CNN has the latest developments on the deadly tornado that struck an area outside Oklahoma City yesterday. Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen explains the minor and major injuries people may be facing in the wake of the devastation. "About half of the injuries are going to be from flying debris," she says, "especially wood." Then "much of the rest would be people who were actually hit by the tornado, where the tornado actually lifted them up, dropped them down."
A health story that has two moms are taking on food giant Kraft. They started a petition online calling on Kraft to remove two ingredients from its "Mac and Cheese," a staple in the diets of thousands of children. These mom food bloggers say the ingredients that give it its bright yellow food color are dangerous.
Now more than 220-thousand people have signed on, asking Kraft to take out the artificial colorings yellow #5 and yellow #6. They point to studies linking artificial food colorings to hyperactivity in children, and cancer in mice. Kraft has already removed them for the European versions of the popular food. Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth investigates the story.
The science behind the findings is inconclusive, Cohen reports. “There was a study done in England where they gave some kids food with these dyes in it and then gave some kids food without," Cohen explains. "And they said that they then observed that the kids who had the dyes were more hyperactive." This resulted in the ban in the United Kingdom. But other scientists claim it wasn't well done study, because the hyperactivity could have been due to other ingredients.
Cohen advises concerned parents to make their own decision or their own mac and cheese.
Actress Valerie Harper, best known for her days on the hit shows "Rhoda" and The Mary Tyler Moore Show has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called that's affecting her brain. CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen explains exactly what her rare condition is and what Harper is facing.
“This is not a tumor,” Cohen says. Loose cells in Harper’s spinal fluid are affecting her meninges, or the covering over the brain. "There are not a lot of great treatments for this," Cohen says.
CNN is told Harper is receiving chemotherapy. Doctors say "chemotherapy in this case, isn't really done to prolong life," but will help control pain and seizures for the time being, Cohen says. It may prolong life by a few weeks, but not by a lot. “She was told by her doctors [she has] about three months,” Cohen says. “It’s really a terrible, terrible form of cancer.”
Meanwhile, Harper is staying strong, appearing on talk shows to raise awareness about her illness with some inspiring words.
There's a new bacteria that medical professionals are worried could become a 'nightmare.' It's called CRE, a form of bacteria that is "impervious to a lot of antibiotics," and "is on the rise," Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen reports.
A report from the CDC says that in 2012, 200 hospitals and long-term care facilities had at least one incidence of this bacteria, Cohen reports. “It is spread, basically, by the hands of people who work in hospitals,” she says.
Cohen explains how you can protect yourself as a patient, starting with asking doctors and nurses to clean their hands and cleaning your own hands.
A national flu epidemic continues to hit hard throughout the country with “widespread activity” in 47 states. New York is one of those states. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state public health emergency over the weekend.
NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley comes to "Early Start" with more on how the city is preparing for flu patients.
CNN continues to follow the miserable flu outbreak that is weighing down on the country. The CDC says the flu is now widespread in all states except California, Mississippi, and Hawaii. New York Governor Cuomo even declared a public health emergency this weekend. CNN Sr. Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has the latest on the flu and what health officials mean when they call it an "epidemic."
“Basically, people are getting sick and dying from the flu in certain numbers,” Cohen explains. “When those numbers get high enough, we call it an epidemic.” But Cohen urges not to focus on that word. “Nearly every year there is an epidemic.”
Cohen also explains the significance of Governor Cuomo’s announcement. He’s also telling pharmacies that they can vaccinate kids, while in other years they have to go to their doctors for that. Still, pharmacies are choosing not to vaccinate children. “We put out...many phone calls to, pharmacies in New York, and the pharmacies we called, none of them are offering shots to kids,” Cohen says. In addition, these same pharmacies said they didn't really have enough even for adults.
CNN is reporting brand new information on the rising flu influenza in the United States. Six more states are reporting widespread activity—that brings the total to 47 states, up from 41 the week before.
The Minnesota Health Department says 27 people have died from flu-related complications. South Carolina reports 22 flu-related deaths this season compared to one for all of 2011. Pennsylvania is also reporting 22 deaths, and six people are reported dead in Illinois. Eight are reported dead in Oklahoma, 15 are reported in Indiana, 7 in Arkansas and 18 flu related deaths in Massachusetts.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. He joins “Early Start” live from NIH headquarters in Bethesda, MD this morning with more on the nature of this outbreak.
The fast-spreading flu is now officially an epidemic. This year's flu season has come early—and hit hard. Nearly two dozen children have died. CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is live in Fort Worth, Texas with a mixed bag of details and some good news.
“The flu activity in this country has gone down a bit,” Cohen says. “Two weeks ago we were talking about 29 states having high levels of flu activity. Now we're talking about 24 states having high level of flu activity. That is good news.”
Meanwhile, the outbreak has reached a wider scale. “We’re seeing less flu in the United States, but it is spread out more. Geographically it has spread out to more locations,” Cohen explains. “So, to put that in terms of numbers, two weeks ago, 41 states were seeing widespread activity, meaning it was throughout various regions of their state. Now 47 states say they're seeing flu in various regions of their state. So spread out more, but the actual number of people who are having flu symptoms has actually gone down.”
Newtown, Connecticut is a town in mourning since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. While the entire nation grieves and feels for the victims and their families, the young children who survived the shooting have now taken a major hit to their innocence that may scar them forever. CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen speaks to two men who survived an earlier mass shooting as young boys to learn how they coped with their trauma.
Child witnesses to the Sandy Hook massacre say they heard shots go off, or bullets go past the hall. Their “innocent eyes have witnessed unspeakable horrors” and “images that could haunt them forever,” Cohen says.
Ben Kadish and Josh Stepakoff are among the few people who've experienced what the Sandy Hook children have experienced and worry about them. "Thirteen years ago, the boys were at summer camp at a Jewish community center when a gunman stormed in and shot them,” she says. Now 19, “Josh and Ben say the shooting still haunts them sometimes, but with great parents and therapy, they've worked through the trauma.”
Newtown, Connecticut is a town in mourning in the aftermath of the tragic shooting that took the lives of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Many questions are being asked in the wake of the devastation, especially why the shooter did what he did. A body of research on previous mass murders may provide clues as to what the killers share in their minds. CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is exploring that story.
“A close look at ten of the most analyzed mass murder cases in history provides some remarkable insight,” Dr. Gupta says. "According to this research published in the journal, Aggression and Violent Behavior, doctors typically start by placing killers into three categories: traumatized, psychotic, psychopathic."
In each case studied, "the killers showed signs of psychotic behavior, severe delusions and paranoia," Dr. Gupta says. "Looking back, none of them had snapped. They had all left clues, pieced together after it was too light. Hindsight.”