<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Health News]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/health http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago https://www.nbcchicago.comen-usMon, 22 Jan 2018 00:14:55 -0600Mon, 22 Jan 2018 00:14:55 -0600NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Without CHIP, 1.7M Kids Could Lose Healthcare in Weeks]]> Sat, 20 Jan 2018 22:06:01 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/150715-doctors-visit-mbm_de870e476c74eecccb2b249e654c7a56.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg

More than 1.75 million children in 20 states and Washington D.C. are at risk of losing their health insurance by the end of February if Congress does not reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which ceased being funded when lawmakers failed to pass a spending bill late Friday night.

As the weekend continues, Congress is attempting to negotiate a deal that would provide CHIP a six-year extension, but that's not soon enough for some, NBC News reported.

“I’m tired of my daughter's health being used as a political weapon," said Lisa Nunez, a resident of Port Jefferson, Long Island, whose 11-year-old daughter is a CHIP recipient.

The healthcare program covers around 8.9 million American kids overall. The situation is most dire for the nearly 3.7 million who get their insurance through their state's separate CHIP programs, rather than CHIP-funded Medicaid. A provision in the Affordable Care Act stipulates that children who receive health insurance through CHIP-funded Medicaid cannot lose their insurance even if that CHIP funding were to disappear.

Photo Credit: Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Photos: Anti-Abortion Activists 'March for Life' in DC]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 14:39:39 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/march4life.jpg Thousands of anti-abortion activists gathered in Washington, D.C. on Friday for the 45th annual March for Life, which marks the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe v. Wade, which made abortions legal under federal law. President Donald Trump made an appearance, via video, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to address the event's participants. Earlier Friday morning, hundreds had filled Capitol One Arena for a mass and concert before the march.

Photo Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP]]>
<![CDATA[8-Year-Old Boy Gets Brain Infection From Flu in Texas]]> Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:30:47 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Flu_Brain_Infection_10p_01182018.jpg

The flu epidemic has had life-changing consequences for a Carrollton family.

Desiree Buckingham-Ramirez says her 8-year-old son is battling a brain infection that doctors say was caused by the flu.

Witten Ramirez is typically full of life, as he shines through his autism, according to Buckingham-Ramirez.

"He's a rock star. Everyone at school knows him. Everyone calls for him," she said. "It doesn't define him, but it definitely defines his personality!"

Last week, she says Witten came down with the flu, like the rest of his family, but she says Witten's symptoms were much worse.

"He's sleeping way too much," she said. "He stumbled a little bit, but I kind of chalked that up to, 'Hey, he isn't feeling well.'"

Concerned about a reaction to medication, she rushed Witten to the emergency room.

Testing revealed the flu caused an infection inside the part of his brain that controls movement.

Now, she says, "He can't walk, he can't sit on his own, he can't stand, he can't talk. It's taken everything."

"In the vast majority of adults and children who get a neurologic complication, we don't understand the reason why," said Dr. Benjamin Greenberg, a neurologist at Children's Health and UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Greenberg says the condition is called cerebellitis, a rare inflammatory process that can become a complication from the flu in very rare instances.

It's so rare, he says, it only affects affects a tiny fraction flu patients.

However, there are no known risk factors for it, and, as in Witten's case, autism doesn't contribute to the condition.

"You can have otherwise seemingly healthy individuals whose bodies handle flu in such a way to lead to a neurologic complication, which is why we spend so much time focusing on prevention," Greenberg said.

The best prevention, he says, is the flu vaccine.

Buckingham-Ramirez says Witten didn't get the shot this season like in the past.

"I had no idea the flu was going to be that bad this year," she said.

She says she plans to vaccinate him next year.

Doctors say children can recover from the condition, but it may take many rounds of rehabilitation, which has now been planned for Witten.

"It's heartbreaking to see your happy kid destroyed by the common flu," Buckingham-Ramirez said.

Photo Credit: NBCDFW
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<![CDATA[New Diet Strategy Involves Time Instead of Calories]]> Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:17:54 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/WMAQ_000000027691721_1200x675_1139898947623.jpg

There is a new strategy a lot of people are now trying in the battle of the bulge. A growing number of researchers say it's not so much what you eat but when you eat it in order to lose weight. NBC's Catie Beck looks at a new diet strategy that involves time instead of calories.

<![CDATA[Britain Appoints 'Minister for Loneliness']]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 06:54:43 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/lonely.jpg

Britain has created a “minister for loneliness” to tackle public health problems associated with social isolation, NBC News reported.

The minister, Tracey Crouch, was appointed after research showed that one in 10 people felt lonely "always or often" and hundreds of thousands of the elderly hadn't spoken to a friend or relative in the past month.

The minister for sport and civil society, as the title is officially called, will come up with a national strategy to tackle isolation across all ages and find ways of measuring alienation in official statistics.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Could You Pass the Mental Test Trump Took?]]> Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:14:08 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/brain-screen-shot.jpg

Can you recognize a lion? How about remembering a list of five words, right away and five minutes later?

President Donald Trump can. He got all the usual tests as part of his annual physical exam as president, NBC News reported. But he also added an extra exam — a cognitive screening test for memory loss or early dementia.

It’s not part of the usual battery of tests given a president and may reflect an outpouring of coverage and commentary questioning whether Trump is mentally fit for office.

Trump insisted on taking the test and passed it with flying colors, Admiral Dr. Ronny Jackson, presidential physician, told reporters.

Trump is the first president to undergo the memory screening, Jackson said. The White House medical team chose the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), which was designed as a rapid screening tool for mild cognitive dysfunction — a loss of memory and clear thinking ability that sometimes precedes dementia.

<![CDATA[Strep Bacteria Forces Student Into Life-Threatening Battle]]> Mon, 15 Jan 2018 10:51:13 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/MD01M+STREP+BACTERIA+-+00002819_30463551.jpg

A high school student is fighting for her life at an Illinlois hospital after bacteria from strep throat made its way into her bloodstream. NBC affiliate station WAND-TV reports. 

<![CDATA['Flu Is Everywhere,' CDC Says as Virus Hits Its Peak]]> Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:31:54 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/fluspreadsvaccine_1200x675.jpg

Influenza is "in lots of places" right now and is peaking across the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday, NBC News reported.

"Flu is everywhere in the U.S. right now. There's lots of flu in lots of places," the CDC's Dr. Daniel Jernigan told reporters Friday in the agency's weekly update on the annual flu epidemic.

The virus is peaking at the same time across virtually the whole United States, making for a "very active" flu season, the CDC said.

Flu rates were about doubled this past week over the week before, the CDC said. The virus has already killed 20 children and is sending many people to hospitals and emergency rooms. Though the season is shaping up to be severe, it's so far not setting any records, Jernigan said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Cough Syrup Containing Opioids Is Dangerous for Kids: FDA]]> Thu, 11 Jan 2018 23:00:45 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-813807542.jpg

Cough medications that contain opioids like codeine should not ever be taken by kids and they’ll now need to be labeled to make that clear, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

The FDA will also carry bigger warning about their dangers to adults, NBC News reported.

The FDA will remind parents that most coughs and colds don’t need any treatment at all. Most upper respiratory infections are caused by viruses, and with the exception of influenza, there aren’t any drugs that work against viral respiratory infections.

“Given the epidemic of opioid addiction, we’re concerned about unnecessary exposure to opioids, especially in young children,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[In a 1st, Pennsylvania Declares Opioid Crisis a Disaster]]> Wed, 10 Jan 2018 19:11:16 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-820401338.jpg

With opioids killing more people than any other health crisis in Pennsylvania's modern history, Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday declared a disaster emergency that suspends regulations hindering access to addiction care.

It's the first time a disaster emergency has been declared for a public health crisis in the commonwealth. Usually, disaster emergencies are reserved for major weather events such as a hurricane or for a terrorist attack.

"I don't take this action lightly. We know that this crisis has taken far too many lives. It has broken far too many families. It has decimated far too many communities and it has gone on for far too long," Wolf said at an event formally announcing the declaration at the State Capitol in Harrisburg.

The move eases some regulations that have been barriers to help for the addicted and their families. It will expire in 90 days as required by the state Constitution. 

The opioid epidemic has hit the commonwealth hard over the past few years. Pennsylvania has the fourth-highest overdose death rate in the United States. Preliminary data shared by Wolf shows 5,260 people died from drug overdoses in 2017 — the highest tally ever recorded and a nearly 15-percent jump over the previous year. 

The proliferation of illicit fentanyl, a synthetic opioid designed for use in medical settings that can cause an overdose in minuscule amounts, has been a principal cause in large jumps in overdoses and deaths. Cities and states across the country have been grappling with the same issue.

Last year, Philadelphia began implementing recommendations from Mayor Jim Kenney's Heroin Task Force, including increasing access to medicine-assisted treatment and court diversion programs. The Philadelphia Fire Department will launch an EMS unit this summer that's dedicated to responding specifically to drug overdoses in the city's Kensington and Fairhill neighborhoods. Officials have also been mulling establishing the nation's first safe-injection site, where users could take drugs in a monitored environment.

Philadelphia is home to the highest overdose numbers in the state, which city officials say may have hit 1,200 deaths last year. They're still certifying the final numbers.

The emergency disaster declaration waives a state requirement that a doctor must have a face-to-face interaction with a person before admitting them into a treatment program. Hospitals won't be required to get a separate license to offer treatment, either.

Jennifer Smith, secretary of the state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, said she'll be able to quickly say yes to removing requirements set on the state's 800 treatment providers.

"The declaration enables us to waive requirements on a broad basis without the need for those providers to submit specific requests to us," she said. New laws cannot be created under the emergency.

Fees to have a duplicate birth certificate produced will be waived. The certificates are often required as proof of residency for insurance and treatment programs and can be a surprising barrier to getting into treatment.

"Hopefully with this emergency declaration, we’re able to smooth things out so we can get people into treatment when they’re ready, which is the important thing," said Dr. Brian Work, an internist at Penn Medicine who volunteers at the addiction clinic Prevention Point Philadelphia.

See NBC10's national award-winning special report on the opioid crisis, Generation Addicted, right now by tapping here.

Medics responding to overdose calls will be able to leave behind additional doses of naloxone, so drug users can prevent death if another overdose happens in the future.

Pharmacists will be asked to provide the overdose reversal drug widely, likely for free or at a reduced price. Currently, anyone can purchase naloxone at a Pennsylvania pharmacy.

The Pennsylvania physician general will reclassify fentanyl and similar drugs as Schedule 1 narcotics to limit access and open drug dealers to steep criminal penalties.

Better data collection is required under this declaration as well. It requires that overdoses and neonatal abstinence syndrome — the medical term applied to children born addicted to drugs — are added as reportable conditions and tracked by state and local entities. Often, health officials only have coroner data to rely on.

An Opioid Operation Command Center will launch within the state's emergency management agency and be staffed by employees of nine state departments including health, state police, and others.

Wolf has made the fight against the opioid crisis a major area of focus for his administration. The state launched a prescription drug monitoring program to cut down on doctor shopping and identify pill mills. His administration also provided funding to create treatment centers of excellence and increase access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone, known by the brand name Narcan.

Pennsylvania is the eighth state to declare the opioid crisis a disaster emergency. Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, South Carolina and Virginia have previously made similar declarations. 

Wolf acknowledged that the declaration is not a "silver bullet," but hoped it would streamline the state's attack. He didn't rule out signing another emergency declaration in three months should officials need more time to better address the crisis.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Too Soon to Blame Romaine Lettuce for E. Coli Outbreak: CDC]]> Thu, 11 Jan 2018 14:14:48 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/179*120/romainelettuce_1200x675.jpg

It's too early to say that romaine lettuce is the source of an E. coli outbreak that has made at least 24 people in the U.S. and 40 in Canada sick, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

"The likely source of the outbreak in the United States appears to be leafy greens, but officials have not identified a specific type of leafy greens eaten by people who became ill," the CDC said in a statement on its website.

The CDC added seven people to its count on Wednesday. The agency said it's hard to say the outbreak is over when the true source is not known, and blaming a single crop too soon could leave people at risk if something else is spreading the bacteria. Meanwhile, Canadian health officials said they traced the bacteria to romaine lettuce and have declared the outbreak over in the country.

The CDC's statement comes after Consumer Reports acted on its own last week to warn people not to eat romaine lettuce. The company said that even though it didn't have "100 percent certainty that romaine lettuce is the cause of the E. coli outbreak in the U.S., a greater degree of caution is appropriate given that romaine lettuce is almost always consumed raw."

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Health Benefits to Losing 5 Percent of Body Weight: Study]]> Tue, 09 Jan 2018 20:53:39 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-866963562.jpg

Shedding just five percent of your body weight does a lot, NBC News reported.

It’s enough to decrease total body fat, visceral fat (the dangerous kind that hugs your organs), and liver fat. Plus, that small tip of the scale can also lower your blood pressure and improve your insulin sensitivity, reports a new study in the journal Cell Metabolism.

All together this can also mean a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, study authors say.

“Our results show that you get a large ‘bang for your buck’ with a five percent weight loss. But an additional 10 to 15 percent weight loss continues to cause even more improvements in measures like blood lipids and blood pressure,” says study co-author Samuel Klein, MD, director at the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine.

Photo Credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images for Dubai Tourism, File]]>
<![CDATA[Teen's Touching Story of Caring for Whole Family Goes Viral]]> Tue, 09 Jan 2018 12:18:35 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/TeenCaregiver0108_MP4_1280x720_1132755523890.jpg

Sometimes Jonathan Gutierrez' mom cries because she feels so humiliated that he has to look after her. But the 15-year-old always reassures her.

"If I cry, he yells at me, 'Don’t cry Mommy, don’t cry. This is not something that I don’t want to do. I love you,'” Jennifer Gutierrez said.

Now the teenager, who cares for his sick mom, grandmother and brother while his father works 60 hours a week, is getting viral attention for the sacrifices he makes for his family.

Jonathan, of Boca Raton, Florida, is a high schooler who spends most of his time as a caregiver for his family members.

Jonathan's mom, Jennifer, has multiple sclerosis and his grandmother has pre-dementia. He helps his mom with everyday tasks and makes sure his grandma takes her medicine. His brother also has sagittal craniosynostosis, and has had seven surgeries in his seven years of life.

Jonathan's dad has two jobs, working long hours each day to try and provide for the family. So, during the week, Jonathan runs the household.

"Without Jonathan here, I couldn't do everything by myself...There's some days I can't lift my head off the pillow," Jennifer said. “I have three really good weeks and one really bad week...that week I don’t walk.”

“I usually have to carry her to her bed, help her go to the bathroom, make sure she’s OK," Jonathan added, describing the bad weeks.

He also helps his younger brother with his homework, makes dinner and does whatever else his mom needs.

Jonathan is a member of the American Association for Caregiving Youth program at his high school. They have group meetings and also go on outings together to try to take a short break from their stressful lives.

“They understand what you’re going through," Jonathan said.

Jonathan recently spoke with Vice News about caring for his family, and the Facebook video has an estimated 1.9 million views. Jennifer hopes it lets other kids know they're not alone and encourages more programs around the country to help young people who are caregivers.

“He will make a difference for everybody," Jennifer said. "For all the kids that don’t know about the programs.”

Sacrificing his teenage years for the sake of his family is all for one reason: love.

“It’s humiliating, but he doesn’t make me feel that way. I feel that way myself," Jennifer said.

“She tells me every day how much she loves me and how much she appreciates me," Jonathan said. "It means a lot to me. I love her so much.”

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Shareholders Call on Board to Study Screen Time Impact]]> Tue, 09 Jan 2018 07:37:04 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/apple_screen_0108_1344373.JPG

Apple shareholders are calling on the company's board of directors to study the impact of smartphones on children.

Parents have expressed concern about the amount of time kids spend on their smartphones, and now some investors in the Cupertino-based tech giant are concerned as well.

Jana partners and the California State Teachers' Retirement System sent a letter to Apple's board urging the company to study screen time impacts and offer parents solutions.

While many adults can be seen glued to their phones, parents say their kids are even more tuned into their screens.

"If you take it away, they start crying, whining, throwing a tantrum," said Ann Kraft of Connecticut. "Why don't you play with a ball?"

Kraft added: "They're watching TV on the phone, texting, face timing, Instagramming. Everything they do is on the phone. It's a lot of screen time."

Apple shareholders are saying there is a growing body of evidence that, for at least some of the most frequent young users, it may be having unintentional negative consequences.

Clinical psychologist and Cal State East Bay professor Michael Stanton says there are impacts.

"We know social media do contribute to anxiety and depression, especially among kids in regards to social comparisons," Stanton said.

Stanton says screen time also impacts sleep. He says more study is needed to get the full picture.

Parents hope Apple gets to work.

"These kids are the first generation that have had extended screen time," Kraft said. "We suspect there are impacts, but we don't know what it is until you study. We're just guessing."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Repeat Flu Shots Offer Lingering Benefits in Elderly: Study]]> Tue, 09 Jan 2018 06:59:43 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_00_10_29.Still001.jpg

There's a good reason not to skip the flu shot this year: a new study has found that older adults who get the shot every flu season were less likely to die or be hospitalized with severe complications, NBC News reported.

People over 65 who got the flu shot every year but were taken to the hospital with influenza were twice as likely not to get severe complications of flu or die, according to the study, published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"We probably only get exposed to influenza, the virus, every three to five years on average," said University of Rochester Medical Center immunologist David Topham, who was not involved in the research. "That's plenty of time for your immunity to wane."

The flu season is off to a strong start in the U.S. this year, with some emergency rooms filling up. 

Photo Credit: CDC
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<![CDATA[Sessions to End Policy That Let States Legalize Pot: Sources]]> Thu, 04 Jan 2018 11:54:28 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_00_24_16.Still002.jpg

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will end an Obama-era policy that let states legalize marijuana, according to two sources to The Associated Press.

<![CDATA[Stay Away From Romaine Lettuce, Consumer Reports Advises]]> Thu, 04 Jan 2018 21:30:36 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/179*120/romainelettuce_1200x675.jpg

A new warning has been issued by Consumer Reports to avoid romaine lettuce while U.S. and Canadian health officials continue their investigation after 58 people were reported sick from E. coli infections, NBC News reported. One person has died.

The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued warnings about the outbreak. 

The outbreak spread across 13 states: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont and Washington. The Public Health Agency of Canada reported on 41 illnesses, NBC News reported. 

According to Consumer Reports, this strain of E. coli has a toxin that could lead to serious illness, kidney failure and even death in some cases.

NBC reported that it could take weeks to to track down the source of an outbreak because most food is shipped to central locations from various farms, where it is processed, packaged and redistributed. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Justin Sullivan]]>
<![CDATA[CDC-Recommended Tips on Avoiding the Flu at Work]]> Tue, 02 Jan 2018 16:49:15 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_00_10_29.Still001.jpg

The CDC recommends getting a flu shot early during flu season.

<![CDATA[Flu Widespread in 36 States, Deaths Reported: CDC]]> Fri, 29 Dec 2017 18:15:31 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/fluspreadsvaccine_1200x675.jpg

Influenza was reported as widespread by 36 states last week, with some states reporting deaths from the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Twenty-one of the 36 states experienced high levels of activity in the week ending Dec. 23, according to the CDC report released Friday. They are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

Almost a dozen total deaths have been reported in California, North Carolina and South Carolina.

In San Diego, pharmacies have run short of supply and one hospital emergency room created an additional emergency room outsideflu to accommodate patients.

Experts had said that the flu seaon may be more severe this year, with the dominant strain being H3N2.

"Typically in years when the predominant strain is H3N2, there are more hospitalizations, more severe disease and people tend to get sicker," Dr. Michael Ison, a professor of infectious disease and organ transplantation at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, told NBC News.

And the vaccine available in the U.S. was reported as only 10 percent effective in preventing illness from H3N2. However, while those vaccinated can still get sick, they typically experience a milder form of the illness.

The CDC began bracing for the season in September, campaigning for flu vaccinations and advising the public about influenza symptoms, which can appear suddenly. Symptoms can include fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose, chills and body aches, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea.

The flu virus has had millions of affected cases in the U.S. each year since 2010, according to the CDC. Those cases resulted in between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths each year.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/David Greedy, File
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<![CDATA[CDC Investigating E.coli Outbreak in 13 States, Infecting 17 Americans]]> Fri, 29 Dec 2017 14:02:45 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CDC+GettyImages-456691988.jpg

The CDC is investigating a multistate E.coli outbreak in 13 states, including Connecticut, and the agency is looking into whether it’s connected to an outbreak in Canada that’s believed to be linked to romaine lettuce.

There have been 17 illnesses linked to the outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 infections, including two in Connecticut, two in New Hampshire, three in California and one each in New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nebraska, Virginia and Washington.

The Illnesses started between Nov. 15 and Dec. 8, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Public Health Agency of Canada also is investigating an outbreak of STEC O157:H7 infections in several provinces.

Whole genome sequencing is being performed on samples of bacteria making people sick in the United States, preliminary results show that the type of E. coli making people sick in both countries is closely related genetically, according to the CDC.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified romaine lettuce as the source of the outbreak in Canada.

In the United States, state and local public health officials are interviewing sick people to determine what they ate in the week before their illness started.

CDC is still collecting information to determine whether there is a food item in common among sick people, including leafy greens and romaine.

At this point, the CDC is unable to recommend whether U.S. residents should avoid a particular food and said the investigation is ongoing, and more information will be released as it becomes available.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tips to Avoid a Hangover]]> Fri, 29 Dec 2017 15:49:39 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/avoidhangover.jpg

The Mayo Clinic shares some advice on things you can do to avoid a hangover after a night of drinking. Remember, never drink and drive.

<![CDATA[Tech-Assisted Healthy Eating for 2018]]> Fri, 29 Dec 2017 12:38:08 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/HealthyEating2018_MP4-151456927025400002.jpg

Eating better is one of the top New Year's resolutions for 2018, and this year, technology might be able to help you stick to it.


<![CDATA[Why Board Games Can Bring Out the Worst in Us]]> Mon, 25 Dec 2017 09:41:22 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/542092771-Family-Board-Games.jpg

When the presents are all unwrapped and the breakfast spread gobbled up, holiday revelers often turn to the time-honored tradition of board games — and can be left stewing and sulking, NBC News' Better reported.

There are some good explanations for why board games can bring out the worst in us: Our brains may not process that it's just a game, and they are designed to divide us, experts say.

"By their nature, board games bring out our competitive spirit because they divide us," said psychological performance coach Dr. Alok Trivedi, who added that the "every man for himself" scenario they usually create can induce an adrenaline rush.

But there are some simple ways to avoid serious family drama, too.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hero Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Cookies for Santa: A Breakdown of Christmas Calories]]> Thu, 21 Dec 2017 09:41:26 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GingerBettysQuincy+Christmas+Tree+Cookie.jpg

Between holiday parties, baking cookies for Santa, and office treats, the holidays can be a time of celebration through food. 

But do you know how many calories you are actually consuming with those holiday snacks? 

Consumer Reports recently broke down the calorie count in your favorite Christmas cookies, telling you how many to eat to reach 100 calories. 

For Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Stars Shortbread cookies, you can eat about three to get to 100 calories. 

Classic butter cookies, like the ones made by Sherwood Danish Delights that come in the blue tins, come to 100 calories if you eat about two and a third. 

Pepperidge Farm tops Christmas necessities for some. Their Milano Cookies (Candy Cane version), with layers of peppermint and chocolate, are 100 calories for about one and a half. 

Gingerbread man cookies from Pepperidge Farm have 100 calories for every three you eat. 

What about Nabisco Winter Oreos? They have red cream but the flavor is the same. One and a half of those equal 100 calories. 

Pillsbury Ready to Bake takes a shortcut to decorating cookies. A little less than two come to 100 calories. 

While Santa's elves are busy making toys, Keebler elves are making Fudge Stripes Peppermint cookies. A little more than one of these equals 100 calories. 

What is your favorite holiday cookie?

<![CDATA[Allergic to Christmas? Some Say Trees Cause Reactions]]> Thu, 21 Dec 2017 08:52:10 -0600 https://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Allergic_to_Christmas__Some_Say_Trees_Cause_Reactions.jpg

It's being called "Christmas tree syndrome." Apparently mold in real evergreens can cause allergic reactions like coughing, wheezing and chest pains. Lolita Lopez reveals what to do about it on Today in LA, Thursday Dec. 21, 2017.