‘Young miracle’: Baby recovers from Ebola in Congo outbreak

They call her the "young miracle." A baby who was admitted to an Ebola treatment center just six days after birth is now recovered from the virus. Congo's health ministry calls the baby the youngest survivor in what is now the world's second-deadliest Ebola outbreak. The ministry late Thursday tweeted a photo of the infant, swaddled and … Continue reading “‘Young miracle’: Baby recovers from Ebola in Congo outbreak”

They call her the "young miracle." A baby who was admitted to an Ebola treatment center just six days after birth is now recovered from the virus.

Congo's health ministry calls the baby the youngest survivor in what is now the world's second-deadliest Ebola outbreak.

The ministry late Thursday tweeted a photo of the infant, swaddled and with tiny mouth open in yawn or squall, surrounded by caregivers who watched over her 24 hours a day for weeks.

The baby's mother, who had Ebola, died in childbirth, the ministry said.

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The infant was discharged from the treatment center in Beni on Wednesday. "She went home in the arms of her father and her aunt," the ministry said.

Experts have reported worryingly high numbers of children with Ebola in this outbreak, which Congo's health ministry says now has 515 cases, 467 of them confirmed, including 255 confirmed deaths.

The tiny survivor is named Benedicte. In video footage shared by UNICEF, she is shown in an isolated treatment area, cradled in the arms of health workers in protective gear or cuddled by Ebola survivors, called "nounous," who can go without certain gear such as masks. The survivors are crucial with their reassuring presence, the health ministry said.

"This is my first child," her father, Thomas, says. "I truly don't want to lose her. She is my hope." He gazes at his daughter through the clear protective plastic.

Children now account for more than one-third of all cases in this outbreak, UNICEF said earlier this week. One in 10 Ebola cases is in a child under 5 years old, it said, and children who contract the hemorrhagic fever are at greater risk of dying than adults.

While Ebola typically infects adults, as they are most likely to be exposed to the lethal virus, children have been known in some instances to catch the disease when they act as caregivers.

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Few cases of Ebola in babies have historically been reported, but experts suspect transmission might happen via breast milk or close contact with infected parents. Ebola is typically spread by infected bodily fluids.

The World Health Organization also has noted that health centers have been identified as a source of Ebola transmission in this outbreak, with injections of medications "a notable cause."

So far, more than 400 children have been left orphaned or unaccompanied in this outbreak as patients can spend weeks in treatment centers, UNICEF said. A kindergarten has opened next to one treatment center in Beni "to assist the youngest children whose parents are isolated" there, it said.

Health expert have said this Ebola outbreak, the 10th in Congo, is like no other as they face the threat of attack from armed groups and resistance from a wary population in a region that had never faced an Ebola outbreak before. Tracking suspected contacts of Ebola victims remains a challenge in areas controlled by rebels.

The latest WHO assessment , released Thursday, simply calls the circumstances "unforgiving."

And now, Congo is set to hold a presidential election on Dec. 23, with unrest already brewing .

NYC health officials ban unvaccinated kids from school amid measles outbreak in Orthodox Jewish community

Health officials in New York are requiring students who attend Jewish schools in certain zip codes to get the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine amid a measles outbreak that has sickened at least 39 children in the Orthodox Jewish community since October.

According to the New York City Department of Health, the outbreak stems from an unvaccinated child who contracted measles while on a trip to Israel, which is currently combating a viral outbreak of its own.

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“Effective Friday, December 7, every student attending a yeshiva in the below zip codes in Borough Park and Williamsburg who is not vaccinated with the required number of doses of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine will not be permitted to attend school, regardless of whether a case of measles has occurred in the school,” a Thursday letter sent by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said.

“Students cannot return to school until they are appropriately vaccinated, or until the outbreak is declared over, even if they have an approved religious or medical exemption to measles immunization,” the letter said. “If a person in your school develops measles, additional restrictions apply.”

Measles is a highly contagious viral illness that is typically rare in the United States due to available vaccines, but is still relevant in Europe, Asia and Africa. It can be spread through the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs, and can remain active on surfaces for up to two hours.

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The letter stated that children attending day care and pre-kindergarten in the 2018-2019 school year are required to obtain one dose of the MMR vaccine, while those attending kindergarten through 12th grade are required to get two doses.

“Students who are sick with measles must stay home from daycare or school until the 5th day after rash onset, as advised by the Health Department,” the letter stated.

Officials said it will be on the principals or directors to enforce the requirements. Affected zip codes include 11204, 11205, 11206, 11211, 11218, 11219, 11220, 11230, 11249.

Disneyland tower suggested as Legionnaires’ disease source

LOS ANGELES – A cooling tower that provides mist to make Disneyland visitors comfortable was the likely source for 22 cases in a Legionnaires' disease outbreak last year near the theme park, a health official testified this week.

Most of those who got sick visited the park in the fall of 2017. Disneyland has denied it was the source, pointing to three infected people who had been in the city of Anaheim where Disneyland is located, but not at the park itself. One of them died.

Dr. Matthew Zahn of the Orange County Health Care Agency gave testimony Tuesday before an appeals board judge at the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is investigating the case.

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Zahn said tests around the time of the outbreak showed high levels of Legionella bacteria in two Disneyland cooling towers, which are part of an air conditioning system that releases mist, the Los Angeles Times reported. He said contaminated droplets likely spread to people in the park and beyond.

Disneyland is appealing state fines, saying the outbreak's source was not scientifically determined.

Upon questioning, Zahn said he could not be 100 percent certain that Disneyland was the source without additional testing.

The disease is caused by bacteria that can grow in man-made water systems. People can develop pneumonia after breathing in contaminated vapor.

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A young girl who was diagnosed with Legionnaires' after visiting Disneyland last fall has filed a lawsuit against the theme park.

"The facts don't support these claims and the lawsuit has no merit," Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown said Tuesday.

Cases of ‘polio-like’ illness that’s paralyzing children appears to have ‘peaked,’ CDC says

Cases of a rare illness called Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) that has affected more than a hundred Americans this year appears to have peaked, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Monday.

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“Based on the number of reported cases of AFM in the United States through November 30, 2018, it appears that the number of persons under investigation (PUIs) for AFM has peaked and will continue to decline for the remainder of 2018,” federal health officials said in a statement.

Of the 299 suspected cases of AFM reported to the CDC in 2018, the health agency has confirmed 134 cases of the illness in 33 states. The latest confirmed cases were in September and October.

The CDC said it has seen an increase of AFM cases every other year since 2014. Mostly young children have been affected.

AFM is a "polio-like" illness that is rare but serious. It primarily impacts the central nervous system, “specifically the area of the spinal cord called gray matter, which causes the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak,” the health agency says online.

The illness can be caused by certain enteroviruses, or “a group of viruses that cause a number of infectious illnesses which are usually mild,” the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says online. For the past four years, the CDC said 90 percent of AFM patients “had a mild respiratory illness or fever consistent with a viral infection before they developed AFM.”

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The poliovirus and the West Nile virus have also been known to cause AFM. Treatment for the condition varies.

“Although fewer cases are expected in coming months, CDC and partners continue to carefully study AFM to gain new understanding of the condition so that we can better diagnose, treat, and prevent it in the future,” the CDC said.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

Hawaii hospital hit with highly contagious scabies outbreak

An itchy problem is affecting a Big Island hospital in Hawaii: scabies.

The Kona Community Hospital (KCH) announced an outbreak of the skin condition on Nov. 19, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. It’s currently unclear how many people have been impacted by the scabies outbreak, which the hospital reportedly confirmed after “a number of individuals reported that they were experiencing similar symptoms."

CASES OF MYSTERIOUS POLIO-LIKE ILLNESS HIGHEST IN US SINCE 2016, CAUSING CONCERN

“We’re still in the middle of the outbreak, so it’s definitely not over yet. I don’t have totals of numbers and probably won’t until at least six [to] eight weeks out,” Lisa Downing, the director of Infection Prevention and Employee Health at KCH, told West Hawaii Today.

A person familiar with the matter who asked to remain anonymous told West Hawaii Today more than “50 hospital employees have been diagnosed with scabies" as of Tuesday.

The hospital declined to identify the source of the outbreak, according to the Star-Advertiser. However, the hospital said it followed proper protocols and is working alongside the Hawaii Department of Health to notify and treat any patients, visitors or staff who may have been exposed to the highly contagious skin condition.

“All staff were also notified of the situation immediately and provided with education specific to scabies infection,” KCH spokeswoman Judy Donovan told the newspaper.

Scabies is caused by the human itch mite that "burrows into the upper layer of skin" and lays eggs, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Common symptoms of the condition include “intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash," according to the health agency.

“The scabies mite usually is spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies,” the CDC added, noting it spreads easily where “close body and skin contact is frequent,” like in nursing homes or prisons.

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The mites can live on a person for a month or two if left untreated, according to the health agency. It is possible to get rid of the scabies mites through scabicides, products prescribed by a doctor that will kill the mites and their eggs.

Judy Donovan was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Fox News on Wednesday.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

Adenovirus outbreak in New Jersey kills 11, officials order center to separate patients

A viral outbreak at a New Jersey pediatric facility has killed another child, health officials confirmed Friday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 11. In a news release posted to the department’s website, officials said the child died Thursday night at an unidentified New Jersey hospital.

“The child had been a resident of the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, and was among 34 adenovirus cases that have been associated with the current outbreak, including a total of 11 deaths,” the news release said.

The announcement comes on the heels of one emergency room doctor claiming that two boys taken to the hospital with symptoms were in “irreversible shock” by the time they arrived.

DAD FIGHTING FOR LIFE AFTER WEST NILE VIRUS DIAGNOSIS

“According to Wanaque’s records, both had been exhibiting signs of shock days before they were sent to the ER,” Dr. Frank Briglia, who once served as medical director at the care facility but was terminated, and has a whistleblower lawsuit pending against the facility’s previous owner, told NJ.com.

According to the news release, the health department has issued a statewide call for members of the New Jersey Medical Reserve Corp. to help the facility separate sick and asymptomatic patients. They have also called upon volunteer respiratory therapists to help with pediatric care, and for nurses and nurse aides with experience “caring for pediatric populations with chronic illnesses.”

The department has ordered for the separation of patients to be completed by Nov. 21.

“On Wednesday, the Department of Health took enforcement action against the Wanaque Center, prohibiting new admissions to the entire facility and requiring it to hire a certified Infection Control Practitioner (ICP) and a Department-approved physician or physician practice with board certification in infectious disease,” the news release said.

Officials said the move is in response to “serious infection control deficiencies cited in ongoing inspections.”

The children sickened in the current outbreak fell ill between Sept. 26 and Nov. 12, with the facility first notifying the department of health about the outbreak in early October.

MAN'S RUNNY NOSE WAS ACTUALLY LEAKING BRAIN FLUID

Parents of victims have questioned the center’s timing, and if more could have been done to prevent the outbreak and subsequent deaths.

Paula Costigan, whose 14-year-old son was sickened in the outbreak, told ABC 7 NY that she didn’t know about her son’s illness until a week later.

“He is in really bad shape… it started to affect his right lung,” she said.

Another mother of an 18-year-old patient with cerebral palsy who contracted the virus claimed she had to beg the staff to transfer her daughter to a hospital. She claimed that on a Nov. 5 visit, she noticed yellow secretions coming from her daughter’s mouth and that when she called to check on her the next day, she had developed a fever.

“Can you guess how much worse she would be if I hadn’t told them that she needed to be at the hospital?” the mother, who requested to be kept anonymous citing her daughter’s privacy, told NJ.com. “It shouldn’t have come down to this.

Adenovirus has an incubation period of two to 14 days and can occur at any time. The particular strain, identified as type 7, is common to communal living settings such as nursing homes and military bases, and can be in severe in patients with compromised immune systems.

Cases of mysterious polio-like illness highest in US since 2016, causing concern

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed 116 cases of a rare, polio-like condition so far this year, making it the highest amount the U.S. has seen since 2016. Officials have still not pinpointed a cause behind acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), but noted that the majority of patients are children.

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“It’s pretty concerning that it’s going up and we still haven’t figured out specifically how to prevent this or how to treat it,” Dr. Emmanuelle Tiongson, a pediatric neurologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles who has evaluated and treated patients with AFM, told Reuters.

The CDC has tracked an every-other-year spike in AFM cases, with 120 confirmed cases in 2014, but only 22 in 2015, and 149 confirmed cases in 2016, but only 33 total in 2017. The agency said most patients report mild respiratory illness or fever consistent with a viral infection before developing AFM, but they have not been able to determine why some patients develop the condition while others fully recover.

MORE ADENOVIRUS CASES REVEALED BY UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND FOLLOWING FRESHMAN'S DEATH

The agency has been investigating 286 reports of AFM since August, with cases occurring across 31 states. The rare, serious condition affects the nervous system and may cause facial droop or weakness, difficult moving the eyes, drooping eyelids or difficulty swallowing and slurred speech. While there is no specific treatment, doctors may recommend intervention on a case-by-case basis. Many patients recover, but in rare cases the condition may be fatal or cause lifelong complications.

More adenovirus cases revealed by University of Maryland following freshman’s death

Three more students at the University of Maryland have become sickened by the Adenovirus — less than a week after the school announced one student's death from a deadly strain of the virus.

The university health center's director, David McBride, said none of the new cases required hospitalization, according to Fox 45.

"Please remember that Adenoviruses are common causes of colds and are normally found in significant numbers of people at this time of year," he said. "There are strains that can cause more serious illness, but not every individual with an Adenovirus infection will follow a complicated course."

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND STUDENT DIES FROM ADENOVIRUS, 5 OTHERS SICK, SCHOOL SAYS

Olivia Paregol, an 18-year-old freshman at the school, died on Nov. 18 after suffering from the type 7 strain of the adenovirus. From Howard County, Maryland, Paregol died less than three weeks after the school learned she had the illness.

As the school's health center announced her death last Tuesday, officials revealed an additional five students had been diagnosed with the virus, too, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed one of the specimens they sent to their lab was type 7 of the illness.

Virus kills 11th ‘medically fragile’ child at New Jersey facility

Students at the school are increasingly concerned that mold problems in campus dorms might be linked to the virus. Paregol's roommate, Jessica Thompson, told CBS News that the two discovered mold on their clothes and shoes in their dorm room in August, and believes the fungus made them sick.

“You can’t sleep at night because the pillow is right next to mold and you’re up all night coughing,” Thompson said. “We got to go home on the weekends and we would be totally fine at home, and we would come back and would be sniffling and coughing and then have headaches.”

After the roommates repeatedly alerted university officials, the pair — along with about 500 other students — were moved to temporary housing while the school worked to clean the dorms, Thompson said.

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The same strain of the Adenovirus was found to be at the center of a viral outbreak at a rehabilitation center in Wanaque, New Jersey, that has killed 11 children.

The Adenovirus, of which there are more than 50 strains, is a common virus that poses little risk for healthy people but can cause different types of illnesses, depending on the strain. It can cause a mild cold or flu symptoms, and some strains also cause diarrhea and pinkeye.

Type 7, along with types 3 and 4, according to the CDC, is among the most potent types. It sometimes causes more serious respiratory illnesses, especially among those with weak immune systems.

Over the past decade, severe illness and death from type 7 adenovirus have been reported in the United States, according to the CDC, but it's unclear how many have died from it.

Fox News’ Liam Quinn contributed to this report.

Nicole Darrah covers breaking and trending news for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah.

Adenovirus outbreak in New Jersey kills 11, officials order center to separate patients

A viral outbreak at a New Jersey pediatric facility has killed another child, health officials confirmed Friday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 11. In a news release posted to the department’s website, officials said the child died Thursday night at an unidentified New Jersey hospital.

“The child had been a resident of the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell, and was among 34 adenovirus cases that have been associated with the current outbreak, including a total of 11 deaths,” the news release said.

The announcement comes on the heels of one emergency room doctor claiming that two boys taken to the hospital with symptoms were in “irreversible shock” by the time they arrived.

DAD FIGHTING FOR LIFE AFTER WEST NILE VIRUS DIAGNOSIS

“According to Wanaque’s records, both had been exhibiting signs of shock days before they were sent to the ER,” Dr. Frank Briglia, who once served as medical director at the care facility but was terminated, and has a whistleblower lawsuit pending against the facility’s previous owner, told NJ.com.

According to the news release, the health department has issued a statewide call for members of the New Jersey Medical Reserve Corp. to help the facility separate sick and asymptomatic patients. They have also called upon volunteer respiratory therapists to help with pediatric care, and for nurses and nurse aides with experience “caring for pediatric populations with chronic illnesses.”

The department has ordered for the separation of patients to be completed by Nov. 21.

“On Wednesday, the Department of Health took enforcement action against the Wanaque Center, prohibiting new admissions to the entire facility and requiring it to hire a certified Infection Control Practitioner (ICP) and a Department-approved physician or physician practice with board certification in infectious disease,” the news release said.

Officials said the move is in response to “serious infection control deficiencies cited in ongoing inspections.”

The children sickened in the current outbreak fell ill between Sept. 26 and Nov. 12, with the facility first notifying the department of health about the outbreak in early October.

MAN'S RUNNY NOSE WAS ACTUALLY LEAKING BRAIN FLUID

Parents of victims have questioned the center’s timing, and if more could have been done to prevent the outbreak and subsequent deaths.

Paula Costigan, whose 14-year-old son was sickened in the outbreak, told ABC 7 NY that she didn’t know about her son’s illness until a week later.

“He is in really bad shape… it started to affect his right lung,” she said.

Another mother of an 18-year-old patient with cerebral palsy who contracted the virus claimed she had to beg the staff to transfer her daughter to a hospital. She claimed that on a Nov. 5 visit, she noticed yellow secretions coming from her daughter’s mouth and that when she called to check on her the next day, she had developed a fever.

“Can you guess how much worse she would be if I hadn’t told them that she needed to be at the hospital?” the mother, who requested to be kept anonymous citing her daughter’s privacy, told NJ.com. “It shouldn’t have come down to this.

Adenovirus has an incubation period of two to 14 days and can occur at any time. The particular strain, identified as type 7, is common to communal living settings such as nursing homes and military bases, and can be in severe in patients with compromised immune systems.

Cases of mysterious polio-like illness highest in US since 2016, causing concern

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed 116 cases of a rare, polio-like condition so far this year, making it the highest amount the U.S. has seen since 2016. Officials have still not pinpointed a cause behind acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), but noted that the majority of patients are children.

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“It’s pretty concerning that it’s going up and we still haven’t figured out specifically how to prevent this or how to treat it,” Dr. Emmanuelle Tiongson, a pediatric neurologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles who has evaluated and treated patients with AFM, told Reuters.

The CDC has tracked an every-other-year spike in AFM cases, with 120 confirmed cases in 2014, but only 22 in 2015, and 149 confirmed cases in 2016, but only 33 total in 2017. The agency said most patients report mild respiratory illness or fever consistent with a viral infection before developing AFM, but they have not been able to determine why some patients develop the condition while others fully recover.

MORE ADENOVIRUS CASES REVEALED BY UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND FOLLOWING FRESHMAN'S DEATH

The agency has been investigating 286 reports of AFM since August, with cases occurring across 31 states. The rare, serious condition affects the nervous system and may cause facial droop or weakness, difficult moving the eyes, drooping eyelids or difficulty swallowing and slurred speech. While there is no specific treatment, doctors may recommend intervention on a case-by-case basis. Many patients recover, but in rare cases the condition may be fatal or cause lifelong complications.