<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Health News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/health http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com en-us Thu, 02 Jul 2015 18:12:02 -0500 Thu, 02 Jul 2015 18:12:02 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Baby Floats & Scuba Masks Recalled]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:04:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mask-and-baby-otteroo1.jpg

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has two recalls Wednesday that involved summer products.

Otteroo Baby Floats

A drowning risk has prompted the recall of about 3,000 baby floats sold online.

The recall involves round-ring, inflatable Otteroo baby floats.

Otteroo has received 54 reports of broken seams on the product, which can cause the float to leak air, deflate, and pose a drowning risk.

No injuries have been reported.

The baby floats were sold online at Otteroo.com, Amazon.com, and Zulily.com last year from January through July (January 2014 through July 2014).

Consumers should stop using the floats and contact Otteroo to receive a free replacement.

An injury hazard has prompted the recall of some scuba diving masks.

Technosport Ombersub Scuba Mask

Technosport is recalling about 2,600 Omersub Zero Cube scuba diving masks because the lens can shatter during normal use.

Non-conforming glass was used for the lens.

Twelve incidents have been reported to the firm in which the lens shattered.

No injuries have been reported.

The masks were sold at Technosport and local diving equipment retailers, as well as online at Amazon.com and OmerDiving.com from April 2012 through last month (June).

Consumer should stop using the mask and contact Technosport for a replacement. 

More: Otteroo Baby Floats | Technosport Ombersub Scuba Mask

Photo Credit: CPSC]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Health Dept. Investigates Rise in Cyclosporiasis Cases]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:19:35 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cyclospora-produce.jpg

The number of illnesses from the parasite cyclospora is rising more rapidly, prompting the Texas Department of State Health Services to look for a common source.

Department officials said they received reports of 90 cases of cyclosporiasis in Texas this year, with 78 coming in the last two weeks. Five of the reported cases came in Dallas County. Collin County (3), Tarrant County (2) and Denton County (1) also reported cases.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by consuming food or water contaminated with the cyclospora parasite. Symptoms include diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, nausea and a low fever.

Health department officials recommend washing fresh produce; Cooking food kills the parasite.

Texas had 200 reported cases in 2014, some of which were associated with cilantro from the Puebla region in Mexico.

Online: Texas Department of State Health Services

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[First 2015 North Texas West Nile Case Confirmed]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:55:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/west_nile_virus_water1.jpg

The Texas Department of State Health confirmed the first North Texas human case of West Nile virus in Kaufman County overnight.

Officials said a man contracted West Nile fever June 18 after being bitten by several mosquitoes in the Travis Ranch subdivision, a community outside of Forney's city limits near Lake Ray Hubbard in Kaufman County.

"You can see an increase in all the different bugs, especially the mosquitoes," said neighbor Maria Herron.

The man's wife tells NBCDFW he is middle-aged, healthy and was treated for flu-like symptoms.

Because the neighborhood is outside Forney's city limits and it's in Kaufman County, which does not spray for mosquitoes, it falls on the home owners association to spray.

The HOA took action two weeks ago, it contracted with the same company that sprays the City of Forney and is spraying on the city's schedule.

The City of Forney will spray for mosquitoes between 8:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on the following schedule through September:

Monday, July 6, 2015, North of US Hwy 80
Tuesday, July 7, 2015, South of US Hwy 80
Wednesday July 8, 2015 Parks, Off Road & Creeks
Sunday July 19, 2015 Parks, Off Road & Creeks
Monday July 20, 2015 North of Hwy 80
Tuesday July 21, 2015 South of Hwy 80

Wednesday August 5, 2015 Parks, Off Road & Creeks
Sunday August 16, 2015 Parks, Off Road & Creeks
Monday August 17, 2015 North of Hwy 80
Tuesday August 18, 2015 South of Hwy 80

Wednesday September 2, 2014 Parks, Off Road & Creeks
Sunday September 20, 2015 Parks, Off Road & Creeks
Monday September 21, 2015 North of Hwy 80
Tuesday September 22, 2015 South of Hwy 80

Kaufman County officials said despite a West Nile fever case, residents shouldn't be alarmed but should take extra precautions like spraying their own yard and wearing insect repellent.

"This is something that happens every year in our county at this time and one case in our county is not something that rises to a level of serious concern," said Kaufman County Emergency Manager Steve Howie.

A Harris County resident contracted the more serious neuroinvasive form of the disease in May to become the first Texas case.

There were 379 human cases of West Nile illness in Texas last year, including six deaths.

Online: West Nile virus in Texas | TDSHS - West Nile Virus in Texas

<![CDATA[Two Makes of Golf Carts Recalled]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 15:47:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/golf-carts-recalled-063015.jpg

The makers of two golf carts are recalling their products according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

E-Z-GO Recall

E-Z-GO is recalling some 8,200 gas-powered golf, shuttle and utility vehicles because the gas tank can leak, posing a fire hazard.

The recall involves E-Z-GO gas-powered TXT Fleet golf cars, E-Z-GO Freedom TXT, TXT2+2 and Valor golf cars, E-Z-GO Express, E-Z-GO Terrain and Cushman Shuttle vehicles with bench seats for the driver and passengers. The E-Z-GO Terrain and the Cushman Shuttle have a cargo bed on the back.

[[309910311, C]]

The recalled vehicles were sold at E-Z-GO and Cushman dealers nationwide from January 2015 through May 2015 for between $5,300 and $12,100. They have date codes ranging from G2015 through L0515. Date codes are printed on a plate or label inside the cab below the driver's seat.

No injuries have been reported.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact E-Z-GO or an authorized dealer for a free repair. E-Z-GO and E-Z-GO dealers are contacting known owners.

[[304423901, C]]

Consumers can call E-Z-GO toll-free at (844) 725-7212 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.EZgo.com or www.Cushman.com for more information.

Yamaha Recall

Yamaha is recalling about 2,000 golf cars and personal transportation vehicles because the front wheel hubs on the golf cars and PTVs can crack causing the front wheels to detach, posing a crash hazard that could result in injury or death to the user or bystander.

This recall involves five 2015 and one 2016 model-year golf cars and PTVs. Recalled models include 2015 "The DRIVE PTV", "The DRIVE EFI", "Adventurer One", "The DRIVE", "The DRIVE Electric" and 2016 "The DRIVE A.C." The Yamaha logo is printed on the front of the vehicle. The vehicles were sold in various colors including blue, green, red, white, tan and silver. The serial number can be found on a label under the driver’s seat on the left or right side.

[[309647061, C]]

Yamaha Golf Car dealers nationwide sold the affected models from April 2015 through June 2015 for between $5,900 and $7,500.

Model Names           Model Numbers           Serial Numbers

The DRIVE PTV         YDRAX5 PTV                JC0-606306 through 606698

The DRIVE EFI          YDRAX5F                      JC2-209964 through 210300

Adventurer One          YTF1AX5F                     JW6-700581 through 700600

The DRIVE                  YDRAX5                         JW8-513800 through 514310

The DRIVE Electric    YDREX6 AC                  JW9-515401 through 516300

2016 Model

The DRIVE A.C.           YDREX6 AC                  JC3-001701 through 001900

Consumers should immediately stop using these recalled Golf Cars and PTVs and contact their local Yamaha Golf Car dealer to schedule a free repair. Yamaha is also contacting all registered owners directly.

Consumers can contact Yamaha at (800) 962-7926 anytime or online at YamahaMotorSports.com for more information.

Photo Credit: CPSC.gov]]>
<![CDATA[Sugary Drinks May Kill 184,000 People Each Year: Study]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:11:00 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/soda+fountain.jpg

Consumption of soda, energy beverages, and other sugary drinks may be linked to 184,000 adult deaths each year worldwide, according to research published Tuesday in the journal Circulation.

“Many countries in the world have a significant number of deaths occurring from a single dietary factor, sugar-sweetened beverages," said study coauthor Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University. "It should be a global priority to substantially reduce or eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages from the diet."

The researchers looked at 62 dietary surveys conducted across 51 countries, along with data on national availability of sugar in 187 countries as well as other information. The surveys included data collected from 611,971 individuals between 1980 and 2010.

In the report, sugar sweetened beverages were defined as any sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports and energy drinks, sweetened iced teas, or homemade sugary drinks such as frescas, that contained at least 50 kcal per 8oz serving. Drinks that were 100 percent fruit juice was excluded.

According to the report, the researchers estimated that in 2010 sugary drinks may have been responsible for 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 45,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease, and 6, 450 deaths from cancer.

Researchers found the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages varied widely between populations. In Japan, an estimated percentage of deaths linked to such beverages was less than 1 percent in people over 65 years old, but it stood at 30 percent in Mexican adults younger than 45.

Mexico had the highest death rate attributable to sugar-sweetened beverages with an estimated 405 deaths per million adults (24,000 total deaths) and the U.S. ranked second with an estimated 125 deaths per million adults (25,000 total deaths).

In a statement, the American Beverage Association, a trade group representing soft drink manufacturers, said “This study does not show that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages causes chronic diseases and the authors themselves acknowledge that they are at best estimating effects of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption."

“America’s beverage companies are doing their part to offer consumers the fact-based information and the beverage options they need to make the right choices for themselves and their families," the statement added.

Liz Ruder, a professor of nutrition and dietetics at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, told NBC News it's not certain it was the sugar-sweetened beverages that caused the deaths since the study is not a randomized controlled trial.
"But because the authors have employed sophisticated statistical techniques and they have rich food consumption data I believe that these data are likely to be accurate," Ruder said. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The DMN's Dr. Seema Yasmin: Sugary Drinks]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 15:23:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Sugary+Drinks+063015.jpg The Dallas Morning News' health expert Dr. Seema Yasmin discusses a new study on sugary drinks and their effect on heart disease and diabetes deaths.]]> <![CDATA[FEMA Provides Help for North Texas Communities]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 12:40:35 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/TLMD-inundaciones-ayuda-.jpg

Families in Dallas County impacted by floods from May can now get assistance from FEMA.

FEMA workers will be at the Carver Center on 232 Carver Street in Garland Friday and Saturday.

FEMA’s disaster recovery center will be open on Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday.

May thunderstorms brought record flooding and lasting damage to communities across North Texas. There were more than 100 homes flooded in Garland alone.

FEMA officials say the center will provide information about disaster assistance programs. Applicants will also be able to check the status of applications already processed in the system.

Representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Red Cross will be on hand to provide assistance.

If you do decided to come to the center if will be important for you to bring a few things with you – identification and proof of residence, like a utility bill or driver's license.

"We always want to have some sort of identification and proof of residence at the impacted address during the incident period,” said FEMA spokesperson Rett Campbell, “And again like to underscore that this recovery center is to help the people from the May flood.”

Campbell says they will not be assisting anyone impacted by Tropical Storm Bill.

He says they are planning on having more disaster recovery centers in the area soon.

<![CDATA[Toddler Suffers 2nd Degree Burns at Klyde Warren Park]]> Thu, 25 Jun 2015 22:39:58 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/klyde+warren+feet+burned.JPG

Areas designed for children to play this summer may not always be as safe as you think. One North Texas mother says her young child suffered serious burns Thursday at a popular downtown Dallas park.

The burns were so bad they required extensive medical treatment.

Nicholas and Ferrell Fellows contacted NBC 5 after they said their son was injured near the splashpad at Klyde Warren Park.

They said 16-month-old Kingson Fellows stepped barefoot, but for just a few seconds, on the soft surface about five feet from the fountains of the splash pad located in the children's area of the park. That's when Nicholas Fellows said Kingson began to frantically jump.

He said he immediately checked the bottom of his son's feet and saw blisters beginning to form.
Ferrell Fellows said she received a phone call from her husband while at work.

"My husband called me. I heard my son in the background screaming, and I've never heard him scream like that before," she said.

Nicholas Fellows rushed his son to a pediatrician's office, where he said he was told Kingson suffered second-degree burns.

Thick bandages now cover Kingson's feet, and he will be unable to walk for a week.

"We do everything we can to protect our child. If we had known the risk, we never would have put our son in danger. And that's the park's responsibility; to let parents know that there's danger so they can protect their children," said Ferrell Fellows.

NBC 5's Scott Gordon reported a similar story in 2013. Shayna Dyson said her barefooted daughter, Avery, stepped onto the path at Klyde Warren Park and was burned within seconds.

In a statement to NBC 5, a Klyde Warren Park spokesperson said Thursday:

"We take the safety of our patrons very seriously at Klyde Warren Park. We strive every day to ensure that each and every one of our patrons has an enjoyable experience. We're sorry to hear about the guest experience today. We are working to increase awareness that surfaces in the park may become hot in our Texas summers. We advise our patrons to be cautious and use their best judgment as they play and enjoy everything the park has to offer."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Ramps, Parks at Many Area Lakes to Remain Closed for Summer]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:28:27 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/chopper_lake_lewisville_1200x675_453524547602.jpg

Flooding has forced the closure of many parks and boat ramps at North Texas lakes for the rest of the summer, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a statement.

The move came amid concerns over safety hazards such as electrical boxes and outlets that have been submerged for weeks. Toilets, roads, and other facilities have also been severely damaged by high water, officials said.

High lake levels and the waves generated from boat traffic also posed another concern for lake shore properties. As a result, boat ramps and facilities operated by the Corps will be closed at the following lakes:

  • Bardwell (completely closed due to flooding)
  • Benbrook (Longhorn Ramp closed, all other parks closed)
  • Grapevine (Murrell Park closed, all ramps closed)
  • Joe Pool (Lynn Creek and Britton Parks closed, dam closed, parts of Loyd Park and Cedar Hill State Park closed)
  • Lavon (all boat ramps closed, several parks closed)
  • Lewisville (lake open to boat traffic, several parks and boat ramps closed)
  • Navarro Mills (several parks closed)
  • Ray Roberts (all parks closed)
  • Somerville (several parks closed)
  • Whitney (all parks closed)

Check here for the full facility closure report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Boat ramps or marinas that are privately or municipally owned may remain open. For example, at Grapevine Lake, Twin Coves Marina, Silver Lake Marina and Scott's Landing Marina are all open with shuttles running from Silver Lake to the other two locations for marina members. 

Boaters are encouraged to check with area lakes to see where ramps not managed by the Corps of Engineers may be open to the public.

"We're hoping that as the water recedes and we're able to make repairs, we'll at least be able to salvage the end of the recreation season, so possibly have some of the areas open by Labor Day," said James Murphy, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Some campgrounds are open, but most facilities will not be available for the summer season.

Campgrounds and some day use areas are open, but not boat docks.

Most campgrounds and ramps are open, but docks and trails are still closed.

Hords Creek
No swimming is allowed on beaches. One of two parks is under construction and will not be available.

Joe Pool
Check with local park and marina operators.

Limited campground and day use is available until August, but some ramps are open.

O.C. Fisher
No boat ramps are open, but all other facilities are available.

Most facilities will not be available, but some will reopen in August. Water in this lake is receding very slowly, officials said.

Sam Rayburn
Campgrounds remain heavily damaged by high water.

Limited availability until Labor Day

Most facilities are open, but beaches and some boat ramps will not be available.

Corps-maintained facilities at Aquilla Lake, Canyon Lake, Cooper/Jim Chapman Lake, Lake O' the Pines, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Town Bluff/B.A. Steinhagen Lake are open.

<![CDATA[Dallas Co. Steps Up Efforts Against Chikungunya]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 22:42:04 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/248*120/tlmd_chikungunya620.jpg

Dallas County is stepping up its efforts to look for signs of yet another threat transmitted by mosquitoes.

Chikungunya virus causes high fever and severe joint pain.

"It kind of puts you like in a chicken [posture] almost, where you basically have these types of arthritic pains in your body," said Zachary Thompson, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services.

More than a dozen special mosquito traps are now set up around Dallas County, tracking the mosquitoes that can only transmit the virus to people after biting someone already infected with it.

They are different than those that can carry the West Nile virus and appear black with white bands.

"These are para-domestic mosquitoes, which means they live in close association to man," said Patrick Prather, with Municipal Mosquito. "They breed in our trash."

Now, trash and other debris carried downstream by recent flooding is providing the perfect breeding grounds for the mosquitoes, experts say.

"These are creating problems for us in these neighborhoods all over North Texas right now," said Prather.

So far, 12 cases of chikungunya have been reported in Dallas County, but all of the people became infected in other countries.

In the United States, only Florida so far has seen any locally transmitted cases.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Mosquito Tests Positive for West Nile in Glenn Heights]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 17:40:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/208*120/bugs_west_nile.jpg

Dallas County Health and Human Services says a mosquito trapped in Glenn Heights has tested positive for West Nile virus.

The sample was collected in the 75154 zip code.

Weather permitting, DCHHS will conduct ground spraying efforts in the affected area between Thursday, June 25 and Sunday June 28, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. the next day.

Glenn Heights residents should remain inside during the time sprayers are in the area, DCCHS said.

Spraying will not be conducted in the event of wind speeds in excess of 10 mph or inclement weather.


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Mosquito Tests Positive for West Nile Near Mansfield]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 16:52:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Mosquito-Testing.jpg

A mosquito trapped in unincorporated Tarrant County has tested positive for West Nile virus, county officials say Wednesday.

The sample was collected in the area around Grimsley Gibson Road between Rendon and Mansfield.

Weather permitting, Tarrant County Public Health will begin ground spraying efforts in the affected area Friday at 9 p.m. They plan to continue treating the area until 5 a.m. Saturday morning.

To date, 1,572 mosquito samples have been tested at TCPH’s North Texas Regional Laboratory since seasonal surveillance began on April 1. A total of eight samples have tested positive – Fort Worth (4), Richland Hills (1) and Unincorporated Tarrant County (3), TCPH said in a news release Wednesday.

"TCPH would like to remind residents of the importance of taking personal protective measures to safeguard against West Nile virus. Residents should routinely dump standing water on their property, use repellent, and dress for dusk to dawn," officials said in a news release.


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Man Wins $500K After Phone Records Doctors Mocking Him]]> Thu, 25 Jun 2015 05:30:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-117009763.jpg

A Vienna, Virginia, man was awarded $500,000 after he unintentionally recorded his doctors mocking and insulting him while he was under anesthesia.

The plaintiff, who chose to remain anonymous, sued anesthesiologist Dr. Tiffany Ingham and three other medical professionals, who were released from the case. Ingham, 42, and her practice were ordered by a Reston, Virginia, jury to pay the plaintiff, The Washington Post reported.

The plaintiff used his phone to record post-procedure advice and aftercare instructions from his doctors during the April 2013 colonoscopy procedure.

While checking his phone on his way home, the plaintiff found he had recorded the entire examination and heard his doctors insulting him when he was under anesthesia.

Ingham was recorded mocking the amount of medicine needed to anesthetize the plaintiff.

"After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op, I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit," Ingham is heard saying.

Ingham and others mocked the plaintiff for taking many medications. One of the plaintiff’s medications, Gabapentin, was prescribed to treat an irritation in his genital area. A medical assistant touched the man's genitals and commented she might have contracted a sexually transmitted infection.

Ingham is recorded saying the medical assistant might get "some syphilis on your arm or something," then added, "It's probably tuberculosis in the penis, so you’ll be all right."

The genital area is typically not involved in a colonoscopy.

Ingham signed a post-operative note indicating the plaintiff had hemorrhoids. According to the lawsuit, Ingham stated she planned to note hemorrhoids even though she found none.

The plaintiff claimed he experienced mental anguish, lack of focus and anxiety after the incident. He said has had to see other healthcare professionals and be placed on anti-anxiety medications.

The plaintiff sued for defamation, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, violation of Virginia health codes and medical malpractice. The Washington Post reported the jury awarded the man $100,000 for defamation and $200,000 for medical malpractice, as well as the $200,000 in punitive damages.

Ingham had worked out of the Aisthesis anesthesia practice. An Aisthesis employee told The Associated Press Ingham no longer works there.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cyclospora Outbreak: What to Know]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 13:31:37 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tlmd_cyclospora_cilantro.jpg

Texas residents are once again being urged to use caution in the kitchen following an outbreak of cyclospora.

Currently, Texas has 54 reported cases, with Travis County having the most cases, at 23, health officials said Wednesday.


Cyclospora is a single-celled, microscopic parasite that causes an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis. The parasite is spread by people ingesting food or water that has been contaminated with feces.

Cyclosporiasis outbreaks are commonly linked with fresh produce, such as salad mixes and imported berries. The source of the parasite in the most recent outbreak remains unknown, but last August, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Texas authorities determined that suppliers in Puebla, Mexico were the source of infected cilantro served at four Texas restaurants.

From June to August 2013, a total of 631 cases of cyclosporiasis were reported in 25 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Texas there were 270 cases reported, but the cause of that outbreak was never determined.


According to the CDC, a cyclosporiasis infection can last from a few days to more than a month. Symptoms may go away, only to return later, and it is common to feel very tired. Cyclospora infects the small intestine and usually causes diarrhea, with frequent bowel movements.

Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, bloating, increased gas, and nausea. Other symptoms include vomiting, body aches, headache, fever and other flu-like symptoms. Some people who are infected with cyclospora do not have any symptoms, however.


Dr. Edward Dominguez at Methodist Medical Center in Dallas said it's the common question he gets.

"There is no person-to-person transmission. ... It has to go through a host, usually contaminated food," he said.

Infected people do not shed contagious forms of the parasite. The parasite is thought to require days to weeks in favorable environmental conditions to become infective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Anyone who suspects he or she is infected with cyclospora should see a health care provider immediately. The recommended treatment for an infection is a combination of two antibiotics, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, also known as Bactrim, Septra or Cotrim.

Unfortunately, there is no highly effective alternative for those allergic to sulfa drugs. People who have diarrhea should also rest and drink plenty of fluids.

Food safety precautions are the best way to avoid contact with the disease, but those who have previously been infected with cyclospora can become infected again.

NBC 5's Brian Roth and Ray Villeda contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Nearly 10K Cases of Ranch Salad Dressing Recalled]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 10:41:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/pinnacle-foods-recall.jpg

A New Jersey-based company is voluntarily recalling nearly 10,000 cases of Wish-Bone Ranch salad dressing sold in 24-ounce bottles after a customer alerted representatives the product was accidentally mixed with Wish-Bone Blue Cheese dressing, which contains eggs -- a potential life-threatening allergen, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday. 

The product was produced on April 23 by a contract manufacturer. In total, 8,678 cases of Wish-Bone Ranch dressing, distributed nationwide, are involved in the voluntary recall, the FDA said. The product is safe to consume for anyone who is not allergic to eggs.

 All affected distributors and retail customers, as well as the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, are being notified and the affected product is being removed from store shelves.

Consumers who may have purchased the recalled product can return it for a full refund at the place of purchase. Look for a best used by date on the bottle of Feb. 17, 2016.

Consumers with questions should call (888) 299-7646 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

Photo Credit: Food and Drug Administration Handout]]>
<![CDATA[More Rain Leads to More Bacteria in Lakes, Oceans]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 05:10:55 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Vibrio-bacteria-come-carne.jpg

While there are always bacteria and amoebas in lakes, rivers and oceans, health experts said there are higher than usual amounts right now because of recent rain.

Houston NBC affiliate KPRC reported that anyone who swims in lakes and beaches this summer is at risk for potentially dangerous bacteria. Especially those with low immune systems, like chemo patients and those with chronic liver or kidney disease.

"The bacteria is always there," The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Dr. Charles Ericsson told KPRC. "When they're high ... your risks are higher."

Eight people in Florida have been infected with a flesh eating bacteria known as Vibrio. Two of those people died.

Galveston officials said they issued swim advisories for 17 sites due to recent rain and heavy river flow.

Ericsson said the main way to prevent infection by a dangerous bacteria is to keep water out of open wounds.

<![CDATA[Several Brands of Bottled Water Recalled]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 09:39:55 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/bottles+of+water.jpg

Niagara Bottling has recalled its bottled water products after one of its spring sources was contaminated with E. coli.

The company urged customers to avoid drinking the water without boiling it first. The water should be boiled for one minute and then cooled.

While it was not immediately clear how widely the products were distributed, several major supermarket chains with stores across the northeast issued releases saying they had carried the water. 

E. coli can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches and other symptoms. Niagara says it has not received any complaints of injury or illness.

The company says the contamination was discovered in the water supply on June 10, but the spring source did not notify it in a timely manner, so they have stopped using the source.

The contaminated water was sold under the following brand names:

  • 7-Eleven
  • Acadia
  • Acme
  • Big Y
  • Best Yet
  • Morning Fresh
  • Niagara
  • Nature’s Place
  • Pricerite
  • Shaw’s
  • Shoprite
  • Superchill
  • Western Beef Blue
  • Wegman’s

All spring water products produced at the company’s facilities in Hamburg and Allentown, Pennsylvania between 3 a.m. June 10 to 8 p.m. June 18 were recalled. 

Niagara Bottling did not immediately respond to media inquiries, but several supermarkets sent out press releases addressing the recall. Bottled water products were recalled at ACME Markets in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; at Shaw’s grocery stores in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; and at Wegmans grocery stores, which operate in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Affected products have codes that start with the letter F or A. The first digit after the letter indicates the number of the production line. The next two numbers indicate the day, then the month in letters, the year, and then the time, based on a 24-hour clock.

To download the full list of codes for affected products, click here.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[U.S. Officials Preparing for MERS Outbreak Following S. Korea]]> Mon, 22 Jun 2015 11:19:17 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-476401196.jpg

A deadly outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Virus in South Korea is prompting health officials and experts to prepare for the possibility of more cases in the United States. 

MERS has infected 500 people worldwide since it first surfaced in Saudi Arabia in 2010, killing roughly a third of those affected, according to the CDC. Now, the virus has spread across South Korea, infecting more than 150 people and killing 11. 

That outbreak, the largest outside the Middle East, has sparked concerns about the potential for the virus to pop up in other countries, including America. The United States, one of at least 16 to report cases since 2010, has previously handled two MERS patients. Some experts are preparing for that number to rise.

“In South Korea more people will get infected, and eventually they go on a plane and travel,” said Peter Daszak, a disease ecologist and member of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University. “The U.S. is consistently in one of the top 5 countries (to travel to); we are likely to have MERS to come to the U.S.”

MERS, part of the same family of viruses as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and the common cold, is believed to have originated in camels, officials say. The virus has since spread from human to human, particularly among people in close contact with an infected patient. The recent outbreak in South Korea, for example, has been traced to hospitals in the area that did not follow proper protocol when dealing with infections.

While officials say there is not an urgent threat of MERS to the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is taking extra precautions given the situation in South Korea and the potential that one sick traveler could bring the virus back to the U.S.

Officials are changing the way they collect data and detect cases on MERS, as well as working with the World Health Organization to better understand the virus. The CDC recommends that Americans traveling outside the U.S. take basic precautions such as frequently washing their hands and avoiding contact with people who appear ill. The CDC is also urging health professionals to be on the lookout for potential cases, taking extra care to examine patients who have traveled recently to countries affected by the outbreaks or had contact with someone exposed to the virus. 

Because the international cases have been traced to patients who traveled after contacting the virus — all the infections so far have been linked back to countries in and near the Arabian Peninsula — the CDC has been working with airports specifically to help them identify ill passengers and report them properly to the organization. Officials caution that the virus' flu-like symptoms, such as coughing, fever and shortness of breath, can make it difficult to diagnose. 

There is currently no travel ban to South Korea or any of the Middle Eastern countries affected by MERS. In fact, travel has more than doubled from 2000 to 2010 in the Middle Eastern region, according to the United Nations World Travel Organization. 

And despite concerns about travelers carrying the virus to new places, officials in at least one major U.S.  airport are currently not taking additional precautions. Nancy Suey Castles, public relations director at Los Angeles International Airport, said while the airport has six daily flights entering and exiting the Incheon/Seoul International Airport, it has not made any changes to patrons’ arrivals or departures.

Castles said that if they did come in contact with a passenger who was infected with MERS, the protocol would be the same as any other sick passenger: separating them from the public, examining them and possibly transporting the patient to a hospital.

Despite its potentially deadly effects, treating MERS as any other virus is the ticket for best possible treatment, says Marie Forszt, director of marketing for Indianapolis' Community Hospital, which handled the first U.S. MERS case in 2014.

“Because it was the first case, no one had a specific process but it was an infectious disease,” Forszt said. “It wasn’t specific to MERS, but we just did what we do with every single case.”

She said the key to dealing with any infectious disease is to remain on high alert and keeping up with the CDC protocols.

“Shortly after MERS happened, Ebola ramped up,” she said. “There’s always some type of infectious disease, the process is the same no matter what the name is. We muddy the message when we have specific processes for MERS or a specific virus.” 

Being prepared to start that process of treating and containing cases is key, experts say, cautioning that as long as the virus spreads overseas, the U.S. will remain at risk.

“I don’t think anything in the Middle East will change quickly, specifically in Saudi Arabia,” Daszak, who is also president of the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance,  said. “It will continue to spill into Saudi Arabia and around the world… people think South Korea is so far away, but it’s only one flight away.”

<![CDATA[Teen Dies After Wisdom Teeth Extraction]]> Thu, 18 Jun 2015 17:09:18 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/teeth2.jpg

A Minnesota teen who had her wisdom teeth extracted died after complications from the procedure, KARE, NBC's affiliate in Minneapolis reported.

Sydney Galleger, 17, had just finished her junior year in high school. A captain of the dive team, the swimmer was considered healthy.

However, last Tuesday, when she got her wisdom teeth removed, complications occurred. At the end of the surgery, Galleger's blood pressure rose and her heart rate dropped, her mother wrote, according to KARE. Galleger was given CPR and transferred to a hospital, where she experienced seizures and brain swelling. On Monday, she passed away.

It's not clear what caused Galleger's death.

According to a 2007 article in the American Journal of Public Health, each year about 5 million people get their wisdom teeth pulled out. Experts say the procedure requires anesthesia, which comes with inherent risks.

Photo Credit: UIG via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Super Sunscreens]]> Thu, 18 Jun 2015 17:09:21 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/sunscreen4.jpg

Most dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen that delivers an SPF, or sun protection factor, of 30 of higher.

The SPF indicates the amount of protection you get from the sun’s UVB rays, which cause sunburn and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Consumer Reports tested 34 lotions and sprays to see whether they deliver what they claim.

Technicians applied sunscreen to panelists’ backs and had them soak in a tub for 40 or 80 minutes, depending on the product’s water-resistance claim. Then the area was exposed to UVB light. The next day, the test area was examined for redness.

Almost a third of the sunscreens tested had SPF's below what was promised.

For example, the maker of Banana Boat Sport Spray claims it has an SPF of more than 50, but it had an SPF of only 24, on average.

The company released the following statement in response to Consumer Reports' findings: 

"Like Consumer Reports, we want to help people make informed choices about appropriate sun protection because it is essential to optimal health. We are proud of our sun care products, including the quality and performance of Banana Boat® Sport Performance® Clear UltraMist® with PowerStay Technology™ SPF 50 and are pleased that SunComfort™ Continuous Spray SPF 50+, our newest addition to the Banana Boat line of sun care products, received such a high rating in the spray category. We put the same quality assurance and testing rigor, including relevant FDA testing requirements, into all our sun care products. People should feel confident using our products for safe protection, as directed by the product labels." 

And the company that makes Yes to Cucumbers Natural claims it has an SPF 30, but it had only 14, on average.

The company released the following statement in response to Consumer Reports' findings: 

"We appreciate you reaching out and are aware of the Consumer Reports Sunscreen Buying Guide for 2015, that tested our Yes to Cucumbers Natural SPF 30 Sunscreen. We do not have comprehensive details of the methods used by Consumer Reports to validate their tests and findings. We do want to reassure you, however, that our Yes to Cucumbers Natural SPF 30 Sunscreen provides the sun protection reflected on the label. Our product is thoroughly tested against the current Sun Protection Factor (SPF) and UV-A Protection Determinations as defined in U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations (the "Sunscreen Drug Products Final Monograph"). Our product was tested and validated by an independent third party laboratory to be SPF 30, under 40 minutes of water resistant conditions." 

You want a sunscreen that’s also effective against UVA rays, which are linked to skin damage and cancer. Sunscreens sold as “broad spectrum” should provide both UVA and UVB protection.

But in Consumer Reports’ lab tests, some of the sunscreens didn’t adequately guard against UVA rays.

The worst was Aloe Gator Gel.

The company released the following statement in response to Consumer Reports' findings: 

"Consumer Reports has previously tested / reviewed the Aloe Gator product in the past, which has always scored highly in previous reviews. Our testing data conducted by independent labs does not concur or support Consumer Reports finding. Consumer Reports testing methodology has been questions by experts in the field, has labeled the report as misleading with regards to what the acceptable and safe amount of UVA rays for people outdoors. The Aloe Gator 40+ GEL and all Aloe Gator products has always met or exceeded the U.S. FDA requirements for broad spectrum UVA & UVB rays. AGS take great pride in the Aloe Gator products we produce. Proof of this is our very large and loyal consumer following that has purchased millions of our performance Aloe Gator 40+ sunscreen units for over 30 years." 

Consumer Reports did find 15 sunscreens to recommend, and these were named Best Buys:

  • No-Ad Sport SPF 50 lotion for $10
  • Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30 for $8 from Walmart
  • Equate Ultra Protection lotion SPF 50 for $9 from Walmart

Consumer Reports included several sunscreens that contain minerals as their active ingredients — either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. None of the five are recommended. They didn’t deliver adequate broad-spectrum protection.

More information on Consumer Reports sunscreen tests is available here.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars and trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website.

Photo Credit: Consumer Reports]]>
<![CDATA[Trans Fat Linked to Worse Memory]]> Thu, 18 Jun 2015 09:50:53 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TLMD-grasas-trans-trans-fat-shutterstock_162622850.jpg

Men who have more dietary trans fat in their meals may have worse memory, according to a newly released study by the UC San Diego School of Medicine.

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said they would begin to phase the acid, which they previously called unsafe, out of foods.

Dietary trans fatty acids (dTFA), which are used in foods to improve taste, texture and durability, were linked by researchers to worse memory in men aged 45 and younger.

The study looked at 1,018 men and women who completed a dietary survey and a memory test. Men that consumed trans fat aged 45 and younger saw their performance drop 0.76 words for every additional gram of trans fat consumed.

“Trans fats were most strongly linked to worse memory in men during their high productivity years,” said Beatrice A. Golomb, MD, PhD, lead author and professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine said in a statement. “Trans fat consumption has previously shown adverse associations to behavior and mood—other pillars of brain function. However, to our knowledge a relation to memory or cognition had not been shown.”

Men with the highest observed trans fat levels in the study recalled an expected 12 fewer words, compared to men that consumed no trans fats.

The results were consistent when adjusting for age, exercise, ethnicity and mood.

The acids have previously been linked to negative effects on general health and are no longer recognized as safe by the FDA.

“As I tell patients, while trans fats increase the shelf life of foods, they reduce the shelf life of people,” said Golomb.

Alexis K. Bui of UC San Diego was a co-author of the study.

<![CDATA[Gov. Abbott Signs Bill to Protect First Responders]]> Thu, 18 Jun 2015 09:32:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ambulance-shutterstock_140766945.jpg

Governor Greg Abbott has signed a bill aiming to protect first responders from communicable diseases.

House Bill 2646 effectively amends the Texas Health and Safety Code permitting local health departments to release information through a computerized dispatch system. The information, when released, will then be accessible to all first responders.

"It is imperative for all first responders to have access to location information of individuals being monitored for communicable diseases during the disease monitoring period," Zachary Thompson, Dallas County Health and Human Services director, said in a statement.

State Senator Royce West sponsored the bill, which was authorized by Texas Representative Helen Giddings.

“I commend Dallas County for addressing the 2014 Ebola situation with the tools they had,” Giddings said.

“Once HB 2646 becomes effective this September 1st, it will allow our first responders to take the necessary and proper precautions, whether it is with supplies or suiting up with appropriate protective clothing, to avoid an unnecessary risk of exposure to a communicable disease.”

Information is accessible to governmental entities that provide first responders. Information is also released to local health authorities, but only during disease monitoring periods.

The law will be effective on September 1, 2015.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Free Meals for the Summer]]> Sun, 14 Jun 2015 21:50:04 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Back+to+School+Lunches.JPG

Children and teens who get free or reduced lunch during the school year may be eligible for free meals this summer.

The USDA announced plans to serve more than 200 million free meals to children 18 years and younger at approved sites, including a few in the Metroplex.

To find a location in your community, call 1-866-3-HUNGRY, or check the USDA Web page HERE.

There is no enrollment necessary for the free meals.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Adverse Health Effects from Synthetic Marijuana on the Rise: CDC]]> Thu, 11 Jun 2015 15:45:52 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/061015_synthetic_marijuana.jpg

Adverse health effects as a result of increased synthetic marijuana use are on the rise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday.

According to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, monthly calls related to the use of the substances from January to May 2015 were up 229 percent over the same period in 2014. A total of 15 deaths was reported.

Synthetic cannabinoids include various psychoactive chemicals or a mixture of such chemicals that are sprayed onto plant material, which is then often smoked or ingested to achieve a "high." The most commonly reported negative health effects were agitation, tachycardia, drowsiness or lethargy, vomiting and confusion. About four out of five of those who used synthetic marijuana inhaled it through smoking, and the remaining one in five consumed it.

These products are sold under a variety of names, such as synthetic marijuana, spice, K2, black mamba and crazy clown, and can be sold in retail outlets as herbal products. Law enforcement agencies have regulated a number of the substances, but manufacturers of synthetic cannabinoids frequently change the formulation to avoid detection and regulation.

CDC officials have expressed concern about the rapid increase in poison center calls about synthetic cannabinoids and detrimental health effects reported, and they stressed a need for enhanced efforts to remove these products from the marketplace. The CDC has urged those who have these products in their home to dispose of them in a trash can that is not accessible to pets.

Recreational marijuana use is currently legal in four states, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia. While marijuana is legal for medical purposes and decriminalized in multiple additional states, it remains illegal under federal law.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Study Shows Drop in Underage Drinking]]> Fri, 12 Jun 2015 15:54:35 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-56909748.jpg

Underage drinking rates are dropping steadily, a new study reveals.

The report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also showed a decline in underage binge drinking.

While alcohol remains more widely used than tobacco or illicit drugs, the report indicates that the level of underage drinking of those aged 12 to 20 dropped from 28.2 percent in 2002 to 22.7 percent in 2013. Binge drinking, defined as having five or more drinks within a couple of hours of each other, has also declined from 19.3 percent in 2002 to 14.2 percent in 2013.

Both locally and nationally, community coalitions, law enforcement, and organizations like SAMHSA have focused on preventing underage drinking through media campaigns and even apps. SAMHSA’s “Talk. They Hear You” mobile app, for example, prepares parents for conversations with children about the risks involved with alcohol consumption.

“When parents communicate clear expectations and they are supported by community efforts to prevent underage drinking, we can make a difference,” said Frances M. Harding, director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, in a press release. 

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Recalls: Donuts, Mugs, Vitamins & Swing Chairs]]> Thu, 11 Jun 2015 15:40:21 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Recall-Roundup-061115.jpg

Several recalls are making news on Thursday. Including a recall of mini donuts, a mug, vitamins and a swing chair.

Walgreens Nice! Powdered Sugar Mini Donuts

Walgreen Co. is recalling Nice! Powdered Sugar Mini Donuts, sold nationwide in Walgreens stores, because it's received consumer complaints alleging that mold was observed on some products.

The bags of doughnuts were sold at Walgreens stores nationwide.

The 11.5 oz packages are marked with WIC number 178206 and UPC number 4902264948. Both the WIC and UPC numbers can be found near the bar code, next to the nutrition facts on the package.

Customers are asked to return the product to any Walgreens store for a full refund.

If you have questions, contact Walgreens at 1-800-925-4733.

Walgreens "Well at Walgreens" Multivitamin Women 50+ Tablets

Walgreens is also recalling 17,000 "Well at Walgreens" Multivitamin Women 50+ Tablets because the packaging is not child-resistant and senior friendly as required by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act.

The multivitamin supplement tablets inside the bottle contain iron, which can cause serious injury or death to young children if multiple tablets are ingested at once. 

Consumers should immediately place recalled bottles out of the reach of children and contact International Vitamin Corp. for a free replacement child-resistant cap.

The white plastic bottles contain 200 multivitamin tablets. “Well at Walgreens Multivitamin Women 50+” is printed on the bottle’s white and silver label. A yellow band at the top of the label states “Value Size.”  UPC number 3-11917-17262-0 and one of the following lot numbers 000001 (EXP 9/2016), 000002 (EXP 12/2016) or 000003 (EXP 11/2016) are printed on the back of the bottles on a white label.

You can call International Vitamin Corp. toll-free at (866) 927-5470 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit www.ivcinc.com and click on Safety Recall Notice at the bottom for more information.

Ramart Swing Chairs Sold at HomeGoods

Ramart is recalling swing chairs sold exclusively at HomeGoods stores because they can tip over, posing a fall hazard.

HomeGoods has received 11 reports of the swing chairs tipping over with consumers in them, including four reports of injuries to adults and a baby.

The swing chairs were sold at HomeGoods stores nationwide from March 2015 through May 2015 for about $400.

The recall involves green, apple-shaped swing chairs and brown, teardrop-shaped swing chairs. They hang from a chain connected to a metal stand with a circle-shaped base. The chairs are made from plastic rattan and have red cushions. The chairs measure about 42 inches in diameter and 43 inches tall with a 48 inch wide seat cushion. The stand measures about 77 inches tall.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled swing chairs and return them to a HomeGoods store for a full refund.

You can contact HomeGoods at (800) 888-0776 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or get more informatoin online at www.homegoods.com.

Metallic Monotram Beverage Mugs Sold at Kirklands

Tri-Vista Designs is recalling 10,000 monogrammed beverage mugs sold exclusively at Kirklands due to a fire hazard.

If used in the microwave, the metallic mugs can spark, posing a fire hazard. There has been one report of a mug that began to spark while in the microwave. No injuries have been reported.

The recall involves 16-ounce white ceramic beverage mugs with metallic gold accents. A monogram letter A, B, C, D, E, G, H, J, K, L, M, R, S or T is printed in gold on the mug. A sticker on the bottom of the mug has “UPC# 698617673962,” “SKU# 138837” and “Retail: $6.99.

The mugs were sold at Kirkland’s stores nationwide from March 2015 to May 2015 for about $7.

You should immediately stop using the recalled mugs in the microwave, and return them to any Kirkland’s store for a full refund.

Call Tri-Vista Designs toll-free at (870) 446-5126 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday, or visit www.trivistadesigns.com for more information.

<![CDATA[Texas Synthetic Weed (K2) Usage Spikes: CDC]]> Thu, 11 Jun 2015 17:30:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Synthetic-Pot-NYC1.jpg

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a report Wednesday showing a nationwide increase in adverse health effects from the use of synthetic cannabinoids.

Between January and May 2015, United States Poison Control Centers in 48 states reported to the CDC they received a total of more than 3,500 calls related to synthetic cannabinoid use, a 229 percent  increase from the 1,085 calls received during the same period in 2014.

The call centers also reported 15 synthetic marijuana-related deaths, a 300 percent increase from the death toll reported in 2014.

The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for June 12 discusses the increase and the adverse health effects associated with their use.

This use of synthetic drugs has been on the rise in Texas, where just last week, more than 60 Austin-area residents reportedly became sick after ingesting the synthetic drug commonly known as K2, according to a report in The Austin American-Statesman.

Synthetic cannabinoids include various psychoactive chemicals, or a mixture of such chemicals, similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredients in marijuana. The chemical compounds are sprayed onto plant material, and then smoked or ingested to achieve a “high.”

These products are known by a variety of names (e.g., synthetic marijuana, spice, K2, black mamba, and crazy clown) and are sometimes sold in retail outlets or on the internet as herbal products or incense.

The most commonly reported adverse health effects associated with synthetic cannabinoid use were agitation, tachycardia, drowsiness or lethargy, vomiting, and confusion.

Many of these symptoms were present last May in Dallas where police investigated a bad batch of synthetic marijuana that led to at least 40 reported cases of overdoses in just 48 hours.

The high number of cases prompted the Drug Enforcement Administration to investigate.

The CDC is suggesting a need for enhanced efforts to remove these products from the marketplace. People who have these products in their home are encouraged to dispose of them in a trash can that is not accessible to pets or young children.

Eric Brown's son, Montana, died about a year-and-a-half ago at the age of 15. Montana had experimented with a synthetic drug he thought was LSD, his father said.

Brown worked with Texas legislators this session to get bills passed, banning all synthetics and strengthening other laws.

"I feel like if it could happen to my family, in my neighborhood, as vigilant as I feel like I was, it could happen to anyone. Just soul searching, I've come to learn a lot I can share with other family, other kids," said Brown.

NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[Girls Overcome Lemonade Stand Being Shut Down ]]> Thu, 11 Jun 2015 11:31:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Lemonade_Screen_Shot.jpg

There's a saying for what to do when life gives us lemons, but what about government red tape?

Ask sisters Zoey and Andria Green — ages 7 and 8, respectively — who saw their lemonade business shut down over health code and permitting violations in the East Texas town of Overton, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

The girls started their enterprise to treat their dad, an East Texas oil field worker, to a special Father's Day at the Splash Kingdom water park.

A menu was drafted with lemonade for $0.50, kettle corn for $1 or both for $1. Their target was $105.

Then came Overton Police Chief Clyde Carter, who was forced to shut down the unsanctioned lemonade stand. The reason: The girls were missing a $150 city permit.

"Yeah, we were a little upset," Andria told the Tyler newspaper. "We wanted to make the money to take our dad to Splash Kingdom for Father's Day,"

Sandi Green Evans said her daughters came up with the plan on their own.

"They are both little entrepreneurs," she said. "Their father works in the oil field and is gone a lot, so this is something they wanted to do for him. Something special."

After some negotiation, Evans convinced Carter to waive the city permit fee. That wasn't enough to cover state regulations on refrigerated beverages, like lemonade, though, so the stand remained shut.

The girls then made an executive decision: Offer free lemonade in exchange for donations.

Social media exploded with support after the girls' story went public, the Tyler Morning Telegraph reported. Radio stations planned to broadcast across the street from where the girls would serve lemonade and a local motorcycle group even volunteered to direct traffic.

All donations gathered at the lemonade stand, open from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, will be given to a local high school sports scholarship fund.

As for the water park, Splash Kingdom decided to offer the family free tickets.

Photo Credit: Kenneth Dean - Tyler Morning Telegraph]]>
<![CDATA[Cities in Denton County Get Serious Against West Nile]]> Wed, 10 Jun 2015 18:23:04 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/224*120/mosquito+standing+water+wnv.JPG

Sanger city leaders aren't waiting for the West Nile virus to show up in their town.

This week they began regular ground spraying efforts against mosquitoes. For the rest of June crews will spray on Monday and Thursday nights from about 8 p.m. to midnight. They say in cases of heavy wind or rain the spraying will move to the following evening.

The city's public works department said the spray has been judged not to pose an unreasonable risk to human health by the Environmental Protection Agency, but said residents wishing to be cautious can stay inside and keep pets indoors during the spraying and for an hour after spraying events to limit contact with the pesticide.

So far Sanger has not had any confirmed cases of West Nile virus or had any mosquitoes test positive, but Public Works Director Neal Welch said with the heavy amounts of rain they took on in May they want to keep ahead of possible large mosquito populations.

The Denton County Health Department so far has not had any positive tests either and has not initiated any spraying events.

Chief Epidemiologist Juan Rodriguez said they began deploying traps and testing for the virus in mosquitoes last month and are ready to respond with spraying if a positive is found.

He said populations trapped have increased as expected recently as we get further into the warm months and as the area deals with significant standing water from last month's rain.

"Even though it's early in the season, we definitely want people to pay attention to this activity," said Rodriguez.

He and the health department continue to encourage mosquito safety, asking residents to drain standing water, dress in long sleeves and pants, use bug sprays with Deet and avoid outdoor activity near dusk and dawn when the bugs are most prevalent.

At this point the only city in Denton County reporting any positive mosquito traps is Trophy Club. The city's website said the bug was trapped late last month near Harmony Park, and as a result they sprayed and used larvacide efforts in the area.

Several residents of the county report seeing more mosquitoes over just the past few days.

"Yes. We've seen a ton of mosquitoes," said Gina Byron, of Sanger.

Byron and her family, who run a pet grooming service in town, are not taking any chances with mosquitoes this year after a run-in with their horse turned tragic last summer.

"We lost a horse last year to West Nile," she said. "When she got sick and our vet told us what it was, it was terrible, and we actually lost three horses within a mile on our street to it."

She's begun more aggressively vaccinating her animals against the illness and using mosquito dunks on standing water near them.

Rodriguez said Denton County tends to see its first cases of the West Nile virus during the late summer and early fall, but that the ingredients are definitely already here. He asks residents to be mindful and protect themselves.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Lake Worth Reopens to Boat Traffic]]> Thu, 11 Jun 2015 05:21:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/7b537b2709484056b5a7dcc8f74ab5e2.jpg

Boaters can finally add Lake Worth to their summer plans beginning Thursday.

Lake Worth was set to open early to the public on June 11 as projected lake levels returned to a safe range.

Like many lakes in North Texas, Lake Worth has been closed to boat traffic in recent weeks due to flooding. The closures came under fears that boat wakes could potentially damage lakefront homes and structures.

Boaters are asked to use caution as floating debris from flooding remained a hazard. Many boat docks and tree stumps are hidden under water as levels continued to remain high.

Photo Credit: Greg Pate]]>