Educational and social disparities in women with male twins: Study

iStock/kckate16(NEW YORK) — Does it matter if your twin is a male or a female? Maybe.

Researchers from the Norwegian School of Economics, Northwestern University and Emory University looked at what happens if a female shares a womb with a male twin.

The results are surprising.

They found that 30 years or more after birth, there were significant educational and social disparities when comparing females with male twins to females with female twins.

Females who shared the womb with a male had higher high school and college dropout rates, were less likely to get married, had fewer children, were less likely to be working and earned less in the workforce.

Researchers used national registries in Norway to study over 13,000 twin births between 1967 and 1978.

Why it matters: Twin births on the rise

The rate of twin births has increased in the U.S., from 18.9 per 1,000 births in 1980 to 33.4 per 1,000 births in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Based on data from Florida gathered between 1992 and 2002, the researchers estimate that in the U.S., the percentage newborn females with a male twin rose from 0.6 percent of total births in 1971 to 1.1 percent in 2010.

One possible explanation: It happens in the womb

Researchers believe their findings for female twins with a male counterpart are due to effects while in the womb (prenatal), rather than the social effects of growing up with a brother (postnatal).

In order to control for postnatal environmental effects, researchers looked at group of female twins whose brothers died during their first year of life.

“The biggest confounder in prior studies is that they don’t look at the postnatal exposure of growing up with a brother,” says Dr. Krzysztof Karbownik, one of the researchers and a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research. In fact, he said, prior to their analysis they were “pretty sure [the effects] would be related to postnatal causes.”

The researchers concluded that the likely culprit is elevated testosterone that female twins are exposed to in the womb, though they do not have any testosterone-specific data to prove this.

“Although we can nail down that this is a prenatal versus postnatal effect, the exact channel of this prenatal effect is unclear,” said Dr. Karbownik. He noted that based on prior studies, changes in morphology, physiology or behavior could be the cause of the long-term effects they saw in female twins.

What this means going forward: Don’t “freak out”

“I don’t think people should freak out…we are really trying to make it clear that this is not a paper about in vitro fertilization,” said Dr. Karbownik. “These are population averages…nobody should apply this to their individual fertility decisions.”

It is important to keep in mind that this study only looked at a group of patients in Norway, so we can’t assume the same results for the North American population. It also only examined a few metrics of long-term outcomes — perhaps female twins with male twin brothers excel in other areas of life that were not studied.

Dr. Karbownik emphasized that “gender norms” is something that is constantly changing and evolving. It could be the case that if we looked at the data 20 years down, we may see no effect at all.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Aspirin: The controversy and new guidelines

smartstock/iStock(NEW YORK) — Aspirin — is it safe to take?

Cardiologists have recently put out new guidelines recommending that a person’s risk of life-threatening bleeding should be factored into their decision whether or not to start taking aspirin to prevent a first-ever heart attack or stroke.

These guidelines, published in the medical journal Circulation, are in line with recent studies that have raised an issue with the medication.

How aspirin works

Aspirin is made of salicylic acid. It works by stopping COX-1, a specialized protein in our body that activates a type of cell called a platelet. These are found in our blood and are responsible for making it sticky. When platelets pile up, a clot can form. If the clot forms in the heart, a heart attack can occur; if the clot forms in the brain, a stroke is possible.

By intervening on platelet function, aspirin can potentially prevent a heart attack or stroke — but the blood can also become less sticky, and a person can become prone to bleeding in general. In certain areas of the body, specifically the gut and brain, bleeding can be deadly. A history of certain medical conditions like kidney failure, liver failure and age makes the risks of bleeding even higher.

Aspirin protects the heart and brain, and should be taken for secondary prevention

Decades of data support the use of aspirin for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, meaning a repeat event like a heart attack or stroke. In people with blockages of blood vessels in the heart and brain, including those with prior heart attacks or stroke, the rate of repeat events drops by 1.5 percent each year aspirin is taken regularly.

Despite the risk of bleeding that still exists, the benefit is so great that aspirin is generally recommended to be taken as a life-long medication.

“It’s an unwavering, workhorse agent for these people,” Dr. Paul Grubel, an interventional cardiologist and research director at the Inova Center in Falls Church, Virginia, told ABC News.

He hopes the updated guidelines, which discuss possible risks to taking aspirin as a primary prevention — preventing something that hasn’t happened yet — don’t cause those people with prior heart attacks and strokes to all of a sudden stop their aspirin regime.

“If there’s any confusion that patients have, they should not make changes in this therapy — or any medical therapy — without talking to their physician first,” Dr. Grubel said.

The benefit of aspirin for primary prevention is murky

The evidence for taking aspirin is much less compelling when it’s taken as a primary prevention, meaning to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. Its use remains contentious because the bleeding risks more closely match potential benefit.

A large study in 2009, and three studies in 2018 called ARRIVE, ASCEND and ASPREE, showed that rates of significant bleeding related to aspirin were similar or even greater than the rate at which it reduced a first time heart attack or stroke.

The latest guidelines

The new guidelines published by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association in Circulation suggest that for a select group of people, aspirin taken for primary prevention may be appropriate. This is in line with recommendations put forth by other medical groups.

These new guidelines recommend considering low-dose “baby” aspirin every day, between 75 and 100 milligrams, in people between the ages of 40 and 70 who are at high cardiovascular risk but low bleeding risk, as determined by providers.

Ultimately, starting aspirin is an individual decision that should be made between patients and their care providers, with careful consideration of the risks and benefits. If you have questions about whether or not you should be taking aspirin, you should speak with your healthcare provider first.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Blue-light-blocking glasses are gaining in popularity: Here’s everything you should know about them

iStock/twinsterphotoDR. AMRIT K. KAMBOJ

(NEW YORK) — If you’ve recently gone shopping for a new pair of eyeglasses, there’s a chance you may have come across some blue-light-blocking glasses, which seem to be everywhere, from online to brick-and-mortar optical stores.

The reason behind their popularity may be that more people are using digital devices, including cell phones and computers, which emit blue light. In fact, one study found that the average worker spends about 1,700 hours a year in front of a computer screen, and that doesn’t even include the time they spend looking at other screens when they’re not at work.

“Nine out of 10 people use digital devices for two or more hours each day,” Dr. Mark Jacquot, an optometrist and vice president of Vision Care Operations for LensCrafters, told ABC News.

Whether the glasses work, however, is unclear — expert opinions vary. Dr. Sunir J. Garg, a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and ophthalmologist at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, says that there hasn’t been much research on their effectiveness and with them being so popular now, “you wonder where they came from.”

So, here is what you should know about blue-light-blocking glasses.

Several retailers offer blue-light-blocking glasses.

Many companies that sell eyeglasses, including Warby Parker, Eyebuydirect and LensCrafters, offer different options for blue-light-blocking glasses. LensCrafters offers two different options: one called Blue IQ lenses, which block about 52 percent of blue light, and another called Blue IQ Clear lenses, which block about 20 percent of blue light.

Jacquot said that the Blue IQ lenses offer three times more protection against blue light compared to standard anti-reflective coated lenses, which only block 9 to 17 percent of blue light.

Blue light has been around for a while and electronic devices are not the only source

Computers and cell phones are not the only sources of blue light in our everyday lives. The largest source of blue light is actually sunlight. Blue light exposure from screens is much less than that from sunlight.

“People have been exposed to blue light for as long as they have been around,” Garg said. “The eye has done a good job of filtering this over time through evolution.”

Blue light may be connected to sleep issues.

While the recommended amount of sleep for adults is seven to nine hours per night, one in three adults does not get enough sleep. Electronic devices may share part of the blame for poor sleep habits.

Blue light from screens can delay the release of melatonin, which is the main sleep-promoting hormone. It can also increase alertness and push back the body’s internal clock to a later schedule. Blue light is not always necessarily bad — some amount of blue light during the day helps keep us awake — but overexposure at night can disrupt sleep.

Jacquot said that blue-light-blocking glasses can help with sleep, and since they don’t block 100 percent of blue light, they shouldn’t cause you to feel sleepy during the day. Habits that can help promote sleep include removing electronic devices from the bedroom and stopping their use one to two hours before lying down. The earlier the better.

Blue-light-blocking glasses might help reduce eye strain.

If you look at a person watching TV or playing a video game, their eyes don’t move a lot. Normally, we blink our eyes about 15 times a minute, but when looking at digital devices, we blink about a third to half as much. This causes our eyes to feel dry and tired and puts a strain on them.

Digital eye strain, also called computer vision syndrome, refers to eye discomfort and vision problems that occur after prolonged use of electronic devices. Jacquot estimates that about 65 percent of people experience symptoms of digital eye strain. He said that this condition is multifactorial with blue light, the reduced blink rate, and extended viewing of screens without breaks all playing a role.

In his experience, Jacquot has found that patients who use blue-light-blocking glasses subjectively feel that their eyes are more comfortable and less fatigued. A recent study, however, failed to show that blue-light-blocking glasses help with symptoms of digital eye strain. Instead, it could be the constant focus on a screen that causes the strain, Garg said.

If you’re trying to reduce eye strain, try sitting at least 25 inches from your computer screen and follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. Also, use artificial tears when your eyes feel dry. By breaking the constant attention on the screen, the eyes will feel less strained and more lubricated.

Blue light may not help you sleep, but it probably won’t cause serious eye diseases, either.

While some have suggested a possible link between blue light and macular degeneration, Garg said that “there have been no studies that have shown that blue light causes a problem in people.”

Garg also explained that much of the blue light that we are exposed to on a daily basis is filtered from the cornea and the lens, so the amount that hits the retina is not as much as one might think. He said that the limited research that suggests blue light is harmful to eye structures is based on data from “shining bright light to cells in a petri dish or to animals in levels much higher than we would be exposed to going about our daily lives.”

Blue-light-blocking glasses do not have many side effects.

Blue-light-blocking glasses are not known to have negative health side effects and should not affect your day-to-day function. Historically, there may have been a cosmetic concern regarding a yellow-brown hue that sometimes came with these glasses. However, with advances in the manufacturing process, these concerns have waned. Jacquot said that the Blue IQ lenses have a very light beige tint that most people don’t even notice and the Blue IQ Clear lenses are clear.

Blue-light-blocking glasses are different from single-vision and multifocal glasses.

Single vision glasses are designed to correct distance vision while multifocal glasses correct both distance and near vision. Blue-light-blocking glasses typically apply a special pigment or coating to the lenses to block out some amount of blue light.

More research is needed to better understand the long-term risks of blue light and the benefits of blue-light-blocking glasses. While the AAO does not recommend any special eyewear for digital devices at this time, Jacquot “confidently recommends” them given their potential benefits.

Jacquot emphasized the importance of annual eye exams for everyone and said that people should be careful of “self-diagnosing” themselves. Regular visits to the eye doctor can help identify important vision and health problems, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes and high blood pressure, many of which develop without any symptoms. The AAO recommends that everyone get a baseline eye exam by age 40 and that people over age 65 get an eye exam regularly, even if they have no eye symptoms.

Amrit K. Kamboj, MD, is an internal medicine resident and member of the ABC News Medical Unit.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Mitt Romney was sick when he blew out candles: Does that help avoid spread of germs?


(NEW YORK) — Happy birthday, even if it’s not today!

Whether you go for traditional candles, sparklers or those tricky ones you can’t blow out, birthday candles are a ubiquitous part of celebrations — something you might’ve been reminded of earlier this week when Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) garnered attention for blowing out the candles on his Twinkie birthday cake one by one. He later said that he blew them out that way because he had a cold.

So could blowing out these celebratory flames make people sick?

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Food Research showed that, after blowing out candles, cake icing had a staggering 1,400 percent more bacteria than icing that had not been blown on.

In 2013, Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council created strict guidelines for childcare centers when celebrating children’s birthdays.

“To prevent the spread of germs when the child blows out the candles, parents should either provide a separate cupcake, with a candle if they wish, for the birthday child,” the council said.

Some physicians and scientists would argue that keeping kids in a cleanliness bubble is bad for their health because it causes their immune systems to become more sensitive to things that cause allergies, also called the “Hygiene Hypothesis.”

“Transfer of oral bacteria onto birthday cake icing, while it may seem disgusting, is not likely to cause illness in those who eat the cake,” Dr. James Campbell, a physician on the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, told ABC News. “Generally, encouraging families with children who are ill not to attend gatherings like birthday parties is probably wise.”

Campbell also said that there are more effective methods for preventing the spread of infection, including practicing good hand washing habits, covering one’s mouth properly when coughing or sneezing and getting vaccinated for the flu.

“Children are likely exposed to similar levels of other children’s oral flora every day at schools, playgrounds, and other venues,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not have an official stance on birthday candles, but it generally recommends four steps for food safety, including cleaning hands and surfaces properly, separating raw meats from other foods to avoid contamination, cooking foods to their appropriate temperatures and chilling perishable foods promptly.

So, is the tradition worth the risk? We’ll leave it up to you to decide. But either way, enjoy your cake.

Linda Drozdowicz, M.D., is a child and adolescent psychiatry fellow at Yale and member of the ABC News Medical Unit.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Mentally tiring work linked to type 2 diabetes in women: Study

iStock/katleho SeisaDR. LINDA DROZDOWICZ

(NEW YORK) — “This job is killing me!”

We’ve all said this at least once of frustration, but a new study out of France published in the European Journal of Endocrinology suggests that mentally tiring work may be making people — specifically women — sick. The study was extensive, following more than 75,000 women for 22 years.

Researchers found that women who rated their work as “very mentally tiring” were 21 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes over the study period compared to those who rated their work as “little or not mentally tiring.”

This effect was specifically in women who were not overweight to begin with.

Now, this was a correlational study, meaning it doesn’t prove that stressful jobs caused type 2 diabetes but there appears to be some link. The study raises some important questions about women and the stressors in their workplace.

ABC News spoke to Dr. Catherine Harnois, professor of sociology at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Harnois highlighted some workplace issues that are specific to women, which can intensify their levels of mental strain at work.

“In addition to working in jobs that have low autonomy and may have lower status, prestige or earnings, women are more likely to experience sexual harassment and gender discrimination at work, and are more likely than men to be saddled with familial responsibilities [such as childcare and eldercare] when they get home,” she said. “All of these factors and more can take a toll on health.”

Regarding the potential links of mentally tiring work to physical health and diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, she hypothesized that “if you are more tired after work, you might be less likely to exercise, have healthy eating behaviors, and less likely to maintain a healthy social life, which can result in worse health outcomes.”

But another theory is that the work-related stress might put women’s sympathetic nervous systems — responsible for the “fight or flight” response — into overdrive, and also mess with a critical body circuit called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

When these systems get out of whack, our bodies can be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes by dumping too much cortisol into the body and making us resistant to insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar.

Whatever the causes of the trend in this study, women should do what they can to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including eating well, getting adequate sleep and exercising regularly. For more information on preventing type 2 diabetes, you can check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Prevention Program.

Linda Drozdowicz, M.D., is a fellow in child and adolescent psychiatry at Yale University and a member of the ABC News Medical Unit.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

EPA bans public sale of paint stripper connected to accidental deaths

iStock/scanrail(WASHINGTON) —  The Environmental Protection Agency will ban consumer sales of paint strippers that contain an ingredient that has caused dozens of accidental deaths.

Families of people who have died after inhaling paint strippers that contain methylene chloride and chemical safety advocates have called for the products to be banned because of the risks.

While the rule announced today responds to some of advocates’ concerns, it’s a step back from a full ban proposed under the Obama administration. The EPA will ban the products from being sold to the public in stores or online but will still allow contractors and other professionals to use it. Critics say that still puts workers at risk of inhaling a dangerous amount of fumes if they’re working in an unventilated area.

“This rule answers calls from many affected families to effectively remove these products from retail shelves and retail distribution channels, providing protection for the American public,” EPA Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety Alexandra Dunn said in a statement.

The CDC has described the chemical called methylene chloride as a “highly volatile, colorless, toxic” and said that it is “unlikely” that it can be used safely. A study of deaths from the chemical fumes inhaled while workers were stripping bathtubs found that exposure to the chemical can become toxic after just one hour of using it and the EPA says that the fumes can hurt the nervous system and that long-term exposure has been linked to cancer.

Critics say the rule still doesn’t go far enough because it still allows products with methylene chloride to be used by contractors and other professionals. EPA is working on rules that could establish more training requirements and limited access to the products for professionals.

A group that has been campaigning to ban the chemical called Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, said at least 64 people have died from exposure to methylene chloride since 1980, including workers who were using the products to refinish bathtubs.

The EPA first documented the risks from methylene chloride use in 2014 and proposed in January 2017 that the agency ban the chemical in products intended to remove paint. But later in 2017 the agency reversed course and delayed the rule, leading to criticism from advocacy groups, members of Congress, and families whose loved ones died after inhaling the chemical’s fumes.

Several retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot have already pulled the products in response to public petitions.Several retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot have already pulled the products in response to public petitions.

EPA first said it would move forward on a ban last May.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Girl found dead in 1971 is finally identified through novel DNA technique

(PORTLAND) — After a teenage girl’s remains were discovered in Oregon in 1971, her identity remained a Oregon State Police/Facebookmystery for decades.

Investigators worked to identify the girl, who became known as Jane “Annie” Doe, but were unsuccessful.

But thanks to DNA and genetic genealogy, officials have finally discovered who she was — Anne Marie Lehman.

Now they’re determined to learn how she died.

The mystery dates back to August 1971, when Lehman’s scattered skeletal remains were found in the woods in Josephine County, Oregon, the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

Investigators exhausted their leads and the case was deemed inactive.

Then in 2004, a deputy made a clay facial reconstruction of the victim, nicknaming her Jane “Annie” Doe, the sheriff’s office said. The image was released and leads came in, but the mystery remained unsolved.

In 2016, forensic isotope analysis — which analyzes hair, teeth and bones to help determine likely geographic origin — helped narrow down where Jane Doe was likely from and a new forensic drawing was released, the sheriff’s office said.

Although she resembled a missing person in Massachusetts, investigators could not make a DNA match.

The break finally came in late 2018 when the DNA Doe Project became involved. The non-profit compares DNA from unidentified John and Jane Does to people who voluntarily submit their DNA to public genetic genealogy databases, the sheriff’s office said.

“After weeks of careful analysis and painstaking ancestral research, Jane Annie Doe’s family was traced to relatives in England, New Zealand and Canada,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Lehman’s DNA was very degraded, making it difficult to find matches to relatives, the sheriff’s office said.

Then in February, DNA Doe Project volunteers told detectives a potential match was found with a sister in Washington state. Authorities reached out to the sister and got a DNA sample from her, confirming Lehman’s identity, the sheriff’s office said.

Jane Annie Doe was really Anne Marie Lehman — who happened to be nicknamed Annie by her family, the sheriff’s office said.

Anne Lehman, of Aberdeen, Washington, was 16 years old when she disappeared. Investigators believe went missing from Aberdeen in the winter or spring of 1971, the sheriff’s office said.

Authorities are still working to determine how Lehman died and ask anyone with information to call the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office.

“Some say Annie Lehman was a runaway and others feel she was abducted and traded to a criminal human trafficking organization,” the sheriff’s office said. “These claims, how she ended up in Josephine County and the cause and manner of her death remain under investigation.”
Meanwhile, authorities are praising the work of investigators who they say tirelessly tried to solve the mystery of Jane Annie Doe.

“Forensic genetic genealogy is fast becoming the most powerful new tool for solving cold cases that have resisted all other approaches,” the sheriff’s office said. “Without the DNA Doe Project orchestrating the effort to bring Annie Marie Lehman home, it may well have taken another 47 years before Annie would be identified and reunited with her family.”

The Oregon State Police in a statement said it’s “extremely proud of the work performed by our Forensic Anthropologist, Dr. Nici Vance. Dr. Vance’s unwavering dedication and tenacity to helping identify these remains and bring closure to families just like the Lehman’s is inspiring.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Girl Scouts fight to install menstrual hygiene locker in their school bathrooms

Courtesy Jen Strickler(NEW YORK) — A group of Girl Scouts in western Ohio fought to put a locker for menstrual hygiene products in their school restrooms, and even used some of the money they made from selling cookies to fund it.

“We never really set out to really change the world with our project, but we knew that it could make a world of a difference to the girls in our school,” Reagan, one of the girl scouts involved in the project told ABC News’ Good Morning America.

Reagan said that they got the idea because they were not allowed to carry bags around during school and their uniforms didn’t have pockets. If students needed feminine hygiene products, they would have to go to the school nurse to pick them up.

The girls teamed up as a troop and wrote a letter to their school’s parent-teacher organization, but their initial proposal of having individual lockers in the restrooms was shut down by the school. Eventually, their second proposal of one big locker with individual cubbies was greenlighted last December.

They were able to fund the project in part with proceeds from selling Girl Scout cookies. The girls even helped assemble and install the locker themselves.

Another girl scout, Alexis, said that the project was important to them because it was a way to support their fellow girls.

“This project is important to us because it encourages girls more, and [makes] them feel comfortable at school and confident,” she told GMA. “And it’s really fun to help out girls in our community.”

Reagan added that the response from fellow girls at their school has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Last year, when we started the project, some of the older girls mentioned how much they were trying to sneak around their products, and when we mentioned we were going to put cabinets, the girls were really excited,” she said.

The girl scouts, both fifth-graders, wished to only be identified by their first names for privacy reasons. Their troop leader, Jen Strickler, said it was inspirational to see the group of young women “come together and really look to see how to make things better and how to make the world a little bit better in certain ways.”

“For me personally, I remember 30 years ago experiencing something similar, so we kind of started talking through what made the most sense” for how these young women could access menstrual hygiene products at school more easily, Strickler said.

She said she hopes the locker will “really make that transition of going from a girl to a young woman that much easier for them.”

Reagan said she hopes that “other girls will hear our story and advocate for a change in their school.”

“It would be amazing if this became the standard in all schools, and maybe baby steps of something even greater,” she said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Dad to receive kidney from daughter he adopted 27 years ago

Courtesy DeLauren McKnight(NEW YORK) — A woman from North Carolina is about to give the gift of life to the man who adopted her when she was an infant.

DeLauren McKnight will soon donate her kidney to her dad, Billy Houze, after tests revealed she was a match for the procedure.

“She told me, ‘Daddy, you thought you were saving my life pulling me from foster care but in actuality, you were saving my life so I could save yours later,'” Houze, 64, told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “I am extremely proud of her.”

Houze, a pastor and father of five, said his kidneys began shutting down in 2016 after he underwent gall bladder surgery. Doctors informed him that he wouldn’t live past five years if he didn’t receive a kidney transplant.

“And then they told me I would be on the list and it would be seven years before I would possibly get a kidney,” Houze said.

Houze’s sons were tested but were not matches. But on Feb. 1, McKnight, whom Houze and his wife Karen adopted in 1992, learned that she was a match.

“I never thought I would be a match because I was adopted,” McKnight told GMA. “I got the call at work and I wanted him to be the first person that knew. I called and I said, ‘Daddy, I have to tell you something. I’m a match.'”

She continued, “He said, ‘What are you mad for?’ I said, ‘No, I’m a match!’ He stopped talking and he was crying. I was shaking. It was overwhelming.”

McKnight and Houze hope to have the surgery in the next few weeks. McKnight said she is thrilled to be saving her father’s life.

“I call him my Superman,” she said. “Without him and my mom, I wouldn’t have known where I’d be. There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t give him so he can enjoy life and be right there beside me.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Butterball recalls nearly 80,000 pounds of ground turkey after 5 people sickened

DebbiSmirnoff/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — North Carolina-based poultry producer Butterball, LLC is voluntarily recalling approximately 78,164 pounds of raw ground turkey products that may have been contaminated with Salmonella, according to an announcement Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

FSIS, along with several public health partners, discovered the possible contamination while investigating an outbreak of Salmonella illnesses involving five patients in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Four of the patients lived in the same Wisconsin residence, where officials collected three Butterball ground turkey samples that tested positive for the bacteria.

The Minnesota resident was tested positive for the same strain of Salmonella and also reported eating ground turkey, although the brand is unknown, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health.

According to Butterball’s site, the ground turkey in question has a use- or sell-by date of July 26, 2018, and was shipped to institutional and retail locations nationwide.

“Because these products were packaged nine months ago, it is highly unlikely any of the product will be found in retail stores, but it is possible that consumers may have product in their freezers,” Butterball spokesperson Christa Leupen told ABC News.

Health officials are warning anyone who may have Butterball ground turkey in their freezer to check the date and discard any products that may be included in the recall.

The products subject to recall include:

• 48-oz. plastic-wrapped tray containing “BUTTERBALL everyday Fresh Ground Turkey WITH NATURAL FLAVORING (85% LEAN/15% FAT)” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188, and UPC codes 22655-71555 or 22655-71557 represented on the label.

• 48-oz. plastic-wrapped tray containing “BUTTERBALL everyday Fresh Ground Turkey WITH NATURAL FLAVORING (93% LEAN/7% FAT)” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188 and UPC code 22655-71556 represented on the label.

• 16-oz. plastic-wrapped tray containing “BUTTERBALL everyday Fresh Ground Turkey WITH NATURAL FLAVORING (85% LEAN/15% FAT)” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188 and UPC code 22655-71546 represented on the label.

• 16-oz. plastic-wrapped tray containing “BUTTERBALL everyday Fresh Ground Turkey WITH NATURAL FLAVORING (93% LEAN/7% FAT)” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188 and UPC codes 22655-71547 or 22655-71561 represented on the label

• 48-oz. plastic-wrapped tray containing “Kroger GROUND TURKEY FRESH 85% LEAN – 15% FAT” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188, and UPC code 111141097993 represented on the label.

• 48-oz. plastic-wrapped tray containing “FOOD LION 15% fat ground turkey with natural flavorings” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188 and UPC code 3582609294 represented on the label.

The USDA is calling this a Class I recall, defined on the website as a “health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

Consumption of food containing Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses, with symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated food and lasting four to seven days.

Butterball says that consumers with questions about the recall should call 1-800-288-8372 ext. 4 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.