<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Health News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/health http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.comen-usWed, 01 Jun 2016 00:58:19 -0500Wed, 01 Jun 2016 00:58:19 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Inside the Lab That Found the Latest Superbug]]> Tue, 31 May 2016 07:08:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/superbugmcr%281%29.jpg

The news startled doctors across the country last week. 

A small team at the Multidrug Resistant Organism Repository and Surveillance Network (MRSN) lab in Maryland that specializes in testing germs for antibiotic resistance, found mcr-1, a drug-resistant superbug in a Pennsylvania woman.

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention upstaged his own speech about Zika virus to warn about what the arrival of mcr-1 means for people everywhere.

"The medicine cabinet is empty for some patients. It is the end of the road for antibiotics unless we act urgently," he said.

The MRSN team has not yet found another example of the mcr-1 gene in any of the samples they have tested. The lab tests samples from around the world, not only from U.S. military hospitals but from Israel, France's Institut Pasteur and elsewhere. The hope is to catch and stop outbreaks of dangerous new pathogens fast.

Photo Credit: Walter Reed Army Institute for Research]]>
<![CDATA[Possible Cellphone-Cancer Link Found in Rat Study]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 19:47:12 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-498338511.jpg

A partial report from a U.S. government study on on rats and mice has found a possible link between cellphones and cancer, giving new life to the longstanding debate over whether cellphone use might lead to cancer, NBC News reported.

The report is not finished yet, but advocates pushing for more research learned of the partial findings and the U.S. National Toxicology Program has released them early.

The partial findings suggest that male rats exposed to constant, heavy doses of certain types of cellphone radiation develop brain and heart tumors. But female rats didn't, and even the rats that developed tumors lived longer than rats not exposed to the radiation.

Dr. Michael Lauer of the NIH said there's just not enough information to say whether the experiment shows the radiation caused the tumors. 

The National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, is still analyzing the findings. 

What they do not show is whether humans are at any risk from using cellphones, or whether using a headset or keeping phones away from the head and body might make a difference.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[6 BBQ Tips for a Safe Memorial Day Weekend]]> Fri, 27 May 2016 06:25:28 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/BBQ-Template-6.jpg BBQ and picnic season is just beginning. Here are a few tips to make sure you kick off the season with a safe Memorial Day weekend.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Antibiotic-Resistant 'Superbug' Found in US for 1st Time]]> Thu, 26 May 2016 19:32:39 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/superbugmcr%281%29.jpg

A drug resistant “superbug” feared by doctors has shown up in the U.S. for the first time, researchers reported Thursday.

The germ, E. coli bacteria with the mcr-1 gene mutation, was found in a Pennsylvania woman with symptoms of a urinary tract infection, NBC News reported.

The little stretch of DNA, which bacteria can easily swap among themselves, gives the ability to fight off the effects of a last-ditch antibiotic called colistin. 

Health experts are interviewing the woman and her family to determine how she may have contracted the bug, since it had only been seen in Europe and China. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the patient had not traveled, which means the bacteria may have already been in the U.S. 

Photo Credit: Walter Reed Army Institute for Research]]>
<![CDATA[Fake Perfume Bust Finds Ingredients Linked to Cancer, Organ Damage]]> Thu, 26 May 2016 08:54:43 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/perfume-arrests-0525.jpg

Federal agents seized cases of fake perfume – some of which contained ingredients linked to cancer and organ damage – and made five arrests in a counterfeiting bust Wednesday morning, authorities said.

Homeland Security agents made the bust and hauled the faux fragrances out at a news conference on Lafayette Street in lower Manhattan.

They said Wednesday’s seizures were the latest in a string of such busts in New York City that has netted more than three million counterfeit items over the last three years. In total, the real versions of those fake products could fetch $94 million at stores. 

Authorities said that more arrests could be coming in the case, which they say swindles companies out of profits and potentially harm customers.

Investigators say perfumes were replicated by Chinese manufacturers using cheaper materials. They were shipped to New Jersey and then Queens, where they were labeled and packaged to look legitimate.

Authorities say wholesalers bought the fragrances for a fraction of the cost of the real brands and sold them to out-of-state retailers.

Authorities said that counterfeit colognes and perfumes come in packaging that looks authentic, but usually burn on contact and can contain various carcinogens. In at least one prior instance, a fake perfume contained horse urine.

The five suspects were released on bond after appearing in a Manhattan federal court Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Candy-Like Edible Marijuana Is Sending Kids to ERs]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 13:26:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/149252006-edible-marijuana.jpg

In Oregon, an 8-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital after finding a marijuana cookie at a park. In Michigan, two children were sent to the ER after getting into a man's stash of gummy candy containing THC, the main psychoactive component in marijuana, "Today" reports.

Marijuana is now legal for either recreational or medical use in 24 states and the District of Columbia. But "edibles" containing marijuana are spreading everywhere, and kids are getting hurt from California to New York. Last year alone, poison control facilities across the country reported 4,000 kids and teens were exposed to marijuana.

"This is extremely dangerous," Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency room physician at New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital, told "Today" national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen. "When young children get ahold of these products, they can have severe reactions, including nausea, vomiting, disorientation, anxiety-like reactions and even psychotic reactions that can make them do things they wouldn't normally do."

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File
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<![CDATA[Family Health Care Costs Have Tripled Since '01: Analysis]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 15:44:53 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/HEALTH_GettyImages-544488581.jpg

The costs of providing health care to an average American family surpassed $25,000 for the first time in 2016 — even as the rate of health cost increases slowed to a record low, a new analysis revealed Tuesday.

CNBC reports that the $25,826 in health-care costs for a typical family of four covered by an employer-sponsored "preferred provider plan" is $1,155 higher than last year, and triple what it cost to provide health care for the same family in 2001, the first year that Milliman Medical Index analysis was done.

And it's the 11th consecutive year that the total dollar increase in the average family's health-care costs exceeded $1,110, the actuarial services firm noted in releasing the index.

A significant cost driver identified by the index was the rapid growth in what health plans and insured people are paying for prescription drugs.

Photo Credit: Caiaimage/Chris Cross via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA['Natural' Mosquito Repellents Don't Last: Consumer Reports]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 09:48:43 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ZikaMosquitoAP_791168702393.jpg

Most so-called natural mosquito repellents containing naturally derived oils smell nice but don't keep mosquitos off as long as those containing synthetic chemicals, Consumer Reports found.

Consumer Reports said it tested 16 products to see which work best against the Aedes mosquitoes that spread Zika as well as against Culex mosquitoes, which spread West Nile, and the ticks that carry Lyme. The products contain a range of active ingredients, including conventional chemicals like DEET, synthetic plantlike compounds that resemble those found in nature, and plant oils like citronella and rosemary, according to the group.

Their three top pics contain a different synthetic chemical: Sawyer Picaridin (20 percent picaridin); Ben's 30 Percent Deet Tick & Insect Wilderness Formula (30 percent DEET) and Repel Lemon Eucalyptus (65 percent p-menthane-3,8-diol, a synthetic derivative of eucalyptus).

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[No Harm From 'Cry It Out' Baby Sleep Method: Study]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 08:00:35 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-74146469-%281%29.jpg

A new study suggests that infants left to CIO — "cry it out" or cry themselves to sleep will not suffer any emotional, behavioral or parental attachment problems, Today.com reported.  

Researchers in Australia studied infants 6 months through 16 months and found that CIO did not produce any more signs of stress in the babies than a "gentler" method, according to the study published Tuesday in the journal Pediatrics. 

The lead author of the study, Michael Gradisar, an associate professor and clinical psychologist at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, said "graduated extinction was better in reducing the number of times the infants woke during the night, as well as the amount of time they spent awake during the night."

The new study adds to existing research showing that children sleep better when parents adopt the extinction method, said Dr. Marc Weissbluth, a professor of clinical pediatrics, emeritus, at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Aurora Creative
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<![CDATA[New Prosthetic Arm Offers Life-Like Touch]]> Mon, 23 May 2016 18:12:17 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/NC_prostheticarm0523_1920x1080.jpg A unique, thought-controlled prosthetic arm developed in part by the Hanger Clinic in Gig Harbor, Washington, uses the the body's nerve signals to control movement.]]> <![CDATA[Fitbit Heart Rate Trackers 'Highly Inaccurate': Study]]> Mon, 23 May 2016 13:47:12 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/579056257-fitbit-charge-hr.jpg

A class action lawsuit against Fitbit may be bolstered by the release of a new study claiming the company's popular heart rate trackers are "highly inaccurate," CNBC reports.

Researchers at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona tested the heart rates of 43 healthy adults with Fitbit's PurePulse heart rate monitors. Results found that the Fitbit devices miscalculated heart rates by up to 20 beats per minute on average during more intensive workouts.

The study, commissioned by the law firm behind a class action suit taking aim at three Fitbit models that use the PurePulse heart monitor, found the trackers "cannot be used to provide a meaningful estimate of a user's heart rate."

But Fitbit said in a statement posted by the blog Gizmodo that the study is "biased, baseless, and nothing more than an attempt to extract a payout from Fitbit."

Photo Credit: Moment Editorial/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Half of US Cancer Deaths Due to Bad Habits: Study ]]> Thu, 19 May 2016 18:23:16 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/SmokingCigarettes-AP_16117589693563.jpg

Researchers say people are in charge of their own risk of cancer — with as many as half of cancer deaths related to things people could easily change, NBC News reported.

Smoking, heavy drinking, being overweight and a lack of exercise were responsible for 20 to 40 percent of cancer cases and for half of cancer deaths, according to a team from Harvard Medical School. 

The group examined data from health professional of 140,000 people and determined that heavy drinking raises colon, breast, liver, head and neck cancer rates. Obesity raises the risk of colon, pancreatic and other cancers. Smoking caused 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer deaths. The risk of cancer was lower in those who exercised, kept a health weight, didn’t smoke and didn’t drink excessively. 

Researchers said health insurance companies should encourage doctors to help patients do what they can to prevent cancer, and that Americans need to believe that cancer can be a preventable disease.

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Yellow Fever in Africa Not a Public Emergency: WHO]]> Thu, 19 May 2016 16:31:39 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/YellowFeverMosquitoes-AP_96386058689.jpg

The World Health Organization said the current yellow fever outbreak in central African requires urgent action, but doesn’t amount to a public health emergency, NBC News reports.

The organization’s advisory committee met Thursday and said the outbreak is slowing, not gaining speed.

Most of the cases are in Angola, but the virus has been carried to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Kenya by migrant workers. Eleven travelers have also carried it to China.

Like Zika, yellow fever is spread by Aedes mosquitoes. Those affected with the virus can’t be treated with drugs, but fluids can help patients survive.

WHO is working with companies that make yellow fever vaccine to build up the current stockpile and is working to vaccinate people at risk.

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Health Experts to Test HIV Vaccine in South Africa]]> Wed, 18 May 2016 19:43:32 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ThaiHIVVaccineTest-AP_09092502984.jpg

Scientists will be testing an HIV vaccine in South Africa that has had some success, NBC News reported.

The risk of infection dropped for 31 percent of volunteers tested in Thailand in 2009 when they were given the experimental vaccine.

The vaccine has been tweaked, and health experts hope they will see a higher success rate in this trial. Experts hope to enroll 5,400 people who aren’t infected with HIV in South Africa.

Health experts say the virus infects 35 million people globally and kills 1.2 million people each year.

<![CDATA[Cancer Drug Keeps Some Patients Alive for 3 Years]]> Wed, 18 May 2016 18:37:09 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/JimmyCarter-AP_473126061319.jpg

A drug that helped former President Jimmy Carter’s cancer disappear is helping many other patients with similar conditions, NBC News reports.

The drug, Keytruda, stops tumor cells from cloaking themselves against the immune system’s response.

French researchers tested 655 patients with advanced melanoma for the trial. The patients were already given other cancer treatments. 

On average, the patients lived two years, and 40 percent of them are alive three years later. Sixty-one patients stopped taking the drug after their tumors went away — virtually all them are still in remission. 

Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is easy to treat if caught early. More than 76,000 Americans will be diagnosed with it this year, and it will kill 10,000, according to the American Cancer Society.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cosmetics Can't Claim They Lighten, Plump Up Skin, FDA Says]]> Wed, 18 May 2016 16:50:16 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-464778768.jpg

Reviva Labs, a popular brand of cosmetics, must either prove its products plump skin, regenerate collagen and lighten age spots, or stop claiming they do, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

The FDA issued a warning to the New Jersey-based company over medical claims it makes for a batch of its products sold online and in stores. The government watchdog says if the products can do what the company claims on its website, it has to register as a new drug and go through the formal approval process.

It's the latest in a series of actions the FDA, which cannot regulate cosmetics when they're sold just as cosmetics, has started taking against cosmetics companies in recent years.

"We are in the process of changing our copy and eliminating all claims to which the FDA refers," Reviva President Stephen Strassler said in a statement.

Photo Credit: LightRocket via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Many Sunscreens Don’t Meet SPF Claims: Consumer Reports]]> Tue, 17 May 2016 07:32:59 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-200535755-001.jpg

Consumer Reports tested 65 water-resistant sunscreens with SPF numbers of 30 or higher and found that nearly half did not meet their SPF claims. Nearly three-quarters of "natural" sunscreens also fell short.

Consumer Reports recommends 17 sunscreens that performed well on the tests, including La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk lotion, Pure Sun Defense SPF 50 lotion, No-Ad Sport SPF 50 lotion, Banana Boat SunComfort Continuous Spray SPF 50+, and Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 50.

If you're not using one of the top-rated products, Consumer Reports suggests using a chemical sunscreen with an SPF of at least 40 to get the minimum protection needed. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Heart Attacks Are 'Silent' in Nearly Half of Cases: Study]]> Mon, 16 May 2016 18:33:21 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/medical-GettyImages-57229731.jpg

A new study released Monday found that 45 percent of heart attacks in the United States are "silent" — people don't realize they're having them, NBC News reports.

But even though these heart attacks do not cause the classic symptoms of chest or arm pain, they're doing just as much damage as heart attacks that do.

"The outcome of a silent heart attack is as bad as a heart attack that is recognized while it is happening," said Dr. Elsayed Soliman of Wake Forest Baptist Medical center, who led the study.

Julie Llamas Rickman remembers going to the emergency room five years ago thinking her asthma was acting up — she felt short of breath and tired — but the 41-year-old was shocked to learn she had two blockages in her heart, and had had an attack: "I just started crying."

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[ Pfizer Blocks Use of Its Drugs for Executions]]> Fri, 13 May 2016 19:19:42 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/PfizerLogo-GettyImages-524975736%281%29.jpg

The Pfizer drug company is taking steps to ensure its products do not wind up in cocktails being used to execute prisoners, NBC News reported. 

"Pfizer makes its products to enhance and save the lives of the patients we serve," the company said in a statement. "Consistent with these values, Pfizer strongly objects to the use of its products as lethal injections for capital punishment."

The company is “enforcing a distribution restriction" for several products, including potassium chloride and the powerful anesthetic propofol, which caused the death of Michael Jackson. 

Under new guidelines, wholesalers and distributors must not resell the products to correctional institutions for lethal injections — and local governments must certify that products purchased are solely for medically prescribed patient care. 

The move shuts off the government's last open market source for drugs used in executions. 

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Living Long: Centenarians Share Their Secrets ]]> Tue, 17 May 2016 13:59:24 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_13060501691.jpg

When it comes to living long, people who've lived to be 100 years old get asked is "what's your secret?" But their keys to longevity seems to be as varied as their lives are long.

Though genetics may be the true reason some people lives stretch over a century and those who have lived the longest, past and present, swear by their ways of life. Whether it's eating bacon, getting a lot of sleep or avoiding men, the oldest from around the world credit many lifestyle choices to their success in age.

Emma Morano-Martinuzzi — Raw eggs
The 116-year-old, who became the world's oldest living person on Thursday, credits consuming raw eggs and staying single for her longevity. According to an interview with The New York Times, Morano-Martinuzzi eats three raw eggs a day, a tip she learned as a teenager from her doctor to help with her anemia. And after ending her marriage in 1938, Marano-Martinuzzi never settled down again. "I didn't want to be dominated by anyone," she told the Times.

Alfonso Gonzales — Moderation
"My advice is don't smoke," Gonzales recently told the University of Southern California, who at 96 is the most youthful member of our group. He gets a pass on the 100-year-old criteria because on Friday he became USC's oldest graduate, receiving his BS in zoology. As for further advice on staying healthy into older age, he said, "For the way I eat, I like to quote Benjamin Franklin: 'Eat in moderation and do not drink to elevation.'"

Susannah Mushatt Jones — Lots of sleep
Mushatt Jones, who was the oldest living woman until she died Thursday, was a proponent of living a traditionally healthy lifestyle. According to NBC News, her practice to living to 116 consisted of a good night's sleep and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes.

Violet Brown — Faith
Brown, from Jamaica, is 116 years old and credits her faith for her old age. According to an interview back in 2010 with a local paper, Brown reads the Bible every day and frequents church.

Richard Overton — Good eats (and drinks)
Believed to be America's oldest living war veteran, the 110-year-old told "Today" in a 2014 interview that his tips for living longer included a steady diet of fried catfish, cigars, and butter pecan ice cream. Oh, and a splash of whiskey in his morning coffee.

Eudoxi Baboul — Flour called couac
The 114-year-old who lives in French Guiana consumes a local favorite that her grandson credits to her long life. According to RFI, Baboul's grandson said she eats lots of couac, a cassava flour-based semolina.

Jessie Gallan — Avoiding marriage
Like Morano-Martinuzzi, one of the secrets to Gallan's old age was staying single. The Scottish woman, who died at 109 in March of last year, told the Daily Mail that she eats a bowl of porridge every morning, and avoided marriage because men are "just more trouble than they're worth."

Miseao Okawa — Relaxing
"Eat and sleep and you will live a long time," Okawa has said. "You have to learn to relax," she told the Telegraph in 2014, and apparently it worked for her. Before she died in 2015, Okawa got 117 years under her belt. She said she consumed three large meals a day and made sure to get eight hours of sleep nightly.

Pearl Cantrell — Bacon 
Cantrell died in 2014 at 105. The great-grandmother from Richland Springs, Texas, said her secret to longevity was bacon. "I love bacon," Cantrell told NBC affiliate KRBC in 2013. "I could eat it for every meal — and I do." She encouraged those who wished to live a long life to follow her advice and eat a rasher of bacon with every meal.

Photo Credit: AP Images for Philips Lifeline
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<![CDATA[Senate Strikes Bipartisan Deal Worth $1.1 Billion to Fight Zika]]> Thu, 12 May 2016 19:56:55 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ZikaMosquitoes-AP_16127497121865.jpg

The Senate struck a bipartisan compromise deal to give President Obama more than half the money he’s asked for to fight the Zika virus, NBC News reports. 

The deal was brokered by Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican, and Washington Democrat Patty Murray. It will allocate $1.1 billion in emergency funding to help states prepare for the virus before mosquito season starts.

Obama has been pushing for $1.9 billion in emergency funding. Republicans in Congress have balked at giving so much money in a funding stream that gives Congress so little control. Some conservatives worry it will be used as a slush fund to pay for other public health initiatives. 

Zika is spreading quickly across Central and South America. Health officials say there will be cases and outbreaks in the United States once the weather gets warmer and mosquitoes get really active.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[ FDA to Redefine 'Healthy,' 'Natural' Foods]]> Wed, 11 May 2016 17:01:59 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/FDALogo0GettyImages-549010409%281%29.jpg

The Food and Drug Association is redefining what “healthy” really means following years of pressure to make changes to the way it labels food products, NBC News reports. 

Congress is also urging the FDA to update what is healthy and what is not. Under old rules — which were written in the 1990s — “healthy” foods must meet government criteria on fat, saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol and nutrients. 

The FDA is also redefining the definition of what a “natural” food is — a definition that has no standards and no verification in place. 

"Consumers want to make informed food choices and it is the FDA's responsibility to help them by ensuring labels provide accurate and reliable nutrition information. In light of evolving nutrition research, forthcoming Nutrition Facts Labeling final rules, and a citizen petition, we believe now is an opportune time to reevaluate regulations concerning nutrient content claims, generally, including the term 'healthy.' We plan to solicit public comment on these issues in the near future," the FDA said in a statement.

Photo Credit: ullstein bild via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pregnant CrossFit Competitor Responds to Critics]]> Wed, 11 May 2016 14:50:45 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/pregnant-woman-weight-lifter-today-160509-tease_c3701d86f14bf39ef4e4b38803d8cc84.today-inline-large.jpg

A North Carolina personal trainer has come under fire on social media for exercising six days a week while pregnant and completing strenuous workouts even past her due date.

Emily Breeze, a two-time CrossFit competitor, has posted photos and videos of herself lifting weights, performing pull-ups, doing pushups all while pregnant.

"It's all I know and it's what I believe in and I want to have a healthy, fit pregnancy," Breeze, 31, told NBC's "Today" show.

Critics said it's "selfish" and accused her of placing her own fitness goals over the health of her baby.

According to NBC News' Medical Contributor Dr. Natalie Azar, "people who were exercising prior to a pregnancy and feeling good about that, they can continue that activity. She added that any exercise done with too much intensity can hurt the mother and child. She said pregnant women should stay hydrated, avoid excess heat and stop working out on their backs after the first trimester.

Breeze said she is following her doctor's rules. 

"I've been with my same OB-GYN for over 11 years, and he's known me in every stage of my athletic career," Breeze said. "So, he always assured me that pregnancy is not a disease, not an illness. It's also not one prescription for everybody. You have to listen to your body and let your body do what it's comfortable doing. And, most likely, it will allow you to do so, because that's what it's always known."

Photo Credit: Adams Wood / Barcroft Images
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<![CDATA[Walnuts Recalled for Possible Listeria Contamination]]> Wed, 11 May 2016 12:20:56 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-121816140.jpg

United Natural Trading LLC is recalling several walnut and walnut-containing products sold under the Nature’s Promise, Woodstock, Market Basket and Woodfield Farms brands due to a possible listeria contamination.

The recalled items, which were purchased from Gibson Farms, were distributed in limited quantities to retailers and distributors throughout the United States. Only specific lot numbers and sell dates are included in this recall; click here for a full list. 

The recall was issued as a precaution after a single sample was tested positive for listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses have been reported, according to the recall announcement. 

Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious infections in children and those that are frail or elderly, or those with weakened immune symptoms. It can also cause miscarriages or stillbirths in pregnant women. Affected individuals may experience fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. 

The Company is working with regulatory officials and has contacted its customers to ensure that any remaining recalled products are removed, the announcement said. 

Consumers who purchased the product should dispose of it, but retain their receipts, packaging or other proof of purchase. They may contact Melissa McCullough at Woodstock Farms Manufacturing customer service at 732-650-9905 with questions. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Swaddling May Increase SIDS Risk: Study]]> Tue, 10 May 2016 10:11:05 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-74146469-%281%29.jpg

Swaddling may increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, if babies are placed on their stomachs or when they sleep on their sides, according to a new study.

Researchers reviewed data from four studies and found that the risk nearly doubled among swaddled infants and the risk doubled in babies found sleeping on their stomachs. Risk of a SIDS death was least in babies sleeping on their backs, but it was still higher among swaddled babies, compared with those who were not swaddled.

The study was published in Pediatrics.

Putting infants on their backs to sleep is considered a key factor in preventing SIDS deaths. It's not known what causes SIDS.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Aurora Creative
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<![CDATA[CRF Frozen Food Recall Affects More Products]]> Tue, 10 May 2016 09:56:52 -0500 said it has destroyed those products it has, and anyone who purchased any may return them for a refund.]]> said it has destroyed those products it has, and anyone who purchased any may return them for a refund.]]> http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/frozen-food-recall-ajinomoto.jpg

More products are being taken from the shelves as part of the expanding CRF frozen food recall over possible listeria contamination, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Among the latest round of recalled products are packages of Trader Joe's chicken and vegetable fried rice, Tai Pei fried rice products, Ajinomoto chicken fried rices and more, the FDA announced Saturday. No illnesses have been reported to Ajinomoto Windsor, Inc., the company that issued the voluntary recall. 

"We urge you to discard the product or return it to any Trader Joe's for a full refund," Trader Joe's wrote in an announcement Monday.

Vegetables in the packages recalled Saturday (full list here) are connected to a larger CRF Frozen Foods recall, the FDA said. 

Last week, CRF expanded its voluntary recall of frozen organic and traditional fruits and vegetables after several people became sick with listeria infections.

Eight people have been sickened by the strain of listeria since Sept. 13, 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week. Two of those people died, though listeria infection was not listed as the cause of death in either case. 

Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious, occasionally fatal infections in the very young and old or frail, as well as people with weakened immune systems, according to the FDA.

The initial recall issued on April 23 included 15 frozen vegetable items, but the expanded recall covered 358 consumer products sold under 42 separate brands, including Trader Joe's, Emerald Farms, Safeway Kitchens and Parade. Saturday's Ajinomoto recall adds 68 products.

Consumers with questions should call the Consumer Affairs Hotline at (855) 742-5011, open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT, Monday through Sunday.

Photo Credit: Trader Joe's]]>
<![CDATA[Researchers Say 'Second Skin' Tightens Baggy Eyes]]> Mon, 09 May 2016 13:07:00 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/160509-second-skin-eyes-mdl_b07089e163e3774cad54b204caf36f04.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg

Dry legs? Saggy eyes? Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they have developed a two-step formula that tightens baggy eyes and can keep dry legs from flaking. 

The cream's affects are described in a scientific report in the journal Nature Materials. The formula is being patented and produced at almost the same time.

The cream, which acts as "second skin," is applied in two parts. An initial primer layer is put on and rubbed in, then a secondary layer is applied on top. A process called "cross linking" occurs, creating the new compound that is virtually invisible to the eye.

Not everyone is convinced, though. "Conceptually, it's a great and novel idea," said Dr. Jennifer Lucas of the Cleveland Clinic. But, she said, "for now, there is no magical cream that can make you look younger."

Photo Credit: Olivo Labs, LLC]]>
<![CDATA[Conversation on Child Mental Health]]> Fri, 13 May 2016 16:33:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/20150505+ReidEwing.jpg

Caring for children's mental health takes a team approach: Family members, health care professionals and educators.

When that happens, a young person's life can blossom.

That's the goal behind National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, culminating in a town-hall event Thursday hosted at George Washington University and streamed live across the country.

Parents can tune in to the conversation that started at 7 p.m. -- and use social media to ask their own questions of the panel. (Tweet questions with the hashtag #HeroesOfHope.)

The event, organized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is called “Finding Help, Finding Hope.” It's aimed at families of young people who experience mental or substance use disorders.

The panel kicked off with a funny, honest reflection from Reid Ewing, the actor who plays Dylan on "Modern Family." He was recognized by the group for sharing his stories of battling body dismorphic disorder and other challenges.

"I didn't have many friends, and I didn't really have the ability to make friends," Ewing said. "When you are depressed it doesn't really work that way."

But, he said, support of family, therapy and medication helped him learn "how live as a happy person."

Others on the panel include youth, family leaders, educators, law enforcement officials and behavioral health professionals. Among them will be SAMHSA Principal Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto, Center for Mental Health Services Director Paolo del Vecchio and National Council of Behavioral Health President and CEO Linda Rosenberg.

News4’s Aaron Gilchrist is moderating the event.

Meanwhile, communities around the nation are assembling watch parties and other events for Thursday night's event. Click here to find a watch party near you.

And don't worry if you miss the livestream -- the discussion will be available on demand, too.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington
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<![CDATA[New Robot Surgeon Works on Its Own]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 20:50:43 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/160504-robot-surgery-mn-1506_64766b4b95b687114fdd1811d9967469.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg

A new type of robot can perform tricky surgery as well as — and in some cases better than — human surgeons, NBC News reported. 

Researchers with Children’s National Medical Center in Washington said the new robot — called Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot, or STAR — could be operated with minimal human supervision. That means it frees up surgeons for work that requires more thought. 

The team, led by Dr. Peter Kim of Children's National Medical Center in Washington, compared the robot to some existing systems and to human surgeons. It was reported to be slow, but accurate, and managed to sew together two ends of a tiny pig intestine.

Photo Credit: Carla Schaffer / AAAS]]>
<![CDATA[Infected Mosquitoes Can't Transmit Zika Virus: Study]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 19:22:19 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Zika-GettyImages-506977656%281%29.jpg

Infecting mosquitoes with a strain of bacteria reduced their ability to transmit the Zika virus, according to Brazilian researchers, NBC News reported.

Mosquitoes infected with the Wolbachia bacteria have been released in several countries including Australia, Brazil, Indonesia and Vietnam to help control dengue — and new findings are showing success with Zika. This raises hopes that it might block transmission of the virus.

The new study, by researchers at Brazil's Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and published in Cell Host & Microbe, takes advantage of the naturally occurring strain of Wolbachia, which live in insect cells and are found in 60 percent of common insects. The method involves inserting the bacteria into mosquito eggs, which pass the bacteria along to their offspring. 

After two weeks in the Zika study, mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia had fewer particles of the virus in their bodies and saliva - making them less able to infect humans with the virus. 

Researchers caution this strategy isn’t 100 percent effective and will not eliminate the virus. But it can be used as part of a control strategy.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Medical Errors No. 3 Cause of Death in US: Experts]]> Wed, 04 May 2016 17:16:05 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/SurgicalInstruments-GettyImages-511163598.jpg

Two medical experts said Wednesday that medical mistakes — from surgical disasters to accidental drug overdoses — are the No. 3 cause of death in the U.S., NBC News reported.

Dr. Martin Makary and Michael Daniel from Johns Hopkins University said a count of all preventable deaths reveals that between 200,000 and 400,000 people a year die from these mistakes. 

Many health policy experts have been trying to call attention to the problem of medical errors for more than a decade. One problem is that mistakes are not usually put on death certificates. 

Cancer and heart disease are neck and neck as the top cause of death in the United States. In 2012, 24 percent of all deaths were from heart disease — 599,711 to be precise. And 582,623 deaths, or 23 percent, were from cancer.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>