<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Health News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/health http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usFri, 01 Jul 2016 01:23:09 -0700Fri, 01 Jul 2016 01:23:09 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[New Zika Studies Reveal Invisible Damage to Babies]]> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 11:32:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/BabyZika-AP_698041135257.jpg

Zika virus causes different types of brain damage in babies, not just microcephaly, according to two new reports.

Brazilian researchers found as many as one in five babies born with brain damage caused by Zika had normal-sized heads, NBC News reports. That means babies who may seem normal may in fact suffer from serious conditions that parents and doctors may not notice until they get older.

Worse, one study confirms that many of the pregnant women whose babies were affected didn't have the obvious symptoms of Zika, such as a rash. The virus is known to cause invisible infections in most people who catch it — usually good news, but that's bad news for pregnant women who may not know anything is amiss until their babies start showing symptoms as they grow.

And the study also found that even late in pregnancy, babies can suffer brain damage caused by Zika. In other words, there's no stage of pregnancy that's safe.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[A Little Butter Won't Kill You, Study Says]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 16:35:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/175635030-butter-generic.jpg

A little butter isn't going to kill anyone, but it's not a health food, nutrition experts said in a study released Wednesday.

"I would say butter is neither good nor bad," Laura Pimpin of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University told NBC News. 

Many studies look at saturated fat or omega-3 fatty acids or calcium, but Pimpin's team set out to find studies that looked at whole foods that people actually eat and then calculated their risks for overall death, heart disease and diabetes.

When possible, butter should be replaced with more healthful plant-based oils, Pimpin said. And it might be more useful, she said, to focus on the stuff people eat butter with.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Conference Sheds Light on Postpartum Depression]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 18:40:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/baby_feet_generic.jpg

Many talk about the joys of becoming a new mother. But for some women, it can be a very difficult, dark time.

Often times, the topic of postpartum depression is not talked about. Maureen Provenzale, who once suffered from postpartum depression, hopes people can become more aware of it.

She was hospitalized for postpartum depression and treated for what she says was a "true chemical imbalance." 

It took her time before she realized she needed help.

"I sat on the couch and I stared at the wall, and had the baby sitting on the floor," she said. "I was thinking about getting in the car, [thinking] ‘I'm just going to go away. He'll be better with someone else,’” Provenzale explained.

Provenzale spoke with NBC 7 while attending a conference at the Marriott Hotel in Mission Valley. It was the 29th annual conference of Postpartum Support International (PSI).

"Women are expected to be happy, especially if they have had a normal baby, especially if things have gone well,” PSI president Ann Smith said. “There is a certain degree of stigma about admitting to feeling that badly."

One goal of PSI is to make people more aware of a mental illness that impacts so many women.

"It needs to be talked about early on in pregnancy," Provenzale added.

For information about postpartum depression or for support, call PSI at (800) 944-4773. There’s also a great deal of information about postpartum depression in the documentary, “When the Bough Breaks,” which is narrated by actress Brooke Shields.

<![CDATA[Water Systems Failing to Test for Lead]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 09:02:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/223*120/lead-faucet.jpg The Natural Resources Defense Council reports more than 18 million Americans got their drinking water from systems with lead violations in 2015.]]> <![CDATA[Whitewater Park Closes After Deadly Amoeba Kills Teen]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 19:01:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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 08:55:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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[FluMist Nasal Spray Vaccine Doesn't Work: Experts]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 18:34:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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 16:31:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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[300 Charged in Nation's Largest Health Care Fraud Bust]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 11:20:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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 11:01:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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[Pregnant Women in Puerto Rico at Risk for Zika: CDC]]> Fri, 17 Jun 2016 12:24:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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[Lung Cancer Patients Treated With Drug Over Chemo ]]> Thu, 16 Jun 2016 15:28:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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[Teen Smoking Rate Drops, But More Kids Are Vaping]]> Thu, 09 Jun 2016 16:43:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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[Fewer High School Kids Have Sex: Survey]]> Thu, 09 Jun 2016 15:11:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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 12:42:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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]]>
<![CDATA[Turkey's President Calls Women Who Work 'Half Persons']]> Wed, 08 Jun 2016 05:25:55 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP924995293814.jpg

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said women who chose work over motherhood are "half persons," NBC News reported. 

"A woman who abstains from maternity by saying 'I am working' means that she is actually denying her femininity," Erdogan said in a widely reported speech in Istanbul on Sunday.

"A woman who refuses maternity and gives up housekeeping faces the threats of losing her freedom. She is lacking and is a half [a person] no matter how successful she is in the business world," he said according to excepts of the speech translated by the Hurriyet Daily News newspaper.

It is the latest in a series of remarks by the leader of a key U.S. ally that has sparked outrage and fear among liberals and human rights activists, who allege Edrogan is veering toward conservative Islam.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[UC San Diego Building Is Subject in New Petition]]> Tue, 07 Jun 2016 11:41:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/UCSDCANCERCLUSTER11PMPKG050616_1200x675_700365379802.jpg A building on the UC San Diego campus is feared to cause cancer. Nearly 1,000 people have already signed a petition to evacuate the Literature Building. NBC 7's Steven Luke reports from La Jolla.]]> <![CDATA[Miss. Woman Wins Court Fight for Her Placenta]]> Mon, 06 Jun 2016 11:59:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NC_placentafight0602_1920x1080.jpg An expectant Mississippi mother, Jordan Thiering, was shocked to find out she couldn't easily keep her placenta after the birth.

"If I can bring my baby home, I should have every right to bring my placenta home with me," said Thiering, who obtained a court order allowing her to take home her placenta after giving birth to her son.

The placenta is the organ that surrounds the fetus in the womb and allows for the exchange of nutrients, blood, and waste with the mother. Thiering plans to eat it to because of its nutritious value, she said. Typically, the placenta is dried and processed into a powder that can be put in a capsule. ]]>
<![CDATA[New Drug Gives Bladder Cancer Patients Fresh Hope]]> Sun, 05 Jun 2016 16:08:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NYUCancerDrug-160603-dr-arjun-balar-mbe-459p-2.jpg

A newly approved drug is giving the boost needed to stall the spread of tumors in patients with advanced bladder cancer, NBC News reports. 

The drug, called atezolizumab, is sold under the name Tecentriq and works the same way Keytruda, which helped stopped former President Jimmy Carter’s advanced melanoma. The new drugs act directly on immune cells that are supposed to destroy tumors. 

The treatment stopped tumors from growing in 24 percent of patients in the study and shrank them by 30 percent, according to the team of researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center, who treated some of the patients. 

Earlier approaches included revving up the immune system, but those methods didn’t always work. Other approaches, such as amplifying a patient’s own tumor-specific cells were labor-intensive and didn’t work for everyone. 

Tecentriq has won Food and Drug Administration approval last month, but it comes at a high cost: $12,500 a month.

<![CDATA[Stem Cell Experiment Stuns Doctors]]> Sun, 05 Jun 2016 06:01:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/0603-2016-StemCell.jpg

In a recent medical study, Stanford researchers say a new stem cell experiment is transforming the lives of stroke patients.

The use of stem cells is allowing patients with little hope for recovery to suddenly talk and walk again, according to the study published in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases.

“We did not expect to see significant recovery,” said Dr. Gary Steinberg, chief of neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine. “We were quite startled by the remarkable recovery some of the patients showed.”

Steinberg and a team of researchers released the study on Thursday.

Researchers did not anticipate seeing results this early in the process. The test was meant to be an initial phase in the study, and only included 18 patients of varying ages and who had strokes at least six months before.

The study included now 36-year-old Sonia Coontz of Long Beach. She had a stroke at 31, and two years later when she participated, could barely move her arm.

Doctors drilled a small hole in Coontz's and the other patients' skulls, and then injected modified adult stem cells directly into the region of the brain impacted by stroke.

Only a day after Coontz’s surgery, she could raise her arm above her head.

“She was what we call one of our miracle patients. She showed some improvement within 24 hours. By the next day she was already moving her arm well. Over the next month, she started talking better, walking better. Within 6 months, her lifestyle was completely changed. She got married and now she’s pregnant,” Steinberg said.

The stem cells do not replace brain cells. In fact, they die within a couple of months, according to Steinberg.

However, within that time, the stem cells somehow trick the brain into thinking it’s much younger than it is.

“In a sense, we think they are turning the adult brain in to a neonatal or infant brain that recovers very well after a stroke or other types of injury,” Steinberg said. “In the past we thought patients with chronic stroke had circuits which were dead or irreversibly damaged. We never thought they would ever work again no matter what we did. And this tells us that’s simply not true.”

About half the patients made improvements authors considered clinically significant, “meaning it changed their lifestyle,” Steinberg said.

Many of the rest made significant improvements, but a few in the patient group did not improve.

“While not every single patient improved – and you wouldn’t expect that – it was quite remarkable that so many of the patients improved to the extent that they did,” Steinberg said.

However, doctors say larger studies are needed before we get too excited.

“There’s a lot of hype about stem cells. And while we think there’s a lot of hope, we also want to be cautious in how we proceed,” Steinberg said.

Stanford researchers are currently conducting a larger study with 156 people, and another study using stem cell therapy on chronic traumatic brain injury patients.

Doctors say in the future, stem cells could help other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, ALS or even Alzheimer’s.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fentanyl: Drug That Killed Prince Killed Thousands of Others]]> Thu, 02 Jun 2016 18:20:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/fentanyl-AP_717602029855.jpg

Fentanyl, the drug that killed Prince, is a powerful narcotic that has killed thousands of others, according to NBC News. 

According to a medical examiner’s report Thursday, the pop icon died from fentanyl toxicity. The autopsy report gave no details apart from declaring that Prince died from an apparently self-administered dose of the drug.

Fentanyl was formulated in the 1950s by Belgian drug company Janssen Pharmaceutica as a safer, more effective alternative to the painkillers morphine and meperidine. 

It is the strongest opioid approved for medical use in the United States and is rated as 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the National Institute for Drug Abuse. It’s the go-to drug many patients with advanced cancer use to deal with their pain. Drug pushers will mix it with heroin or cocaine, which can increase potency and danger.

Overdoses related to the drug have killed more than 700 people across the country from late 2013 to early 2015, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Health Officials Unclear Why US Deaths Rising]]> Wed, 01 Jun 2016 11:33:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-10189107.jpg

The overall death rate in the United States ticked up in 2015, according to new federal data, NBC News reported. 

Nearly 730 deaths were reported for every 100,000 people in 2015 compared to 723 deaths in 2014, according to initial data from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Experts aren't sure why the death rate has been rising and need to analyze the data which shows that suicides, Alzheimer’s and gun deaths increased in 2015. 

The last complete report on deaths in the U.S. came in 2013, when 2.6 million Americans died. The crude death rate was 821.5 deaths per 100,000 and the average life expectancy was 78.8 years. The crude deaths rate — not adjusted for age — was 841.9 per 100,000 people in 2015.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Inside the Lab That Found the Latest Superbug]]> Tue, 31 May 2016 05:08:57 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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 17:47:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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 04:25:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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 17:32:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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[TB Cases at 2 Local Schools]]> Thu, 26 May 2016 12:02:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tuberculosis3.jpg

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported today that two people, one from High Tech High Media Arts near Loma Portal and another from Southwest High School in Otay Mesa West, have been diagnosed with tuberculosis.

The two cases are unrelated, according to the County Communications Office, and it is unconfirmed whether the two patients are students or school staff.

The period of potential exposure in the case at Southwest High is between March 5 and May 15. The person diagnosed with TB has recently started treatment. Students who may have been exposed at Southwest High will be offered free testing on campus on June 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The period of potential exposure at High Tech High is from February 20 to May 15. Students who may have been exposed at High Tech High will be offered free testing on campus on June 7 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The HHSA is working with officials from both schools to notify those who may have been exposed.

“Symptoms of active TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss,” Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer said in a written release. “Most people who are exposed to TB do not develop the disease, but when it does occur, it can be treated and cured with medication.”

San Diego has seen 74 reported cases of TB in 2016, and 234 cases were reported in 2015.

For more information on TB and the potential exposure, call the County TB Control Program at (619) 692-8621.

Photo Credit: FILE - Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fake Perfume Bust Finds Ingredients Linked to Cancer, Organ Damage]]> Thu, 26 May 2016 06:54:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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 11:26:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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[Doctor's License Suspended After Sexual Misconduct Accusations]]> Wed, 25 May 2016 08:13:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Manuel-Tanguma-San-Marcos.jpg

A North County doctor’s medical license has been suspended after accusations of sexual misconduct targeting female patients.

Dr. Manuel Tanguma III has resigned from Graybill Medical Group, according to the company. He worked out of their San Marcos office on Rancheros Drive between September 2008 and November 2015, they said.

In a civil complaint filed in May, one of his former patients accused him of asking sexually inappropriate questions about her sex and dating life.

According to court documents, after a number of doctor visits, Tanguma “kissed her for what felt like ten minutes. When Tanguma stopped kissing [the patient], he unzipped his pants and exposed [himself] to her and commented ‘Look what you do to me. Touch it.’ [The patient] froze and was horrified.”

In a complaint to the California Medical Board, another former patient accused Tanguma of inappropriately touching her breast, lingering over a scar on her stomach and kissing her cheek.

Both women said the incidents happened during private doctor visits with Tanguma in 2013.

NBC 7 spoke to Tanguma over the phone. He did not want to comment on the allegations or his license being suspended and referred us to his attorney.

In a statement, his attorney Robert Frank wrote, “Tanguma is a kind, generous and caring physician who has been ambushed by the unfounded complaints of several former female patients, one of whom attempted to extort money from the medical clinic at which he worked and who went public about her untruthful accusations after her extortion attempt was rebuffed by the clinic.”

Frank said the extortion involved the patient and her daughter threatening to sue the practice and asking for money. Jessica Pride, the attorney representing that woman, said the extortion claim is without merit.

Pride also represents several other women who have accused Tanguma of similar misconduct. As of Tuesday, one has filed a civil claim. Pride said she plans to file the rest by the end of the week.

Pride explained her clients are “emotionally traumatized. They lost their faith in doctors. They don’t trust male practitioners."

“This is definitely been a breach in their confidence and trust because they place doctors in a special position of trust. When going to get help for medical treatment, they expected the doctor to act professionally,” she said.

Pride believes there are more victims.

“Dr. Tanguma displayed a very confident persona that in my opinion is indicative that he’s a serial offender,” she said.

Pride said her clients are waiting for the District Attorney’s office to file criminal charges. As of Tuesday, no criminal charges were filed.

Tanguma’s attorney acknowledged his client’s license was recently suspended and added, “without Dr. Tanguma at that time having had the chance to present any counter evidence. He looks forward to clearing the air about the untruthful accusations.

Also named in the civil complaint is Tanguma’s former employer, Graybill Medical Group.

In a statement, the company told NBC 7, “The allegations reported recently are very disturbing to us. We strive to provide all of our patients with a safe environment, and we empathize with any patient who feels his or her trust may have been violated. We will provide our full assistance and cooperation to the California Medical Board in its investigations.”

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Community College District Preps Employees for Emergencies and Natural Disasters]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 15:14:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mannequin-dummy-emergency.jpg

The San Diego Community College District Police Department led a Disaster Preparedness Training Symposium at San Diego Mesa College on Tuesday to train and prepare its employees and the local community in emergency-aid strategies in the event of a disaster.

The SDCCDPD, with the help of the San Diego Police Department, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the American Red Cross administered training exercises for the SDCCD’s Campus Community Emergency Response Teams, or C-CERT.

Volunteers were taught fire safety and were taken through a variety of individual and team emergency-aid exercises. Attendees also got to witness SDPD’s ABLE helicopter perform a mock emergency landing on the football field.

“You really need ordinary folks that are trained in life safety to provide that support before first responders get there," SDCCPD Chief of Police Raymund Aguirre said.

"If they can provide first aid before medics get there, we’re going to train them to do that. It’s critical,” he added.

C-CERT volunteers were taught how to properly use fire extinguishers by extinguishing controlled fires from a range of distances. They were also taught how to safely lift and prop fallen debris. Practice dummies and large blocks of wood were used to simulate humans trapped under concrete and fallen structures in the event of an earthquake or other destructive disaster.

“The idea of saving people” is what brought Sandra Williams-Carter out to the free event.

“Our number one priority is helping the people, helping our neighborhood, helping our policemen, firemen,” Carter, a C-CERT volunteer, said. “You never know when we might need it. We want someone to know how to do that CPR, how to get this brick off of me without doing more damage.”

“What we’re doing is really showcasing the skills of C-CERT.” Aguirre said. “It’s providing life-safety skills to individuals, in this case our campus community, so that they can fight small fires, triage and provide first aid to folks that are injured as part of the aftermath of a disaster until first responders can attend to them.”

C-CERT is a part of CERT San Diego, which was implemented by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department to assist citizens in becoming involved in volunteer efforts after the community received mass support from its citizens during the Cedar Fire in 2003.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Family Health Care Costs Have Tripled Since '01: Analysis]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 13:44:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.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]]>