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Published: Monday, March 13, 2017 @ 4:33 PM
Updated: Monday, March 13, 2017 @ 5:23 PM
Former first lady Michelle Obama visited a Washington, D.C., school on International Women's Day, and she also recently did something else to promote a teenage girl's education.
“Black-ish” star and social activist Yara Shahidi, 17, is currently undergoing the process of applying to colleges. Last fall, she told People magazine that she was applying to universities along the East and West coasts, including Harvard University — Obama’s alma mater. It is also where Malia Obama will attend when she finishes her gap year this fall. Vanity Fair reported Sunday that Shahidi has applied to four universities, including the Ivy League school.
Shahidi has a leg up on the competition thanks to the former first lady agreeing to write a letter of recommendation for the young star, who plans to double-major in African-American studies and sociology, W magazine reported.
The actress first met Obama when they shared the stage at Glamour’s “International Day of the Girl” event in October. Since then, Shahidi has met with Obama several times. She said Obama has been a source of encouragement.
“She is very amazing and such a supporter, which is something very surreal to say,” Shahidi said of the former first lady in the interview with W magazine.
Like Malia Obama, Shahidi plans to take a gap year, a choice that many criticized the former first daughter for making.
“What’s interesting is I know so many people that are deferring. It’s more than to just roam around or just sit down and stare at a wall, but it will also give me an opportunity to work,” Shahidi told People of her decision to do a gap year. “I’ve been working more than half of my life, and that’s always been balanced with school and all of the other responsibilities, so to have a year to focus on work and to focus on specified interests will be nice before I pick a career and choose what I want to study and my life path.”
A post shared by Yara (يارا) Shahidi (@yarashahidi) on
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 2:17 PM
ATLANTA — Three days after a false report of a missile attack on Hawaii seemed the perfect time to help the public for a nuclear disaster. But instead, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed the top of Tuesday’s discussion to the flu epidemic.
The CDC did not immediately respond to questions surrounding the topic change for the public health discussion, which had been planned for several weeks.
The CDC says the previous event, titled “Public Health Response to a Nuclear Detonation,” will be held at a future date. The session will focus on local, state and federal preparations in the event of a nuclear attack.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 1:49 PM
PEORIA, Ill. — A teenager who was diagnosed last month with strep throat is recovering after family members said the bacteria behind the illness got into the girl’s bloodstream, causing septic shock.
Jennifer Phillips, the mother of 16-year-old Alexis Patton, told WAND that her daughter started to feel sick on Dec. 21.
“I took her (to the hospital) that next day, Friday, and then by Monday evening, she was intubated on life support,” Phillips said.
She told the news station that doctors determined that the bacteria that causes strep throat, streptococcus, got into Alexis’s bloodstream and settled in her legs. In a GoFundMe account started to help support the family through Alexis’s illness, family friends said Alexis went into septic shock because of the bacteria and had to be put on a ventilator.
“It’s been really hard — the traveling back and forth, the sleepless nights at the hospital over and over. It’s been really rough,” Phillips told WAND last week. “She’s going to have to have a lot of surgeries, a lot of skin grafts and (she will have to) learn how to walk again.”
Family members said on a Facebook page dedicated to updating people on Alexis’s condition that the 16-year-old underwent multiple surgeries. Doctors told her family on Friday that her infection was resolved just over three weeks after she was first hospitalized.
Ok, Update on Alexis, I am sorry I have not really kept u guys in the loop I am sorry, I have been tending to her needs...Posted by Prayers For Alexis on Friday, January 12, 2018
Family members on Sunday posted a video of Alexis as she continued her recovery.
This is my baby girl, I love her sooooo much.Posted by Prayers For Alexis on Sunday, January 14, 2018
Phillips warned parents to take their children in to the doctor’s office as soon as they feel ill in light of her daughter’s illness.
Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 6:09 PM
ATLANTA — The flu in Georgia is spreading quickly, with hospitals reporting an increase of flu-related cases in recent weeks.
More than 300 people have been hospitalized and five people have died from flu-related illnesses since the Georgia Department of Public Health began its 2017-2018 flu surveillance in the first week of October, according to department officials. The five people who died were all elderly and at least three had underlying medical conditions, DPH Director of Communications Nancy Nydam said.
Last year there were nine flu-related deaths, the previous year there were seven and three years ago there were 28, according to Nydam.
The predominant strain of flu circulating in Georgia and around the country is the H3N2 form of influenza A, a Friday press release said. DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Patrick O’Neal advised that it is not too late to get a flu shot.
“Every individual over the age of six months should get a flu vaccine -- not just for their own protection, but to protect others around them who may be more vulnerable to the flu and its complications,” O’Neal said in a statement.
Grady Health System’s emergency department visits are up seven to 10 percent because of recent flu or flu-like illnesses, a spokeswoman said. Visitor restrictions, which the CDC has recommended as a prevention strategy, have not yet been implemented.
Beth Hardy, spokeswoman at Gwinnett Medical Center, said they have an adequate supply of medicine to fight the flu, but they also have suppliers on standby should they need to refill in a hurry.
Hardy said the staff is asking anyone with flu symptoms to not visit the hospital “for the safety of our patients.”
WellStar hospitals are not restricting visitations because of the flu, spokesman Tyler Pearson said.
He said they've seen a 10 percent increase in flu-like symptoms this week compared to last week throughout the hospital system's 11 Georgia facilities.
“We have seen an uptick in patients, specifically pediatric patients,” he said.
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta said there has been an increase in flu cases in children this season. Confirmed child flu cases at CHOA hospitals have more than doubled over the past few weeks from an average of 12 percent to 28 percent.
The increase could possibly be explained by fewer children getting flu vaccinations.
“A number of those children have been admitted to the hospital, where they’ve required hospitalization for assistance with breathing,” Dr. Andi Shane told the station. “Also, one of the other problems that’s associated with flu infections is hydration and difficulty taking in fluids."
CHOA is currently under visitor restrictions to protect patients from the cold and flu season, a spokeswoman said.
Published: Thursday, January 11, 2018 @ 4:13 PM
NEEDHAM, Mass. — A well-known Massachusetts mother of two who thought she had a simple cold is dead after a bout of the flu turned fatal last week.
Jenny Ching, 51, of Needham, went to a hospital when her symptoms grew worse, The Needham Times reported. Doctors there diagnosed the flu.
The flu quickly turned to pneumonia, and she developed a severe bacterial infection. Ching died Friday, two days after being admitted to the hospital, the Times said.
She leaves behind her husband, Matt Ching, and their two young sons.
Ching was a beloved hostess at a Needham Chinese restaurant, and the restaurant’s patrons were among the mourners at her memorial service Wednesday.
“Such an outpouring of support for the Jenny Ching family tonight,” Tom Keating posted to Facebook on Wednesday night. “The lines of people at the Eaton Funeral Home (were) literally around the corner.”
The owner of Ray’s New Garden, the Chinese restaurant where Ching worked for 28 years, also mourned her death on the establishment’s Facebook page.
“Jenny always had a smile on her face and was one of the kindest people to touch so many lives,” the post read. “Please keep Jenny and her family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
A GoFundMe page established to help her family with expenses described Ching as a beautiful woman with a huge heart.
“She would do anything for anyone,” the page read. “If she wasn’t greeting you with a big smile at the New Garden restaurant where she worked, she was stopping you on the street to find out how you’re doing. She was a wonderful mom, and will be truly missed by everyone who knew her.”
Ching’s obituary read that she would be remembered for her smile, her kindness and her devotion to her family.
“Most importantly, Jenny will be remembered for her boundless love for her two sons, David and Dennis, of whom she was so proud,” the obituary read.
Her family asked that, instead of flowers, mourners contribute to an education fund for Ching’s sons.
Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the current flu season is a dangerous one, spreading quickly across the country. Dr. Daniel B. Jernigan told ABC News on Wednesday that the season, which began earlier than usual this year, is reaching near-epidemic levels.
Part of the problem is that this year’s most prevalent flu strain is H3N2, or Influenza A. That strain is particularly severe and harder to contain than other strains of the virus.
“Whenever (H3N2) shows up, it causes lots of disease, lots of hospitalizations, lots of cases and lots of deaths,” Jernigan told ABC News.
This year’s flu strain has been particularly hard on younger patients.
Kyler Baughman, 21, of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, died Dec. 28 of complications of the flu. The bodybuilder succumbed to organ failure brought on by flu-related septic shock, his family said.