<![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 Sun, 29 Mar 2015 02:48:52 -0500 Sun, 29 Mar 2015 02:48:52 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[New Parkland Hospital Tour]]> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:21:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/parkland-hospital1.jpg

Dallas County is about to get a brand new, state-of-the-art public hospital this fall. The new Parkland Hospital opens its doors to patients on August 20.

While NBC 5 got a sneak peek in February, the rest of the Dallas-Fort Worth media was allowed to get a tour of the new hospital on Thursday.

The new Parkland Hospital is massive, about double the size of the old Parkland Hospital.

"The reason for that it's all private rooms, and we tried to have private space for our physicians and residents to discuss activities,” explained senior vice president of new Parkland construction Lou Saksen.

The new hospital has 96 neonatal intensive care rooms, 48 labor and delivery rooms and 862 private rooms.

"First of all they are 26 percent larger,” said Parkland nurse Sheila DePaola. “They are 320 square feet. They are beautiful in my opinion. You have a beautiful view. I think that's the first think you see when you walk in, just this gorgeous view of downtown."

Alll of the private rooms at the new Parkland Hospital have their own bathrooms. That was not the case at the old hospital.

The emergency services area is also much larger at the new hospital.

"We almost tripled in size,” said Parkland Chief of Emergency Services John Pease. “We go to about 120 private treatment rooms."

Everyone involved with the construction of this new hospital is excited by how it looks today.

"It's going to be a great opening,” said Pease. “This is something the community really needs, and we have really been looking forward to it as the medical staff."

"One of our goals back at the beginning, back in 2009, was to set the standard for public academic medical centers,” said Saksen. “I think the thing I am most proud of is that exactly what we have done."

The new Parkland Hospital cost nearly $900 million. It will create around 300 new jobs.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: New Anti-Smoking Ads Highlight Pain, Suffering]]> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:51:57 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/smoking-stock-generic-73160938.jpg

Smokers are once again sharing their gruesome stories of pain and suffering to motivate cigarette-puffing peers to quit.

“If I’d had a crystal ball many years ago, I would never have put that first cigarette in my mouth," one woman who is losing vision due to macular degeneration says in a new video from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The cautionary tales are part of a national tobacco education campaign from the CDC, Tips From Former Smokers, which first launched in March 2012. The often cringe-worthy advertisements, on television, radio, billboards, online and in theaters, magazines and newspapers, feature former smokers sharing their painful stories of smoking-related illnesses, the agency said in a release.

In one video, a woman lies on her hospital bed, and in raspy voice, says how she developed throat cancer at the age of 40. In another, a man, with a hole in his neck, informs viewers to stand away from the showerhead. And another woman, sitting at her kitchen table, advises to suction out her tube before eating.

The ads will also highlight how quitting smoking can benefit loved ones, and the importance of quitting completely, not just cutting down on smoking.

“These former smokers are helping save tens of thousands of lives by sharing their powerful stories of how smoking has affected them,” CDC Director Tom Frieden, said in a statement. “These new real-life ads will help smokers quit, adding years to their lives and life to their years.”

Since 2012, Tips has helped millions of smokers try to quit, the CDC reports. When the CDC’s 2014 campaign aired, nearly 80 percent more people called the national quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, for free help. Over 500,000 additional calls to the toll-free hotline have been made since 2012.

“All the Tips ad participants are heroes,” said Tim McAfee, senior medical officer in CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “By courageously sharing their painful personal stories, they’re inspiring millions of Americans to make the life-saving decision to quit smoking.”

Smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, the CDC reports, and remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the country. For every American who dies from smoking-related illnesses, nearly 30 more suffer from at least one smoking-related illness.

Photo Credit: FILE/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Spring Allergies Have Many in North Texas Seeing Red]]> Wed, 25 Mar 2015 22:40:42 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/allergies+pollen.jpg

Spring allergies are leaving a lot of North Texans miserable, and that means long waits at some doctors' offices.

“Eyes itchy, itchiness, dry eyes,” said Mike Ebbesen, of Dallas. “Runny nose, that goes with it. Just like the whole head sinuses and such are acting up.”

Tree pollen really started to fill the air in the last week, after all that rain and cold weather.

“Now everything is popping. The wind is blowing and everybody’s allergies are just going crazy,” said Dr. William Lumry, with Allergy & Asthma Specialists of Dallas.

Now that trees are blooming, so is business at medical offices that specialize in helping allergy sufferers.

“There’s also been a lot of mold in the air because of the rains that we’ve had,” said Lumry.

This year, many doctors recommend two over-the-counter nasal sprays previously available only by prescription, Flonase and Nasacort.

“The key to those sprays is you’ve got to use them regularly for them to be effective,” Lumry said. “They’re not just a quick fix to fix your allergies right now.”

Spring allergy season is expected to last at least another six weeks, through April.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Program Ranks Texas Counties in Overall Health]]> Wed, 25 Mar 2015 06:15:39 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/doctor-health-generic-1200-02.jpg

A new national study ranked Texas counties in overall health.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute collaborated on the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program.

The study combines factors ranging from tobacco use to commute length. Each number represents the county's rank out of Texas' 237 counties.

County Length of Life Quality of Life Health Behaviors Clinical Care Social/Economic Factors Physical Environment
Collin 2 8  1  1  1  163
Dallas 68 77  57  37  191  217
Denton 6 4  3  12  15  174
Ellis 31 20  13  31  46  160
Johnson 93 135  111  78  66  190
Kaufman 99 131  196  73  58  209
Parker 71 14  100  40  21  194
Rockwall 12 26  12  6  3  226
Tarrant 53 31  24  32  104  204
Wise 103 7  18  93  33  201

The Health Outcomes portion of the study includes the length and quality of life, which factors in premature deaths and the population's reported physical health.

Health behaviors include the number of reported smokers, excessive drinkers and more. Clinical care represents the availability of health care options per capita.

Social and economic factors include the population's education and income levels. Physical environment takes into account pollution, water quality and more.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How Not to Treat a Cold]]> Tue, 24 Mar 2015 17:25:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Sneezing+allergy.jpg

Cold season is in full swing, and many people turn to so-called “natural” remedies to try to prevent colds or ease symptoms.

Consumer Reports reviewed studies on zinc and found that while it can shorten the duration of a cold slightly, it does nothing for the severity of the symptoms. And there can be side effects, including nausea, stomach cramps and diarrhea. Over the long term, too much zinc may increase your risk for prostate cancer and neurological problems.

Then there’s the myth that massive doses of Vitamin C can alleviate or even prevent a cold. Not true, says Consumer Reports. And too much Vitamin C can lead to digestive problems or in some cases kidney stones.

So to alleviate cold symptoms, should you pick up an over-the-counter medicine from the drugstore? Again, Consumer Reports urges caution, especially with multi-symptom products. You could well be getting dosed for symptoms you don’t even have.

Consumer Reports says it’s best to take over-the-counter medicines with single ingredients: Choose ibuprofen or acetaminophen for aches and fever, a decongestant for nasal congestion, or a cough suppressant to quiet a cough.

In any case, colds usually run their course in a week to ten days, and you can also get through it by resting and drinking plenty of liquids.

Another caution for children: Those under four should never be given over-the-counter cough and cold products, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. If you have children age four and older, there are some over-the-counter medicines they can take safely. But Consumer Reports cautions you to consult with a doctor first.

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

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Burleson Warns Residents About Rabid Skunks]]> Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:06:21 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tlmd_skunk_zorrillo_mofeta_shutterstock_145234207.jpg

City officials in Burleson issued a warning Tuesday after six skunks tested positive for rabies since January.

With skunk mating season upon us, and with some of the mammals being displaced by urban sprawl and construction, residents in the affected neighborhoods in the southern and western parts of the city are urged to avoid contact with the wild animals — and to never keep them as pets.

Burleson's neighborhood services staff, the city said, handed out fliers in the affected neighborhoods warning residents that a rabid skunk had been captured within a week.

In a news release Tuesday, the city asked all residents to report any physical contact, including bites, between skunks and people or their pets to Burleson Animal Services at 817-426-9283.

Officials said four of the locations where rabid skunks were captured also had dogs exposed to the virus. All of the pets are now being held in isolation for up to 90 days.

The city reminds that one of the easiest ways to protect pets from rabies is to keep animal vaccinations up to date.

More on rabies, skunks:
Texas Department of State Health: Rabies
CDC: Rabies
Skunks - The Humane Society

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Rain, Standing Water Boost Mosquito Disease Threat]]> Mon, 23 Mar 2015 19:08:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/West-Nile-Virus-P5.jpg

North Texas health officials are urging early action to combat the threat of disease from mosquitoes after recent rains left standing water where mosquitoes breed.

Dallas city leaders Monday heard the 2015 mosquito control plan from city and county health officials.

The plan mirrors strategy used in 2014 when Dallas County reported no human deaths from West Nile virus.

“This is the time. This is the time to drain the standing water,” said Dallas Assistant Code Compliance Director Janette Weedon.

Small amounts of water in pans beneath plants can be enough to breed disease carrying mosquitoes, she said.

“Go throughout your neighborhood. Look throughout your yard and just get rid of breeding sites,” Weedon said.

Dallas has positioned 96 mosquito traps around the city to collect mosquito samples for disease testing. That’s three times as many as at the start of 2012. Nearly 400 people fell ill and 21 people died from West Nile virus in 2012 in Dallas County.

“And then we also have special traps we deploy based on concern from citizens, so I think we’re in a better position than we were in 2012,” Weedon said.

Mosquitoes trapped this year are being tested both for the presence of West Nile virus and for the potential of chikungunya virus. Eleven imported cases of chikungunya have been confirmed in Dallas County from people infected elsewhere but none from local sources.

The plan also calls for faster testing and spraying response if disease is found compared with 2012.

Public information will include radio, television, billboards, phone calls and water bill inserts in the city of Dallas.

Officials intend to respond to neighbor code enforcement complaints about standing water within one day.

Dallas City Council Member Sandy Greyson represents a North Dallas area that’s been heavily impacted by West Nile virus in the past.

“Lots of people got very ill and I knew some of the people in my district who actually got West Nile virus, the most severe form, and were hospitalized for a long time. This is serious stuff,” she said.

Greyson said Dallas must take all possible precautions to help avoid another severe outbreak.

“It has been very wet this spring, this early spring,” she said. “And of course that’s great for our lakes. We need the rain. But at the same time, we need people to be aware.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images/All Canada Photos]]>
<![CDATA[Amy's Kitchen Frozen Food Recall]]> Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:02:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/amys.JPG

Amy’s Kitchen, Inc. is voluntarily recalling approximately 73,897 cases of certain frozen food products due to a possible health risk.

The recall is based on a recall notice from one of Petaluma-based Amy’s organic spinach suppliers that Amy’s may have received organic spinach with the possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems, according the company's release.

Amy’s Kitchen is not aware of any illness complaints to date related to the recalled products, the release said.

The recalled products were distributed to stores nationwide in the United States and in Canada.

For a complete list of the recalled products, CLICK HERE.

Amy’s Kitchen has notified its distributors and retailers.

Consumers who have any of the products are urged to dispose them or return them to the store where they were purchased for an exchange or full refund.

Consumers may also call Amy’s at (707) 781-7535, Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. CST.

Photo Credit: fda.gov]]>
<![CDATA[Nut, Trail Mix Recall Due to Salmonella Risks]]> Mon, 23 Mar 2015 14:46:50 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/macadamias-walnuts.jpg

Two different companies have announced recalls, both due to possible salmonella contamination.

Macadamia Nut Recall

Texas Star Nut and Food Co., Inc. of Boerne, Texas is voluntarily recalling Nature’s Eats Natural Macadamia Nuts, lot code #31435001, because it has the potential to be contaminated with salmonella.

The product was distributed only to HEB stores in Texas.

The product was sold between Dec. 30, 2014 and March 20, 2015, with a "Best Before" date of Dec. 23, 2015.

CLICK HERE for more information on the above recall.

Walnut, Trail Mix Recall

The other recall is from Aurora Products, Inc. in Orange, Connecticut.

The company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of certain lots of Natural Walnuts and Trail Mixes containing walnuts because they have the potential to contain salmonella.

The product was distributed nationwide, as well as in Canada and Bermuda.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

Stores have been instructed to cease distribution of these products and to remove the affected product from store shelves.

Consumers that have the products listed HERE are urged to not eat it and destroy the product or return it to the point of purchase.

Customers with questions can contact Aurora Products, Inc. for further information at 1-800-898-1048 between the hours of 8:00AM to 4:00 p.m. CST Monday through Friday.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Thousands Rock 'n' Roll on Dallas Streets]]> Sun, 22 Mar 2015 18:06:30 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rocknrollFlagDallas.jpg

The Humana Dallas Rock 'n' Roll half-marathon kept downtown streets busy with traffic and thousands of runners Saturday and Sunday.

The course started near the Omni Hotel and ended 13.1 miles later near the American Airlines Center.

The 12,000-plus runners came from near, far and even farther. They hailed from all 50 states and 12 different countries.

The top women's finisher though, was from Fort Worth. Lauren Versweybeld ran a personal record time in what she called great weather conditions.

"It was great," she said. "It's my birthday, so I was really hoping for a P.R. (personal record) today."

The top two finishers in the race, hail from Poland, near Warsaw specifically.

Emil Dobrowoloski finished first, at 1:04:41, which is a new personal record for him.

"The course is a little bit hilly, but we made what we wanted to do, so we broke our personal best," Dobrowoloski said. "Dallas, it’s nice town, sky scratchers, yeah, the bridge is beautiful."

Finishing right behind him, another native of Poland and Dobrowoloski's training partne, Jacub Nowak, who was just 18 seconds behind him.

"I am very excited and very tired," Nowak said. "The music on road very beautiful, and beautiful cheerleaders."

Among the hoopla of Cowboys Cheerleaders, running Elvis and back flip finishes were many runners with inspiring stories. Like Kionte Storey of San Diego, a Marine veteran who lost his right leg to an IED while serving in Afghanistan in the fall of 2010.

"For this being my first (half-marathon), just going here to have fun," Storey said. 

Storey ran with a prosthetic on his right leg. His left leg also suffered damage in the attack and he dealt with PTSD and "everything else" afterward too. But running, Storey said, helped him both physically and mentally in his recovery. A recovery that brought him to Dallas, thanks to race sponsor Built by Chocolate Milk.

"[I'm] here to run, have fun and inspire people along the way," Storey said.

More than three hours after leaving the starting gate, Storey did just that while overcoming another challenge along the way.

"Mile 8, mile 9, my leg started giving me a lot of problems," he said.

And while he may have developed another blister on his amputated right leg, he was leg everyone else who enjoyed the day's run.

"The best part was having fun being out here, seeing a lot of people, making people smile," Storey said.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Dozens March for HIV Awareness in South Dallas]]> Sat, 21 Mar 2015 19:20:45 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/HIVAwarenessWalk.jpg Dozens came out in the 5th Annual South Dallas AIDS Walk Saturday morning. Dallas has the highest rate of new HIV / AIDS cases in Texas.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Flu Causes One Death This Week in Dallas County]]> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 19:15:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/gripe-influenza-evita-contagios-14.jpg

One person has died in Dallas County as a result of the flu in the past week, according to the latest figures from Dallas County Health and Human Services.

The victim's identity was not released.

So far, 17 adults have died from flu-related complications this season, which began in late September.

The report said influenza activity remained at normal levels, but flu-related hospitalizations are declining overall in Dallas County.

Flu season in North Texas generally lasts through April.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Poison Center Calls About Kids Hit 1.3 Million: Report]]> Wed, 18 Mar 2015 13:56:25 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/medicine-cabinet.jpg

Poison centers across the country get more than 1,100 calls a day that relate to children sickened by medicine, according to a new report.

In all, there were 1.3 million poison center calls about children 19 and under in 2013, the report by Safe Kids Worldwide found. The vast majority of those calls, 53 percent, involved 1 and two year-olds and medicine, a number that the organization Safe Kids Worldwide called “alarming” and “most surprising”

Older children are also at risk for unintentional medicine poisoning, the report found, sometimes experiencing far more serious outcomes. Teens 15 to 19 were six times more likely to experience "moderate or major effects" from unintentional ingestion than children 1 to 4 years old.

The report, “Medicine Safety for Children: An In-Depth Look at Calls to Poison Centers,” analyzed data from 547,042 calls made to poison centers across the country in 2013. It found that 81 percent of the children were given the wrong medicine, while the remaining got too much. More than 10,000 emergency room visits are made each year for over-the-counter medicine overdoses by adolescents, the report said.

The most common accidentally ingested items for children under age 4, according to the report, are ibuprofen, multivitamins and diaper care and rash products. Nearly half of the emergency room visits were connected to the consumption of those products, which the report said can fall into kids' hands after being found on the ground, a nightstand or in a purse.

For teens, the top medicine mistakes were related to forgetting to take drug and then doubling up, taking two medicines with the same ingredient and taking the wrong medicine.

<![CDATA[Trader Joe's Raw Walnut Recall]]> Tue, 17 Mar 2015 13:18:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Trader+joe+walnut+recall+1200.jpg

Trader Joe's Company has issued a recall on its Raw Walnuts because the products may be contaminated with salmonella.

The products are packaged in clear plastic bags with the UPC Codes printed on the back.

For the Raw California Walnut products, the “BEST BY” dates and Lot Numbers can be found printed on the back of the packages.

For the Organic Raw Walnut products, the “BEST BY” dates can be found printed on the front of the packages.

All potentially affected Raw Walnut product are listed below:

Trader Joe’s Nuts Raw California Walnut Pieces – 16oz
"Best BUY" Date: 12/2015
UPC: 00373685
Lot Number: GU4345

Trader Joe’s Nuts Raw California Walnut Halves & Pieces – 16 oz
"Best BUY" Date: 12/2015
UPC: 00943338
Lot Numbers: GU4346, GU4349, GU4356

Trader Joe’s Nuts Raw California Walnut Baking Pieces – 16 oz

"Best BUY" Date: 12/2015
UPC: 00519342
Lot Number: GU4350

Trader Joe’s Nuts Raw California Premium Walnut Halves – 16oz
"Best BUY" Date: 12/2015
Lot Numbers: GU4343, GU4344, GU4351, GU4352

Trader Joe’s Organic Raw Walnut Halves & Pieces – 12oz
"Best BUY" Dates: OCT 15 2015, OCT 16 2015, OCT 17 2015, OCT 20 2015, OCT 21 2015, NOV 17 2015, NOV 18 2015, NOV 19 2015, NOV 20 2015, NOV 28 2015, DEC 01 2015
UPC: 00586627
Lot Numbers: N/A

Trader Joe’s removed all lots of these products from store shelves and will suspend sale of these products while the FDA and the manufacturers continue their investigation into the source of the problem.

To date, Trader Joe’s Company has not received any illness complaints related to these recalled products.

Customers who have purchased any of the recalled Raw Walnut product are urged not to eat it, and to dispose of the product or return it to any Trader Joe’s for a full refund.

Customers with questions may contact Trader Joe’s Customer Relations at (626) 599-3817 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. CST.

<![CDATA[WATCH: Bodybuilding Mom Fights MS]]> Tue, 17 Mar 2015 11:21:03 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_msbodybuilder0316001_1500x845.jpg Working out often isn't something you would expect from a person who has Multiple Sclerosis, but for Wendy Bordewisch, Evolutions Gym in Annapolis, Md. is often a home away from home. She's there at least four days a week doing cardio and weights.]]> <![CDATA[Youth in Rural Areas Have Higher Suicide Rate, Study Says]]> Sat, 14 Mar 2015 14:10:01 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ambulance19.jpg

A new Ohio State University study has found that adolescents and young adults living in rural areas are more likely to commit suicide than those in cities.

The study analyzed suicides among people ages 10 to 24 between 1996 and 2010. Results show the adolescent and young adult suicide rate was almost twice as high in rural settings than in urban areas, and the gap appears be widening.

Cynthia Fontanella is clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral health at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center. She cites less access to health care, geographic isolation and stigma associated with mental illness as potential reasons for the disparities.

The researchers say the findings suggest there is an urgent need to improve access to mental health care in rural areas.

SUICIDE PREVENTION: If you know someone who needs help, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

<![CDATA[Blue Bell Ice Cream Linked to Serious Illness]]> Sun, 15 Mar 2015 23:04:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ice-cream-stock-79772399.jpg

The FDA issued a consumer advisory about some Texas-made Blue Bell ice cream products Friday, after three patients who had eaten the ice cream in a Kansas hospital died of a foodborne illness.

The illnesses prompted the Brenham, Texas-based creamery to issue the first recall in its 108-year history. Blue Bell has stopped production and distribution of ice cream products from that line and has removed them from stores and any other retail outlets.

The problem was discovered about a month ago, Blue Bell CEO Paul Kruse told NBC 5. He said the company picked up the affected products approximately three weeks ago from hospitals and stores.

The contaminated products were traced back to one machine, which has been shut down, Kruse said.

This is the first time in 108 years the company has experienced this type of problem, he added.

The affected products include the following novelty items made on the line:

  • Chocolate Chip Country Cookie
  • Great Divide Bar
  • Sour Pop Green Apple Bar
  • Cotton Candy Bar
  • Scoops
  • Vanilla Stick Slices
  • Almond Bar
  • No Sugar Added Mooo Bar (regular Mooo Bars are not included)

Consumers should not eat these items and should discard any of these products they may have in their freezers.

The advisory does not include Blue Bell cups, pints or half gallons.

Recent laboratory tests of three ice cream products from the Brenham production line — Country Cookie, Great Divide and Scoops — indicated the presence of Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium that can cause severe illness.

The company is calling back additional ice cream items because they were made on the same production line.

No Texas cases have been reported in connection to any Blue Bell products.

Five people in all developed listeriosis and three of them died at Via Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita after eating products from the one production line at the Brenham creamery between December 2013 and January 2015, hospital officials say.

The patients who fell ill with listeriosis during their hospital stays had all initially been hospitalized for unrelated causes, hospital spokeswoman Maria Loving said.

The hospital was unaware that some items produced on one of the 25 production lines at Blue Bell's Central Texas creamery had been contaminated with listeria bacteria, Loving said.

She said all Blue Bell Creameries products were immediately removed from all Via Christi Health facilities in Kansas and Oklahoma once the risk was discovered.

"If you're worried about some sort of potential source of infection, and two weeks have gone by and nothing's happened to you, you're going to be fine," said Dr. Cedric Spak with Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas.

Spak said symptoms include vomiting, nausea and muscle ache, and they can appear suddenly.

He said those that are most at risk are those with compromised immune systems.

NBC 5's Holley Ford and Ray Villeda contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["We're Related": 8-Way Kidney Swap]]> Fri, 13 Mar 2015 09:40:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Kidney_Transplant_CT.jpg

Donors and recipients involved in a groundbreaking eight-way kidney swap in Connecticut came face to face for the first time Thursday, greeting each other with hugs, tears and laughter.

Four women donated kidneys to four men during a series of hours-long procedures at the Yale-New Haven Transplantation Center on March 3. The group included three sets of husbands and wives.

NBC Connecticut gained exclusive access to the surgeries, and our cameras were rolling during the life-saving procedures, which began at 7:30 a.m. and ended at 6 p.m. that day.

"All eight surgeries occurred on the same day and all procedures were deemed a success," said Dr. David Mulligan, director of the Yale-New Haven Transplantation Center and professor of surgery at the Yale School of Medicine, noting that the procedure "represents the largest internal kidney transplant exchange performed in Connecticut."

It started with "altruistic donor" Patricia Menno-Coveney, 61, of Mystic, Connecticut, who said she was inspired to donate by a woman at her church who gave one of her kidneys.

What she didn't know is that she would initiate an eight-person kidney chain, including three sets of husbands and wives.

Since the husbands didn't match their respective wives, doctors used computers to pair up the donors and recipients.

Menno-Coveney was matched to Shelton resident David Rennie, whose wife, Margaret Rennie, donated a kidney to Raymond Murphy, of Old Saybrook.

In turn, Murphy's wife, Sylvie Murphy, gave a kidney to Mario Garcia, of New Haven, and Garcia's wife, Hilary Grant, donated her kidney to Stamford resident Edward Brakoniecki.

Without the swap, the men would have endured years of waiting and dialysis. Brakoniecki had already waited five years for a transplant from a deceased donor.

But the generosity of one woman from Mystic sparked a chain that quite likely saved four lives. Nine days later, everyone is in good spirits.

"Look at me," said donor Hillary Grant. "This is a week and two days later. I feel absolutely normal."

Dr. Peter Schulam, professor and chair of urology at Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Yale School of Medicine, explained that the donors and recipients seem to be well on their way to recovery.

"They're usually in the hospital one or two nights," Schulam said. "They're able to return to work in two to four weeks depending on what their occupation is."

The donors and recipients met in person for the first time Thursday ahead of a news conference at Yale-New Haven Hospital. They hugged, cried, swapped contact information and promised to stay in touch.

"I was the lucky recipient in an eight-person kidney swap," David Rennie told NBC Connecticut during an exclusive interview. "It's kind of surreal, kind of like we're related now."

<![CDATA[Ebola-Infected Worker Arrives in US]]> Fri, 13 Mar 2015 12:18:23 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NIHClinic.jpg

An American healthcare worker infected with Ebola in West Africa arrived at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland Friday morning.

The patient is in serious condition and was flown in isolation from Sierra Leone on a chartered plane and admitted at 4:44 a.m., NIH officials said in a statement. The patient's name, age and gender were not released.

The patient had been volunteering at an Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone when he or she contracted the disease. The patient was flown to the United States on a chartered flight and then traveled to the hospital via private charter medevac.

The NIH Clinical Center's Special Clinical Studies Unit (SCSU) is designed for high-level isolation capabilities and is staffed by specialists in infectious diseases and critical care, the NIH said.

The person is the second to be treated for Ebola at NIH. Last fall, Texas nurse Nina Pham was treated there after contracting the disease while treating the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S.

The NIH has also cared for two other people who had high-risk exposures to Ebola, but were later determined to not be infected.

The World Health Organization estimated Thursday that the virus has killed more than 10,000 people, mostly in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The current outbreak is the largest ever for the disease. While deaths have slowed dramatically in recent months, the virus appears stubbornly entrenched in parts of Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NIH Clinical Center]]>
<![CDATA[Promising New Autism Research]]> Thu, 12 Mar 2015 10:32:54 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/autism6.jpg

A blood-based measure could lead to a clinical test that could spot signs of autism in boys just 1 or 2 years old, a new study has found, a finding that could help children with autism get the help they need earlier on. 

The study, conducted by an international team led by UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers and published in the current online issue of JAMA Psychiatry, found that certain genetic fingerprints might lead to an earlier method of diagnosing autism in male toddlers.

Researchers were able to identify those biomarkers, or genetic fingerprints, in blood samples from boys with autism as young as 12 months old.

Researchers analyzed two different blood samples with two groups of participants. The first group had 147 toddlers and the second group had 73 toddlers.

"The mean age of autism identification in the United States right now is four to five years so by that point, a lot of brain development opportunities have passed," said Eric Courchesne, Ph.D, professor of neurosciences and director of UCSD's Autism Center of Excellence. "What you really want to do is identify the child at the youngest possible age."

Autism is four times more common in males, researchers said, so the study started with looking at young toddlers because it would be easier to recruit young boys with autism for the study.

Because the causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are complex and can vary, it can be difficult to conclusively diagnose a child before the child turns four. 

One parent said an earlier diagnosis in her son could have had a positive impact on his development. 

"I thought I knew how to parent boys," said Karen Heumann. "And he came along, and he was wild and he was out of control, and I thought, 'Oh, he's just trying to keep pace with his brothers,' and instead, he's autistic."

Heumann said as soon as her family found out about her son's Asperger's syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum, they were able to get him therapy. 

That was when her son was 5 years old. She said learning of the diagnosis earlier would have meant more services for him before he started school. 

In the study, researchers looked at blood-based genomic biomarkers that could lead to the development of a clinical test for ASD in boys as young as 1 or 2 years old.

Blood is expected to carry autism-relevant molecular signatures that can be used to detect early signs of autism, said the study's first author, Tiziano Pramparo.

The study found that the genes related to translation and immune/inflammation functions, as well as cell adhesion and cell cycle, were different in boys with ASD and boys without ASD. Genes such as those can have an effect on early brain development in toddlers.

The results of the study may lead researchers to diagnosing autism earlier than current methods. Early diagnosis methods could boost the efficacy of intervention and remedial treatments.

The Clinical Director for the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai in New York said the study is important and suggests progress but that results should be viewed cautiously.

“Larger studies and replication of the findings are necessary before these preliminary results can be considered clinically meaningful,” said Alex Kolevzon, MD.

The study was co-authored by Karen Pierce, Cynthia Carter Barnes, Steven Marinero, Clelia Ahrens-Barbeau and Linda Lopez, from the UC San Diego Autism Center of Excellence; Michael V. Lombardo from the University of Cambridge and University of Cyprus; Sarah S. Murray from the Scripps Translational Sciences Institute; and Ronghui Xu from UCSD.

The study, partly funded by the Race for Autism and the National Institute of Mental Health, was published in the March 2015 online issue of JAMA Psychiatry.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Burger King Drops Soft Drinks From Kids' Meals]]> Tue, 10 Mar 2015 11:26:14 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/burger-king-thumb-82504247.jpg

Burger King is no longer promoting soft drinks on its kids' meal menus.

"We have removed fountain drinks from our kids' menu boards and they are no longer merchandised as part of kids' meals," the company said in an emailed statement to NBC.

The company will instead suggest the meals be accompanied with 100% apple juice, fat-free milk, or low fat chocolate milk.

The menu change does not completely prevent customers from getting sodas with the meals. Customers will still be able to request for a soft drink to accompany kids' meals, the company said.

Advocacy groups like MomsRising.org had been pressuring Burger King and other food chains to make the change. 

"Parents and families across the country are applauding as one by one, restaurants are listening to parents and public health experts and starting to do their part to help keep America’s kids healthy,” MomsRising.org director Monifa Bandale said in a statement.

Competitors McDonald's and Wendy’s have announced similar menu changes. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Veggie Chips vs. Potato Chips]]> Tue, 10 Mar 2015 17:17:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/CR+Veggie+vs+Potato+Chips.jpg

Consumer Reports just tested 32 different snack chips made from bean chips, pea chips, veggie chips, and kale. Don’t get the idea that they’re as good for you as fresh vegetables, but most of the ones tested are a little lower in fat and calories than classic potato chips. Several of the new chips qualify as low sodium. And some are an excellent source of fiber.

Consumer Reports found several to recommend:

  • Top rated: Calbee Snapea Crisps Original Lightly Salted. They’re airy and crispy, have a pleasant pea flavor, and are low in sodium.
  • Beanitos White Bean With Sea Salt are also recommended, with a white bean and toasty grain flavor. Ten chips have 6 grams of fiber—the same as a large apple!
  • Terra Original Real Vegetable Chips Sea Salt are the best tasting of the veggie chips tested. They’re a colorful mix of real fried veggie slices, including sweet potato.
  • Food Should Taste Good Falafel Tortilla Chips are also tasty and cost less than the others.

Consumer Reports panelists found them “bold and unique,” with bean, corn, garlic, and coriander flavors.

Consumer developed a simple recipe for homemade kale chips and in blind taste tests pitted them against commercial kale chips, costing $7. The homemade version won.

Homemade Kale Chips:
½ bag (16 oz.) kale greens, washed, trimmed, cut into bite-sized pieces, and dried
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Place garlic and oil in a small bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes. Discard garlic.
  2. Pile kale on two large baking sheets. Toss with olive oil, coating each leaf. Sprinkle with salt and spread evenly on the baking sheets.
  3. Bake 5 minutes. Toss kale using tongs to ensure even cooking. Bake until kale turns dark green and is very crisp, about 7 to 9 minutes. Do not overcook. Cool before serving.

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

Photo Credit: Consumer Reports
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[From 2000: Terry Dorsey's Cancer Fight]]> Sun, 08 Mar 2015 16:59:44 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/030815_Terry_Dorsey_retirement_day_1200x675_410090563845.jpg In February 2000, NBC 5 chronicled the prostate cancer battle of KSCS-FM radio personality Terry Dorsey. He even invited our cameras into the hospital as he prepared for surgery.]]> <![CDATA[Actress to Receive Bionic Hand Designed for Women]]> Fri, 06 Mar 2015 18:47:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/bionic-hand-030615.jpg

Actress Angel Giuffria will be receive a new bionic hand designed especially for women Friday.

Prosthetic hands are typically sized for men, and this new bionic hand is the first model available in a smaller size that is in proportion with a female hand and fingers, according to the manufacturer, Advanced Arm Dynamics.

Giuffria was born without her left hand, and now at age 25 she is excited to show off her new, high-tech hand.

Giuffria can be seen in the film, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1."

<![CDATA[Dunkin' Drops Food-Coloring Additive]]> Fri, 06 Mar 2015 13:16:42 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dunkin-donuts-AP110727023936.jpg

Dunkin’ Donuts is removing a food-coloring ingredient from its powdered sugar goods, the brand announced Thursday.

The component titanium dioxide is used to brighten white substances. While certain quantities of the ingredient are permitted by regulators and commonly used in items in the U.S., according to CNBC, the use has come under fire from critics of using such substances in food.

As You Sow, a San Francisco-based advocacy group, conducted a food study in 2013 that examined the use of nanomaterial, matter broken down by technology into molecule-size particles. After finding that Dunkin’ Donuts and Hostess Donettes tested positive for the presence of the titanium dioxide materials of less than 10 nanometers, the advocacy group  brought a proposal to Dunkin’ Donuts’ shareholders urging them to eliminate nanoparticles from their goods.

Karen Raskopf, chief communications officer of Dunkin’ Donuts, confirmed that the company plans to phase out the ingredient, but disagreed with the characterization that it is a nanoparticle.

“The ingredient used in our powdered donuts does not meet the definition of “nanoparticle” as outlined under FDA guidance,” she said, “Nevertheless, we began testing alternative formulations for this product in 2014 and we are in the process of rolling out a solution to the system that does not contain titanium dioxide.”

Both the Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency classify titanium dioxide as a nanomaterial. Although the FDA has approved the use of it, the agency has said it will continue to monitor the safety of nanotechnology as the science emerges. The EPA is likewise investigating the ingredient, which it says can also be found in sunscreens, cosmetics, and paints and coatings.

Photo Credit: AP Images]]>
<![CDATA[Risks of CT Scans for Kids' Concussions]]> Thu, 05 Mar 2015 19:23:55 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ct+scan+image.jpg

About 500,000 children per year end up in ERs because of head injuries.

And about half of them undergo a CT scan.

But the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that a third of those tests are unnecessary.

Parents may be playing a role in the increase in children’s CT scans.

A Consumer Reports survey reveals that more than one-third of parents say they would insist on a CT scan if their child received a significant blow to the head.

Radiation from CT scans increases the risk of cancer.

Children are more susceptible than adults to the risks of radiation. And there is concern about lifetime cumulative effects of radiation exposure.

A CT scan of the head can expose a child to a significant amount of radiation: up to 400 times a regular dental bitewing X-ray.

Consumer Reports points out that there are times when a CT scan is important: after a serious accident such as a car crash, or when there are serious symptoms such as confusion, loss of consciousness, loss of hearing or vision, or tingling on one side of the body.

You can get more information on radiation from medical tests here.

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

Photo Credit: Consumer Reports]]>
<![CDATA["Wake-Up Call": Study Reveals Magnitude of Memory Loss]]> Thu, 05 Mar 2015 15:47:30 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/alzheimers-149679784.jpg

About 4 million American households include at least one adult with increasing memory loss or confusion, a new federal study shows,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study is the first to report on worsening memory loss or confusion in households and could offer insight into the health and financial consequences for families. Older adults with complaints about memory have a greater risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, which is potentially a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.

Matthew Baumgart, the senior director of policy for the Alzheimer’s Association, told NBC Owned Television Stations that the findings should be a "wake-up call for the long-term care system."

“It is really important to look at these numbers, and for the public health system to take notice,”  Baumgart said. “It’s a wake-up call for the long-term care system. It should be a wake-up call for the federal government to invest more in the research so that we can change the trajectory of the disease.”

The researchers analyzed data from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, looking at households in 13 states in which at least one adult had memory loss or confusion that had gotten worse in the last 12 months.

They found that included 12.6 percent of households. In 5.4 percent of households, all of the adults had experienced increased memory loss or confusion.

The researchers wrote that their findings highlighted the magnitude of the problem and could affect public policies.

“For example, increasing awareness about recognition of signs and symptoms of cognitive decline in self or others can allow household members to seek medical advice and plan for future needs,” they wrote.

Baumgart said that there was an epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease in the United States and that the numbers were projected to get even worse.

“We’re going to go from over 5 million Americans living with the disease today to as many as 16 million by 2050 — that’s tripling the number of people who are living with this disease,” Baumgart said. “It’s the most expensive disease in America so you can imagine the burden that this huge growing number of people with it will is going to have on our system unless we do something about it.”

Baumgart said that the CDC’s data on people beginning to have memory problems was important as a good predictor for future dementia.

“It is really important to look at these numbers, and for the public health system to take notice,” he said. “It’s a wake-up call for the long-term care system. It should be a wake-up call for the federal government to invest more in the research so that we can change the trajectory of the disease.”

A second report, also from the CDC, looked at the age and health of Americans with memory limitations and also difficulties functioning. It found that they tended to be younger.

Those researchers looked at data for people 45 years or older from 21 states that participated in the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

“Eligibility for services is often age-dependent; our findings underscore a need to ensure assistance for people who have increased confusion or memory loss and functional difficulties but who do not meet the present age-related eligibility requirements,” the researchers wrote.

NBC Owned Television Stations' Jennifer Vasquez and Evan Carr contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Thousands of Bassinets, Cradles Recalled]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 11:46:13 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/bassinet-recall.jpg

Fall and suffocation hazards prompted the recall of thousands of two-in-one bassinets.

Dream on Me recalled nearly 13,000 two-in-one bassinet to cradle products after learning that the wire supports on the sides can disconnect and cause the fabric sides to lower, leaving infants susceptible to falling out or suffocation.

The company issued the recalled after receiving a report of one such incident. No injuries were reported.

The bassinet to cradle was sold nationwide from May 2012 to October 2014 at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Wayfair.com, ToysRUs.com and Kohls.com.

Consumers should stop using the product and contact Dream on Me for a free repair.

For More Information:


Photo Credit: US Consumer Product Safety Commission]]>
<![CDATA[Plague-Carrying Flea Found on NYC Rats: Study]]> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 09:41:42 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/101214rats.jpg

The type of flea that spread the bubonic plague across Europe in the 1300s, killing millions of people, lives in NYC, according to a study published in a medical journal.

Cornell University researchers trapped 133 rats in five different locations across the city. They then euthanized the rodents and killed the insects living on them using a vapor. Combing through the rats’ fur, they found 6.500 parasites, including the tropical rat mite, the spine rat louse, the spiny rat mite and the now infamous oriental rat flea, according to the Journal of Medical Entomology study.

Among those parasites was the oriental rat flea, which is believed to have caused the Black Death pandemic in Europe centuries ago, according to the researchers.

New Yorkers can breathe a sigh of relief, however. The report said rats in the city no longer carry the disease. But some rats do carry Bartonella, a bacterium that causes fever and flu-like symptoms. 

Diseases are spread from rats to humans via flea bites, which involve the flea regurgitating its gut matter into a human's bloodstream.

The parasite survey shows that more research is needed to determine the danger posed by rats, Matthew Frye, the study’s co-author, told The Verge.

Although such parasite surveys have been possible since the early 1900s, none have been conducted in the city since the 1920s.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dairy Case Junk Food]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 18:23:40 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/CR+Dairy+Case+030315.jpg

The dairy case is bulging with new products that seem like tasty ways to get more protein, calcium, and other nutrients into your diet. But Consumer Reports ShopSmart magazine says that many are just surprise junk foods.

Dairy foods can pack a lot of sugar, both natural and added. They can also be high in sodium. Take cheese sticks. You might consider the calcium a bonus, but most average almost 200 milligrams of sodium per stick—that’s more than you’ll find in a 1-ounce bag of potato chips. A glass of skim milk will have as much or more calcium and vitamin D, with about half the sodium.

You might get a protein boost from YoCrunch yogurt with granola, but you’ll also get 25 grams of sugar in each 6-ounce serving. The much smaller Stonyfield Organic YoKids Squeezers and Yoplait Go-Gurts still pack 9 grams of sugar per serving. Consumer Reports says that you’re better off choosing Siggi’s Icelandic-Style Yogurt Tubes, which have only 6 grams of sugar.

Dips made with Greek yogurt might be better than the fat-laden, sour-cream variety, but don’t think you’re dipping into pure, healthy yogurt. Salty seasonings in the Heluva Good French Onion Greek Yogurt Dip drive the sodium content of a 2-tablespoon serving beyond what you’d get in a small bag of McDonald’s french fries! Smarter choices include two Greek Yogurt Dips from Sabra: Mediterranean Herb and Tzatziki.

Also look closely at drinkable yogurts and smoothies. Many offer calcium and gut-friendly probiotic bacteria, but they can be just as bad as candy and soda when it comes to calories and sugar levels. Instead, look out for low-fat versions and choose plain over sugary fruit flavors.

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

Photo Credit: Consumer Reports]]>
<![CDATA[Brain Surgeons Use 3-D Technology]]> Tue, 03 Mar 2015 09:07:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/generic-brain2.jpg

For the first time, brain surgeons at UCLA’s Neurosurgery Center can look inside the heads of their patients before they go under the knife.

Using a breakthrough tool called the Surgical Theater, doctors can create ultra-realistic 3-D virtual replicas of a patient’s brain and look inside when preparing for surgery.

"We can see the anatomy with great precision and it’s not obscured by fluid, by blood, by any of the things that can be problematic during the operation," explains to Dr. Neil Martin of the UCLA Neurosurgery Center. “That allows us to operate with greater precision and a lot more confidence.”

Some problems can be cured if the surgery is performed perfectly. This 3-D technology improves the chance of a successful procedure by giving doctors a road map for the surgery. Once the 3-D virtual brain is created by combing layers of a traditional CT scan, it’s displayed on a large touch sensitive screen.

The surgeon can then manipulate the image by touch, rotating it, resizing it and locating specific parts of the anatomy.

"We’re prepared before we even get there," Dr. Martin said. "It shortens the operative time and, in my experience, that sense of déjà vu leads you to a much better operation."

Recently, Dr. Martin used the device to prepare for two surgeries that if performed perfectly could lead to a full cure.

Sibyl Stringer was diagnosed with an aneurism - a weakened blood vessel - which could have killed Stringer if it burst.

"I didn’t have any symptoms and it was discovered while we were looking for something else," Stringer said.

Lucas Deines discovered he has a non-cancerous brain tumor when visiting his doctor because of an unrelated problem with headaches. Although benign, the tumor had the power to recur and require further surgery or even radiation, according to Dr. Martin.

"I was scared to death to be frank," Deines said.

After studying the 3-D models of each of their brains, Dr. Martin was able to successfully complete Sibyl and Deines’ difficult surgeries without any major complications.

"I feel blessed that I’m talking to you, and that it’s not a bad dream," Deines said.

Dr. Bruce says: "Lucas told us that just five days after his surgery. This breakthrough technique may soon be used in other areas of the body as well. It may save lives and cut down on risks."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New App Lets Patients Receive Diagnosis Through Phone]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 19:57:37 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Liberty11P0228_1200x675_406144067928.jpg

Not feeling up for a visit to the doctor? A new phone application may be able to help you out.

Doctor on Demand can help diagnose common health problems without the patient ever having to step foot inside a hospital.

Users can download the application and talk with board-certified and licensed doctors in their area through a web cam.

Some doctors say this is another way of dealing with day-to-day care, but should not be used for chronic health issues.

The application works on a pay-per-visit basis with no other feeds and has medical and pediatric doctors available as well as psychologists and lactation consultants.

<![CDATA[Nina Pham To Sue Texas Health Resources]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 00:29:35 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP45866783724.jpg Nina Pham's attorney said the 26-year-old nurse is preparing to file a lawsuit Monday in Dallas County against Texas Health Resources, where she contracted Ebola from a patient.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Runners Brave Cold in Half Marathon]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 21:49:27 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/030115-Cowtown-Start-%283%29.jpg

Even after a weekend of icy, wet and generally miserable weather, thousands braved the cold and participated in the 37th Annual Cowtown Half Marathon in Downtown Fort Worth Sunday.

"It was cold," runner Alexa Gonce said of the event. "It was very cold."

The starting gun fired at 8 a.m. at The Will Rogers Memorial Center, but officials were forced to cancel all Saturday races, the 10K, Adults 5K, and Cook Children's 5K, as temperatures hovered in the high 20s and snow continued. The Marathon and 50K courses could not be cleared in time for a race start Sunday, event officials said.

Those who participated in the half marathon said road conditions remained slick before the event, but it wasn't enough to deter the runners and their cheer sections.

"The roads were a little slick on the way up here," Karen Goff said, in support of her Denton family who ran in the half marathon. "That's the least we can do when they've been running in this kind of weather."

The decision to cancel the Cowtown Marathon and the Ultra Marathon was made on Saturday as a winter storm brought several inches of snow to North Texas. Organizing officials said they worked with the National Weather Service (NOAA) and felt confident in their decision.

“We were disappointed that the other distances had to be canceled, but there was little that could be done on the sections of the course that went over park paths and more remote streets," said Heidi Swartz, Cowtown executive director.

Professional athletes and others who were registered to run in the Marathon or 50K were added to the Half Marathon field. The prize money that was originally slated for the Marathon race was added to the Half Marathon purse, which came to more than $30,000.

Bonuses were offered to the 12 athletes who shot for and surpassed the record Half Marathon times of 1:09:27 for men, and 1:18:05 for women.


Three Kenyan runners (Hillary Too, Kipkoech Ruto and Peter Chebii) surged at Mile 3 to break away from the other runners and from the start were on pace to finish well below the existing record. By Mile 10, Too began to build a lead on his compatriots and American Tyler McCandless was catching the stragglers and moving up in the ranks of the race.

Through the final miles, Too continued strong to win in a new course record of 1:06:00 with McCandless nearly closing the gap to finish second in 1:06:17. Peter Chebii held on for the third spot in 1:06:52.

Two other men finished faster than the previous course record: Kipkoech Ruto in fourth place in 1:07:00 and Al Escalera, of Terra Haute IN, finishing fifth in 1:09:14.

It was a race between three women nearly from the beginning. Hirut Guangul (Ethiopia), Lilian Mariita (Kenya) and Susan Jerotich (Kenya) broke away from the others by the third mile with Guangul and Mariita trading the lead until the final mile.

Susan Jerotich stated after the race that she knew that if the race came down to a sprint finish she would win - and that was indeed the case as Jerotich pushed away from the others in the final mile to win in a new course record of 1:15:22.

Lilian Maritta held on for second place in 1:15:25 and Hirut Guangul -- originally planning to run the marathon -- took third place in the Half Marathon in 1:15:31.

Four other women ran times faster than the previous course record: Juliane Masciana of Austin, TX, fourth in 1:17:22; Zipporah Chebet fifth in 1:17:28; Nuta Olaru of Longmont, CO, sixth in 1:17:43; and Grace Kahura seventh in 1:17:47.

"The first year the Cowtown happened in 1979 there was an ice storm the night before the race and it took place," Swartz said. "There were only 600 runners that year. So, it was easier to take place with 600 runners versus 28,000 or 30,000. We made it through a tough year and look forward to running all of the races again in 2016."

As for other marathon events around the Metroplex, Cowtown entrants in the canceled events can email proof of registration with the subject line "Cowtown Transfer" to receive a complimentary entry to the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on March 20-22 in Dallas.

Also, the 12th annual Big D Texas Marathon events will be held in Dallas on Sunday, April 12. The GE Irving Marathon events also set to begin on April 4.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>