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CNN 10

Wildfires in Chile; Outbreak of Ebola in West Africa; New Device for Hockey Players to Help Recognize Concussions

Aired April 14, 2014 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for taking ten minutes on this Monday April 14th for CNN STUDENT NEWS. I`m Carl Azuz. Here to get you up to speed on current events. That includes what`s happening in Chile. We`ve reported on earthquakes that have struck near the long South American country this year. Now, part of Chile is dealing with wildfires. Officials don`t know yet what caused this. But the wind has made it worth. The fires have burnt about 200,000 acres in the Pacific Coast city of Valparaiso. At least 16 people have died, according to police, and hundreds of homes have been lost. Chile`s president has declared a state of emergency and that allows members of the armed forces to get involved in helping firefighters and evacuating people. 10,000 Chileans have had to leave their homes.

Doctors in West Africa have been scrambling to contain the deadly outbreak of Ebola. The virus surfaced earlier this year in Guinea and it has spread to at least one neighboring country. Health officials say so far there are at least 180 suspected or confirmed cased of the hemorrhagic fever, and more than 100 people have died. So you can see how lethal it is.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: They think Ebola comes from forested areas like these ones that you are looking at now. Pathogens, leaving inside of animals that somehow get into humans. And it`s so scary because Ebola is a swift, efficient and very bloody killer. In fact, in some cases nine out of ten people who become infected actually die from this.

It can take anywhere between two and 21 days for someone to start to get sick after they`ve been exposed. That`s called the incubation period. And during that time, they can travel. They can travel around the country or even between countries. That`s the concern. But here`s a little bit of good news. And that is that you are really not contagious. You are not going to spread the virus to other people until you are sick yourself. That`s when the virus is in your bodily fluids, and you`re going to actually be able to spread it. When you are sick, you are down. You`re unlikely to be moving around. You`re unlikely to be getting on a plane. But even after you`ve recovered, in some cases you can still transmit the disease for a period of time after that for up to six weeks. The symptoms here can often start off looking like the flu. You get a headache, people have fever. They start to feel unwell, tired. But after that, it gets unpretty. People actually start to develop significant diarrhea, then they start to vomit, but what really is a hallmark of this, is that it becomes bloody. The body starts to be unable to clot, and as a result you see bleeding on the outside, but it`s the bleeding on the inside that`s the most concerning and it can often cause death.

It`s a difficult thing to test for and that`s part of the problem. IN the beginning of outbreaks like this, nobody knows what`s happening and that`s when people become careless, that`s when health care workers start to get infected, and that`s how something like this starts to spread.


AZUZ: All right. There are a number of precautions that health care officials take, when they are in the areas of disease outbreaks. You might have seen the full body suits worn by them or workers at the CDC. Doctor Gupta is actually in Guinea right now, he shows us how some preparation is in the bag.


GUPTA: What you`re looking at here is a go-bag. It`s what we journalists carry whenever we cover a risky situation, whether it be a combat zone or a natural disaster or an infectious disease outbreak. One of the mandatory things we are always going to have, some sort of first aid kit. We carry that wherever we go. But after that it becomes a little bit more specific. For example, here in Guinea, one of the concerns is malaria, typhoid fever. So we make sure, for example, we have a Deet, simple Deet, we cover ourselves with that. And also, medications for malaria which we started taking a few days before we cover the story. Also, we may find ourselves all set in outside, staying in a tent, so we have something like a mosquito net to protect us that way.

When it comes to Ebola, there are some specific concerns. We know it`s not airborne, but it does spread through bodily fluids, and we know the person who is spreading it is typically very sick before they become contagious. So, the vicinity of people who are already sick we take special precautions besides a mask, for example, we have gloves, to cover up our hands. We have a suit like this to cover up all of our skin, even goggles to protect our eyes. And we`ll wash our hands before and after. These are simple steps, but they can make a huge difference. The key is to do your homework, to make sure you are not taking any unnecessary chances and to make sure you have a go-bag like this to stay prepared.


AZUZ: If you are wondering what other challenges journalists might face when they are in places where diseases and disaster strike, you are already thinking in terms of media literacy. Teachers, we provide a free media literacy question of the day every day. It`s on the transcript page at

There are some jaguars roaming the Pacific Northwest specifically they are in the state of Oregon, and they are watching CNN STUDENT NEWS from Stoller Middle School in the Oregonian city of Portland. From there we are swooping down to Gilbert, Arizona. It`s where we found some hawks. They are on the wing at Highland High School. And if you`ve ever wondered what the difference is between a hawk and a warhawk, well one is that the warhawks are in Georgia. They are soaring over Veterans High School in Kathleen.

Two religious ceremonies to tell you about. For Christians, yesterday was Palm Sunday, also known as Passions Sunday. It`s the first day of the Holy Week that precedes Easter. The reason it`s called Palm Sunday is because it commemorates when Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem and the Bible says that crowds took branches of palm trees as they went out to celebrate his arrival.

And today is the beginning of Passover. It`s a Jewish holiday that lasts seven or eight days. Passover celebrates the time when God liberated the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. According to religious scriptures it`s called Passover because on the night when God struck the Egyptians he passed over the homes of the Israelites allowing them to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See, if you can I.D. me. I`m a sport nicknamed the fastest game on Earth. I`m played out over three periods of 20 minutes each. My championship cup was donated by Lord Frederick Arthur Stanley. I`m ice hockey, and I`ve been played internationally since the 1800s. Ice hockey has also been called the most violent sport. Sure, there is the routine fighting you know about in the NHL, but you don`t need a fight to take a hit in hockey. From checking the collisions to just hitting the boards, it`s no wonder why those who are concerned about concussions aren`t just thinking of football. What can be done to help players keep their heads safely in the game?


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the rough world of ice hockey, a sport where concussions have become all too common, players tough out too often.

JUSTIN STANLICK, HIGH SCHOOOL HOCKEY TEACHER: There`s definitely in the stigma. Fight through it, work through it.

FIELD: But could new technology be a game changer? This is one of several products to hit the market that claims to indicate and keep track of the impact and number of blows to a player`s head.

Researchers are testing a range of this products, questioning how effective they are.

PAUL DAVIS, REEBOK, CHECKLIGHT PROGRAM DIRECTOR: You wear it on your head, and it`s basically feeding information to electronic module.

FIELD (on camera): You are measuring acceleration in rotation.

DAVIS: We are looking for rapid changes in both of those features.

FIELD (voice over): Concussions can happen when the brain moves back and forth or rotates inside the skull because of an impact. According to a study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, concussions account for 22 percent of injuries in boys` high school hockey. But players who take a hit aren`t always willing to sit out and to check light.

DAVIS: It`s a flexible electronic device, worn in your hat for impact indication.

FIELD: A Reebok product equipped with technology that they say could help players check the upright and get potential injuries checked out.

The skull cap with a sensor placed inside it, is worn under a helmet.

(on camera): It`s really up to other players to notice what`s going on back there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s correct.

FIELD (voice over): What`s visible outside the helmet is a small LED panel that lights up when a collision occurs. Yellow from moderate blow, red for a more significant impact. Researchers testing this and similar products say it is unclear what force causes products to trigger after an impact or worse - not to trigger. And that more testing needs to be done to determine just how accurate this devices are. But Reebok says the lights are triggered based on an algorithm that calculates the severity of the impact.

(on camera): Some people are going to wonder if check light can be abused if you are going to see, you know, teenage boys thinking it`s a good idea to light each other up. Are you seeing that?

STANLICK: It kind of goes away after the first, you know, first little bit of getting used to having the technology they stop that .

FIELD (voice over): If check light or similar technologies are proven to be effective, the hope is that in a rough game tough players won`t be left with permanent damage.


AZUZ: 78-years old and she`d never set foot on a rollercoaster. Now, think back. Do you remember your first ride? Were you this excited or just plain terrified? And after things really got going, did you find that this is hysterically funny?




AZUZ: Thanks to YouTube. We can all watch Ria Van den Brand, the grandmother from the Netherlands rock-n`-rolling her maiden coaster voyage. Didn`t scream a bit. She was too busy laughing.

It was for an ad campaign so the ride didn`t coast her a penny. It also didn`t seem to roll her nerves or throw her for a loop. Maybe all the twists and turns just felt funny. She clearly thought the whole thing was a gasp, and at the end, we know who got the last laugh. This train is leaving the station. I hope your Monday goes well.