October 27th, 2014
06:34 AM ET

N.Y. Official: New Ebola Policy 'A Real Stunner'

A mandatory 21-day quarantine imposed by New York and New Jersey on health care workers returning from West Africa after treating Ebola patients caught local and federal officials by surprise and spurred a heated debate on handling the spread of the virus.

The policy of isolating medical personnel and others arriving from Ebola-affected countries zones was abruptly implemented Friday by the governors of New York and New Jersey, Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie. The announcement came one day after a New York doctor who treated patients in Guinea became the first Ebola case diagnosed in the city and the fourth in the United States.

The mandate came as a surprise to the federal Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention in Atlanta, according to a federal official familiar with the situation.

"They're not happy," the official said of the CDC. "These two governors said, 'Take this, federal government.' They're very worried we won't be able to get physicians or nurses to go (to countries affected by the Ebola outbreak)."

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July 15th, 2014
10:51 AM ET

9-Year-Old Girl Dies From Brain-Eating Amoeba in Water

A brain-eating amoeba that lurks in fresh water has prompted warnings from Kansas officials after it killed a 9-year-old girl.

Hally Yust was an avid water skier and spent the past few weeks swimming in several bodies of fresh water. She died last week fromNaegleria fowleri, a brain-eating parasite that lives in warm, standing water.

At Hally's funeral Monday, her family wore matching T-shirts with the logo of her water-skiing club, CNN affiliate WDAF said. Relatives honored the young athlete by announcing the Hally Yust Women's Basketball Scholarship at Kansas State University.

"Our precious daughter, Hally, loved life and part of her great joy was spending time playing in the water," her family said in a statement.

"Her life was taken by a rare amoeba organism that grows in many different fresh water settings. We want you to know this tragic event is very, very rare, and this is not something to become fearful about."

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January 30th, 2014
10:44 AM ET

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Returns Home - With a Sickness Record

The ill-fated Royal Caribbean cruise ship returned home Wednesday with an ignoble mark.

Nearly 700 crew and passengers fell ill aboard the Explorer of the Seas, the highest number of sick people reported on any cruise ship in two decades, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show.

At least 630 passengers and 54 cruise workers got sick, but not all at the same time.

Some passengers suggested that the outbreak may have been worse than reported.

"600 people represents twenty percent of the population of the passengers on the boat and I would venture to say that it's the opposite," passenger Mike Palombi told "New Day's" Kate Bolduan.

"That twenty percent didn't have some form, some malady, represented from that virus."  (See full interview above)

After the cruise, Kim Waite told CNN that she discovered the scope of the outbreak when she was taken to a makeshift infirmary in a wheelchair and sick passengers were everywhere, vomiting in buckets and bags. She said she waited three hours to be seen.

"I just started crying," she said. "I couldn't believe it. I was in shock. Because I thought I was the only one that was sick, and then when you see everyone else sick, it really upsets you even more."

See full story at CNN.com 

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October 3rd, 2013
10:38 AM ET

Government Shutdown Forces Clinical Trial Patients To Wait

Every week, hundreds of patients are admitted to new clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health. But as of Tuesday, these patients are being put on hold until the government resumes operation.

McKenna Smith is one such patient, CNN's Elizabeth Cohen reports.

The girl spends much of her day in a wheelchair suffering from a rare genetic disorder.

Smith says, "Sometimes I feel like I don't even want to get up because my back is aching so bad."

The pain she feels is caused by tumors that wrap their way around her nerves and compress her organs.

There's no cure but there is hope. On Monday, McKenna and her dad, Justin, arrived at the N.I.H in Bethesda, Maryland, so McKenna could start taking an experimental drug that might shrink the tumors.

But with the government shutdown, including most of the organization, the family was told there was a chance she might not get the medicine.

They thought they might have to go home to Florida but late Wednesday they were informed McKenna's treatment could go forward.

About 200 other new patients, including some 30 children, aren't so lucky.  They won't get to join the studies just yet.

These patients are being put on hold until the government is back in business.

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