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5-year-old Georgia boy dies from flu complications

A 5-year-old Georgia boy who died from complications of the flu was remembered on Wednesday morning.

>> Watch the news report here

Eli Snook of Marietta died Saturday at a hospital. His parents first took him to the emergency room Jan. 13 with flu-like symptoms. 

His family told WSB-TV's Chris Jose that a doctor gave the boy Tamiflu. His parents kept him home for a week then sent him back to day care on Jan. 22.

Last Thursday, Eli’s parents got a call that the boy had a 101 degree fever. His parents said they brought him back to urgent care.

>> How does the flu kill healthy people?

"We prayed for a miracle Friday night. He got an infection in the brain. His brain swelled past the point of no return, and he went brain dead," said his father, Aaron Snook.

The parents were told by doctors to take him to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Due to a weakened immune system from the flu, doctors told the parents the virus quickly attacked his body. 

"It was a shock to me. It was shock," said the boy's mother, Leota Snook. "It's the aftereffects of the flu that's killing these babies."

>> Read more trending news 

Georgia has been hit hard by the flu this season. On Wednesday, officials with Georgia Department of Public Health said at least 37 people have died from the virus.

The flu outbreak is so bad that Grady Memorial Hospital brought in a mobile emergency room unit to treat the excess number of patients visiting the hospital with flu-like symptoms. 

This is the healthiest nondairy 'milk,' study says

There are a ton of nondairy milks to choose from, but which one is the healthiest?

>> Milk in the fridge? Someone may owe you money

To find out, researchers from McGill University recently conducted an experiment, published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, to determine the nutritional value of plant-based milk beverages

To do so, they compared the health benefits of the four most popular alternative milks, including soy, almond, coconut and rice. They examined the number of calories and amount of protein, fat and carbohydrates found in each. They also looked into the vitamins and minerals the substitutes contained. 

>> Read more trending news 

While they said cow’s milk still has the most nutritional value, with 8 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat and 11.5 grams of carbs, soy is the most comparable for overall balance. It’s “a clear winner,” they wrote in a statement. It has more protein than all the other milk options analyzed, with 7 to 12 grams and 95 calories a glass. Scientists also credited soy milk for its phytonutrients, which have been linked to reducing cancer risk. 

Almond milk is low in protein and carbohydrates, but it has fewer calories, with 36 per serving. It also is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help with weight loss and management. Previous studies have also shown that it can reduce cholesterol.

As for coconut milk, it’s low-calorie, too, but has no protein. Plus, the calories are mostly from saturated fats. And rice milk also has few nutrients. In fact, the researchers said “consumption of rice milk as an alternative to cow’s milk without proper care can result in malnutrition, especially in the case of infants.”

>> On When to buy organic & when to save your money

Dairy is one of the most common allergens among infants and children, the study explained, so many parents steer away from cow’s milk. Furthermore, lactose intolerance affects up to 75 percent of all adults, and those with the condition look to other alternatives. 

Although the researchers believe their findings are strong, they said want to continue their investigations “to understand the effects of various conventional and novel processing methods on the nutritional profile, flavor and texture of these alternative milks.”

How does the flu kill healthy people?

How does the flu cause death? According to Scientific American, the way the flu kills its victims can be summed up simply: “The short and morbid answer is that in most cases the body kills itself by trying to heal itself.”

>> On Flu season to be worst in a decade: Death toll rises to 37 children

As the virus spreads in the lungs and respiratory system, the body unleashes a counterattack, in which T-cells destroy the tissues that harbor the invading virus.

“In most healthy adults this process works, and they recover within days or weeks,” the magazine reports. “But sometimes the immune system’s reaction is too strong, destroying so much tissue in the lungs that they can no longer deliver enough oxygen to the blood, resulting in hypoxia and death.”

>> On Do you have the flu? 17 things to know about flu symptoms, flu shot side effects and more

Sometimes the lungs, weakened by the flu, become prey to another infection, often streptococcus, and the body is felled by bacterial overload, as happened to a New Hampshire mother of four earlier this month.

Worldwide, the flu causes up to 640,000 deaths annually.

Doctors have long known that contracting influenza can be dangerous for the elderly, for infants and for those already in a weakened state. But flu can kill others as well, depending on the virulence of the particular strain that spreads during flu season.

>> Read more trending news 

This year’s strain is the most severe in a decade.

A chart from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta can help parents determine when to seek help.

4 drinks that could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts

When you're trying to lose weight, you may not give much thought to what you drink, but those calories definitely add up. These "liquid calories" can sabotage your weight-loss efforts, and you may not feel as full as if you'd eaten the same number of calories. Many drinks also provide little to no nutrients and are often loaded with sugar, which can further hamper your weight loss.

>> On Drink up: Black tea helps you lose weight with gut bacteria, study says

These drinks – and their calories – may add up to more than you realize, even on a single day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered a sample list of the drinks you may choose during a day in order to total the calories. They started with a morning coffee shop run with a 16-ounce café latte made with whole milk at 265 calories. A non-diet soda with lunch had 227 calories, and an afternoon sweetened lemon iced tea from the vending machine was 180 calories. A glass of non-diet ginger ale with dinner added 124 calories for a daily total of a whopping 796 calories!

>> 5 things you're doing 'for your health' that aren't so healthy

The following four drinks are some that can sabotage your diet when you're trying to cut calories:


You may think that swapping out sugary sodas for fruit juices is good for your diet, but it may not be as good as you think. Fruit juices are concentrated sources of natural sugar, so they have more calories and don't fill you up as much as fresh, frozen or canned fruits do, according to the Mayo Clinic.

For example, a 20-ounce glass of 100 percent apple juice has 300 calories, and the same portion of 100 percent orange juice has 280, the CDC says.

>> On It's official: Coffee is good for you, according to new research


A plain black cup of coffee isn't a calorie problem, according to the Mayo Clinic. It contains fewer than five calories and no fat, but most people need at least a few extras with their coffee, and these also add extra calories.

>> Read more trending news 

Although at-home add-ins like creamer and sugar raise the calorie count, a specialty coffee can make it soar. A grande (16-ounce) size of white chocolate mocha espresso at Starbucks has 360 calories. If you choose a venti (20 ounces), you'll be drinking 460 calories.


A few drinks after work with your friends or a couple of beers or glasses of wine with a meal can raise your calorie count.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously took a look at some of the calories contained in popular alcoholic beverages and found that five ounces of red wine has about 106 calories, and five ounces of white wine has 100 calories. A regular Budweiser beer comes in at 143 calories, and Bud Light isn't far behind at 110 calories. Cocktails like a four-ounce margarita up the calorie count even higher at 168 calories, and a 4.5-ounce Piña colada packs 245 calories. These counts could vary somewhat depending on the alcohol and sugar content of your specific drink.


Smoothies have a "health halo" that leads many people to believe they're harmless, Marisa Moore, a dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told the AJC.

>> On 5 tips for your homemade smoothies that will help you lose weight

Serving size is important, she pointed out. For example, a 20-ounce Angel Food smoothie from Smoothie King contains 340 calories. If you order the 40-ounce mixture of strawberries, bananas, nonfat milk, vanilla and other natural flavors and turbinado sugar, you'll be getting a whopping 690 calories. You can save some calories by omitting the sugar, saving 90 calories on a 20-ounce Angel Food smoothie, but it's still fairly high in calories.

5 things you're doing 'for your health' that aren't so healthy

It seems like there are new health trends popping up all the time – some super food promising to make you live forever or some natural remedy guaranteed to make you look younger.

We may roll our eyes with skepticism, suspecting that the claims are usually too good to be true. But there are actually a lot of normal things we readily do for our health, even though there is no real scientific evidence they help at all.

Some things we simply accept as healthy choices are even potentially detrimental to our well-being. Here's a look at five such "healthy habits" that aren't really as healthy as you think.

>> Read more trending news 

1. Cleaning your ears

Who doesn't enjoy the feeling of using Q-tips to clean their ears after a warm shower? Well, the soft cotton gently removing the wax may feel good, but doctors warn against the routine activity.

In fact, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, unless ear wax is actually blocking your ear canal, you should just leave it alone.

Although about 5 percent of Americans may suffer from excessive earwax, the vast majority don't need to be concerned. Ear wax actually benefits us by transferring dead skin cells out of our ears. It's also antifungal and antibacterial, meaning it works to keep our ears healthy.

Doctors also warn that Q-tips simply push the wax deeper into our ears.

"The diameter of the Q-tip is greater than half the diameter of the ear canal," Dr. Mark Vaughan told INSIDER in 2017. "So any way you stick that in there, there's a portion of the wax that you can't get around. All you can do is push it in."

2. Flossing

Proper teeth care is hammered into us from an early age. Ideally, we should brush and floss three times per day, about 30 minutes after every meal. But that's only half true.

While brushing is definitely important, flossing actually isn't.

That's right, even though dentists have been recommending flossing for decades, there's minimal scientific evidence that it's actually beneficial. An investigative report by an AP journalist published in 2016 revealed the lack of science behind the recommendations.

The report cited a 2015 scientific review that said: "The majority of available studies fail to demonstrate that flossing is generally effective in plaque removal." Another cited study said evidence of flossing's benefits is "weak" and "inconsistent."

3. Using hand sanitizer

If you're one who constantly carries hand sanitizer or keeps a bottle on your desk, you may want to reconsider. It's not that hand sanitizer is necessarily bad to use, it's just that soap and water is so much better.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that the old-fashioned method is still the best way to fight off germs. Hand sanitizer may be better than not cleaning your hands at all, but studies suggest it isn't nearly as good at removing certain bacteria that can lead to illness.

4. Detox and cleanse diets

Next time you or a friend consider going on a detox or cleanse diet, don't waste your time. There's simply no scientific evidence that these trendy diets have any real health benefits.

Your liver and your kidneys, if functioning properly, are constantly detoxing your body

"Unless there's a blockage in one of these organs that do it day and night, there's absolutely no need to help the body get rid of toxins," Dr. Ranit Mishori of the Georgetown University School of Medicine told NPR in 2012.

5. Taking daily multi-vitamins or other supplements

If you're one of the 40 percent of Americans who take a daily multi-vitamin, you probably don't need to.

Three studies published in 2013 found no evidence that such supplements could reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as cancer and heart disease among well-nourished individuals. Essentially, if you're eating fine, you don't need to take the daily tablet.

When the studies were published, a group of doctors wrote an editorial specifically saying that there's "no substantial health benefit" to taking multi-vitamins. In fact, they could even cause harm to your health.

"Supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful," the doctors warned.

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to partner on U.S. employee health care

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced they will create a health care company for their U.S. employees that is "free from profit-making incentives."

The companies say they are partnering on health care to increase employee satisfaction and reduce costs. 

The trio of companies will work with an independent company that is free from the constraints of profit-making incentives. 

>> Read more trending news 

The initial focus of the new company will be on technology that will provide their employees with high-quality, reasonably priced health care.

“The ballooning costs of health care act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy. Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable. Rather, we share the belief that putting our collective resources behind the country’s best talent can, in time, check the rise in health costs while concurrently enhancing patient satisfaction and outcomes,” said Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett.

“The health care system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “Hard as it might be, reducing health care’s burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families would be worth the effort. Success is going to require talented experts, a beginner’s mind, and a long-term orientation.”

The company is in the initial planning stages.

– The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Panera Bread recalls cream cheese products over listeria fears

Panera Bread has issued a recall of all cream cheese products from its U.S. bakery cafes over fears of listeria contamination.

The chain said the recall was out of "an abundance of caution" after samples of one product from a single production day showed positive for listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Exposure to the bacteria can cause fever and diarrhea, with particularly dangerous symptoms for pregnant women and unborn children. 

>> Read more trending news 

Products recalled have an expiration date on or before April 2, 2018. 

The recall includes all 2 oz. and 8 oz. cream cheese products

The associated facility stopped production, as well. 

According to the CDC, about 1,600 people become infected with listeria each year, killing about 260. 

If you have these products, discard them immediately and contact Panera Bread Customer Service at 1-855-6-PANERA from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. CST Monday through Sunday or visit for a full refund.

Hand-me-down toys could pose serious health risks for kids, study says

Do you accept second-hand toys? Beware, because they could pose serious health risks for children, according to a new report. 

Researchers from the University of Plymouth recently conducted an experiment, published in Environmental Science and Technology, to determine the dangers of passed-down toys. 

>> Toys 'R' Us to close up to 182 stores nationwide; see the full list

To do so, they used X-ray fluorescence technology to examine 200 plastic toys, such as cars, trains, figures and puzzles, which were found in nurseries, thrift shops and homes across England. They were inspecting the items for nine hazardous elements, including antimony, barium, bromine, cadmium, chromium, lead and selenium.

After analyzing the results, they found that 20 toys had traces of all nine elements, which can be chronically toxic if children are exposed to them at low levels. If the kids put the products in their mouths, they can be introduced to the toxins faster.

>> Consumer safety group W.A.T.C.H. unveils 'most dangerous' toys list

"Consumers should be made more aware of the potential risks associated with small, mouthable and brightly coloured old plastic toys or components,” coauthor Andrew Turner told BBC. "Without that, the attractive cost, convenience and recyclability of previously used toys has the potential to create a legacy of chemical contamination for younger children."

Furthermore, a few of the toys didn’t comply with standards set by the European Council's Toy Safety Directive. In fact, red, yellow or black plastics were the worst, because they had too much too much bromine, cadmium or lead.

>> Read more trending news 

While scientists said second-hand toys “are an attractive option,” parents should use with caution. They also believe risky toys should be taken off the market altogether. 

Apple wants to store your health records on iPhone, Apple Watch

Apple is taking a new step to bring your life into one location. The tech giant has updated its Health app so users can upload their health records onto their phones and have them accessible on both phones and Apple Watches.

The Health Records section of the app is currently in beta, or test, form released this week and is part of the iOS 11.3 beta, CNBC reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Apple worked with hospitals to use Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, or FHIR, to transfer electronic records to the devices and to keep them secure.

Apple Health will combine information and update it with the latest medical records. In the past, patients had to download their records and manually upload them into the program, The Washington Post reported.

Many medical systems offer their own web portals, but the new app can combine the information into one source, according to The Washington Post.

The app will show users their allergies, immunizations, lab results and medications in an easy-to-follow, timeline format that is encrypted and must be accessed by a passcode.

A handful of hospitals, including Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cedars-Sinai and Penn Medicine, are allowing their patients to use the app as a portal to their records as part of the program’s introduction.

Hospitals taking part :

  • Johns Hopkins Medicine - Baltimore, Maryland
  • Cedars-Sinai - Los Angeles, California
  • Penn Medicine - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Geisinger Health System - Danville, Pennsylvania
  • UC San Diego Health - San Diego, California
  • UNC Health Care - Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Rush University Medical Center - Chicago, Illinois
  • Dignity Health - Arizona, California and Nevada
  • Ochsner Health System - Jefferson Parish, Louisiana 
  • MedStar Health - Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia
  • OhioHealth - Columbus, Ohio
  • Cerner Healthe Clinic - Kansas City, Missouri

For more information, click here.

Veterinarians warn pet owners of dog flu

As humans battle the flu this year, dog owners are also being told that their pets could become ill with their version of influenza, no matter what time of the year.

As a result some veterinarians are taking steps to educate pet owners about how they can protect their furry friends, WHIO reported

At Dayton South Veterinary Clinic, the first thing pet owners see when they enter the facility is a sign that lists the symptoms of dog flu.

>> Read more trending news 

It then asks owners not to go any further if their pets have any of the symptoms to avoid infecting other animals with the virus. 

Canine influenza is a virus that is highly contagious, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

Like the human version of the flu, there are different strains, according to AVMF.

It can be transmitted via coughing, barking or sneezing and dogs who visit kennels, groomers, animal daycares or shelters are at risk of picking up the virus.

The strain called H3N8 can stay viable for up to 48 hours, with an incubation period of 1 to 5 days, with symptoms usually coming 2 to 3 days after exposure, according to AVMF.

Symptoms include:

  • cough for 10-21 days despite treatment of antibiotics or cough suppressants.
  • Nasal discharge
  • Eye discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Lethargy
  • Fever

In addition, Dr. Daniel Brauer at the clinic insists that his patients make sure their dogs get their annual flu shots.

“There's even been some concerned cases from a doggy daycare center here in Dayton, in the Dayton area,” he said. “People are coming in now that were associated with that daycare center to have their pets vaccinated, because they're worried.” 

Unlike human flu, dog flu is year round, but recently a strand of avian flu spreads to dogs in the U.S., and there’s an uptick in cases nationwide. 

“If the pets are unvaccinated, you definitely don't want to take them to daycare centers, kennels,” Brauer said

“Your pet just needs to sniff it, and they will get it if they’re not vaccinated,” Brauer told WHIO

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