Friday News Feed
: Ebola Virus Outbreak
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has many people fearing a global health crisis. There have been more than 1,700 suspected and confirmed cases of the Ebola virus and 932 deaths as of Aug. 7.
Ebola is a viral hemorrhagic fever that can have a mortality rate of up to 90 percent. ER physician Dr. Travis Stork explains that the Ebola virus begins with flu-like symptoms, such as a fever and headache. Later, patients can develop vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding, and the organs can shut down, leading to death.
Dr. Brad Spellberg, an infectious disease specialist, says Ebola is not spread as easily as other infections, because it is not airborne. "You actually need prolonged close contact with body fluids," he says.
"We shouldn't be scared right now sitting in this room," Dr. Stork says. But, he added, "The virus itself is very scary."
Donate to Ebola Relief Efforts
You can help combat the Ebola virus outbreak by donating to the following organizations:
Living with Crohn’s Disease
The Doctors visits Dr. Rachael in her office in Gary, Indiana, as she checks in with her patient, Shevonne, who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease two years ago. At the time of her diagnosis, Shevonne had been experiencing symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation. To reduce her discomfort, Dr. Rachael prescribed an intravenous anti-inflammatory medication as well as adjustments to Shevonne’s diet. Shevonne joins The Doctors to discuss how the treatment has helped her condition.
Dr. Rachael explains that Crohn’s is a lifelong inflammatory bowel disease in which the immune system attacks the digestive system, causing swelling, pain and issues passing stool. Although there is no known cause of the disease, experts suspect there may be a genetic component. The condition can present at any age, though most people are diagnosed before the age of 30. There is no known cure for Crohn’s disease and treatment will vary depending on the type and severity of symptoms a patient is experiencing.
To help Shevonne alleviate her symptoms, The Doctors present her with six months of fresh, nutritionally balanced meals delivered to her home, care of The Fresh Diet.
Male Breast Cancer Awareness
Bret, 27, noticed a lump under his right nipple when he was 17 years old, and was told by a doctor at the time that it was probably just a calcium deposit and would go away on its own. Seven years later, the lump remained and Bret began to experience discharge from the nipple. He then received the startling diagnosis of breast cancer.
Confused and embarrassed by the diagnosis, which he had previously associated with only women, Bret initially kept his condition a secret from friends and family. He then underwent a mastectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy, and has been clear of breast cancer since September 2010. He joins The Doctors to spread awareness that this deadly disease can affect anyone.
“I’m spreading the word … Cancer is not prejudiced. It chooses whoever it wants.”
Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon emphasizes the importance of receiving early treatment for breast cancer. “Don’t ever ignore those signs and symptoms — whether you’re a man or a woman,” he says.
• Learn more about breast cancer.
What would you do if you woke up one morning and could no longer enjoy the smell of your morning coffee or the taste of your favorite foods? Liz, 47, has been living with the loss of her senses of smell and taste for almost a year. She visits Dr. Ordon at his office to get to the bottom of her distressing problem.
Broken Glass Skin?
Jordana, 48, says that her face often feels like she’s rolled around in fiberglass. She explains that the rashes on her skin feel prickly and itchy, and sometimes spread throughout her body. In addition to the discomfort on her skin, she says she also experiences fatigue, body pains, headaches and sinus pressure. She has seen several doctors and was previously diagnosed with fibromyalgia, though she was not convinced that that was the underlying cause of her condition.
Jordana contacted The Doctors for help determining whether she might have an unknown allergy.