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Jan 1, 2015 6:18 PM

Top health headlines of 2014


2014 was filled with health stories making national and world headlines. Here's a look at what we think make up the top five.

The Ebola outbreak has to top the list. The death toll in West Africa rising to 7,905, with 20,206 cases of people infected with the Ebola virus since the start of the outbreak. Ten cases made their way to the U.S.

There's also the Affordable Care Act roll-out disaster. Even though the trouble began in 2013, problems plagued 2014. Glitches with the healthcare.gov website and a lack of access to doctors and local hospitals, especially in New Hampshire where only one health insurance provider offered coverage. On a positive note, 29,000 more Granite Staters got health coverage through the expansion of Medicaid under the ACA.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge exploded, raising both money and awareness of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The social media phenomenon raised $115 million for the ALS association. It drew everyday people, and celebs alike, to take a chilling ice-water bath.

Robin Williams' suicide in August brought attention to the 63 year old actor's history of depression, and his struggle with not only Parkinson's disease, but also a disease many had never heard of - Lewy Lody Dementia. The neurodegenerative disease affects about 1.3 million Americans. The disease is known to cause hallucinations.

Death with dignity came to the forefront again with a video that went viral which told the story of 29-year-old Brittany Maynard's fight with brain cancer and her wish to end her own life. Maynard moved from California to Oregon, a state that allowed her to legally obtain a lethal dose of prescription drugs. Maynard died in November surrounded by her family.


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