets a Bionic Eye to Improve Vision

iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) — Thanks to a rev­o­lu­tion­ary pro­ce­dure, a woman who was blind for 16 years is now able to see.

Car­men Tor­res, of South Florida, is the first recip­i­ent of a bionic eye. At 18, she was diag­nosed with retini­tis pig­men­tosa, in which the vision declines over a period of time, accord­ing to ABC News affil­i­ate WPLG-TV.

You have to move for­ward with your life,” Tor­res, 45, said of her con­di­tion at a news con­fer­ence Friday.

Through an implant on the eye, the patient wears spe­cial glasses con­tain­ing a video cam­era. An image is processed through a tiny com­puter affixed to a purse or belt. A sig­nal is sent into the glasses that then trans­mits the image to the implant.

Accord­ing to Tor­res, she can now see side­walks and build­ings as well as find win­dows and doors.

It’s very emo­tional,” she told reporters. “But I am very strong and I didn’t cry. I was happy and just laugh­ing like crazy.”

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Doctor Who Survived Ebola Says Experimental Vaccine 'A Way Forward'

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A New York City doc­tor, who made head­lines after he was diag­nosed with Ebola, said he hoped an exper­i­men­tal vac­cine could be “a way for­ward” for a region dec­i­mated by the deadly virus.

Craig Spencer, an emer­gency room physi­cian at New York Pres­by­ter­ian Hos­pi­tal, made head­lines last year when he con­tracted Ebola after treat­ing patients for the dis­ease in Guinea. His diag­no­sis in New York City set off a wave of media cov­er­age of the 33-year-old doc­tor who spent 20 days in iso­la­tion as he fought off the deadly disease.

After his treat­ment Spencer returned to Guinea to treat patients and he got to see first­hand how the vac­cine trial affected patients and health care workers.

In a newly pub­lished study in the med­ical jour­nal The Lancet, researchers found that an exper­i­men­tal Ebola vac­cine appeared to be suc­cess­ful in early tri­als. Thou­sands of patients who had been exposed to Ebola were given the vac­cine right away or after three weeks. Those given the vac­cine right way were found not to develop the virus, although researchers started track­ing virus results after 10 days in case any­one who had already been infected. Six­teen of those who were given the vac­cine after 21 days devel­oped the virus.

Offi­cials from the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion said more research would be needed to con­firm the early find­ings from the Guinea-based study.

Spencer said it was dif­fi­cult for health work­ers to get the trial under­way — many in the coun­try were still afraid of health care work­ers or heard rumors about the gov­ern­ment not help­ing patients in need.

When I was back, it cer­tainly was not calm, it was not easy,” said Spencer. “Many peo­ple were still very uncom­fort­able with Ebola in the country.”

After see­ing the dev­as­ta­tion of the dis­ease with no clear treat­ment or vac­cine, he said the vac­cine is “cer­tainly help­ful,” but remains con­cerned peo­ple will assume it can end the out­break alone.

He pointed out the out­break had dec­i­mated the med­ical infra­struc­ture in the coun­tries hit hard by Ebola lead­ing to deaths by other more com­mon ill­nesses or com­pli­ca­tions like childbirth.

More peo­ple “could die of measles than will die of Ebola through­out this out­break,” explained Spencer, cit­ing that 200,000 peo­ple are expected to get the measles virus in the area.

There was a study that esti­mated that up to 7 per­cent of doc­tors in Sierra Leone and 8 per­cent in Liberia,” had died from Ebola, said Spencer. “This was for a region that before the out­break had less prac­tic­ing doc­tors [in] coun­tries com­bined that there were in the one hos­pi­tal in New York City where I was treated.”

He remained con­cerned that if peo­ple think the vac­cine works they will no longer think help is needed, even though measles—which can be pre­vented with a vaccine—also kills far more than Ebola.

One of the big mes­sages is that Ebola is bad but post-Ebola could be worse,” said Spencer.

Spencer said he’s gone to Africa for years and expects he’ll be back in west Africa in the next year to work with patients.

I’ve learned so much about med­i­cine and human­ity,” Spencer said. “What it really comes down to is every­one deserve the same right to be treated and to be free of dis­ease.” said Spencer.

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