ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
70°
Mostly Cloudy
H 79° L 66°
  • cloudy-day
    70°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Cloudy. H 79° L 66°
  • cloudy-day
    79°
    Today
    Mostly Cloudy. H 79° L 66°
  • cloudy-day
    71°
    Tomorrow
    Mostly Cloudy. H 71° L 49°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Health News

  • The Latest on drugmakers disclosing list prices of advertised drugs (all times local): 4:30 p.m. The federal government wants to force drugmakers to disclose prices for prescription medicines in their TV commercials. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said a proposal unveiled Monday would apply to brand-name drugs that are covered by the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Hours earlier, the drug industry's main trade group said drug companies were willing to disclose the prices on websites, but not in commercials. The drugmakers said they would provide a website in the ads that would include the list price and likely out-of-pocket costs. But Azar said putting the prices on a website isn't the same thing and patients deserve to know the cost. While most patients don't pay the full price, insurance plans base their copayments on the list price. Patients with high deductibles or no insurance sometimes pay the full price. 12:45 p.m. Dozens of drugmakers will start disclosing the prices for U.S. prescription drugs advertised on TV. The prices won't actually be shown in the TV commercials but the advertisement will include a website where the list price will be posted. The move announced Monday by the industry's largest trade group comes hours before a speech by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on a new administration proposal to require prices in the ads. Azar responded that the industry's announcement is a 'small step in the right direction' but the government's plan 'will go further.' Most Americans don't pay the full price for prescriptions. In addition to the price, the drugmakers' websites will show the likely out-of-pocket costs for people with insurance coverage. The ads should start airing next spring.
  • Ann Curry is getting into the business of medical crowdsourcing on television. The former 'Today' show anchor has agreed to anchor a Turner series that describes people with mysterious medical ailments, in the hope of reaching doctors or patients who have seen something similar and gotten help. Curry said Monday that she hoped real good can come from the series, tentatively titled 'M.D. Live.' TNT will air 10 episodes of the series sometime next year, each of them two hours.
  • The nation's second-largest health insurer has agreed to pay the government a record $16 million to settle potential privacy violations in the biggest known health care hack in U.S. history, officials said Monday. The personal information of nearly 79 million people — including names, birthdates, Social Security numbers and medical IDs — was exposed in the cyberattack, discovered by the company in 2015. The settlement between Anthem Inc. and the Department of Health and Human Services represents the largest amount collected by the agency in a health care data breach, officials said. 'When you have large breaches it erodes people's confidence in the privacy of their sensitive information, and we believe such a large breach of trust merits a substantial payment,' said Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights. The office also enforces the federal health care privacy law known as HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Severino said the Anthem settlement is nearly three times larger than the previous record amount paid to the government in a privacy case. That sends a message to the industry that 'hackers are out there always and large health care entities in particular are targets,' he added. The Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer also agreed to a corrective action plan under government monitoring, which involves a process for the company to assess its electronic security risks, take appropriate countermeasures and maintain ongoing surveillance. Indianapolis-based Anthem covers more than 40 million people and sells individual and employer coverage in key markets like New York and California. The payment is in lieu of civil penalties that HHS may have imposed. Anthem admitted no liability. The civil case involving privacy laws is separate from any other investigation the government may be pursuing. In a statement Monday, Anthem said it's not aware of any fraud or identity theft stemming from the breach. The company provided credit monitoring and identity theft insurance to all customers potentially affected. 'Anthem takes the security of its data and the personal information of consumers very seriously,' the statement said. 'We have cooperated with (the government) throughout their review and have now reached a mutually acceptable resolution.' The company discovered the data breach in early 2015, but hackers had been burrowing into its systems for weeks. Security experts said at the time that the size and scope of the attack indicated potential involvement by a foreign government. Hackers used a common email technique called spear-phishing in which unwitting company insiders are tricked into revealing usernames and passwords. The Anthem attackers gained the credentials of system administrators, allowing them to probe deeply into the insurer's systems. HHS said its investigation found that Anthem had failed to deploy adequate measures for countering hackers. The company lacked an enterprisewide risk analysis, had insufficient procedures to monitor activity on its systems, failed to identify and respond to suspected or known security incidents, and did not implement 'adequate minimum access controls' to shut down intrusions from as early as February 2014.
  • The World Health Organization says it is convening a meeting on Wednesday to determine whether Congo's latest Ebola outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern. Aid organizations have expressed alarm as the rate of new cases has more than doubled this month and community resistance to Ebola containment efforts in some cases has turned violent. This is Congo's tenth Ebola outbreak but this is the first time the deadly virus has appeared in the far northeast, an area of active rebel attacks that health workers have compared to a war zone. WHO recently said the risk of regional spread was 'very high' as confirmed cases were reported close to the heavily traveled border with Uganda. Congo's health ministry says there are now 179 confirmed cases, including 104 deaths.
  • The federal government said Monday that it wants to force drugmakers to disclose prices for prescription medicines in their TV commercials. The drug industry's main trade group said drug companies are only willing to disclose the prices on their websites, not in commercials, and they'll start doing that next spring. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar unveiled a proposal that would apply to all brand-name drugs covered by the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which is most medicines. 'Patients deserve to know what a given drug could cost when they're being told about the benefits and risks it may have,' Azar said in prepared remarks. 'They deserve to know if the drug company has pushed their prices to abusive levels. And they deserve to know this every time they see a drug advertised to them on TV.' Most Americans don't pay the full price for prescriptions — one reason drugmakers have opposed disclosing the list prices, arguing that would just confuse the public. But insurance plans base their copayments on the list price set by drugmakers. And patients with high-deductibles plans or no insurance sometimes pay full price. President Trump has long promised to bring down drug prices, and in May, his administration released a 'blueprint' with vague proposals for doing so, including exploring listing prices in TV commercials. Hours before Azar's announcement, the trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, known as PhRMA, said its 33 member companies agreed to include in commercials a website that would give the drug's list price, the range of likely out-of-pocket costs and any available financial assistance. The group also plans its own website, where patients could look up drugs by name and find similar information. 'We appreciate their effort,' Azar said. 'But placing information on a website is not the same as putting it right in an ad.' PhRMA CEO Stephen J. Ubl and others in the trade group said they believe requiring list prices in ads would violate the companies' First Amendment free speech rights. But Azar, speaking at a National Academy of Medicine conference, said there is precedence for such a move, pointing out that federal law requires automakers to disclose sticker prices for cars. Direct-to-consumer advertising of drugs has been allowed in the U.S. for two decades. Ads are required to list side effects but not prices. Many details of the proposed rule still must be worked out, including whether it should be expanded to cover radio, print or internet ads. According to the proposal, TV commercials would have to state in legible type the list price set by the manufacturer for all drugs costing more than $35 per month or for a standard course of treatment, such as for an antibiotic. If the rule is adopted after a 60-day public comment period, Azar's department plans to publicize the names of drugmakers that don't comply and could take legal action against them. Drugmakers generally can charge as much as the U.S. market will bear because the government doesn't regulate medicine prices, unlike most other developed countries. List prices have long been closely guarded, and those prices are the starting point for drugmakers' price negotiations with middlemen, such as insurance companies and prescription benefit managers. According to the government, the list prices for the top 10 prescription medicines advertised on TV range from $535 to $11,000 for a month or course of treatment. Pfizer's heavily advertised nerve pain drug Lyrica has a monthly list price of $669. Humira, AbbVie's treatment for immune system disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, has a list price of $4,872 per monthly injection. Both have nearly doubled in four years. Patients for Affordable Drugs, an advocacy group funded by foundations, called PhRMA's website choice 'a transparent attempt to pre-empt full disclosure of list prices in ads,' adding that it doesn't think disclosing list prices will reduce patients' costs. ___ Follow Linda A. Johnson at https://twitter.com/LindaJ_onPharma ___ The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
  • Skipping your checkup but not grandma's? Caring for an older loved one is a balancing act, and a new poll shows that too often it's the caregivers' health that's neglected. The survey, by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found about a third of caregivers have gone without a routine physical or dental care, skipped or didn't schedule a test or treatment or even forgot to fill a prescription or failed to see a doctor for their own illness or injury because they were too busy with their caregiving duties. Doctors miss opportunities to help. Most caregivers go to medical appointments with the seniors they care for, yet the poll found they're less likely to get information about self-care, support programs or other services during those visits than if they make time to see their own physicians for advice. 'We have a long, long way to go until this is a routine part of practice,' said AARP long-term care specialist Lynn Feinberg. 'This survey really points out the need to look at both the person and the family.' Four in 10 Americans have provided long-term care to an older relative or friend, a volunteer workforce that's growing as the population ages. The AP-NORC survey released Monday found that for nearly a quarter of them, especially caregivers who are over 40, the amount of time spent on caregiving duties is equivalent to a full-time job. Most informal caregivers view their role as key to their identity. But it can be difficult to meet their own physical and mental health needs. Nearly 40 percent of caregivers have a health problem, physical disability or mental health condition that impacts their daily life or limits their activities, the poll found. More than a quarter of caregivers say it's difficult to manage their own health along with the caregiving duties. Even more who have chronic conditions, 40 percent, find it a struggle. Deborah Ecker and her husband recently moved her fiercely independent elderly parents into their Pennsylvania home, spurred by some frightening hospitalizations. Ecker's father, at 89, requires full-time oxygen for emphysema and had contracted pneumonia. Her mother, 88, was hospitalized with congestive heart failure and severely high blood pressure. 'I've thrown myself into this, and I'm not sorry,' said Ecker, 61, who with her husband is a missionary but for now isn't accompanying him on their ministry travels. 'They deserve to be taken care of. They're so loving and generous.' But a few months ago, Ecker realized she needed to pay more attention to her own health. She'd undergone successful cancer treatment in 2016 but is overweight, and the hours of exercise that once were routine have fallen by the wayside. A post-hospitalization monitoring program from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center gave Ecker more confidence in caring for her mother, and she was able to carve out time to see her own doctor. Insulin resistance was putting on pounds, Ecker learned, and she started medication and a dietary program. Next she's planning how to work in exercise time. 'I feel like I'm on track,' Ecker said. 'At the end of this I want to be strong enough and healthy enough to have a life of my own.' The AP-NORC poll found only a quarter of caregivers talk with their own doctors about their caregiving responsibilities — but among those who did, half received information about caregiving support services and three-quarters learned important information about self-care. In contrast, the vast majority of caregivers accompany the person they assist to medical appointments, usually going into the exam rather than staying in the waiting room. Yet fewer than 40 percent gleaned advice on caregiver resources during those visits. Caregivers and their charges 'should be treated simultaneously,' said University of Pittsburgh aging specialist Richard Schulz. 'They should be looked at as a unit,' because if the caregiver burns out, the patient may have no one left. The health system marginalizes caregivers partly because there's no way to bill for assessing caregivers during someone else's visit, but also because doctors don't always know what community resources are available to recommend, Schulz said. Ralph Bencivenga, of New York City, lost so much weight while caring for his terminally ill wife and undergoing his own cancer treatment that he finally sought help from a nutritionist at the Mount Sinai Health System — advice that also paid off as he assumed the couple's grocery shopping and cooking duties. 'I had no idea the kind of stress that put me under,' he said of the overall caregiving duties. The new poll found many caregivers find healthy ways to cope, such as praying, meditating, spending time outdoors or talking about their situation. But 44 percent sleep less, and 17 percent increase alcohol or tobacco use. The AP-NORC long-term care poll was conducted June 26 to July 10, with funding from the SCAN Foundation. It involved interviews in English and Spanish with 1,024 adults nationwide who have experience providing long-term care. Interviews were conducted online or by phone among members of NORC's probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. ___ AP polling editor Emily Swanson contributed to this report. ___ Online: Poll: https://www.longtermcarepoll.org/ An AP-NORC Center video interactive explores the perspectives of informal caregivers: https://interactives.ap.org/ltc-perspectives

Health Reporter Sabrina Cupit

  • There's been a spike in a rare polio-like disease that mostly affects children. Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM),is a rare but serious condition. It affects the nervous system, specifically the area of spinal cord called gray matter, which causes the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak. This condition is not new, but the increase in cases that was was seen since 2014 is new. 'From August 2014 through August 2018 the CDC has received information on a total of 362 cases of AMF across the U-S, ' says Kate Fowlie with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.' Symptoms of acute flaccid myelitis include sudden onset of weakness in the arms or legs, as well as drooping facial muscles, including the eyelids, and difficulty moving the eyes. Most patients end up being hospitalized. Infection can lead to death is come cases.
  • You may have noticed you've been getting a lot of junk phone calls on your cell phone lately and WSB consumer expert, Clark Howard says it's only going to get worse. 'Over the next year, well over half of all phone calls coming into cell phones will be junk calls,' says Howard. The Federal Do Not Call list does little to stop them, as most of the calls are coming from outside the United States.
  • A 92-year-old Dunwoody woman has died after contracting West Nile virus, according to the Dekalb county Heath Department. This is the second reported West Nile virus-related human case in Dunwoody in less than a month. DeKalb County District Health Director Sandra Elizabeth Ford says Dekalb is a hot sport for West Nile positive mosquitoes. 'We have so many positive pools in this county, which means the West Nile mosquitoes are out there,' says Ford.

News

  • After Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston traded touchdown pass after touchdown pass, it came down to a few wacky flips near the goal line. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers nearly pulled off a miracle. But, in the end, the Atlanta Falcons finally got a much-needed victory to bounce their way. Ryan threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns as the Falcons snapped a three-game losing streak, holding off Tampa Bay 34-29 Sunday in Winston's return as the Bucs' starter. The Falcons (2-4) scored on their first three possessions and held off a wild comeback by Tampa Bay (2-3), avoiding their first 1-5 start since 2007. The Bucs lost their third in a row. 'It was all hands on deck,' Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said. Especially on the final play . Winston and the Bucs drove to the Atlanta 21 but were out of timeouts. With the Falcons dropping nearly everyone toward the end zone, expecting a pass, Winston took the snap and darted straight up the middle of the field. When he was about to be tackled at the 10, he pitched the ball toward receiver Adam Humphries, who was so intent on going for the winning score he couldn't hang on. The ball skipped to Mike Evans, who blindly flung it in the direction of DeSean Jackson along the sideline at the 5. Jackson might've had a chance to dive for the end zone, but he couldn't come up with another bouncing ball. It rolled harmlessly out of bounds to end the game. Jackson ripped off his helmet and kicked the pylon in disgust on his way to the locker room. 'The play is a play you run once,' tight end O.J. Howard said. 'It was a great call. We almost got it.' Winston, who was suspended for the first three games of the season and came off the bench in Week 4, threw for 395 yards and four TDs. His performance, though, was marred by a pair of interceptions, one a deep ball that was picked off at the Atlanta 1 and a deflected pass in the end zone that ricocheted high in the air and was grabbed by Brian Poole to deny a red-zone scoring chance. Ryan's three TD passes gave him 274 in his career, passing Joe Montana for 16th on the career list. 'Obviously it's very special any time your name is brought up with Joe's,' Ryan said. 'But I'm more excited about the win.' He also had a big scramble on third-and-9, powering for a 13-yard gain that set up his final scoring pass. Quinn made a gutsy call with just over a minute remaining, sending on Matt Bryant to attempt a 57-yard field goal with Atlanta clinging to a 31-29 lead. Bryant's kick just cleared the crossbar, extending the Falcons' lead. The 43-yard-old Bryant put everything into the kick and immediately grabbed his right hamstring before hobbling off the field. Quinn's decision forced the Bucs to go for a touchdown. 'I can't say enough about Matt Bryant and the kick he had,' Quinn gushed. 'He's definitely one of the most mentally tough players I've had a chance to coach.' JULIO'S DAY Julio Jones went another game without a touchdown catch. The Falcons didn't mind a bit. Jones had 10 receptions for 143 yards — his third 100-yard game of the season — and constantly drew attention away from his teammates. That allowed Austin Hooper, Mohamed Sanu and Tevin Coleman to haul in scoring passes. Jones has gone 11 straight regular-season games without a TD since a Nov. 26, 2017, victory over Tampa Bay, when he had two scoring catches. BUC-KLING DOWN The beleaguered Tampa Bay defense, which is guided by former Falcons coach Mike Smith, was shredded in the first half for three touchdowns, a last-second field goal and 275 yards. It showed a bit of improvement after the break, actually forcing Atlanta to punt on three straight possessions. But, with the game on the line, the Bucs surrendered a 75-yard drive capped by Ryan's 6-yard TD pass to Coleman and a 36-yard possession that set up Bryant's long field goal. Tampa Bay came into the game allowing 34.75 points per game, more than any team in the league. INJURY REPORT Atlanta's receiving corps took a beating. Calvin Ridley, who was leading the Falcons with six touchdown catches, went out in the first half with an ankle injury and didn't return. Sanu was sidelined in the second half with a hip problem after hauling in a 35-yard touchdown pass. The loss of two receivers forced the Falcons to give more playing time to Justin Hardy, Marvin Hall and Russell Gage. Hardy had three catches and Gage came up with a big catch on Atlanta's touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. The Bucs lost defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who walked slowly off the field in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury. Also, cornerback Ryan Smith was evaluated for a possible concussion. UP NEXT Buccaneers: Return home next Sunday to host the Cleveland Browns (2-3-1). Falcons: Host the struggling New York Giants (1-5) on Monday, Oct. 22, to close out a stretch of five home games in the first seven weeks of the season. ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry ___ For more AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NFLfootball and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • A small plane crashed while taking off at the Gwinnett County Airport on Sunday afternoon, officials said. The two occupants of the plane were able to exit safely before the plane caught fire at about 12:40 p.m., according to a statement from the Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services. The occupants, an instructor and a student, were not seriously injured, the fire department said. One was evaluated and released by paramedics at the scene, and the other said they were not injured. READ MORE: 1 reported dead in plane crash in Paulding County The Cessna 172 “experienced a nose dive and hard landing” while taking off from Runway 7 at Briscoe Field, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The plane went up in flames, but crews put out the fire shortly after 1 p.m., officials said. The aircraft was deemed a total loss. The crash occurred just a day after another small plane crashed in Paulding County, killing the pilot. In other news:
  • One person in Mississippi is in custody after the Bolivar County sheriff said that a baby was stabbed, WTVA reported. The baby was then placed in an oven at the home and baked, the sheriff told WTVA. >> Read more trending news  The person, whose name and relationship to the baby has not been released, is in the Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility, according to Sheriff Kelvin Williams. Williams said deputies found the baby, whose age has not been determined, after being called to the home Monday evening, WTVA reported. They are unsure though when the baby died. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the crime lab are investigating.
  • A Massachusetts school employee is under investigation by the Secret Service for allegedly threatening President Donald Trump on social media. >> Watch the news report here The employee, a Fitchburg Public Schools paraprofessional who works with special-needs students, has also been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation. Her husband, a principal at Fitchburg's Longsjo Middle School, spoke only to WFXT about his wife's alleged tweet, which was captured in screen shots and shared multiple times on social media. At first, the tweet caught the attention of the local police force and subsequently of federal agents. 'People have their preferences, but sometimes you should just keep your 2 cents to yourself, you know?' said Roger Valcourt, a parent. The tweet, posted Oct, 10 which read, 'No just kill Trump,' has been generating controversy around town. Parents were shocked to learn what happened, saying both the principal and his wife are star educators. After the tweet was reported to Ashburnham police, the Secret Service launched an investigation, telling WFXT that they are aware of the incident and investigate all threats made against the president. 'I don’t know what was going through her head, I guess, but it’s not a good thing to say you want to kill the president,' said Alex Clemente, a parent. Clemente, a veteran who fought in Iraq, says the tweet went too far. 'Even though you don’t like him, you can’t say that,' Clemente said. >> Read more trending news  The employee's husband told WFXT in an off-camera interview she meant no harm, saying, 'It was lapse in judgment, a mistake. It was a bad choice of words that were taken out of context. My wife is not a malicious person, and has an impeccable work record. She’s embarrassed by this situation.' While Craig Chalifoux spoke to WFXT on the record, his wife isn't being identified because she is not facing any charges. The superintendent told WFXT that the employee has been placed on paid administrative leave, saying, in a statement, this 'is being done to protect her interests as well as the interest of the district [and] it will allow the investigation to conclude and minimize any disruption and distraction and protects her safety and security.
  • A U.S. Customs and Border Protection beagle named Hardy detected a roasted pig’s head in checked luggage at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. >> Read more trending news  Hardy, a six-year-old rescue beagle, alerted his handler to a bag belonging to a traveler from Ecuador. Inside was the pig’s head, which weighed nearly 2 pounds. The director of the Port of Atlanta for Customs and Border Protection, Carey Davis, issued a statement saying the seizure demonstrates “the tremendous expertise of our four-legged K-9 partners in protecting the United States.” >> Related: Beagle rescued from abuse now detects contraband at Hartsfield-Jackson The agency seized the pig’s head and destroyed it, saying pork and pork products from other continents are prohibited from entering the United States to prevent the introduction of diseases like classical swine fever, foot and mouth disease and swine vesicular disease. Travelers are supposed to declare fruit, vegetable and food products to Customs and present them for inspection. Hardy, a member of the Customs and Border Protection “Beagle Brigade,” got his job in 2015 after training at the National Detectors Dog Training Center in Newnan, Georgia. It’s not the first time a beagle has intercepted a pig at Hartsfield-Jackson. In 2016, a K9 beagle named Joey detected a whole roasted pig in the baggage of a traveler from Peru.
  • A man in Cleveland County, North Carolina, was seriously hurt after he was shot by his own booby trap. >> Read more trending news  Edwin Smith booby-trapped a back door with a shotgun and posted an abrasive warning sign for intruders. >> Related: Business booming for man who invented booby-trap to detour package thieves He opened the door at about 11:30 a.m. to feed squirrels. The trap was sprung and he was struck in the arm. He is recovering in a hospital.