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School cancels classes after more than 160 students call out with flu

A Christian school in North Carolina was closed Thursday and Friday after officials said more than 160 students called out sick Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news

A school administrator at Carmel Christian School in Matthews said the cancellation was the first in school history prompted by a flu-like outbreak. 

"That's horrible,” said Tammy Corsino, who lives nearby. “That’s a large amount of children.”

Administrators hope the long weekend will allow sick students extra time to recover and prevent healthy students from being exposed to the flu. Students are already off Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, so they won’t return to school until Tuesday.

“Safeness is the way to go when it comes down to kids,” said Albert Corsino, who lives nearby. “Wouldn't want that to spread more."

School officials are going to great lengths to disinfect the campus. They hired contractors to use a disinfecting misting machine that is often used in hospitals on Thursday to sanitize every hallway, bathroom and classroom, in addition to wiping down every surface.

“That is a good school, a good decision,” Tammy Corsino said.

Experts have said this flu season is the worst in years, with nearly double the amount of cases nationwide compared to last year.

Already, 20 people in North Carolina have died from the flu.

“Since we got the flu shot, I feel pretty safe,” Tammy Corsino said.

The state will release its updated flu report Thursday.

Police can request your DNA from sites like Ancestry, 23andMe

Millions of people have handed their DNA over to genetic testing companies like Ancestry or 23andMe to learn more about their family history

Eric Yarham wanted to learn about his heritage, so he mailed off his saliva to 23andMe.

“I’m just trying to unravel the mystery that is your genetics,” said Yarham.

Yarham was surprised to find a tiny portion of his DNA profile can be traced back to sub-Saharan Africa. He was also unaware that his genetic information could end up in the hands of police. 

>> Read more trending news 

“The police make mistakes and I would rather not be on the unfortunate end of one of those mistakes, as a result of my DNA being somewhere that is unlucky,” Yarham said.

Both 23andMe and Ancestry confirm your DNA profile could be disclosed to law enforcement if they have a warrant.

23andMe Privacy Officer Kate Black said, “We try to make information available on the website in various forms, so through Frequently Asked Questions, through information in our privacy center.”

According to the company’s self-reported data, law enforcement has requested information for five American 23andMe customers since it began offering home test kits more than a decade ago. 

23andMe’s website states, “In each of these cases, 23andMe successfully resisted the request and protected our customers’ data from release to law enforcement.”

Black said she wouldn’t entirely rule it out in the future. “We would always review a request and take it on a case-by-case basis,” Black said.

Ancestry.com self-reports that it complied with a 2014 search warrant to identify a customer based on a DNA sample. Ancestry claims to have more than four million customers.

Boston 25 checked with District Attorneys’ in Suffolk, Middlesex, Essex, and Norfolk Counties.

None were aware of any Massachusetts cases where results from a private genealogy testing service has been requested or used in a criminal investigation.

Jacksonville Dr. Saman Soleymani, who has studied genetics extensively and been an expert witness in criminal cases said genetic information submitted by a family member can also be of interest to law enforcement for familial matching. 

“They can see what the likelihood is of these certain alleles, of these genetic markers, matching up to make it -- likelihood of whether you were involved in, let’s say, that criminal activity or not,” said Dr. Soleymani. Soleymani said he didn't take any chances when he sent his DNA to 23andMe. “I literally sent my kit saying my name is Billy Bob,” he added.

If you or a family member has sent in your genetic material to Ancestry or 23andMe, both companies allow you to delete your DNA results.

'I don’t believe it myself': Ohio breast cancer survivor, former teacher turns 104

To celebrate being 104 years old, like Ruth Ann Slade did Tuesday afternoon, one must have good genes and what her friend called “inner strength.”

>> Watch an interview with Slade here

Slade, who spent 37 years as a first- and second-grade teacher in Poasttown, Ohio, has beaten breast cancer twice and persevered after her leg was pinned under a patio door for 18 hours as her body temperatures fell to dangerous levels.

“I see a survivor,” said Chuck Veidt, 60, who cares for Slade in his West Alexandria Road residence. “She is something else. A true survivor. Her mind is better than mine. She’s a tough act to follow.”

When asked about her 104th birthday, Slade said: “I don’t believe it myself.”

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

About 10 years ago, Veidt checked on Slade in her home up the street from his to see if she needed anything from the grocery store. He was shocked to see her lying face down in the kitchen as about a foot of snow accumulated just outside the door. She was rushed to Middletown Regional Hospital, where her body temperature returned to safe levels after two hours. She suffered frost bite.

She later told Veidt she listened to the furnace turn off and on so she wouldn’t fall asleep.

Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1979, she had her left breast removed. Thirty-one years later, the cancer returned in her right breast.

Longevity is part of Slade’s DNA. Her father and mother lived to be 91 and 89, respectively, though she has buried her two younger brothers and sister.

She credits eating fresh food from the family garden for her long life, but Veidt chimed in that Slade often told him not being married was the reason.

Born in a farmhouse in Madison Twp. in 1914, Slade graduated from Middletown High School in 1932. Her last MHS class reunion was her 60th in 1992. She’d probably be the only one still alive for her 86th class reunion.

“A class of one,” Veidt said with a smile.

>> Read more trending news 

Slade taught two years in a one-room school house, then 35 years after Poasttown built a new school. One of her former first-grade students, Homer Hartman, 86, attended Slade’s birthday party. Before Hartman was wheeled into the house, Slade gave a warning: “He’s going to tell a bunch of lies about me.”

Hartman didn’t disappoint. While he called Slade his “favorite” teacher, he said she frequently put him in the corner of the classroom.

“She didn’t let me get away with much,” he said.

She responded: “I never put him in the corner. None of my students.”

Slade retired in 1972 and said there is no way she could teach today because of the lack of discipline shown by some students.

“Kids would tell me where to go,” she said with a smile.

Is Slade afraid to die? She just shook her head.

“A new experience for me,” she said.

She paused, then added: “When (God) comes for me, I will be ready to go.”

4-year-old boy dies in Ohio's first pediatric flu-related death of the season

A 4-year-old Ohio boy has died from the flu in Montgomery County.

The child, Jonah S. Rieben, of Clayton, was identified by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office Wednesday morning. The official cause and manner of his death have not been determined by the coroner’s office.

Rieben died on Jan. 6 after being admitted to Dayton Children’s Hospital. It is the first pediatric flu-related death in Ohio this year. Last flu season there were seven pediatric deaths in Ohio.

>> Read more trending news 

The Ohio Department of Health announced Wednesday afternoon a 1-year-old boy from Lucas County also died from the flu, becoming the second pediatric flu-related death in the state. 

Jonah Rieben, who was born in Bulgaria, was adopted by the Rieben family in February 2017. He had 16 brothers and sisters. “A brave warrior who fought and overcame many difficult battles throughout his short life, Jonah inspired us all with his strength and resiliency,” an obituary stated. 

“It is a tragedy anytime a loved one is lost and we extend our condolences to the family and friends who are affected,” said Dr. Michael Dohn, medical director, Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County.

>> On DaytonDailyNews.com: Is the ‘man flu’ real? Scientists claim men experience worse flu symptoms

Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months or older get a flu shot as soon as possible. It’s still not too late to get vaccinated as the flu season extends until the end of spring. 

“No parent should ever have to suffer the loss of a child to the flu. Our hearts go out the family,” said Jon Woltmann with the infectious disease department at Dayton Children’s Hospital. “We encourage parents to get their children vaccinated to not only protect them, but children who are not able to get the vaccine due to underlying health conditions.”

Ohio’s first flu-related child death: Clayton boy, 4, dies at Dayton Children’s

A 4-year-old Clayton boy has died from the flu in Montgomery County.

The child, Jonah S. Rieben, of Clayton, was identifed by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office Wednesday morning. His official cause and manner have not been determined by the coroner’s office.

Rieben died on Jan. 6 after being admitted to Dayton Children’s Hospital. It is the first pediatric flu-related death in Ohio this year. Last flu season there were seven pediatric deaths in Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Health announced Wednesday afternoon a 1-year-old boy from Lucas County also died from the flu, becoming the second pediatric flu-related death in the state. 

Jonah Rieben, who was born in Bulgaria, was adopted by the Rieben family in February 2017. He had 16 brother and sisters. “A brave warrior who fought and overcame many difficult battles throughout his short life, Jonah inspired us all with his strength and resiliency,” an obituary stated. 

“It is a tragedy anytime a loved one is lost and we extend our condolences to the family and friends who are affected,” said Dr. Michael Dohn, medical director, Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County.

» RELATED: Is the ‘man flu’ real? Scientists claim men experience worse flu symptoms

Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months or older get the flu shot as soon as possible. It’s still not too late to get vaccinated as the flu season extends until the end of spring.

“No parent should ever have to suffer the loss of a child to the flu. Our hearts go out the family,” said Jon Woltmann, infectious disease department at Dayton Children’s Hospital. “We encourage parents to get their children vaccinated to not only protect them, but children who are not able to get the vaccine due to underlying health conditions.”

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WATCH: Toddler born deaf hears music for the first time in adorable viral video

A formerly deaf toddler is discovering a love of music after hearing for the first time.

>> Watch the viral video here

Owen Montoya is 15 months old, and until recently, he was unable to hear. The boy from Phoenix was born deaf and recently underwent surgery to place a cochlear implant in his left ear, according to the Daily Mail.

>> On HotTopics.TV: These kids decided to give up their recess so they could learn sign language for dead classmate

Footage shows Owen reacting to hearing his parents’ voices for the first time and even dancing to music.

“We were so excited to see him enjoying music this much, it was the craziest moment ever,” said his mother, Janae Montoya, 26. “When we found out Owen was deaf, it was very hard for us, because our family is very musical. I’ve always wanted him to experience it.”

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Montoya said Owen comes from a long line of musicians; both she and her brother used to sing, and Owen’s maternal grandparents used to sing as well.

Montoya said Owen has wide-ranging taste.

>> Read more trending news 

“He’s been plugged in the last two days listening to different stuff and absolutely loving it. He loves live music most. I think he feels like he’s actually there,” said Montoya.

She’s glad she can share his passion for music as he explores it.

“It can be heartbreaking knowing something is closed off to your child, and now he has every opportunity in the world,” said Montoya.

Ibuprofen use linked to male infertility, study finds

Ibuprofen is one of the most common over-the-counter pain relievers used worldwide, and researchers have long warned users about the risk of heart attack and stroke associated with the drug. But scientists now believe that ibuprofen, commonly sold under brand names such as Motrin or Advil, could potentially result in male infertility.

>> Read more trending news

The new findings come from researchers in Denmark and France who examined the effect of the drug on a group of men between the ages of 18 and 35.

Thirty-one men were given the maximum limit of 600 milligrams, or three tablets, of the drug each day for six weeks, a dosage commonly used by athletes. Other study participants were administered a placebo.

In just two weeks, the researchers found the men who took ibuprofen had an increase of luteinizing hormones, which males use to regulate testosterone production. If men ever get this hormonal condition, it typically begins during middle age.

>> Related: Common painkillers increase risk of heart attack by one-third, new study finds

At the same time, the ratio of testosterone to luteinizing hormones decreased — a sign of dysfunctional testicles.

“The increase indicated that the drug was causing problems in certain cells in the testicles, preventing them from producing testosterone, which is, of course, needed to produce sperm cells,” Medical XPress reported.

As a result, the body’s pituitary gland responded by producing more of a different hormone, essentially compensating for ibuprofen’s effect on testosterone production. This phenomenon is called compensated hypogonadism, which can reduce sperm cell production and infertility, the scientists wrote. The condition is also associated with depression and increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

>> On AJC.com: Want to gain some muscle? Beware of ibuprofen, study says

Because the small group of young male participants who took the drug only consumed it for a short time, “it is sure that these effects are reversible,” Bernard Jegou, co-author of the study and director of the Institute of Research in Environmental and Occupational Health in France, told CNN. Compensated hypogonadism can lead to a temporary reduction in sperm cell production, but that’s not cause for alarm.

The larger concern, Jegou noted, is that using the drug for much longer periods of time could lead to a much more serious issue: overt primary hypogonadism, “in which the symptoms become worse -- sufferers report a reduction in libido, muscle mass and changes in mood.”

The medical community, including the study authors, believe larger clinical trials are needed to understand ibuprofen’s effects on men using low doses of the drug and whether or not long-term effects are indeed reversible. 

Read the full study, recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Family warns of dangers after 21-year-old dies of flu complications

A seemingly healthy and active 21-year-old from Pennsylvania has died of complications from the flu

"He was into physical fitness. He was going to school to be a personal trainer,” Kyler Baughman's mother, Beverly Baughman, told WPXI.

>> Read more trending news

He was working, going to school and celebrating Christmas with his family. 

"We saw him the 23rd for our family Christmas get together and we noticed he wasn't feeling well. He looked run-down and had a bit of a snotty nose,” Beverly said.

He celebrated with family again Christmas night, and returned to work Tuesday, but came home early because he wasn't feeling well.

"He kinda just laid down and went about his day and that was the day he was coughing and said his chest hurt, he had a mild cough,” said Baughman's fiancée, Olivia Marcanio. 

Within two days, Baguhman's health took a turn. He was running a fever on and off. 

On Wednesday, he went to the emergency room, then was flown to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, where he died less than 24 hours later. 

His mom said it was from complications from the flu. 

"Organ failure due to septic shock caused by influenza,” Beverly Baughman said. 

The Baughmans are now left grieving a sudden and most unexpected loss. 

They're hoping by sharing his story, it could help save someone else. 

"Try and know your body; don't let things go. Whenever you have a fever and you have it multiple days, don't let it go,” said Kyler’s father, Todd Baughman. “Get it taken care of.”

"I think he thought, ‘I just got the flu, I'll be all right, I'll go rest a little bit.’ He was always on the go. I just think he ignored it and thought it would go away like most people, and I think people need to pay more attention to their bodies," Beverly Baughman said.

These are the best diets for 2018

With so many diets and fitness fads, it can be difficult to determine which might be best for you. However, a new ranking might make the decision a little easier.

>> Read more trending news

U.S. News & World Report recently released its list of the best diets, including ones specifically for weight loss.

For their eighth annual round-up, the publication’s editors and reporters looked into medical journals and government reports to create in-depth profiles for diets. 

A panel of national health experts, including nutritionists, dietitians and specialists in diabetes, heart health, human behavior and weight loss, then reviewed the summaries. They considered factors such as how easy the diets were to follow, their ability to produce short-term and long-term weight loss and their safety.

>> Related: How to lose weight: Take a break from your diet for 2 weeks, study suggests

U.S. News analysts then converted the experts’ ratings into scores, ultimately constructing nine sets of best diets rankings: best diets overall, best commercial diets, best weight-loss diets, best for diabetes, best heart-healthy, best for healthy eating, easiest to follow, plant-based and best fast weight-loss diets. 

Here are the top 10 best diets overall:

  1. DASH, Mediterranean (tie)
  2. The Flexitarian
  3. Weight Watchers
  4. MIND, TLC, Volumetrics (tie)
  5. Mayo Clinic
  6. Ornish
  7. The Fertility

Here are the top 10 best diets specifically for weight loss:

  1. Weight Watchers
  2. Volumetrics
  3. Jenny Craig
  4. Vegan
  5. The Flexitarian
  6. DASH, The Engine 2, Ornish, Raw Food, SlimFast (tie)

10 tips for sticking with your exercise plan in the new year

It’s the New Year’s resolution that everyone has and virtually no one keeps: We want to get in shape.

Here are 10 tips to help you keep on track:

>> New Year's resolutions: 4 tips for avoiding gym membership scams

1. Make a plan

If you made your decision on New Year’s Eve, that’s only making a decision based on your emotional state that day. Make a plan for big and small goals and particular parts of your body you want to target to help keep you focused. A health professional can help with this.

2. Be realistic

While you might be adamant that you’ll never eat bread, meat or chocolate chip cookies again, making that one of your goals is setting yourself up to fail. Instead, go for what’s attainable: Instead of having your favorite food three days a week, you’ll only have it once. Start small and build.

>> How to keep your New Year's resolutions this time

3. Create a battle plan

Despite all your best efforts, temptation will come knocking. Try to decide in advance how you will deal with wanting to skip that exercise class or have that piece of cake. This could include calling or texting a weight loss buddy, practicing positive thinking and self-talk, or reminding yourself how your “bad” will affect your goal.

4. Talk about it openly

Wanting to live a healthier life is something to be proud of, not ashamed of. Don’t treat your resolution like a dirty little secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve.

With any luck, they’ll help you find a buddy who shares your New Year’s resolution and can help you stay motivated.

>> Read more trending news 

5. Document your feelings

Why is getting in better shape a good idea? Write down all the reasons that are motivating you, from wanting to be able to walk up the stairs without losing your breath to wanting to look better on the beach. Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolve.

6. Keep track of your progress

It sounds like this list has more writing down than working out, but it is important to keep track of your progress. Being able to see where you were and how far you’ve come is an important way to keep yourself motivated.

For example, instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, focus on losing the first five. Keep a food journal to help you stay on track, and reward yourself for each five pounds lost.

7. Rewards are OK

Rewards are a good thing. Don’t think that because you’re losing weight, you have to become an ascetic. Instead of going out to eat to celebrate a milestone, treat yourself to new fitness clothes or by going out to a movie.

>> 9 inspiring New Year's resolution quotes to motivate you in 2018

8. 21 days

Exercising and working out won’t become good habits overnight. By Tuesday of the second week, all the newness will have worn off, and it’ll start getting harder to get up and get moving, especially if you’re exercising before work.

Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality. Get through that first three-week stretch, and you’ll be making real progress.

9. Give yourself a break

It’s not the day missed at the gym or the indulgence in ice cream that’ll knock you off track – it’s the obsessing about it afterward.

Negative thought patterns won’t help maintain your positive plan. Do the best you can each day, and take one day at a time.

10. Don’t give up

Maybe you hit the Valentine’s Day wall – or even the Jan. 15 wall. But that’s not a reason to give up.

Start with one meal, then one day. You can do anything for 24 hours. Once you start building on the 24-hour increments, before long you’ll be back in the groove.

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