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    An E.coli outbreak has sent more than twenty people to the hospital in seven states. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report the sickness is linked to ground bison. State officials have reported sick people from Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The ground bison and bison patties were supplied by Northfork Bison Distributions Inc. in Saint-Leonard, Quebec, Canada. E.coli may cause diarrhea illness often with bloody stools. Although most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, some people can develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious damage and even death.  It is advised distributors, retailers and restaurants not use or serve recalled ground bison. Consumers should check their freezers to see if they have any of the recalled ground bison.  More info here.
  • Various brands of hummus and dips made by Pita Pal Foods out of Houston, Texas are being recalled because they could be contaminated with Listeria. The company has issued a voluntary recall of certain hummus products that were made between May 30th and June 25, 2019. They were sold nationwide under the name brands of Bucee's, Fresh Thyme, Harris Teeter and others. They have a use by date from July 28th through August. Listeria monocytogenes was found at the manufacturing facility during an FDA inspection.
  • New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta finds two investigational Ebola treatments effective. An antiviral drug called Remdesivir and another antibody treatment called ZMapp, both inhibited the growth of the virus strain in human cells in laboratory studies according to the research in the medical journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. According to the latest figures from the World Health Organization, the Ebola outbreak in Congo is the second biggest outbreak of the disease in history with more than 1600 people killed by Ebola. The largest outbreak was in West Africa in 2014 when 11,000 people died.
  • Check your smoke detector! Universal Security Instruments 10-year-battery-operated ionization smoke and fire alarms with model numbers MI3050S and MI3050SB and with date codes between 2015JAN19 through 2016JUL11 are being recalled. They may not work. The smoke alarms can have a misaligned internal switch causing the alarms to not activate properly, posing a risk of failure to alert consumers to a fire. The company has received 134 reports of failure to properly activate during installation. Online through specialty wholesalers and others from July 2015 to December 2016 about $20.
  • The most cases ever of acute flaccid myelitis were seen last year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there were -- 233 confirmed cases in 41 states. There were four confirmed cases in Georgia in 2018. AFM tends to spike between August and October every other year, including outbreaks in 2014 and 2016 with 120 and 149 cases, respectively. So far this year, there have been 11 confirmed cases in eight states out of 57 patients under investigation.The CDC in Atlanta is asking doctors to be on the lookout for it and quickly report suspected cases of a mysterious ailment that afflicts young children, saying delays in identifying possible cases of acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, are hindering the search for the condition’s cause.
  • Emergency cell phone alerts could be vulnerable to hackers, according to researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder. Researchers decided to test national emergency alerts after an emergency alert mishap in Hawaii. In that instance, residents received false emergency alerts that the state was going to be hit by a missile strike. Researcher, Eric Wustrow learned that when the government or any national emergency alert is sent out to the public, it utilizes a special channel that then reaches people in cell tower ranges. They found that there are huge vulnerabilities between the cell tower and the users. He says an attacker could do this to cause unrest, cruel prank or even some type of terrorist attack.
  • Auburn University researcher and entomologist, Dr. Charles Ray says this year we could see huge yellowjacket nets and some could be as big as a Volkswagen Beetle. It's called a perennial yellowjacket nest.  Entomologists believe that milder winters combined with an abundant food supply allow some colonies to survive and enter spring with much larger numbers. Additionally, the normal cues that would cause queens to disperse may not happen. Researchers have documented that these massive colonies often have multiple queens. A normal yellowjacket nest is usually located in the ground or a cavity. It may peak at 4,000 to 5,000 workers that do not survive cold weather, leaving queens to disperse and form new colonies in the spring. The perennial yellowjacket nests that concern Ray bear little resemblance to normal colonies.  “These perennial nests may be several feet wide and have many thousands of workers, far more than an average nest,” said Ray. “We have found them attached to home exteriors and other places you might not expect to find yellowjackets.” Researchers with the Extension and Auburn University have already confirmed two such nests in Alabama this year, and issued a news release warning that there are likely others out there. “The most workers I have counted in a perennial nest is about 15,000 or about 3 to 4 times more than a normal nest,” said Ray, “However, one nest in South Carolina was documented with more 250,000 workers.” Ray believes that Alabama may see large numbers of perennial nests this year. Will we see them in Georgia? 'You've had them in Georgia before and you will have them again,' says Ray.  >>LISTEN TO WSB ANCHOR SABRINA CUPIT’S FULL ON-AIR REPORT BELOW.
  • The 2018-2019 flu season was the longest in ten years, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This year's flu season lasted 21 weeks, it’s usually around 16 weeks. The reason for the long season of sickness was two waves of influenza this year. Dr. Lynnette Brammer, Epidemiologist. CDC's Influenza Division says, 'the first was an influenza A -HIN1 wave and the second was an H3N2 wave and then in addition to that we saw very little influenza B activity.
  • If your phone just suddenly dies, it may be scam artists trying to grab your two-step authentication code to access your bank account, says WSB consumer expert Clark Howard.
  • A warning about a popular payment app used by big banks like Capital One, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and PNC Bank. Many people are seeing their money disappear and the banks are doing little or nothing to get your money back.

News

  • A New Jersey judge who said a teenage boy accused of rape deserved leniency because he came from a 'good family' and got good grades has resigned. >>Read more trending news Monmouth County Superior Court Judge James Troiano resigned Wednesday, the New Jersey Supreme Court announced. The resignation came after weeks of criticism from the public and death threats to Troiano's family, The New York Times reported. In 2018, Troiano, 69, was called out of retirement to hear the case of an alleged rape involving teenagers at a party the previous year, The Washington Post reported. Police said a 16-year-old boy recorded cellphone video of himself sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl. The boy allegedly sent the video to others with the caption, “When your first time having sex was rape.” Both teens were intoxicated during the incident, prosecutors said. Prosecutors in the case pushed for the teen to be tried as an adult, calling his alleged crime 'sophisticated and predatory,' CNN reported. Troiano denied prosecutors' request. He wrote in his July 2018 decision that he didn't think the teen's actions were necessarily rape, because in 'traditional' rape cases there are 'two or more generally males involved, either at gunpoint or weapon, clearly manhandling a person.' Troiano further wrote, “This young man comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well. He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably for a good college. His scores for college entry were very high.” The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court reversed Troiano's decision in June, and sent the case back down for further judgement, CNN reported. Monmouth County prosecutors are planning their next move in the case. 'While we have the utmost respect for the Family Court and the judge in this case, we are grateful that the Appellate Division agreed with our assessment that this case met the legal standards for waiver to Superior Court,' Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in a statement. 'As with all cases, we are assessing our next steps, which will include discussions with the victim and her family.
  • The first trailer for the upcoming musical film 'Cats' has been released. >>Read more trending news 'Cats' is an adaptation of the 1981 Broadway musical of the same name. Based on a collection of poems by T.S. Eliot and featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Weber, 'Cats' follows a tribe of cats called the Jellicles as they decide which cat will come back to life, according to the film's Internet Movie Database page. The original Broadway production ran for nearly 28 years and won several awards, including the 1983 Tony Award for Best Musical. The movie's star-studded cast includes Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden and others. It introduces ballerina Francesca Hayward in her first movie role. Viewers tweeted their reactions to the trailer. Many reactions were negative, as viewers said they found the appearance of the cat characters unsettling. 'Cats' is set for a December 20 release date.
  • A photo of a dog tied up on the back of a tow truck as it goes down busy Massachusetts highway has upset so many drivers who saw it that they now won't stop calling the tow company. >> Read more trending news The Animal Rescue League and Massachusetts State Police are now investigating the alleged crime. The picture snapped by a Brockton, Massachusetts, man and posted on Facebook drew instant criticism. People quickly began posting their objections and flooding the towing company with calls. Apparently, the two people in the van being towed were in the cab of the tow truck and that's why the dog was chained to the bed. The dog is owned by the driver of the truck. The man who took the picture, Mike Gerry, also has a dog: Molly.  Mike says he saw the dog on the flatbed while driving down Route 128 near Route 2 on Wednesday. He beeped and tried to get the tow truck driver’s attention but had no luck. 'I posted it on Facebook for my buddies to put it out there. and it went unreal, it went ballistic,' Gerry said. 'And ever since then people have been commenting on it, 'you're doing the right thing.'' To be clear the company told WFXT the dog being chained to the back of a flatbed truck is not their policy. The driver has reportedly been fired and the dog is OK.  The company also says it is donating $1,000 to the MSPCA and has set up a call center so it can answer and return every single call about the incident.
  • An Oklahoma man is in custody after allegedly raping a 4-year-old girl in a McDonald’s bathroom while the child was on a field trip with her day care class, according to news reports. >> Read more trending news  It happened Tuesday inside a McDonald’s in Midwest City in metro Oklahoma City when the little girl went to the bathroom alone, WXIN-TV reported. Day care employees told responding officers they went to check on the girl after she had “been gone for a while.”  They said they found the bathroom door locked and when they knocked, a man opened the door.He allegedly came out with his hands up and said, “I was just washing my hands,” the news station reported. The 4-year-old allegedly told police she was touched inappropriately by the man, identified as Joshua Kabatra, 37. Police arrested Kabatra at the scene, according to WXIN. He’s facing two rape charges and a count of lewd acts with a child.
  • Do you feel you’re better focused on the job with a little light background jazz or coffee shop chatter compared to pin-drop silence? Scientists might know why. >> Read more trending news According to Onno van der Groen, a researcher with Australia’s Edith Cowan University school of medical and health sciences, some background noise can actually be beneficial for our senses. This phenomenon is called “stochastic resonance.” First studied in animals, stochastic resonance experiments suggest “sensory signals can be enhanced by noise and improve behaviour in various animals,” van der Groen wrote for The Conversation last week. “For example, crayfish were shown to be better at avoiding predators when a small amount of random electrical currents were added to their tail fins. Paddlefish caught more plankton when small currents were added to the water.” In human experiments, where noise levels were manipulated by getting participants to listen to noisy sounds or feel random vibrations on the skin, people were better able to see, hear and feel at “a certain optimum noise level.” If it were too loud, however, performance dropped. Van der Groen pointed out that stochastic resonance has several real life applications for humans, too. “Adding noise to the feet of people with vibrating insoles can improve balance performance in elderly adults,” he wrote. For patients with diabetes or those recovering from stroke, this can also be used to augment muscle function. His own research has found that when brain currents are applied to participants’ brains with random noise stimulation, “it improved how well they could see a low-quality image.” When he and other researchers applied the same technique to other groups, they noticed “decisions were more accurate and faster when brain cell noise levels are tuned up.” Transcranial random noise stimulation also influenced what participants saw during a visual illusion, suggesting noise could help people approach a situation from multiple perspectives. But the thing about stochastic resonance is it differs from person to person.  The optimal amount of noise for top-notch cognitive function depends on a variety of factors, such as brain variability. Excessive brain variability, van der Groen wrote, is common in those with autism, dyslexia, ADHD and schizophrenia. Elderly folks also tend to have more brain noise (or brain variability) than younger individuals. However, because brain noise can be altered with random noise stimulation, van der Groen believes there are opportunities to explore “interventions or devices to manipulate noise levels, which could improve cognitive functioning in health and disease.”  For example, a study of children with ADHD found white noise delivered specifically through Etymotic earphones at 77 decibels improved memory and concentration. Plenty of downloadable ambient, white and “pink” noise apps have also popped up in recent years. There’s Coffitivity, which plays an infinite loop of coffee-shop sounds — and Noisli, which suggests different sounds for different goals. If you want to improve productivity, you might mix raindrops and train tracks. For those who want to relax, listen to crashing waves. Generally, ambient noise is ideal for creativity, white noise is sound for concentration and pink noise might be most helpful in improving sleep quality. But remember, finding stochastic resonance isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Play around and see which background noises and volumes work best for you. This guide from Techlicious is a good place to start.
  • An act of kindness extended by three young men has gotten a lot of attention on social media since then.  >> Read more trending news Sean Wetzonis says it all started when he, Pedro and two other friends from Malden planned to attend the game.  But one friend backed out, leaving Pedro with an extra ticket.  'And Pedro's father had suggested, he was like, 'find a girl. Find a girl to take to the game,'' Sean Wetzonis told Boston 25 News. But he said Pedro had another idea.  'He said, 'you know, I'll give it to a homeless person. If I could find a homeless person,' Wetzonis said. Finding a homeless person in Boston is not difficult. Enter John, who was sitting on a stoop near Fenway Park. 'When Pedro asked him if he wanted to go to a Red Sox game, at first I wasn't sure if he was going to get up, but then he said sure and he got up and he seemed pretty excited about it,' Wetzonis said.  He admits he was skeptical about taking a homeless guy to the game. 'I was kind of shocked. Everyone was like, 'dude. You got another ticket. You could try and sell it to make some money back.,' Wetzonis said.  But then he saw something you don't see enough of these days at professional sporting events: a fan actually watching the game.  'Everyone's there sitting on their phones, texting and looking around. He was really immersed in the game. He was there to enjoy the game,' Wetzonis said.  The Red Sox lost Tuesday night. But for three young men from Malden, it was, perhaps, the winningest night at Fenway ever.