<![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 Fri, 29 May 2015 17:52:50 -0500 Fri, 29 May 2015 17:52:50 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Tarrant Co., Grand Prairie Confirm West Nile Samples]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 15:07:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ground-spraying-dfw-generic-01.jpg

Tarrant County Public Health and the City of Grand Prairie have confirmed positive samples of the West Nile virus in mosquito pools.

On Friday, Grand Prairie tweeted positive mosquito samples were confirmed and that they will ground spray in three areas beginning Sunday through Wednesday.

  • Area 1 -- This area is bound by Beatty Dr. and Kirby Creek Dr. on the north, Corn Valley Rd. on the east, S. Carrier Pkwy. and Corn Valley Rd. on the south, and S. Carrier Pkwy. on the west.
  • Area 2 – This area is bound by W. Polo Rd. on the north, Prairie Ln. on the east, Camp Wisdom Rd. on the south, and Kite Rd. and Barn Owl Trail on the west.
  • Area 3 – This area is bound by W. Tarrant Road on the north, N.W. 7th on the east, Dalworth St. on the south, and 161 N. Bound Service Road on the west.

The Dallas County city previously said they will ground spray every Thursday and Friday night, weather permitting, from May through October in neighborhoods testing positive for infected mosquitoes.

Tarrant County officials said their first positive sample of the season was collected in Richland Hills in the 76118 zip code.

Tarrant County officials said 1,043 mosquito samples have been tested at the North Texas Regional Laboratory since seasonal surveillance began on April 1. Last year, TCPH reported its first WNV positive mosquito sample on June 25.

At this time, ground spraying has not been announced by Tarrant County health officials.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Docs Give Baby Thumb With Surgery]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 07:09:10 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/toddler+thumb+photo.jpg

A 1-year-old baby born without a thumb will soon be able to grab things with his right hand for the first time thanks to a procedure Long Island doctors say was no small feat. 

A tiny cast was taken off of Brandon Torres' newly created thumb on Tuesday, nearly a month after doctors at the Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park performed a surgical procedure to create the crucial appendage. 

Torres, of Queens, was born without a right thumb due to a rare disorder known as Duane-radial ray syndrome, which the National Institutes for Health says affects the eyes and causes abnormalities to the bones in a person's arms and hands. Only a few families worldwide carry the genetic mutation that causes the syndrome.

In order to give Torres a thumb, doctors say they performed a procedure known as pollicization. Dr. Nick Bastidas, the pediatric plastic surgeon who performed the procedure, said he shortened Torres' index finger, then rotated it to the position of a thumb.

While he was doing that, he and other surgeons also lengthened Torres' blood vessels and transferred muscles to create a functional hand.

The April 27 procedure took about 2 1/2 hours to complete.

Bastidas said that the thumb is the most important finger on the hand because it allows humans to grasp and pinch.



Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Best Bike Helmets]]> Thu, 28 May 2015 17:09:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/bike+helmets.jpg

No question, a bike helmet can be a real lifesaver. Ninety percent of the bicyclists killed in the past two decades were not wearing a helmet.

Consumer Reports just tested 23 helmets and found good choices for both adults and children.

Consumer Reports crash tests helmets to see how well they will protect you in an accident. A sensor detects how much force would be transmitted to the rider’s head in a crash. A second Consumer Reports test checks the strength of the chin strap.

One helmet, the Cannondale Teramo, didn’t pass and may pose a safety risk because it could come off in an accident. In four of the five samples tested, the buckle snapped or broke into pieces. Consumer Reports is not aware of any injuries as a result of the Cannondale Teramo buckle issue.

The company says it stands behind its third-party independent test results, but Consumer Reports does not recommend buying the Cannondale Teramo.

A spokesperson for Cannondale Teramo released the following in response to Consumer Reports' findings:

 

The safety of our consumers using our products is our number one priority. We use independent third party professional test labs, certified by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, to test and certify that our products meet, and exceed, all current safety standards. These independent third party professional test labs, based in the U.S. and around the world, test in accordance with the required protocol and have verified that the helmets in question have passed all testing, including additional testing performed within 24 hours of the Consumer Reports tests. We have complete confidence in the quality and safety of our helmets.
Michael DeLeon, Director, Global Integrated Marketing & Communications

 

However, Consumer Reports did find several good choices.

Top-rated is the Scott Arx Plus for $150. It scored Excellent in impact resistance and fit adjustments. It was Very Good for ventilation, and it’s also a lightweight helmet.

And Consumer Reports found several other Best Buys that cost far less, including the Lazer Cyclone for $45 and the Schwinn Merge for just $12.

Consumer Reports also tested children’s helmets, and top rated the Bontrager Solstice Youth for $40.

Consumer Reports says be careful how you handle your helmet. Don’t just toss it into the trunk of your car, because heat can affect performance. And you don’t want to get even minor dents into the lining, which is what absorbs the impact.

If you are ever in an accident, even if you can’t see any damage to your helmet, replace it.

You can get information on the right way to fit a bike helmet on ConsumerReports.org.

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[Ecstasy Used to Treat Patients]]> Thu, 28 May 2015 09:45:27 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ecstasy+pills.jpg

The Federal Drug Administration is allowing a team of Bay Area psychotherapists to experiment with ecstasy to treat patients.

Dr. Phil Wolfson, who has offices in San Francisco and Marin County, is in charge of the 15-month experiment approved the FDA and Drug Enforcement Administration.

Wolfson said he knows firsthand that ecstasy, or MDMA, is effective in easing extreme anxiety because he used it to get through the worst time of his life when his son way dying from leukemia.

"It tends to bring on a mood change," Wolfson said. "It gives you a feeling of loving and caring. You're more accepting of your own failure and difficulties and being able to own them better."

Ecstasy, also known as Molly, is a drug commonly used at raves. The drug is currently considered by the federal government to have no therapeutic value.

Wolfson, however, received the government's blessing to conduct a clinical trial of 18 patients using the drug in conjunction with a number of intense therapeutic sessions.

"If a drug works for a disabling condition and can be labeled to be used in a safe way in that population, then we think we have an obligation to evaluate the data and do what the data support, such as allow a trial to proceed," an FDA spokeswoman said.

If the current trial goes as Wolfson believes it will, MDMA will then be used to treat large numbers of people over a two-year period.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The DMN's Seema Yasmin: Pediatric Falls]]> Tue, 26 May 2015 12:14:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TDMN_Pediatric_Falls_1200x675_451620931686.jpg A new study finds thousands of children are treated in emergency rooms each day for injuries that doctors say are preventable. The Dallas Morning News' Dr. Seema Yasmin explains.]]> <![CDATA[New 3-D Treatment Builds Eyebrows]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 12:14:36 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/eyebrows-3d.jpg

If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the eyebrow is its frame and many women want that view.

"A fuller eyebrow makes you look younger," said Sunita Muppagovini, the owner of The Threading Studio in Southlake and Pouf Blowout and Threading Studio in Dallas.

Muppagovini is an expert in eyebrows. For years, she's twisted and rolled thread to take out unwanted hairs on eyebrows, upper lips, chins, even entire faces.

Now, she's helping women get eyebrows where there is no hair. She's using a new 3-D sculpting gel or textured paint that lets her build an eyebrow.

"This is a 3D sculpting gel that we create an eyebrow. It's a very thin pen, so I dip it in the gel and I create hair like strokes," she said as she demonstrates. "Then I keep building on it and this is how it looks."

Muuppagovini got trained in 3-D brow building last month and believes she's one of the first in Dallas to use it.

She said so far she's sculpted brows on clients who've lost their hair to cancer treatments or to the autoimmune disease alopecia.  It takes about 30 minutes per eye to create a waterproof, smudge-proof eyebrow.

"People can come in with no eyebrows and I can create a shape, "Muppagovini said.

Others simply want the convenience that comes from one less step in the beauty regimen.

"Just like to get up and go, wash my face and go, and when your eyebrows are done, you can do that," explained Jeannie, the client in the chair when NBC 5 stopped by.

In addition to sculpting an eyebrow, Muppagovini said she can also add extensions if hair is missing. The 3-D brow costs between $75 to $150, depending on what's needed, and lasts two to three weeks.

On the Web: Pouf Salon



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Can You See Me Now?]]> Fri, 22 May 2015 17:15:08 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cr-reflective-clothes.jpg

Cars kill more than 5,000 pedestrians, bicyclists, and joggers each year. A vast majority of those accidents happen after the sun sets.

Special reflective clothing is supposed to make you easy to spot.

Consumer Reports tested several options: jackets, bike shirts, and an inexpensive safety vest. There was even a button-down shirt made with reflective thread. Some of the clothing stood out from the rest and was easy to see, but some just blended into the night.

Take the Betabrand shirt with reflective thread. On the company’s website, it looks easy to spot. But Consumer Reports found that it’s not visible from 300 feet, the distance it takes for a car to stop if it’s going 60 miles per hour.

It’s really important that the garment you wear can be seen from the front and the back. And the more reflective the pieces, the better.

The $180 Gore Phantom Windstopper soft-shell jacket is easy to see coming and going, but it didn’t outshine the Uline safety vest, with its big, bright strips. And it’s inexpensive, about $15 at uline.com.

You can up your safety game with the addition of accessories like a battery-operated wristband or a reflective ankle band. Consumer Reports found that they are all highly visible from 300 feet. And when they move up and down as you’re biking or running, they really stand out.

Consumer Reports also checked out iron-on reflective tape. It costs only about $4, and you can put it on a jacket, a backpack, or anything you or your kids might wear at night.

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[Alzheimer's Simulator Helps Caretakers Understand the Disease]]> Thu, 21 May 2015 15:02:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/178541982_Dementia-ALzheimers-Generic.jpg

Alzheimer's can be difficult to understand for those who do not suffer from the disease.

A senior living center in Kentucky is trying to help caretakers of those diagnosed with the condition better understand it with a tour, according to NBC affiliate WAVE.

The "virtual dementia tour" clouds a person's vision and hearing with goggles and background noise. It also impairs functions like use of your fingers to simulate arthritis.

For the simulation, people are told to wear gloves with some of the fingers taped together to simulate arthritis. They also told to wear headphones with headphones that provide noises that make it difficult to hear to simulate impaired hearing.

They are then asked to complete simple tasks in a dark room, like run a belt through the loops of a pair of pants. As seen in the video above, it is challenging for people who would otherwise find the task easy.

Brenda Loy, of Louisville, began crying after the experience, telling WAVE that it helped her understand the disease’s toll on her husband, James. The couple has been married for 53 years.

"(The simulation) opened my eyes in a good way for me to see, but in a bad way to know my husband deals with that every day and there's not a thing you can do about it,” Brenda Loy said. "You just have to let it run its course."

Watch the simulation in the video above.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Flickr RM]]>
<![CDATA[NTX Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile Virus]]> Thu, 21 May 2015 22:30:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/llegada-de-mosquitos-a-Arizona.jpg

The Texas Department of State Health Services confirms Thursday the first case of West Nile virus has been recorded in the state for the 2015 season.

And batches of mosquitoes on Thursday tested positive for West Nile virus in Mesquite, Frisco and Dallas County.

The West Nile virus patient, who is in Harris County, has contracted the more serious neuroinvasive form of the disease.

As per usual, health officials are not releasing personal information about the patient due to confidentiality laws.

While the patient is not in North Texas, the diagnosis serves as a reminder for everyone to take precautions to minimize the risk of exposure to the mosquito-borne virus.

"We do know that Harris County has their first human case, and so that tells us Dallas County residents and the state of Texas need to be aware that it is mosquito season and to be prepared," said Zach Thompson, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services.

Cases of West Nile neuroinvasive disease typically occur in the late summer or early fall, and Texas is seeing its first human case more than a month earlier compared to 2014.

"Seeing the first human case is not a surprise," said Thompson. "But what it tells us is we need to prepare and use preventive measures."

In 2013, there were 183 human cases in Texas. In 2014, there were 379. But Thompson said there's no way to predict if this year will have a higher number of cases than last.

"The number of mosquitoes that we are going to see in terms of possible positive mosquitoes, who knows?" said Thompson. "In terms of possible human cases, it fluctuates."

With Texas' variety of climates, West Nile can be transmitted year round, outside of traditional peak seasons. Experts advise people take protective measures by utilizing the "4Ds" to reduce the risk of West Nile virus:

  • DEET: All Day, Every Day: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • DRESS: Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing outside.
  • DRAIN: Remove all areas of standing water in and around your home.
  • DUSK & DAWN: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn hours when mosquitoes are most active.

Several cities and towns in North Texas have already begun spraying adulticide to kill mosquitoes.

The city of Frisco says crews will spray for mosquitoes Friday from 6-9 p.m. in a section of the Frisco Lakes golf course and a nearby wooded area that leads to Lake Lewisville.

Due to the incredibly wet spring in North Texas, some city leaders believe that will lead to an increase in mosquitoes. An increase in mosquitoes doesn't necessarily mean an increase in cases of West Nile virus however.

"Up to 80 percent of people who contract the virus don't get symptoms and won't even know they have it," said Dr. Tom Sidwa, state public health veterinarian and manager of DSHS's zoonosis control branch in a news release Thursday. "But those who do get sick can experience very serious effects ranging from fever to substantial neurological symptoms and even death."

Symptoms, if they appear, are fever, headache, nausea, body aches, swollen lymph nodes and skin rashes. Fewer than 1 percent of those infected with West Nile virus experience the more serious neuroinvasive form of the illness.

State health officials are also monitoring cases of another mosquito-borne virus, chikungunya, after seven Texas residents have been diagnosed with the disease this year after traveling to Central or South America.

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<![CDATA[Michelle Obama Packs a Punch With 5 Workout Tips]]> Wed, 20 May 2015 16:39:37 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/MichelleObamaPunching.jpg

Five years after launching her Let’s Move campaign to fight childhood obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama released a short video on Twitter with five workout tips.

In the video, Michelle starts with jumping rope and ends with hitting a punching bag and staying hydrated. 

FLOTUS’ video was posted in response to the president’s own five tips for the #GimmeFive Twitter campaign that is part of Let’s Move. President Barack Obama’s tips all include him wearing a suit, such as taking the stairs and having walking meetings instead of sit-down ones.

No offense to the president, but his wife's tips are a bit more fierce.

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<![CDATA[Michelle Obama Packs a Punch]]> Wed, 20 May 2015 15:48:42 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/MichelleObamaPunching.jpg First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted a video of herself working out on Tuesday to help promote her #GimmeFive fitness campaign. In the thirty second clip, Obama jumps rope, kick-boxes and bench presses 35-pound dumbbells.]]> <![CDATA[Fort Worth Warns of 'Boomer' Mosquito Season]]> Tue, 19 May 2015 18:49:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/West_Nile_prevention_.jpg

All of the rain North Texas has seen in the last few weeks could lead to a problematic mosquito season. But it's still unclear if that means a worse West Nile virus season.

Fort Worth city leaders absolutely believe we will see more mosquitoes, because of the rains and the standing water and tall grasses the rain has generated.

Of course, the mosquitoes will emerge after the rain stops for an extended period, but it's not clear if a bad West Nile season will emerge as well, officials said.

"But I can tell you it's going to be a boomer year for the mosquitoes. We're already seeing that," said Code Compliance Director Brandon Bennett. "In comparison to the last four or five years, our traps are already capturing more mosquitoes."

Bennett said the city has already started its awareness campaign about how to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne viruses, like West Nile and chikungunya. And while wearing long sleeves all day and wearing repellents containing DEET remain important parts of the prevention process getting rid of standing water is the top priority.

"The most important thing, the number one thing that people can do to reduce the risk in their community, is to keep the water drained and then report pooling water," Bennett said.

The city will be proactive in getting rid of such standing water, be it on private or public lands. The UNT Health Sciences Center will continue to help the city in its monitoring program with 62 traps across Fort Worth, as the city wants everyone to be aware of what's coming after the storms.

"We are very worried about a higher than normal mosquito population this year. We really need people to pay attention," Bennett said.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Veterinarians Concerned About Dog Flu]]> Wed, 13 May 2015 22:43:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dog-flu-1.jpg

A highly contagious strain of dog flu known as H3N2 has arrived in Texas.

The sick dog is in Beach City, near Houston, and came to Texas from Chicago.

It has the same kind of flu that has already sickened more than a thousand dogs in the Midwest, and some of them have even died.

The new development concerns veterinarians at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

“It does seem to be very contagious dog-to-dog, much like human flu is pretty contagious person-to-person,” said Dr. Audrey Cook at Texas A&M.

That makes dog flu especially worrisome at dog park, day-cares and boarding facilities.

H3N2 appears to have come from Asia. It surfaced in the U.S. in Chicago and has since spread to Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and now Texas.

In addition to being highly contagious, the current vaccine for dog flu may not be effective against H3N2.

“Dogs who were vaccinated for the earlier strain probably don’t have any protection against this new one,” said Dr. Cook.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the major symptoms are:

  • Coughing
  • Runny Nose
  • Fever

Most healthy dogs recover from H3N2 with the help of antibiotics and fluids.

As with human flu, the biggest concern is for older dogs and dogs with other health issues.

The CDC says people are not at risk from the H3N2 virus.

There is no word on when a more effective dog flu vaccine might be available.

In the meantime, dog owners should talk to their veterinarian about any concerns and be on the lookout for possible symptoms.



Photo Credit: NBC Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[Safer, Effective Insect Repellents]]> Wed, 13 May 2015 17:32:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/insect+repellent.jpg

Mosquitoes and ticks are a nuisance, but even worse, they can spread diseases like West Nile and Lyme.

And now some types of those insects are responsible for carrying new diseases — chikungunya and Powassan.

Consumer Reports tested 15 sprays to find the safest, most effective repellents.

Some contain the active ingredient deet. It’s an effective repellent, but it can sometimes cause serious side effects like rashes, disorientation, and even seizures.

So Consumer Reports says you should avoid products that have more than 30 percent deet.

But can you avoid deet altogether and still ward off bugs?

Consumer Reports tests included several non-deet alternatives that contain oils like rosemary, citronella, and lemongrass. The natural and herbal repellents were not very effective at all.

However, there are some non-deet products that really work. One of the best is Repel with Lemon Eucalyptus. And Consumer Reports top-rated Sawyer Fisherman’s Formula.

It contains 20 percent picaridin. Both are safer than deet, and Consumer Reports tests found they protect against mosquitoes and ticks for at least seven hours.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus is a plant-based repellent and picaridin is made to resemble piperine, the natural compound found in plants used to make black pepper. They are both chemically synthesized in a lab. Both do have side effects, but they’re far less severe than deet.

Keep lemon eucalyptus away from your eyes because it can cause severe but temporary eye injuries. Also, don’t use it on children under three. A safer choice is picaridin, though it can cause minor irritation to the eyes, skin, and lungs.

It is important to look for a repellent with 20 percent picaridin.

Consumer Reports tested some with only 5 percent, and they were not very effective at all.

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[H3N2 Dog Flu Case Reported in Texas]]> Wed, 13 May 2015 10:31:14 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dog-flu-1.jpg

The first case of H3N2 dog flu, the same dog flu that sickened more than 1,000 dogs in the Midwest, has been reported in Texas.

The positive test came from a dog in Beach City, near Houston, after the pets owners recently moved from Chicago.

The H3N2 dog flu was detected in April in Chicago. It has killed several dogs and sickened hundreds of others.

Researchers believe the H3N2 strain mutated from a form of avian flu, and prior to the outbreak in the U.S. had only been detected in South Korea, Thailand and China, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Right now, there is no vaccine specifically designed to prevent the H3N2 strain.

Symptoms include fever, runny nose and cough, but complications from severe cases can lead to pneumonia or result in death.

Dog flu can be transferred through direct contact with respiratory secretions and from contaminated surfaces that may be present at kennels, shelters and veterinarians' offices.



Photo Credit: NBC Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[A&M Vets Giving Desperate Pet Owners Hope]]> Tue, 05 May 2015 22:44:08 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/dog050515.JPG

Veterinarians at Texas A&M University in College Station are using breakthrough treatments to save pets that until recently would have had little hope of survival.

Teddy, a 6-year-old Shih Tzu with bladder cancer is one of the pets receiving special treatment.

“He had just days to live when we met him,” said Dr. Audrey Cook.

Teddy’s owner, Ben Layman, was desperate to find a way to help his best friend.

“You don’t expect to hear devastating news like that so early in a dog’s life,” Layman said.

Layman decided to turn to the experts at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Teddy was placed in the care of a special team of veterinarians known as the Guidewire Group, which specializes in the most challenging cases.

In Teddy’s case, Cook used minimally-invasive surgical techniques common in human hospitals.

“There’s a tremendous opportunity to move technology and advances very flexibly from one side to the other,” Cook said. “If we hadn’t had these techniques available, there would have been nothing we could have offered, and we wouldn’t have Teddy with us now.”

More than a year after his diagnosis, Teddy has made dramatic improvement. Even Cook is amazed.

“I can’t believe how good he looks. He looks fabulous,” Layman said.

Teddy is still fighting cancer, but Layman is overjoyed that Teddy is still by his side.

“For me, it’s just a miracle. I’m filled with such joy every second I look at him. I love this thing more than anything."

Veterinarians with questions about unusual or difficult cases are invited to contact the Guidewire Group via email or by calling the Small Animal Hospital at 979-845-2351.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[How Safe Are Your Shrimp? ]]> Tue, 05 May 2015 17:17:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cr+shrimp.jpg

Americans love shrimp. We eat an average of almost four pounds per year, making it more popular than tuna.

About 94 percent of the U-S shrimp supply is imported –– and the majority of it is farmed.

The director of Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center, Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., says, “Farming can be done responsibly, but when it’s not, bacteria and disease can thrive. Antibiotics may seem like a fix, but we don’t think so, and they’re illegal for use in imported shrimp.”

Consumer Reports tested 342 packages of shrimp, farmed and wild, raw and cooked. The shrimp was purchased in large chain supermarkets, big-box stores and “natural” food stores in 27 cities across the country.

Overall, 60 percent of the raw shrimp samples tested positive for bacteria, so safe preparation is very important. And 11 samples, or about five percent of imported, raw, farmed shrimp, had antibiotic residues.

Rangan says, “The antibiotic use is particularly troubling because it’s illegal, it promotes antibiotic resistance, and it just isn’t a responsible way of farming.”

The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for inspecting shrimp coming into the U.S. to make sure it doesn’t contain any drugs or chemicals that aren’t permitted.

But last year it examined less than four percent of foreign shrimp shipments and tested less than one percent.

Consumer Reports is urging the FDA to step up its inspections.

Consumer Reports recommends buying responsibly sourced wild shrimp, like those recommended by Seafood Watch or certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.

If farmed shrimp are better for your budget, Consumer Reports says look for farmed shrimp certified by Naturland, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, or Whole Foods Market Responsibly Farmed.

It is important to handle and cook shrimp properly to reduce the risk of spreading bacteria.

You can find tips at ConsumerReports.org.

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[Dallas County Reports Another Flu-Related Death]]> Mon, 04 May 2015 15:49:21 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-000054.jpg

Dallas County Health and Human Services reports another adult has died as a result of the flu.

The death occurred during the week ending April 25, according to the latest figures from health officials.

No further identifying information was released about the victim other than he or she was a resident of Dallas County.

There have been 10,458 total confirmed flu cases in Dallas County since Sept. 28, 2014, the health department reported, and 19 deaths.

No children have died from the flu this season.

Flu was blamed in 58 deaths in Dallas County during the 2013-2014 flu season, including three children who died in March and April 2014.

The flu season in North Texas normally lasts through the end of April.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[What Can You do to Prevent Skin Cancer?]]> Mon, 04 May 2015 10:07:25 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/NC_sunsafety0504001.jpg Summer is coming! To get ready for more time in the sun, dermatologists offer advice on skin cancer prevention.]]> <![CDATA[Tarrant Co. Resident Tests Negative for Ebola]]> Fri, 01 May 2015 22:39:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/216*120/perkins-ebolascare.JPG

A Tarrant County resident who recently returned home from a humanitarian trip to West Africa has tested negative for Ebola, according to Tarrant County Public Health.

Andy Perkins, founder and executive director of the non-profit group BESTWA, told NBC 5 he recently returned from a trip to Liberia but days later began to feel ill.

“The next day I started having a low-grade fever and just intestinal upset, and it just wouldn’t go away. It would go away for like a day and then come back, and so today, early this morning, was the third time it had come back,” said Perkins.

He said he went to the Veterans Administration Hospital, where he typically receives medical treatment, and was then transferred to UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

The Ebola test results came back negative within three hours, according to Perkins.

“Yeah, of course, it’s a relief knowing that that’s not the case,” said Perkins.

Neither he nor medical personnel believed he suffered from Ebola, according to Perkins, and the state health department echoed that sentiment, telling NBC 5 earlier in the day that, “based on the clinical pictures, health officials agree that the need for testing is essentially non-existent. We are not concerned that this is going to be positive result.”

Still, health officials worked out of an abundance of caution.

According to the group's website, BESTWA operates three feeding stations which provide nutritious meals to over 900 children per day.



Photo Credit: Instagram/NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Highland Park to Spray for Mosquitoes This Weekend]]> Fri, 01 May 2015 15:16:46 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mosquito-spray-truck-02.jpg

After first spraying for mosquitoes two weeks ago, the Town of Highland Park will spray for the insects town wide.

Ground spraying will begin at 10 p.m. and end at 6 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Town's decision to use adulticide is based on the Centers for Disease Control's recommendations that surveillance data, when combined with established thresholds, indicates a necessity to reduce the density of adult mosquito populations quickly to lower the risk of West Nile virus.

The Town of Highland Park Parks Department and Dallas County Health and Human Services monitors several mosquito traps within the town limits. Mosquito samples from each trap are tested on a weekly basis. They test for the total number of adult mosquitoes in each trap and the presence of West Nile virus.

Currently, there has not been a positive mosquito sample for West Nile virus, but the total number of mosquitoes in specific traps has reached the treatable threshold as established by the Town's Mosquito Control Policy.

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<![CDATA[Blue Bell Inspections Find Crickets, Mildew & More]]> Thu, 30 Apr 2015 11:09:17 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Blue+Bell+Brenham.jpg

State health inspectors found crickets in a storage room, dirty mop buckets and mildew at Blue Bell’s sprawling plant in Brenham, according to records obtained by NBC 5 Investigates.

The violations were among dozens noted by the Texas Department of State Health Services over the past four years, but none led to formal warning letters or fines for the creamery.

NBC 5 obtained inspection reports from January 1, 2011 to April 15, 2015 under the Texas open records law.

Blue Bell’s Brenham facility and a separate Oklahoma plant have been under scrutiny since Listeria found in ice cream contributed to several deaths in Kansas and sickened people in Texas and other states.

Just last week, Blue Bell recalled all its products nationwide after two more tests for Listeria were positive at the Brenham facility.

The reports show inspectors monitored the plant regularly and Blue Bell says any issues were promptly corrected.

Many of the inspections turned up no violations, but others raised issues about cleanliness and food safety.

On Feb. 2, 2012, inspectors wrote: “Continue to monitor raw milk storage levels – time storage limits.”

Later that year, crickets were discovered at the plant.

“Crickets shall be removed, eradicated from milk storage rooms & evaporator room,” an inspector wrote on Sept. 18, 2012.

The following year, mildew was an issue.

“Find source of mildew in 40-degree room,” an inspector noted on Nov. 20, 2013.

Other inspections found concerns about food freshness.

“Rainbow fruit freeze is now 120 hours old! Use ASAP,” according to an inspection on Dec. 18, 2013. The notation apparently refers to a frozen snack made by Blue Bell called “Rainbow Freeze Bar.”

Other inspections faulted the factory for rust on doorways, not closing lids on various food containers and not having towels available at handwash sinks.

The company is in the process of deep cleaning its plants and re-training employees.

“Blue Bell has a long history of regular state health inspections,” the company said in a statement. “Whenever inspections raised any issues at all, we have always taken prompt action to address and correct them. Blue Bell takes cleanliness in our production facilities very seriously and our top priority is always the quality and safety of our product for our customers.”
 



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Dalco Health Chief Says They Weren't Ready for Ebola]]> Tue, 28 Apr 2015 14:00:34 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ebola-453210018.jpg

Dallas’ head disease expert said Tuesday that the city’s health department was unequipped to handle last year’s Ebola scare on its own.

Wendy Chung, chief epidemiologist for Dallas County Health and Human Services, said her team lacked the resources it needed to track and manage the Ebola outbreak.

CLICK HERE to read more about this story from our media partners at The Dallas Morning News.



Photo Credit: FILE/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kids With Lice Do Not Need to Miss School: Doctors]]> Tue, 28 Apr 2015 17:02:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/lice.jpg

Children with head lice do not need to miss school, according to the country's leading group of pediatricians.

New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics state 'No-Nit' policies, which requires a child to be free of nits (eggs) before they can return to school, are unfair -- and unnecessary.

In fact, children found to have head lice can finish the school day, be treated and return the next day.

Doctors said the first choice for treatment should be over-the-counter medicines along with combing out nits.

But if they don't work, there are other options available by prescription.

If head lice are discovered on one family member, the rest of the household should be checked.

Washing pillow cases and treating brushes are good ways to prevent lice from coming back or spreading.

CLICK HERE to watch The Today Show's report.
 



Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Blue Bell to Begin "Intensive Cleaning" at Facilities]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 22:40:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/blue-bell-listeria.jpg

Blue Bell Ice Cream on Monday will begin an intensive cleaning program at all four production facilities in Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas after a number of listeria illnesses were linked to the ice cream.

The company recalled all of its products Monday after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeria in March. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday the number of listeria illnesses nationwide linked to Blue Bell products has risen to 10.

At the same time they begin the intensive cleaning, the Texas-based ice cream maker will start a new training program for employees at those facilities.

"After a thorough review of operations and discussions with an expert microbiologist, it was decided this cleaning and training program will greatly benefit Blue Bell as it moves forward," the company said in a news release Thursday.

The new training, the company said, will include the following:

  • Highly aggressive cleaning techniques
  • Increased actions focused on sanitation and cleanliness
  • Strengthening of standard operating procedures
  • Enhancements to its preventive maintenance program
  • Equipment design changes 

Meanwhile the company will be producing products that will be used for testing and baseline data and not for public sale.

“We’ve always worked to make the very highest quality ice cream,” said Blue Bell CEO and President Paul Kruse. “We intend to make a fresh start and that begins with intensive cleaning and enhanced training. This is a paradigm shifting event at Blue Bell and we want to put in place new systems to drive continuous improvement.”

Company spokesman Joe Robertson said Tuesday finding the cause of the listeria contamination is a top priority.

Still, the company "cannot say with certainty" how the bacteria was introduced to its facilities, Kruse said in a statement.

Blue Bell expects to have ice cream products back on store shelves in about three weeks.

For now, outside the distribution center in Lancaster, Texas, the ice cream trucks are parked.

Grocery stores tell NBC 5 the company is aiming for Memorial Day to get the ice cream back on the shelves.

At Pokey-O’s in Dallas, owner Kathy Oszustowicz hopes its much sooner than that date.

“It’s impossible to replace a vendor like Blue Bell,” explained Oszustowicz. “Blue Bell has a corner in the market down here, they supply everyone and they do a good job at it.”

Half of her store's ice cream case is empty, where gallons of Blue Bell would normally be. It's the same situation on store shelves.

A Blue Bell representative was at the ice cream shop earlier Thursday, Oszustowicz said, asking about the most popular flavors.

“They wanted to select the top 10 flavors to start making first. They were asking local ice cream stores what the top 10 flavors were. We were telling them what our big sellers were, [and] that’s where they’re going to start,” she explained.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Ice Cream Company Recalls All Treats, Closes Shops ]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2015 15:21:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ice-cream-stock-79772399.jpg

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams is recalling treats and freezing sales across the country due to a possible listeria contamination. 

The Ohio-based company announced the voluntary recall on its website on Thursday, saying it is "ceasing all sales and closing all scoop shops until all products are ensured to be 100% safe." The recall covers all products bearing the "Jeni's" brand, including  ice creams, frozen yogurts, sorbets and ice cream sandwiches. 

The company said in a statement that it decided to issue a recall after a random sample test by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture came back positive for the bacteria, which can cause illness and even death in individuals with compromised immune systems. Jeni's said it is not aware of any sicknesses connected to its products to date. 

"Our top priority is guaranteeing the safety of all consumers by taking every possible precaution," John Lowe, CEO of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, said in a statement. "We have decided to recall everything currently on retailer shelves, and we are closing our scoop shops until we are 100% confident every item we sell is safe." 

Jeni's urges cutomers to throw out or return any products affected by the recall. More information is available at jennis.com/recall. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>