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Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Death rates are on the rise for young and middle-aged U.S. adults, with white and black people experiencing higher mortality than Hispanic people, according to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published Tuesday.

Between 2012 and 2017, the rates for white and black people aged 25 to 44 increased 21% each for both groups, while Hispanic people of the same age range saw a 13% rise.

Sally Curtin, a statistician at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics and one of the report’s authors, said an uptick in suicides, homicides and drug overdoses contributed to the higher rates for the younger part of the group.

Suicides in the United States saw a 19.2% increase in young adults aged 25 to 34 from 2012 to 2017, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Homicides in the country increased from 2014 to 2016, though the rates were near historic lows, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Drug overdoses declined by around 5% in 2018, the first drop since 1990, according to the provisional figures from the CDC published earlier this month. There were more than 702,000 deaths from drug overdoses between 1999 and 2017, 10% of which occurred in 2017, according to the agency.

Curtin noted that a rise in deaths due to heart disease was a factor in the higher number for the older portion of the 25-to-44 age group.

On a broader scale, the death rates among the three groups diverged.

Overall death rates for Hispanic adults aged 25 and over showed a general decline from 2000 through 2017, according to the research. The overall rates for black and white adults declined through 2011 and 2012, but remained stable through 2017.

For Hispanic adults between 45 and 64, death rates remained steady from 2011 through 2017 after declining from 2000 through 2011. However, rates for white and black adults aged 45 to 64 increased from 2010 to 2017, with a greater increase for white adults than for black adults.

For adults 65 years old and over, all three groups saw general declines over the period of time.

Curtin noted the importance of looking at specific age groups to better understand the death trends.

“[The overall data] sort of masks what’s going in these other groups,” she said.

The statistics came from death certificates from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

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Joe Pearl Photography(NEW YORK) -- A Tennessee police department that warned residents about the possible after-effects of flushing their drugs down the toilet is now clarifying that meth-gators do not exist "at this time."

On July 13, the Loretto Police Department asked people in possession of drugs -- both illegal and legal prescription drugs -- to refrain from sending the substances down sewage pipes, for fear that it could end up in retention ponds and be ingested by ducks, geese and even gators.

The post was in response to a drug bust in which they found the suspect attempting to flush 24 fluid ounces of liquid meth down the toilet.

"Furthermore, if it made it far enough we could create meth-gators in Shoal Creek and the Tennessee River down in North Alabama," police quipped, referencing a June report that someone was feeding meth to a squirrel. "They’ve had enough methed up animals the past few weeks without our help."

After the initial post was picked up by media outlets around the world, police felt the need to make clear that meth-gators are not "real."

"We’ve had to explain that to our cousins across the pond twice," the post read.

Last week, Loretto Police Chief Bobby Joe Killen told ABC News that there have been no reports of wild animals affected by drugs in the area.

"As far as I know, there's no methed-up gators being sighted anywhere," Killen said. "It's just a joke to let people know they don't need to be flushing their drugs of any kind down the sewer system. They need to dispose of it in a proper manner."

The police department often adds jokes to its public service announcements to help get the point across, Killen said, adding that he approves all of the posts before they are published.

"We take our job seriously, but we like to joke amongst ourselves at the department," he said. "When you work eight, 10-hour shifts in our line of work, there are times when we like to laugh a little bit. Otherwise, you take you problems home."

The police department is using its newfound fame to raise money for a local charity that supports children affected by drug use by creating and selling shirts and other apparel featuring quotes from its funniest social media posts.

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iStock(NEW YORK) -- Pinterest is giving users easier access to tools to help improve their mental health right from the search bar.

Pinterest users who search topics like “work anxiety” or “stress quotes” or anything else mental health-related will now see a prompt that directs them to interactive activities they can do on the app to try to improve their mood.

The activities include everything from self-compassion exercises to a deep breathing tutorial, according to Pinterest, which announced the change Monday in a blog post.

“This experience is one of the new things we’re trying in our ongoing efforts to make Pinterest an inspiring and welcoming place for everyone,” wrote Annie Ta, Pinterest’s pinner product manager. “Our goal is to meet people where they are and connect them with tools they can take with them offline and do in their real lives at any time.”

Pinterest stressed that users' activities are "private and not connected to their account."

"This means we won’t show recommendations or ads based on their use of these resources," Ta wrote. "Pinterest also does not track who uses them. All activity is stored anonymously using a third-party service."

Pinterest is known for providing inspiration on everything from cooking to party ideas and workouts through its simple search tool.

The platform said it was motivated to add mental health support for users because of the "millions of searches" related to emotional health on Pinterest in the last year.

The new mental health tools, which Pinterest calls "emotional well-being activities," will be available to iOS and Android users in the U.S. in the "coming weeks," according to Pinterest.

Pinterest partnered with a team of mental health experts from various organizations to design the activities.

“Infusing a little bit of compassion into online searches humanizes the experience," said Dr. Neha Chaudhary, cofounder of Brainstorm, Stanford’s Lab for Mental Health Innovation, and part of the team working with Pinterest on this project. "It acknowledges that the person sitting there may have real fears, stresses, or worries -- and that they’re not alone.”

“Not everyone who needs a little dose of help comes to see us doctors in clinic. Pinterest, meanwhile, has almost 300 million users. Why not go meet people where they are, and see if they need help?" added Chaudhary, also a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Pinterest also makes clear the new well-being activities are meant to provide extra help but not replace professional care.

If a Pinterest user searches for something self-harm related, for example, the site still directs them in just two taps to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Pinterest, which earlier this year made its search tool more inclusive, said its new tool for greater mental health support is just the beginning.

"We will continue to improve the experience, work with more health experts and make these resources available to even more people around the world," Ta wrote.

If you've had thoughts of suicide or self-harm or know someone who is in crisis, or if you just need to talk to someone, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

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XiXinXing/iStock(HACKENSACK, N.J.) -- The fiancee of a New Jersey principal who died after donating bone marrow to a teenager filed a lawsuit against the hospital on Monday, accusing it of negligence and wrongful death.

Westfield High School Principal Derrick Nelson, 44, died at Hackensack University Medical Center in April after donating bone marrow to an anonymous cancer patient in France. Nelson, a father of one, lapsed into a coma during the procedure and died several weeks later.

His fiancee, Sheronda Braker, accused the hospital and an anesthesiologist there of negligence in her suit on Monday, claiming they failed to deliver Nelson an adequate supply of oxygen.

"At the time of the procedure, Dr. Nelson was known to have sleep apnea and was overweight: two factors which made him a higher risk for undergoing anesthesia," the lawsuit said. "At the time anesthesia was induced, Dr. Nelson only had an oxygen saturation of 91."

"Despite Dr. Nelson having such a low oxygen saturation, defendants proceeded with the administration of anesthesia and also failed to supply additional oxygen to him," it added.

Braker's attorney, David Mazie, said Nelson died while committing a "selfless act" after signing up with the Be the Match bone marrow registry network.

"Dr. Nelson was one of a kind. Many people talk about donating their time to charity and helping others, Dr. Nelson's entire existence was living this way," Mazie said during a press conference Monday. "He learned about a 14-year-old suffering with cancer in France and in a matter of weeks decided he was going to donate bone marrow and help that child he had never met. Tragically, it was that final selfless act that took Dr. Nelson's life."

Nelson served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve for more than 20 years and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy ordered that all flags be flown at half-mast on the day of the funeral.

The hospital did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment on Monday.

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Savushkin/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Nineteen people in Costa Rica have died after consuming alcohol tainted with harmful levels of methanol.

The Costa Rican Ministry of Health has confirmed that out of these fatalities, 14 were men and five were women, all were between the ages of 32 and 72, and occurred across various cities in Costa Rica. The U.S. Department of State confirmed that no U.S. citizen's illness or death has been related to the consumption of adulterated alcohol in Costa Rica. All victims identified so far have been Costa Rican, and did not consume the alcohol at hotels.

The health ministry has confiscated about 30,000 containers of alcohol labeled as Guaro Montano, Guaro Gran Apache, Star Welsh and Aguardiente Molotov, after identifying toxic levels of methanol in them. They have advised the general public to avoid consuming these alcoholic beverages until further investigations are completed and the sources of counterfeit products have been found.

Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado Quesada tweeted out last Friday that he has instructed authorities to continue gathering data in order to identify the sources responsible for these deaths.

While Costa Rica is now making headlines, in recent years there have been numerous outbreaks related to tainted alcohol in Cambodia, Czech Republic and Ecuador, among other countries. Some outbreaks have affected as many as 800 victims with mortality rates greater than 30%, according to the World Health Organization. In India, 154 people died and over 200 were hospitalized this year alone after drinking unregulated moonshine.

Methanol poisoning typically occurs due to the consumption of “adulterated counterfeit or informally produced spirit drinks," according to the World Health Organization.

Here’s what you need to know about tainted alcohol and how to avoid being a victim of methanol poisoning:

Methanol is a widely available chemical that is used in everyday household products.

Methanol, otherwise known as methyl alcohol, has many industrial applications and can be found in household items such as varnishes, antifreeze and windscreen wash. Methanol is also found in things we consume -- trace amounts are found naturally in fruit juices, fermented alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at non-toxic levels.

Low concentrations of naturally present methanol are not harmful, but higher concentrations may be toxic.

Since methanol is a product of fermentation, low levels of methanol are detected in all beer and spirits, but these low concentrations are not toxic when consumed. Harm can be incurred when distillation processes are ill managed, or more commonly, methanol is deliberately added to alcoholic beverages and methanol levels exceed 10-220 mg/L. When ingested, the body metabolizes methanol into formaldehyde and formic acid, which in large amounts are toxic and even fatal. Methanol levels in the blood exceeding approximately 500 mg/L is toxic if left untreated.

The onset of methanol poisoning symptoms do not appear immediately after alcohol consumption.

Methanol poisoning symptoms take a while to surface. The consumed methanol must be metabolized, and toxic levels of formic acid must accumulate in the body. In the first few hours, a person will experience drowsiness, feel unsteady and disinhibited. Eventually these symptoms will escalate into a headache, vomiting, abdominal pain and vertigo. Patients may also hyperventilate or feel out of breath, and even experience convulsions, and permanent visual impairment. Most victims seek medical care after a significant delay, which contributes to the high level of morbidity and mortality.

Misleading bottle design, labeling and cheaper prices often cause consumers to unknowingly purchase and consume tainted beverages.

Unregulated, illegal production and distribution of alcoholic drinks takes place worldwide. Cheaper alcohol is particularly attractive to low-income consumers and people who are alcohol dependent. Tourists visiting foreign bars, shops and vacation spots with high alcohol consumption are also at a higher risk.

The main objective of treatment is to prevent further metabolism of methanol.

If you suspect someone is a victim of methanol poisoning seek immediate medical help. Ethanol or fomepizole administration, intubation, or mechanical ventilation are the primary forms of treatment. These are meant to prevent further metabolism of methanol and rapidly remove methanol from the body.

You can protect yourself from methanol poisoning.

Avoid purchasing or producing illegal alcoholic drinks and be cautious when purchasing alcoholic beverages at informal settings or from vendors who are not licensed to sell alcohol, especially if it is being sold at suspiciously cheap prices. Avoid all unlabeled alcoholic beverages or labels that are poorly printed with broken seals. These are likely counterfeit and potentially toxic.

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wutwhanfoto/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Most people are advised to begin screening for colorectal cancer at age 50, but a new study suggests lowering the age to 45.

The authors of the study, published in the journal Cancer, found that while, overall, rates for colorectal cancer are dropping, the same can’t be said for people under 50. In fact, they found that more than 12 percent of all the new diagnoses are occurring in this age group.

And among these cases, the authors found there was greater lymph node involvement, meaning the cancers are “more aggressive, more difficult to treat, more deadly,” ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton notes.

Watch the video below to learn more about this study:

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Angelo's Pizza(NEW YORK) -- Forget tacking a "Lost Pet" flyer on your neighborhood lamppost. A New Jersey pizzeria has re-imagined how to help reunite lost animals with their owners.

John Sanfratello, owner of Angelo's Pizza in Matawan, New Jersey, came up with the idea to attach missing animal flyers to the top of their pizza delivery boxes to help make a difference in the community.

"Growing up, we used to have missing children on milk cartons," Sanfratello told ABC News' Good Morning America. "Why can't the pizza box be the milk carton of today, but for animals?"

The idea was inspired by a flyer Sanfratello saw for a lost cat. He thought the cat, named Hazel, resembled his family's 12-year-old feline, Max, who once went missing for nearly a week.

The similarities tugged on his heartstrings, prompting Sanfratello to post a call out on Angelo's Pizza's Facebook on July 11 to all pet owners, offering help to try to find their missing pets.

The post was shared more than 1,500 times, prompting hundreds of comments.

"We don't care if owners are customers or not, I'm concerned about how we can help," Sanfratello said. "This is a small gesture on our part, but [pets] are family members after all."

One inquiry came in from a seeing guide dog organization, asking for the pizzeria's help to find a very special four-legged friend. A German Shepherd puppy named Ondrea went missing from The Seeing Eye, a guide dog school located in Morristown, New Jersey, about three and a half weeks ago. Ondrea was about to begin formal training to assume the role as a seeing eye dog for the blind, Peggy Gibbon, the director of canine development, explained to GMA.

"We have a lot of volunteers helping spread the word," Gibbon said about their efforts to find Ondrea. "One of our volunteers lives in the area of Angelo's Pizza and contacted them. … It's a very innovative idea, helping to spread the word to a new group of people."

Since Sanfratello's post last week, three pets have been featured on pizza boxes so far -- a Maltese named Cici, a cat named Opu and Ondrea.

The Sanfratellos are also rallying their large Italian family behind cause. Sanfratello's sister, Rosalia Di Fede, followed suit by sharing a similar Facebook post and plans to reunite lost pets with their owners through her restaurant, La Forchetta in Stuart, Florida. Di Fede told GMA that a kitten, who's been missing since January, was featured in flyers that went out on 80 boxes in one day alone.

Their cousins, who own the Little Cupcake Bakeshop, three bakeries in New York, have agreed to help join the efforts in New York on their to-go packaging as well.

With a pie, a cardboard box, a flyer, tape and a whole lot of love, Angelo's Pizza hopes it will make a difference for members of the community and the fur babies they love.

"We need to find as many pets as we can," Sanfratello said. "And we need to raise awareness, so that hopefully more businesses become involved on a local level."

The Seeing Eye has yet to find Ondrea. If you are in the New Jersey area and recognize Ondrea, please read the following information:

-The Seeing Eye is offering a $5,000 reward.
-Additional $1,000 reward is offered on the following anonymous tip line: 973-300-CRIME.
-The Seeing Eye will take her back with no questions asked.

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iStock(NEW YORK) -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection has stored enough fentanyl in the past year to kill an estimated 794 million people, and now a government watchdog office is warning that the agency is "unnecessarily jeopardizing the lives" of its own agents by not sufficiently protecting them from accidental exposure to the lethal synthetic opioid.

In a report released Friday, the Homeland Security Department’s Inspector General said the amount of fentanyl seized by agents and stored in vaults has skyrocketed -- from 70 pounds in 2015 to 3,500 pounds so far in this budget year. A single 2 milligram dose of fentanyl (there are 453,592 milligrams in a pound) is lethal for most people, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

In some cases, the powerful drug can sit in a vault for years while the government prosecutes its case.

But when officials inspected several of the 62 vaults around the country operated by CBP, they found cases in which agents handling the powerful narcotic didn't have access to naloxone, the drug that reverses the effects of an overdose. In other cases, inspectors found that the naloxone was locked away in boxes and agents couldn't remember the code.

Naloxone is also known by its brand name Narcan.

“With the recent rise in fentanyl seizures, CBP staff now routinely handle fentanyl more than ever," according to the IG report. "However, without easy access to naloxone in case of exposure, CBP is unnecessarily jeopardizing the lives, health, and safety of its staff."

It was unclear if any CBP personnel were harmed by the fentanyl in the agency's custody.

In a response letter, CBP said it concurred with the findings and promised that by the end of September all its vaults storing fentanyl will have Narcan kits and that its agents will be trained in how to use them.

CBP said it has trained more than 4,500 officers in how to recognize the signs of an overdose, deployed 3,300 dual-use Narcan kits in the field and outfitted its storage vaults with safety equipment such as gloves, masks and Tyvek suits.

Fentanyl may be mixed with other drugs and present in powder, tablet or liquid form, according to the IG. It is 80-100 times stronger than morphine and 30-50 times more potent than heroin. The drug can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

"Just touching fentanyl or accidentally inhaling the substance during enforcement activity or field testing the substance can result in absorption through the skin and that is one of the biggest dangers with fentanyl. The onset of adverse health effects, such as disorientation, coughing, sedation, respiratory distress or cardiac arrest is very rapid and profound, usually occurring within minutes of exposure," the DEA said in a 2016 release.

"Canine units are particularly at risk of immediate death from inhaling fentanyl. In August 2015, law enforcement officers in New Jersey doing a narcotics field test on a substance that later turned out to be a mix of heroin, cocaine and fentanyl, were exposed to the mixture and experienced dizziness, shortness of breath and respiratory problems."

The DEA says that handling samples should be done in a well-ventilated area and that gloves should be worn at minimum.

Deaths from fentanyl in the United States climbed more than 1,000 percent from 2011 to 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of fatalities was relatively stable in 2011 and 2012, with roughly 1,600 deaths each of those years, but it began to increase in 2013, reaching just over 1,900 deaths.

Then the death rate doubled each year, skyrocketing to 18,335 overdoses in 2016, the CDC stated.

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iStock(NEW YORK) -- The Environmental Protection Agency is not banning a pesticide linked to developmental issues in children, the agency announced this week despite years of calls to pull it from use, saying further study of its effects is needed.

Chlorpyrifos is a pesticide used mostly on fruit and other produce. California and some other states have moved to ban the chemical from agricultural use because of the health risks, but the federal government has denied longstanding petitions from environmental groups.

This is despite a finding from the EPA under the Obama administration that the pesticide should be completely banned, and a previous court order telling the agency to act on it.

Environmental health experts say there's evidence that exposure to even low levels of chlorpyrifos through conventional produce can lead to developmental and cognitive problems in infants and children and that they haven't found a safe level for children or pregnant women.

Catherine Karr, a pediatric environmental medicine specialist at the University of Washington, said doctors are concerned about what happens when the vulnerable, developing brain is exposed to chemicals like chlorpyrifos. She said studies have documented issues with learning and cognition, inattention or behavioral issues, and even behavior similar to what is seen with children on the autism spectrum.

"These are outcomes that as a pediatrician these are major problems in childhood, issues with learning, issues with ADHD or autism. So here we have evidence that this chemical, this pesticide used in the food supply, and exposures in our population that really have effects on kids," Karr said.

Karr and environmental advocates like the Environmental Working Group say buying organic produce can reduce exposure to pesticides for pregnant women and children, but that higher prices for organic products can be a problem for many households.

Chlorpyrifos currently isn’t allowed for residential use, but can be used on a commercial scale using guidelines intended to prevent exposure and spray from drifting out of the intended area. In late 2016, the EPA found that the level of chlorpyrifos residue on produce was above what the government considered safe and would likely restrict or ban it completely, but in 2017 the Trump administration reversed that decision and said they needed to look into the issue further.

Karr said there's even more concern for populations that work in or live near agriculture, saying there's evidence that low income farm-working communities are exposed to even higher levels in addition to the food they eat.

"This is sort of an environmental justice issue I think because we do see that they [the local residents] have the burden from the food supply that anyone in our country might experience but also living near agricultural production," she said.

The EPA says it denied a petition to ban chlorpyrifos again saying it needs further review. The agency says it will continue to study chlorpyrifos but says it has concerns with some of the outside studies used in EPA's previous risk assessments.

“EPA has determined that their objections must be denied because the data available are not sufficiently valid, complete or reliable to meet petitioners’ burden to present evidence demonstrating that the tolerances are not safe.”

The company that manufactures chlorpyrifos, Corteva Agriscience, said in a statement they support the EPA’s decision and the ongoing review of potential risks from the chemical, adding that they will work with EPA if it determines some uses of the pesticide need to be more limited.

“Completion of Registration Review will provide needed certainty to growers who rely on chlorpyrifos and needed reassurance for the public that labelled uses will not pose unacceptable risk to public health or the environment,” the company said in a statement.

Environmental and health groups critical of what they say is the EPA's inaction say the decision shows the Trump administration is choosing the side of chemical companies over children’s health.

“Every day we go without a ban, children and farmworkers are eating, drinking and breathing a pesticide linked to intellectual and learning disabilities and poisonings,” said the 12 plaintiff organizations challenging EPA’s previous decision to deny a ban. “We will continue to fight until chlorpyrifos is banned and children and farmworkers are safe from this dangerous chemical.”

The EPA says it is expediting its review of the risks associated with chlorpyrifos, which it expects will be complete in 2022. That assessment will be used to determine if the agency will revoke the registration for the pesticide, effectively banning it, or if there should be new restrictions imposed on how it can be used.

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iStockBY: Dr. Laith Alexander
Is repellent just not doing the trick to rid you of mosquitoes this summer? What about a different approach, like infecting the critters with bacteria topped up with a dose of radiation?

It's a serious idea.

Researchers from Sun Yat-Sen University in China and Michigan State University have used the technique to all but eradicate the world’s most invasive mosquito -- the Asian tiger mosquito -- from two Chinese islands, and they have published their findings in the journal Nature.

The Asian tiger mosquito, or the aedes albopictus, causes more than just an itchy bite. It can spread deadly viruses such as dengue fever and Zika. Controlling numbers of the winged bloodsuckers is key.

“Mosquitoes are being transported around the globe and establishing themselves in places they have never been seen before,” said Stephen Dobson, professor of medical entomology at the University of Kentucky. “There is a great need to control mosquito numbers, both in China, and globally. And pathogens such as Zika virus are being seen in the United States.”

The researchers’ first line of attack was to create a colony of male and female mosquitoes that were infected with a strain of the bacteria Wolbachia.

“To create a colony of male and female mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia, you just have to infect one ‘Eve’ female,” Dobson said to ABC News, “because she will pass it on to all her offspring.” The approach was first pioneered at the University of Kentucky.

The infected male offspring then mate with uninfected females in the wild, and the bacterium stops the females’ eggs from hatching. Because female mosquitoes can only mate once, that’s a great way to reduce mosquito numbers -- termed ‘population suppression.’

Unfortunately, if any infected females from the colony were accidentally released into the wild and mated, they could still hatch eggs -- but on the plus side, the offspring are less able to transmit deadly viruses.

So even the worst-case scenario would be a population of ‘safer’ mosquitoes. This is what researchers called ‘population replacement.’

But the researchers wanted to go one step further and make sure that only the infected males they released were able to mate.

That’s where the low-dose radiation comes in: they exposed mosquito babies, which sterilized the females and only slightly impaired males’ ability to mate.

Not everyone agrees that the radiation step is necessary.

“From a practical perspective, irradiation probably isn’t a critical step of the process,” Dobson said. “Instead, automating the removal of female mosquitoes is the way to go, to lower the cost and prevent loss of viability to the males.”

Nevertheless, the team now had their weapon of choice: a population of sterilized females and infected males to release into the wild. The infected males could pass on the bacteria to wild females, stopping hatching eggs, and the irradiated females were sterile.

During the peak breeding seasons of 2016 and 2017, over 160,000 of the infected insects were released per week on two islands in the river city of Guangzhou – which has a big mosquito and dengue fever problem.

In total, around two-hundred million of the winged warriors were set loose. And their campaign was staggeringly successful -- a 94% decline in viable eggs across both years.

When the team counted female mosquito numbers -- because females bite infect people -- the population fell dramatically: 83% down in 2016 and 94% down in 2017.

“This is a powerful species-specific, non-chemical approach, which doesn’t affect other insects unlike pesticides,” Dobson said. Another problem with traditional pesticide-based approaches to controlling mosquito numbers is that many mosquitoes are now resistant -- “mosquitoes are laughing them off now,” Dobson said.

The Wolbachia-based approach could usher in a new era of mosquito control.

Fewer itchy bites: good. Fewer deadly diseases: that’s the great part.

Dr. Laith Alexander is an MB/PhD student at the University of Cambridge, U.K., and a member of the ABC News Medical Unit.

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ktsimage/iStock(NEW YORK) -- One in six people with broken heart syndrome had cancer, according to an international study across nine countries, including the U.S.

The findings were published this week in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Broken heart syndrome, otherwise known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy or Takotsubo syndrome, is a real phenomenon. Emotional or physical stress causes the heart to stop pumping well. Stress could be from anything: money problems, unemployment, divorce, a bad breakup, anger, a bad infection or a recent surgery.

This temporary condition causes the main heart chamber to balloon, so blood does not flow well. Chest tightness or pain and shortness of breath make people with broken heart syndrome feel like they could be having a heart attack.

The reason broken heart syndrome has this effect on the heart is unknown, and in the past, doctors have written about patients with broken heart syndrome and cancer. But no one has ever looked more closely at the relationship -- until now.

The study looked at 1,604 people with broken heart syndrome, 267 of whom had cancer. The most common cancer was breast cancer, followed by cancers of the digestive system.

Although broken heart syndrome is often thought to be related to emotional stress, physical stress is also a cause. People who had both broken heart syndrome and cancer said that they actually had less emotional stress than those without cancer. Their broken heart syndrome came after surgery or some physical trauma.

This means that it could be a two-way relationship; cancer may be a physical stress that causes broken heart.

“They don’t know the direct reason why there seems to be this association between cancer and the broken heart syndrome,” Dr. Nieca Goldberg, cardiologist and medical director of the Joan Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU Langone, said in an interview with ABC News. “But I would say that being hospitalized or treated for cancer is an emotionally stressful event, and they may have been more likely to have procedures, and this could also be a stressful event.”

“Our study also should raise awareness among oncologists and hematologists that broken heart syndrome should be considered in patients undergoing cancer diagnosis or treatment who experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or abnormalities on their electrocardiogram,” Dr. Christian Templin, the study's senior author and director of Interventional Cardiology at Switzerland's University Heart Center Zurich, said in a statement from the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“Basically more research needs to be done," said Goldberg. "If someone comes with a diagnosis of broken heart syndrome, they shouldn’t automatically think they have cancer. They should be evaluated by their physicians. It’s another opportunity to have their normal preventive health care screening done.”

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recep-bg/iStock(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) - Florida public schools will now be required to offer at least five hours of mental health instruction to all students in sixth through 12th grades every year.

The state Board of Education unanimously voted on Wednesday to approve the new requirements, which are part of a mental health initiative spearheaded by Florida first lady Casey DeSantis, the wife of Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“Ron and I have traveled the state and have heard from many families who voice concern about the struggles that adversely affect so many of our children," the first lady said in a statement. "We know that 50 percent of all mental illness cases begin by age 14, so we are being proactive in our commitment to provide our kids with the necessary tools to see them through their successes and challenges. Providing mental health instruction is another important step forward in supporting our families.”

Under the new mandate, public school students in grades six through 12 must take courses every year related to youth mental health awareness and assistance to grades sixth through 12th.

The courses must include instruction that will help them identify the signs and symptoms of mental illness, take them through the process of getting or seeking help for themselves or others, provide awareness of the resources available, and teach them what to do or say to their peers who are struggling with mental health disorders.

“We are going to reinvent school-based mental-health awareness in Florida, and we will be the number one state in the nation in terms of mental health outreach and school safety, all because of the governor’s and First Lady’s remarkable vision,” the state's Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said in a statement released following the vote on Wednesday.

A study published in 2016 by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention found that one in six children in the country, aged 2 to 8, had a diagnosed mental, behavioral or developmental disorder.

Depression and anxiety are the most common diagnoses among adolescents, aged 12 to 17, while behavior problems are most common among children aged 6 to 11, according to a study published in 2018 by The Journal of Pediatrics.

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Chalabala/iStock(NEW YORK) -- With an extreme heat wave set to bake the U.S. from New York City all the way to Kansas City for the next few days, here are some ways to keep your four-legged and furry family members safe and cool as the temperatures outside soar.

The American Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty released guidelines for how to keep your pets safe from overheating.

How to keep pets safe from overheating

- Know the symptoms of overheating in pets. This can include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse, according to the ASPCA. Other symptoms include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit or a body temperature of over 104 degrees.

- As temperatures rise, keep your dogs away from hot asphalt. Sensitive paw pads can burn on hot asphalt, and an animal's body that is very low to the ground can heat up quickly, so keep walks to a minimum.

- Don't over-exercise your animals during a heat wave.

- Trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog completely as the layers of a dog's coat can protect from overheating and sunburn.

- Brush cats more often than usual during excessive heat.

- Provide plenty of water for pets when it gets hot out.

- Never leave your pets alone in parked cars.

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John Shearer/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Between her family, her music career and her clothing brand, country superstar Carrie Underwood definitely keeps busy.

And just months after having her second child, her life is back in full swing.

"It takes a while to feel like yourself again," she told ABC News' Good Morning America.

At the event for her brand CALIA by Carrie Underwood, the singer said she was "frustrated" getting back to the gym and feeling like she wasn’t performing at the level she was at pre-baby No. 2.

"I get frustrated because I have high expectations for myself," she said. "And after having my second child, going into the gym when I got the clear from my doctor, doing a push-up was way harder than it was not too long ago."

Underwood said she's learned the importance of listening to her body to tell her the type of workout she needs, taking it day by day.

It "really depends on the day, you just gotta listen to your body," she said, adding that she welcomes a good run or a great walk that's "nice for your soul."

This approach translates to her inclusive clothing line, which she said strives to help women start out by looking and feeling their best while training (or even just lounging around).

"A lot of people will go workout in order to feel great, but if you feel great in the first place, you’re one step ahead," she said.

Underwood is currently on tour in the U.S. and her two boys are with her on the road.

"I consider myself so lucky that I do have a job that I get to take my children with me, and they get to be around me and I don’t have to choose anything," she said. "Life and work colliding makes for a mess sometimes, but [mine is] good."

"It’s hard," she added, "but it’s worth it."

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Darwin Brandis/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Two former pharmaceutical executives and two pharmacists were charged on Thursday by federal prosecutors in Ohio with conspiring to distribute controlled substances.

Anthony Rattini, the former president of pharmaceutical distributor Miami-Luken and James Barclay, the former compliance officer of Miami-Luken were charged alongside pharmacists Devonna Miller-West and Samuel “Randy” Ballengee, according to court documents.

In one instance, prosecutors claim that Miami-Luken distributed 3.7 million hydrocodone pills to a single pharmacy in Kermit, West Virginia -- a town with a population of about 400 people from 2008 to 2011.

That averages out to 9,250 hydrocodone pills for every resident of the town.

Neither attorneys for the four defendants or the defendants themselves immediately responded to ABC News requests for comment. Three of the four defendants were arrested on Thursday morning, officials said. An arrest warrant for Barclay remained outstanding as of Thursday evening.

It is alleged in court documents that the pharmaceutical executives filled suspicious orders from the two pharmacists in an effort to enrich themselves while the opioid crisis in the Appalachian region was peaking.

Distributor Miami-Luken made over $173 million in profit from 2008 to 2015, according to federal prosecutors, and was a drug wholesaler for 200 companies in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.

Miami-Luken, continued to fill large, suspicious orders even after being warned, prosecutors charge.

“Today’s arrests should be a wake-up call to distributors and pharmacists who are allowing opioid prescription pills to be illegally sold and dispensed from their facilities,” Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Assistant Administrator John Martin said in a release. “These actions will not be tolerated by the DEA, and they will be brought to justice.”

The company closed up shop earlier this year according to local news reports.

In addition to the hydrocodone pills that the former executives allegedly distributed 2.2 million pills over the span of two years to a pharmacy that prosecutors say had been cut off by other wholesalers.

The former executives also allegedly distributed 1.8 million Oxycontin's to a doctor and pharmacy that was believed to be under DEA investigation for over prescribing, those entities are not named.

In one instance, Ballengee, who ran Tug Valley Pharmacy in Williamson, WV, purchased 120,700 hydrocodone pills from Miami-Luken and from 2008-2014 bought 6 million dosage units of hydrocodone.

"It was further part of the conspiracy that Devonna Miller-West and Samuel “Randy” Ballengee purchased excessive amounts of controlled substances from Miami-Luken through their respective pharmacies," prosecutors charged in court filings. "As pharmacists, Devonna Miller-West and Samuel “Randy” Ballengee failed to ensure that controlled substances were distributed properly, for a legitimate medical purpose, ignoring obvious signs of abuse and diversion."

The records go on to contend that Miller-West and Ballengee "distributed controlled substances, namely oxycodone and hydrocodone, Schedule II and III controlled substances, to customers outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose."

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