<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Health Connection]]>Copyright 2016http://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.comen-usTue, 28 Jun 2016 01:36:17 -0500Tue, 28 Jun 2016 01:36:17 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Texas Medicaid Cuts to Impact Special-Needs Kids]]> Mon, 27 Jun 2016 13:13:08 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/medicaid-cuts-family.jpg

In less than three weeks, Texas plans to implement $350 million in planned cuts to an insurance program that pays for speech, physical and occupational therapy for children with disabilities.

The cuts, set to go into effect July 15, impact state and federal dollars from Medicaid, a program that provides health coverage to people with low income or disabilities.

Children like 7-year-old Macario Chavarria III, of Dallas, could be negatively impacted. Chavarria has autism and takes part in doctor-recommended, twice-weekly speech and occupational therapy at a clinic in Oak Cliff.

“Just until a couple years ago he was still just saying one to three words,” Macario's father said. “I was thinking, ‘Well, he’s not going to be a normal little boy.’”

Chavarria Jr., a single father raising two children, said he's seen a big improvement in his son's speech and social skills since the therapy sessions at a clinic run by Easter Seals North Texas, a non-profit organization serving children and adults with disabilities and special needs.

The Chavarria family uses Medicaid to pay for therapy, as do tens of thousands of families of special needs children.

 

“This is a really dangerous situation that our state is getting us into,” Therapeutic and Autism Services for Easter Seals North Texas Vice President Jennifer Friesen said. “One of the things that Easter Seals is most concerned about is the long-term impact that these cuts will have.”

Friesen said the Medicaid cuts will result in a decreased reimbursement rate for providers of therapy services, meaning clinics will not be able to cover costs.

That will result in a number of unfortunate outcomes, according to Friesen, including some clinics dropping patients who use Medicaid for their insurance.

“If these cuts go through, there is potential Macario won’t be able to access service because the reimbursement rates are so low that there won’t be very many therapy providers available to families because many of the therapy providers are not going to be able to accept Medicaid rates only on a limited, with a limited number of clients,” Friesen said.

Last week, Democrats in the Texas House reached out to the Obama administration to request some form of intervention.

In a letter addressed to the Acting Administrator for the United States Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, all 50 Democratic Texas representatives asked help ensuring that medically necessary therapy continue unimpeded.

“We urge CMS to expeditiously review the State Plan Amendment to ensure that proposed rate reductions do not restrict access to medically necessary therapy services, regardless of the setting, type of therapy, or whether the therapy service is provided in a managed care or fee for service model,” the letter notes in its concluding paragraph.

The motivation for the cuts was based in the concern by state lawmakers that the Medicaid system was wrought with fraud, and that its ever-increasing budget needed to be brought under control.

Macario Chavarria, Jr. said he is not sure what will happen if Medicaid cuts impact his son’s access to therapy. But he is concerned that this is something he even needs to worry about.

“I kind of feel upset about it, because it’s not hurting us as parents. It’s hurting the kids because that’s something that’s helping them for the future,” Chavarria, Jr. said. “Something that the need to develop so they won’t stay behind.”



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Whitewater Park Closes After Deadly Amoeba Kills Teen]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 21:01:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/USWhitewaterCenter-.jpg

Health officials found a brain-destroying amoeba in the water at a North Carolina water park, which suspended operations Friday, NBC News reported. 

Officials found evidence of the microbe, and shut down the affected parts of the park after an Ohio teen died earlier this week after visiting the U.S. National Whitewater Center near Charlotte. Only whitewater activities are suspended, official said. 

The amoeba, called Naegleria fowleri, occasionally kills people, and is often found in warm bodies of water. Cases of infection are rare. In cases that do result in infection, the microbe can get into the sinuses and from there infect the brain. Although the risk is low, experts say people worried about infection should avoid getting water up their noses. 

The North Carolina park says it disinfects the water used throughout the facility.



Photo Credit: U.S. National Whitewater Center]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrities Come Out for National HIV Testing Day]]> Mon, 27 Jun 2016 10:55:20 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DanielFranzese-GettyImages-533405824.jpg

The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS foundation is among the organizations putting resources behind HIV prevention and is urging people to get informed and tested. 

The foundation will hold its first HIV-testing event at the Abbey in West Hollywood on June 27, which is National HIV Testing Day, NBC News reports.

Celebrity advocates, including Daniel Franzese, Julie Benz, Lance Bass, Frances Fisher and Kyle Pratt, will be in attendance to encourage people to get tested, increase awareness and help eliminate the stigma surrounding HIV. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1.2 million people are living with HIV in the U.S. More than 156,000 of them are unaware they are infected.



Photo Credit: FilmMagic]]>
<![CDATA[Experimental Procedure Preserves Fertility]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 17:57:21 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Preserving+Fertility+062416.jpg Chemotherapy used to treat cancer can kill children's chances of ever being able to have children on their own. NBC 5's Bianca Castro reports on an experimental procedure that's giving them hope.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Battling Cystic Fibrosis Not Defined By Disease]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 17:45:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cystic+fibrosis+symphony.jpg

Just one day after graduating high school, Kendall Thorn found herself back in a familiar place – a hospital room at Children's Medical Center of Dallas.

The 18-year-old lives with cystic fibrosis, an incurable genetic disease that strikes the lungs and digestive system. It will eventually be fatal. The average life expectancy is 40, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

"That's the thing with CF," said Kendall Thorn. "It's progressively worsening."

Patients must be careful in public settings and limit their exposure to potential germs.

"If I get a cold, I could be in the hospital for the next week," she said.

On the day NBC 5 met Thorn, members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra offered to visit CF patients who had been confined to their rooms for long treatment programs. Patients ranged from elementary age to recent high school grads, like her.

"Even if you don't know what CF means or why you're here, music is good for everyone," said Thorn. "Music always means something different to someone else."

For cystic fibrosis's youngest patients the disease is isolating in its complexity, for its oldest, its finality.

"I've had my share of breakdowns and cry outs about, 'Why is this happening,' for sure, but my support system gets me through," said Thorn.

In fact, she said she is fueled by her prognosis. She suffered through multiple sick days and setbacks to graduate high school. In the fall, she plans to attend the University of Oklahoma and pursue a journalism degree.

"Everybody gets a different hand in life, so you have to ask yourself, 'What's your legacy going to be? What are you going to leave behind? So what do you want to do with your life?'" she said.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Anti-Opioid Overdose Medication Now Over the Counter]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 16:03:43 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/naloxone.jpg

More than 1,000 people a day are rushed to the emergency room for opioid abuse, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Prescription drug abuse is wide spread, and an epidemic that is widespread throughout the country.

"Every day 45 people will die from an opioid overdose," said Christina Hareison, pharmacist at a Walgreens in Dallas.

"That is why Walgreens wants to combat this issue. It's impacting a lot of people and a lot of households," she added.

Prescription opioids are classified as painkillers, such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine, methadone and fentanyl. Heroin is also classified as an opioid.

People who suffer from chronic pain, or are struggle with an opioid addiction have the greatest risk of overdosing.

"When someone has overdosed, their breathing response gets less and less, and as their breathing gets less and less it has an effect on their cardio vascular system overall," said Dr. Jim D'Etienne, chair of emergency medicine at Baylor University Medical Center.

"When those patients come to the emergency rooms, doctors use Naloxone to reverse those effects and start their breathing again," he said.

Emergency room doctors have used the anti-opioid overdose medication Naloxone for years, but now the medication will be available for purchase without a prescription in 700 Walgreens stores across Texas.

"The medication can come in three different forms. The vile – that you use with a syringe – the auto-injector, or a nasal spray," said Hareison.

The "auto-injector," which is administered like an EpiPen, is easier to inject, and Naloxone will react within two minutes. The nasal spray will take 8-11 minutes to take an effect.

"Naloxone still doesn't take the place of medical help. Just because the person starts breathing again, that doesn't mean they are in the clear. It will just buy you time to get them to the hospital. Anyone who knows someone struggle with opioid abuse should have Naloxone on hand," said D'Etienne.

"My concern is saving lives. If someone has this and they are aware enough and are a potential risk, then it's good for them to have it available. This could save their life," he said.

Walgreens stores in 35 states will soon have Naloxone behind the pharmacy counter for purchase without a prescription.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Baylor Medical Center Program Focuses on Heart Health]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 18:25:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/188*120/heart+monitor1.JPG A one-of-a-kind program at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas is motivating people to engage in heart-healthy activities.]]> <![CDATA[Simple Ways to Relieve Pain from 'Tech Neck']]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 22:54:11 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tech+neck.jpg If you occasionally feel neck pain, you could be suffering from a condition called "tech neck." But there are some ways to ease the pain without unplugging from your devices.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[NTX Woman Battles Bacterial Infection After Beach Trip]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 05:04:30 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/beach+bacteria.jpg

For the second time in a week, a trip to the beach has landed a Texas resident in the hospital with an apparent bacterial infection.

Earlier this week, a Houston man's leg was amputated after a trip to the beach in Galveston.

Now, a North Texas woman is in the hospital after going to McFaddin Beach in Port Arthur.

Both cases appear to be caused by bacteria in the water.

Melody Long, of Greenville, said she started feeling bad on her way home from a weekend fishing trip to Port Arthur.

She said her legs became red and swollen, and she had chills, a fever, a headache.

"I knew I was sick," she said.

Long, who is a nurse, checked into a McKinney hospital when the swelling became so bad she couldn't walk, and when her blood pressure began to drop.

Blood tests, she said, revealed she has bacteria in her bloodstream.

"It's going to be one of two bacteria," she said she was told by an infectious disease doctor. "Both of those bacteria are found in water."

Doctors should know more Thursday about which kind of bacteria she's battling.

But Long said it could be the same type that may have caused a Houston man to lose his leg this week.

"I had not heard anything about it," Long said.

Fortunately, Long should be back on her feet soon.

She hopes sharing her story makes other aware of the warning signs and dangers of waiting to get treatment.

"If I hadn't of known that and I'd have waited, I'd have waited a day, I don't think I'd be alive. And that's not being dramatic," Long said.

Long has a pre-existing condition that she says may have made her more susceptible to an infection.

The Texas General Land Office provides real-time updates on water quality along public beaches in Texas: https://cgis.glo.texas.gov/Beachwatch/.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[FluMist Nasal Spray Vaccine Doesn't Work: Experts]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 20:34:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/FluMistSpray-AP_16174566973522.jpg

Experts area saying the needle-free FluMist influenza vaccine has not protected against flu for years and should not be used this coming flu season, NBC News reported. 

The decision could nerve pediatricians short of vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. 

According to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, data reviewed from past flu seasons revealed it didn’t work in recent years. The CDC said it was only 3 percent effective last flu season. 

FluMist uses live but weakened strains of the flu virus to stimulate immune systems, and is sprayed up the nose.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Zika Epidemic Has Doubled Abortion Requests: Study]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 18:31:35 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ZikaMosquitoes-AP_16127497121865.jpg

The epidemic of Zika virus has caused a spike in requests for abortion help in countries that ban or restrict abortions, researchers said Wednesday.

Several women whose fetuses have shown evidence of possible Zika-related birth defects have opted for abortions in the U.S. and other western countries where abortion is legal, NBC News reported. But millions of women live in Latin American and Caribbean countries where the mosquitoes carry the virus almost unchecked. Many of the countries also restrict access to birth control.

The researchers found a 36 to 108 percent jump in abortion requests in countries where Zika was spreading, where there were advisories to women and where abortion was legally restricted.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, who decided to investigate how the epidemic has affected requests for abortions.



Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Fort Worth Marks Two Years of Health and Fitness Push]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 18:56:05 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/fit+fort+worth2.jpg

Concerns that Fort Worth had among the highest obesity rates in the country led to an effort to transform the city into "Fit Worth." But have the goals put out by city leaders two years ago made a difference?

One of the clearest signs of the Mayor's Challenge to get Fort Worth moving is the bike-sharing stations visible around town. Most of the bikes were still sitting checked-in when NBC 5 looked around on Wednesday. But even on a hot day, there were other signs of people and businesses dedicating to a healthier life.

Instead of ordering a side of fries, a group of downtown Fort Worth employees was out taking orders like, "Take a lap!" during a lunch-break boot camp on Wednesday.

"It's just a really easy way to get a workout in in the middle of the day and you feel refreshed when you come back, and it's great," said Kristina Schwartzkopf.

Her employer offers free gym memberships, part of a growing Fort Worth trend. The Mayor's Challenge now has 20 companies signed on, using incentives to get more than 2,000 workers moving.

City Club trainer Sally Greenwood thinks it's working.

"I've seen a big difference. I feel like people are getting more into their fitness, more into their diet and especially at the noon class, due to work," said Greenwood.

Of course that doesn't mean the lines have stopped at Fort Worth's fast food restaurants and not everyone believes city government can change people's health.

"Me, I don't like to be told, 'Hey, you gotta do this, you gotta do that.' If I want to eat some Mexican food, I'm gonna eat some Mexican food," said Fort Worth resident Raul Hernandez.

Kristen Whelcher added, "Sometimes when it's the only affordable thing, it's what you gotta eat."

But if you've seen the get-healthy banners and bikes around town and felt inspired you're not alone. Megan Lemmons has lost 84 pounds in the last 18 months and said the city's "Fit Worth" push helps keep her going.

"The bikes that are available, more gyms are available. The cheaper prices for people to be able to work out, that's helped me with getting a gym membership and staying fit," said Lemmons.

The push started with children, getting involved in the Fort Worth schools. Since Mayor Betsy Price took office in 2011, the city's childhood obesity rate has gone down 4 percent, but it's still at 54 percent so there is a lot of work left to be done.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy Treating Arthritis]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 18:19:25 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/prp+therapy.jpg PRP therapy is used a lot to relieve pain that athletes feel, but it could be used for arthritis as well.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[300 Charged in Nation's Largest Health Care Fraud Bust]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 13:20:34 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AG_AP_16137669714048.jpg

About 300 people in more than half the states have been charged in the largest crackdown to date on health care fraud, federal authorities announced Wednesday. 

According to the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services, those arrested account for more than $900 million in false billings to Medicare and Medicaid, NBC News reported. 

The crackdown ensnared 60 licensed medical professionals, including 30 doctors, officials said. The billings were for treatments or services deemed medically unnecessary — or for services that were never provided at all, including home care, medical equipment and phony prescriptions.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Americans Spend $30 Billion a Year on Alternative Medicine]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 13:01:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-75357983.jpg

Americans spend a substantial part of out-of-pocket health care costs on alternative medicine, such as acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic care and natural supplements, even though there is little evidence some of these approaches work, NBC News reported.

Federal researchers reported Wednesday that Americans shelled out more than $30 billion in 2012 alone for some sort of alternative or complementary treatment — an average of $500 per person.

The team at the National Center for Health Statistics says the findings is "an indication that users believe enough in the value of these approaches to pay for them."

Though studies have shown acupuncture can help in many ways, including with pregnancy-related nausea, other popular treatments have little or no science to back them up, including homeopathy, naturopathy, guided imagery, energy healing and traditional healers.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cook Children's is 1st US Hospital with Amoeba Infection Drug]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 18:39:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/amoebaawarness.jpg

As the summer temperatures heat up and more people head to area lakes, there’s a warning for those swimming in warm, stagnant water in North Texas.

Doctors say a water-borne amoeba could enter your brain through your nose and cause symptoms similar to meningitis. But an amoeba called Naegleria fowleri kills more than 90 percent of those who get it.

The amoeba killed 7-year-old Kyle Lewis, of Mansfield, in August 2010. His parents shared their story with NBC 5 as a warning to other parents to be aware that amoeba lives in the warm, stagnant water in area lakes and rivers. 

The Lewis family swam in the Paluxy River, near Glen Rose, as well as Lake Granbury in the days before Kyle lost his life. He started having a severe headache hours after swimming. He died from the infection four days later.

“More often than not, it’s missed because of how fast this acts,” Jeremy Lewis said.

Five to seven children are diagnosed each year, but many more are not diagnosed.

In the wake of Kyle’s death, Kyle's parents made it their mission that other families don’t experience the devastating loss of a child. They created the website KyleCares.com and works to educate parents and medical professionals about amoeba infections and their symptoms.

Jeremy Lewis also worked tirelessly to bring a former cancer treatment drug from Germany onto U.S. soil. He spoke with pharmaceutical companies across the country and world and worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

In 2013, the CDC announced that it would maintain a supply of the drug Miltefosine and would dispense it to hospitals on a case-by-case basis. But given how quickly Naegleria fowleri works and kills, the Lewis’ wanted to develop a system of hospitals that would carry the drug.

“We've done a lot of hard work, we're driven by one thing and that's Kyle,” Lewis said. “Kyle is driving this whole thing and we’re very grateful to be able to do what we've done.”

While the drug is by no means a “silver bullet”, as Jeremy Lewis put it, it has been successful in two children so far, in Arkansas and San Antonio. Cook Children’s is the first hospital in the country to receive a stockpile of the drug and can dispense it to other hospitals in the region and nation that may need it. Other hospitals in the network will be in Florida, Louisiana and Minnesota, where amoeba infections are most common.

“Having a medication locally and not having to call the CDC and wait for its response and wait for it via mail can waste precious hours,” said Dr. Warren Marks, pediatric neurologist at Cook Children's.



Photo Credit: Chris Van Horne\NBC5]]>
<![CDATA[E-Sight a Medical Breakthrough for the Blind]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 17:53:46 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/e-sight.jpg A new device called E-Sight is proving to be a medical breakthrough for people who are legally blind.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Tarrant County Confirms Sixth Case of Zika Virus]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 14:03:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Zika-Mosquito-GettyImages-513621730.jpg

A sixth person has been diagnosed with Zika virus in Tarrant County Public Health Department officials say.

The patient contracted the illness while traveling in the Dominican Republic, making it the first case imported from the DR, TCPH officials said in a statement.

The tests were confirmed at the Tarrant County Public Health's North Texas Regional Laboratory.

No known Zika cases have been transmitted locally by mosquitos, local health officials confirm.

TCPH said Friday no other health information will be released about the patient, to protect his or her identity.

Common symptoms of Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting several days to a week.

There is no medication to treat Zika virus and there is no vaccine; the best prevention is to avoid mosquitoes and sexual contact with infected people. The recommendations for avoiding the Zika virus are the same for avoiding West Nile virus.



Photo Credit: LatinContent/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[10 Pregnant Women Test Positive for Zika in Dallas Co.]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 22:56:17 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ZikaMosquitoes-AP_16127497121865.jpg

Ten pregnant women in Dallas County have preliminary tested positive for the Zika virus, the county health director said during a meeting Tuesday with the commissioner's court.

Dallas County Health and Human Services Directory Zachary Thompson said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends waiting until the women give birth to confirm the diagnosis by testing both the mother and her child.

Thompson told the Dallas County Commissioner's Court Tuesday morning that the women all contracted the virus while traveling internationally and that none of the infections were spread locally.

To date, no Zika-infected mosquitoes have been found in Dallas County.

Mosquitoes in North Texas could become carriers if they bite a Zika infected person.

Dr. Seema Yasmin, public health reporter for The Dallas Morning News, tweeted the risk of local outbreaks could increase as the number of people with the infection rises and as conditions improve for mosquitoes to breed.

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A total of nine human cases of Zika had been previously confirmed in Dallas County this year. Those nine people either visited foreign countries or had sexual contact with a person who traveled out of the United States. The nine patients have fully recovered from the virus, Thompson said.

To avoid mosquito bites, officials urge everyone to use bug spray around the clock this mosquito season and get rid of standing water where mosquitoes may breed.

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Photo Credit: AP
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[The DMN's Dr. Seema Yasmin - Zika Vaccine]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 11:59:22 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/seema-zika3.jpg The Dallas Morning News' medical expert Dr. Seema Yasmin discusses a Zika virus vaccine that's ready for testing in humans.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Doctors Give Tips on Swimmer's Ear Prevention]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 11:57:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/swimmers-ear.jpg Doctors discuss ways to prevent and treat swimmer's ear, a bacterial infection in the ear canal.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[TX Lawmakers Pen Letter to CDC, Kerry About Zika]]> Mon, 20 Jun 2016 19:27:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TLMD-zancudo-mosquito-zancudo-Zika-EFE-11764687w.jpg

The Texas lawmakers penned a letter about the Zika virus to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday.

Just six weeks before thousands of Americans head to Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics, they’re asking for stronger travel warnings when it comes to Zika.

Letter to CDC and Sec. of State John Kerry

 [[383708381,C]]

Burgess has been outspoken for months, he even appeared on Lone Star Politics and said if asked for advice, he would say do not go to the Olympics.

Burgess and Cornyn are concerned that people visiting the CDC’s travel alert page can’t easily find information about Zika.

Burgess also said he believes Zika should have a Level 3 designation when it comes to travel, instead of the current Level 2. Level 2 calls for practicing enhanced precautions, while Level 3 calls for avoiding non-essential travel.

“Here is the problem. No one gets this illness in the continental United States today unless they get it and bring it home. So we are looking at a situation with summer travel where people are going to be going to a place where a lot of people are congregating, half a million people are coming to Brazil in the month of August for the Olympics and then they are going to go back to their respective countries. The worst case scenario they are carrying this virus to their populations,” said Burgess.

NBC 5 reached out to the CDC, it has not offered a response.



Photo Credit: EFE]]>
<![CDATA[Possible Lymphoma Vaccine in Research Phase]]> Mon, 20 Jun 2016 17:52:09 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/lymphoma.jpg Lymphomas are the fifth most common cancer in the United States, and now researchers are testing a vaccine that helps the body's immune system fight the cancer cells.]]> <![CDATA[Father, Son Battle Cancer Through Yoga]]> Sun, 19 Jun 2016 23:52:16 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/061916+Bikram+Yoga+Richardson.jpg

Rick and Richie Smith work side by side on two yoga mats inside the Bikram Yoga Richardson studio

Rick, often with Richie's hand in his, helps guide his 22-year-old son through the poses.

"Due to the brain tumor locations, I lost a lot of mobility in my left side so that's what he helps me with," Richie Smith said.

Richie Smith has been battling Grade 4 brain cancer since was 18 years old. Now 22, Richie has limited mobility on his left side.

"For me it wasn't scary," Richie Smith said. "I just know that whatever happens is for reason and God is in control and he knows how it's going to start and end."

Richie Smith's cancer battle and love for music inspired him to start the For a Reason World Foundation, a nonprofit to spread support and therapy through the arts using the motto: "If life gives you lemons..."

He doesn't let his limitations hold him back.

"He first wanted to do yoga, and we were like how are we going to do yoga?" said Rick Smith. "We said, 'Well somebody can partner with him,' I became his partner. He wanted to ride a bicycle, a bicycle doesn't work right now so we got a tricycle — he's got an adult size tricycle that he can ride."

The pair recently finished a 60-day yoga challenge. They were allowed 70 days to complete it, but Richie Smith wouldn't let them take a day off.



Photo Credit: Ivory Taylor, NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[EpiPens See Price Spike]]> Fri, 17 Jun 2016 15:48:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_epipens0617_1920x1080.jpg Life-saving injections have seen a massive price hike after one drug manufacturer stopped making the devices.

Photo Credit: KARE]]>
<![CDATA[Pregnant Women in Puerto Rico at Risk for Zika: CDC]]> Fri, 17 Jun 2016 14:24:17 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/PuertoRicoZikaCDC-AP_16169572347522.jpg

The zika virus is spreading quickly in Puerto Rico, meaning hundreds of babies could be born with birth defects, NBC News reports. 

More than 1 percent of all Puerto Rico blood donations tested in early June tested positive for the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

"In coming months, it is possible that thousands of pregnant women in Puerto Rico will catch Zika," CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden said at a briefing for reporters. "This could lead to dozens or hundreds of infants being born with microcephaly in the coming year." 

The CDC began testing for Zika in Puerto Rico in April. Health officials confirmed more than 1,700 infections in the territory so far this year. Any blood donations that test positive for the virus are thrown out.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas Opens 'Beat the Heat' Centers]]> Sat, 18 Jun 2016 08:35:57 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/stay-cool-guide1.jpg

A day after the first heat-related death of the year in Dallas County was announced; the City of Dallas announced the opening of two Beat the Heat centers.

The announcement was scheduled well before the death of an adult from this week’s heat.

The Beat the Heat Centers are paid for by Reliant Energy. The Houston-based energy company also will spend $900,000 this year to assist Texans who need help paying their summer electricity bills through its Community Assistance by Reliant Energy (CARE) program. 

Since 2005, the company has spent $9 million on the CARE program, to those who qualify for assistance.

Reliant helps fund Beat the Heat centers at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center in South Dallas and the West Dallas Multipurpose Center. The company also funds centers in Houston and Corpus Christi.

But for Mayor Mike Rawlings and county health director Zach Thompson, who attended the kick-off event, they concern is that elderly, low income Dallas residents seek the help that’s being offered at the centers and through the CARE program.

“Most adults think that they’re Texas tough and they really can’t deal with this extreme heat,” Thompson said. 

“It’s extremely important, we don’t want them to die because of heat-related illnesses,” the mayor said. “To have these cool down centers, to have this CARE program makes a big difference.”

Thompson said residents who may be in trouble should contact the city, county, and Reliant to see what can be done to pay their bills or improve their a/c options at home.

The Beat the Heat centers will remain open until Sept. 30.

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<![CDATA[Cancer Patient Gets Diagnosis & Married In 1 Day]]> Thu, 16 Jun 2016 23:08:42 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/061616+Wedding+Walker.jpg

Nurses at Texas Health in Fort Worth doubled as wedding planners Thursday, blowing up balloons and hanging decorations. It was all for patient, Nikki Hadley.

She and her fiance Eddie McGilten tied the knot in the hospital's prayer garden. The ceremony was a surprise.

'It's like a fairy tale," Hadley said through tears. "I just didn't think he'd marry me with me being sick." 

The vows "in sickness and in health" never meant so much. Hadley was diagnosed with B-Cell Lymphoma on Thursday. It's cancer of the blood. "For him to do that with me having this gives me hope," Hadley said looking at her new husband. 

"It didn't matter what was in the way," said groom, Eddie McGilten. "Nothing is going to stop the love between us." 

Sometimes love can't wait. 

On Friday, Hadley will have more tests to see how far the cancer has progressed. McGilten said he had planned a surprise wedding in Las Vegas in July. Now he's hoping to get Hadley well enough for a honeymoon in Vegas. 



Photo Credit: Ryan Oliviera, NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Lung Cancer Patients Treated With Drug Over Chemo ]]> Thu, 16 Jun 2016 17:28:21 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/MerckKeytruda-AP_41869771122.jpg

Lung cancer patients who have never been treated will now get the same drug used to help former President Jimmy Carter, NBC News reported. 

Researchers said they wanted to give Keytruda to 305 lung cancer patients who never received treatment. They wanted to see how it worked against standard chemotherapy cocktails. 

It worked as well if not better than chemo, so researchers stopped the study to see if the drug worked well on its own. 

Keytruda was the same drug that helped Jimmy Carter stall advanced melanoma that spread to his brain. It also helped patients live longer without their tumors growing or spreading, according to Merck — the company that makes the drug. 

The company can now ask the Food and Drug Administration if it will approve Keytruda to use as the first treatment a lung cancer patient tries. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas County Confirms 2 New Zika Cases]]> Thu, 16 Jun 2016 13:07:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TLMD-zika-zancudo-EFE-11707843w.jpg

Dallas County Health says two more cases of Zika virus have been confirmed in the county -- both imported by travelers.

Both cases were confirmed through the testing in the DCHHS lab and are being sent to the Teas Department of State Health Services for review.

The eighth case is a 15-year-old resident of Dallas who was infected with the virus during recent travel to Honduras and El Salvador. The ninth case is a 61-year-old resident of Garland who was infected during travel to Guatemala.

For medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, DCHHS does not provide additional identifying information.

Common symptoms of Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting several days to a week.

There is no medication to treat Zika virus and there is no vaccine; the best prevention is to avoid mosquitoes and sexual contact with infected people. The recommendations for avoiding the Zika virus are the same for avoiding West Nile virus.



Photo Credit: EFE
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<![CDATA[Dallas Libraries Serve Summer Meals]]> Thu, 16 Jun 2016 11:22:14 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_421729260287.jpg

Most of Dallas’ libraries are providing free lunches this summer to children from low-income families through a partnership with the nonprofit hunger organization Equal Heart.

The program fed 942 kids in the first week and hopes to stretch that number to 1,500 once summer reading programs begin, said Keven Vicknair, executive director of Equal Heart.

“The food is causing more people to come into the library,” Vicknair said. “It isn’t just about feeding kids, it’s also about engaging them.”

Summer lunches and snacks will be offered at the following libraries:

  • Arcadia Park: Monday-Friday, 12:15 p.m.
  • Audelia Road: Monday-Friday, 1 p.m.
  • Bachman Lake: Monday-Friday, 12:30 p.m.
  • Dallas West: Monday-Friday, noon
  • Fretz Park: Tuesday-Friday, 12:15 p.m.
  • Grauwyler Park: Tuesday-Friday, 4 p.m.
  • Hampton-Illinois: Monday-Friday, 1 p.m.
  • Highland Hills: Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.
  • Kleberg-Rylie: Tuesday-Friday, noon
  • Lochwood: Tuesday-Friday, noon
  • Martin Luther King: Tuesday-Friday, 3 p.m.
  • North Oak Cliff: Monday-Friday, 12:30 p.m.
  • Park Forest: Tuesday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar Lancaster-Kiest: Monday-Friday, noon
  • Pleasant Grove: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.
  • Polk-Wisdom: Tuesday-Thursday, noon
  • Prairie Creek: Tuesday-Friday, 3:30 p.m.
  • Skyline: Tuesday-Friday, noon
  • Timberglen: Tuesday-Friday, noon
  • White Rock Hills: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.

Click here for more information from our partners at The Dallas Morning News.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Mars Mulls Change for Sugary Frozen Treats]]> Thu, 16 Jun 2016 08:23:11 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/452614600.jpg Reports suggest Mars, a candy giant known for providing sweet treats that pair particularly well with soft serve ice cream, is considering taking candy out of sugary deserts. Mars recently made a public stance that sweets are best enjoyed in moderation.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Advisory for North Texas Wednesday]]> Tue, 14 Jun 2016 16:44:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Texas+Sun+Shot+071114.jpg
View Full Story

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Virtual Health Care Aims To Cut Costs]]> Mon, 13 Jun 2016 15:00:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_virtualhealthcare0610_1920x1080.jpg A new Missouri program works to provide care without costly office visits.

Photo Credit: KSDK]]>
<![CDATA[Give Back on World Blood Donor Day]]> Mon, 13 Jun 2016 13:58:42 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/047519601-woman-blood-donation-21.jpg

In the wake of the Orlando tragedy on Sunday, the American Red Cross is asking for blood donations now more than ever in honor of World Blood Donor Day on June 14.

Summer is always a challenging time for blood centers and the hospitals they serve, as vacation schedules and severe weather impact regular donation schedules and lead to what is known as "summer shortages."

In partnership with the American Red Cross and America's Blood Centers, Nexcare Bandages is honoring the importance of giving with the eighth annual Nexcare Give program.

Nexcare will be handing out exclusive bandages with the word "give" inscribed on them as a badge of honor to the donors. To find a local blood center, click here.

]]>
<![CDATA[Dallas County Confirms Seventh Case of Zika Virus]]> Mon, 13 Jun 2016 11:06:27 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-521164302.jpg

A seventh person has been diagnosed with Zika virus in Dallas County this year, county health officials announced Monday.

The 60-year-old patient contracted the virus while traveling in Honduras, Dallas County Health and Human Services said in a press release.

The statement said the patient is a resident of Dallas, but no further details were released in order to protect his or her identity.

Common symptoms of Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting several days to a week.

There is no medication to treat Zika virus and there is no vaccine; the best prevention is to avoid mosquitoes and sexual contact with infected people. The recommendations for avoiding the Zika virus are the same for avoiding West Nile virus.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Avoid Pregnancy When Near Zika Outbreak: WHO]]> Fri, 10 Jun 2016 17:08:40 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DMN_Zika_Olympics_1200x675_703319107807.jpg The World Health Organization is now urging women to delay getting pregnant if they travel to a country with a Zika outbreak.]]> <![CDATA[Tarrant County Confirms Fifth Case of Zika Virus]]> Fri, 10 Jun 2016 17:14:25 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Zika-Mosquito-GettyImages-513621730.jpg

A fifth person has been diagnosed with Zika virus in Tarrant County, health officials say Friday.

The patient contracted the illness while traveling in St. Lucia, and lab tests confirmed the virus.

No Zika cases have been transmitted locally, according to Tarrant County Public Health.

TCPH said Friday no other health information will be released about the patient, to protect his or her identity.

Common symptoms of Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting several days to a week.

There is no medication to treat Zika virus and there is no vaccine; the best prevention is to avoid mosquitoes and sexual contact with infected people. The recommendations for avoiding the Zika virus are the same for avoiding West Nile virus.

[[309639121,C]]



Photo Credit: LatinContent/Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Verizon IndyCar Driver Keeps Up Despite Diabetes]]> Fri, 10 Jun 2016 18:46:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/indycar+insulin.jpg

Racing is in his blood, but at age 22, Charlie Kimball learned of something else affecting his body. 
"I went to a doctor's office with a skin rash. He did some tests and I came out in a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes," says Kimball. 
But he didn't let the diagnosis keep him from chasing his dreams.
"I'm living proof that diabetes doesn't have to slow you down," he adds.
Before each big race, Charlie fine tunes his body.
"I'm checking my blood sugar, I'm managing my blood sugar by taking my insulin , I'm managing my nutrition, I'm managing my hydration."
HIs #83 indycar is retrofitted to help him keep his diabetes in check..
On the steering wheel is a dash that displays his car's vitals as well as his blood sugar levels.
He also is connected to two drink bottles while behind the wheel.
"One of water for hydration and a second one full of orange juice," says Kimball.  "The two tubes come together from the drink bottle mounted inside of the car and while I'm running the race, I can reach up and flip back and forth back as needed." 
If needed, a pit crew member is trained to adminster a shot of insulin or glucosamine during a pit stop.  
"Just like they make sure that the car is running right, they can help me keep track and make sure that my body is running right," he says.
It's all proof that diabetes doesn't have to slow you down.
"You may have to make some adjustments, but it shouldn't get in the way of living your dream," says Kimball.
Kimball will race with the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway June 11.

Racing is in his blood, but at age 22, Charlie Kimball learned of something else affecting his body. 

"I went to a doctor's office with a skin rash. He did some tests and I came out in a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes," said Kimball. 

But he didn't let the diagnosis keep him from chasing his dreams.

"I'm living proof that diabetes doesn't have to slow you down," he added.

Before each big race, Kimball fine tunes his body.

"I'm checking my blood sugar. I'm managing my blood sugar by taking my insulin," Kimball said. "I'm managing my nutrition. I'm managing my hydration."

His #83 Indycar is retrofitted to help him keep his diabetes in check.

On the steering wheel is a dash that displays his car's vitals, as well as, his blood sugar levels.

He also is connected to two drink bottles while behind the wheel.

"One of water for hydration and a second one full of orange juice," said Kimball.  

"The two tubes come together from the drink bottle mounted inside of the car and while I'm running the race, I can reach up and flip back and forth back as needed." 

If needed, a pit crew member is trained to adminster a shot of insulin or glucosamine during a pit stop.  

"Just like they make sure that the car is running right, they can help me keep track and make sure that my body is running right," he said.

It's all proof that diabetes doesn't have to slow you down.

"You may have to make some adjustments, but it shouldn't get in the way of living your dream," said Kimball.

Kimball will race with the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway June 11.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Device Helps Man Live With Parkinson's]]> Fri, 10 Jun 2016 11:24:12 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/parkinsons-device.jpg An Oregon man with Parkinson's Disease says doctors gave him his life back with the help of a technological device.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Smoking Rate Drops, But More Kids Are Vaping]]> Thu, 09 Jun 2016 18:43:58 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TeenSmoking-GettyImages-549379089.jpg

Fewer teens are smoking cigarettes than ever before, NBC News reports. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that just 11 percent of high school students said they smoked in 2015. In 2013, that number stood at 15.7 percent. 

Only one-third of the students surveyed said they had tried a cigarette, the CDC said. 

But e-cigarettes are gaining popularity among teens — a trend that worries the CDC. The survey found 24 percent of high school students reported using e-cigarettes during the past 30 days. 

Because it was the first time the question about e-cigarettes was asked, there’s no way to know if that’s changed from past years.



Photo Credit: ullstein bild via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Mothers Battle Maternal Depression]]> Thu, 09 Jun 2016 20:16:23 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/190*120/Pregnant+Woman+Pregnant+Generic.JPG Mental health is a concern for new mothers and their families. Certain types of depression and other mood disorders can affect moms during pregnancy and after child birth.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Fewer High School Kids Have Sex: Survey]]> Thu, 09 Jun 2016 17:11:32 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TeensKidsSex-AP_16160788929316.jpg

A government survey of risky youth behaviors shows fewer teens are having sex, NBC News reported. 

The survey found 41 percent of high school kids said they had ever had sex — down from around 47 percent over the last decade. There were also declines in the number of kids who said they had sex before they were 13 and in those who had four or more partners. 

Researchers could not say what was behind the drop or if it marks a new trend. 

The survey was among a series of polls that included 16,000 students at 125 schools, both public and private. Responders were voluntary and anonymous, but required parental permission.



Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[New Map Shows Where Zika Mosquitoes Live in US]]> Thu, 09 Jun 2016 14:42:02 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/CDCMosquitoMap.jpg

A new map shows mosquitoes that can carry the Zika virus can be found in 40 states and Washington, D.C., NBC News reported. 

Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compiled the new map by looking at all reports of the two species of mosquito that can transmit the virus: the yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito. 

Public health officials are bracing for local Zika outbreaks across the continental U.S., where 618 cases have already been documented. Thousands of infected people have traveled from Latin America and the Caribbean — and if a mosquito bites someone with an active investigation, it could carry the virus to someone else. 

President Barack Obama asked Congress for $.9 billion to fight Zika. The House and Senate are considering separate bills to provide some of the money.



Photo Credit: CDC/Journal of Medical Entomology]]>