July 3, 2013

A black-legged tick, which carries Lyme and other diseases.     Photo: David Scharf/Getty

New Tick-Borne Disease Hits Hard

Afflicts up to 100,000 New Yorkers

A disease spread by deer ticks has infected over 100,000 New Yorkers since the state began tracking it. The infection closely resembles Lyme disease, leading to a host of problems with treatment and diagnosis.

"The problem is that the diagnosis is going to be missed, because doctors aren’t going to think about Borrelia miyamotoi because they don’t know about it," Dr. Brian Fallon of Columbia University told CBS News. "And number two, if they test for Lyme disease, it will test negative, and the rash won’t be there."

Patients with the illness develop fever, headache, and flu-like symptoms without the rash typically associated with Lyme disease. No test has yet been developed for the bug, but the same antibiotics used to treat Lyme appear to work—if started early enough.

Read more about ticks and Lyme disease in Rise of the Tick.

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    Photo: Long John Silver

The Unhealthiest Meal in America

Long John Silver's takes home the trophy

The Big Mac, if you once called it King, has been dethroned. In its place now sits Long Jong Silver’s Big Catch platter, newly crowned as the unhealthiest restaurant meal in America.

The dubious honor was handed out Tuesday by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a non-profit group that promotes nutrition and healthy eating. According to their report, the Big Catch clocks in at 1,320 calories, 33 grams of trans fat, and 3,700 milligrams of sodium. That's roughly two weeks-worth of fat. By comparison, the Big Mac could only muster a measly 750 calories.

CSPI are now demanding that Long John Silver’s suspend sales of the meal, as well as the use of unhealthy cooking oils in its recipes. They have also urged the FDA to revoke their approval of hydrogenated cooking oils. CSPI is threatening Long John Silver’s with legal action if they do not comply.

The report also claims that Long John Silver’s nutrition facts understate the actual amount of trans fat and sodium in its menu.

“We stand behind our published food data and will review any requests from CSPI that raise questions about our data,” said Long John spokesman Gary Gerdemann.

 

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    Photo: Fernando Cortes

Alligator Sinks Raft in Florida

Woman escapes unharmed

A Florida kayaker escaped unscathed after an alligator sunk her boat in the Everglades. The woman, who has yet to be identified, was paddling in the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday when the creature charged at the inflatable craft she was paddling, puncturing it and causing it to go down. The uninjured woman was later picked up by an airboat crew.

In a message posted on Facebook, the conservation group Friends of the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge criticized the woman's decision to go out in an inflatable boat.

"Seriously folks … Now do we have to have another sign at Refuge waterfront that says: There are alligators here, Do Not use 'inflatable kayak,'" the group wrote on its page. "What was she thinking? … It's nesting season."

Read about one man's struggle to save his son from an alligator.

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    Photo: @tacklekili/Instagram

Ray Lewis Climbing Kilimanjaro

With Brad Pitt's brother

Guess winning the Super Bowl just wasn't enough to put Ray Lewis on top of the world. The former Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker set off to climb Kilimanjaro today, scaling the mountain alongside Doug Pitt, the younger brother of Brad, as part of a trip to raise money to promote clean water in Africa.

Lewis, who quit football last year after earning his second Super Bowl ring, is climbing the mountain with the TackleKili project, which supports World Serve International and Pros for Africa. Besides Lewis and Pitt, other team members on the trip include former Chicago Bear Tommie Harris, celebrity fitness expert Basheerah Ahmad, and actor Kyle Massey. According to USA Today, the group expects to reach the summit on Sunday.

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Christopher MacKenzie, right, and other members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew from Prescott, Arizona scout a piece of terrain before starting a burnout operation that was meant to help contain the Whitewater-Baldy fire on May 31, 2012.    

Surviving Hotshot Saw Trouble

20th member saw the weather change

The surviving member of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew that was lost in the Yarnell Hill fire in Arizona is said to have radioed a warning message to his team. Brendan McDonough, 21, was working as a lookout when he noticed the weather and wind shifting.

According to USA Today:

When McDonough determined he needed to move, he radioed the supervisor of his hotshot crew. Officials said he radioed that the weather was changing and that the fire was shifting in a new direction. He told his crew members that if they needed anything to contact him. Then, he left with the superintendent of another hotshot crew.

As he hiked out of the area, his former lookout position was overrun with flames.

McDonough has asked for privacy in the wake of the accident and has declined to speak to the press.

For more on the Yarnell Hill fire, read Examining the Wildfire Deaths in Arizona.

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