<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Health News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/health http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usWed, 22 Feb 2017 17:12:19 -0800Wed, 22 Feb 2017 17:12:19 -0800NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[5 More Flu Deaths Reported in San Diego County]]> Thu, 16 Feb 2017 13:21:27 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/flu+shot+generic1.JPG

Five more flu-related deaths were reported in San Diego last week, health officials confirmed Thursday, bringing the total number of deaths this season to 44. 

By this same time last year, 12 people had died from the flu in the county.

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) said influenza activity has reached a new high this season. People aged 31 to 98 years old have died from the flu. The HHSA said the 31-year-old man had no underlying medical conditions.

Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer, said for those with underlying health conditions, influenza can be deadly. This is why health officials recommend getting a flu vaccine, as it is considered the best protection against the illness.

Health officials recommend an annual flu shot; after the vaccination, it takes two weeks for immunity to develop, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The vaccination is especially recommended for those at high-risk of experiencing complications with the flu, including people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women and people age 65 and older.

The HHSA’s latest “Influenza Watch” report, from the week ending on Feb. 11, says six percent of all emergency department visits in San Diego were patients experiencing flu-like symptoms.

There were 555 lab-confirmed cases of influenza for the week, up from the 379 the week prior.

To date, there have been 3,335 lab-confirmed cases of the flu in San Diego. Last year at this time, there were 1,939.

Flu season in the U.S. occurs between December and May.

For a list of county public health centers where you can get a flu shot, click here or call 211.



Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Brain Scans May Detect Signs of Autism in Infants]]> Wed, 15 Feb 2017 17:57:36 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-5248112111.jpg

It may be possible to detect autism in babies before their first birthdays, a much earlier diagnosis than ever before, a small new study finds.

Using magnetic-resonance imaging scans, researchers at the University of North Carolina were able to predict — with an 80 percent accuracy rate — which babies who had an older sibling with autism would be diagnosed with the disorder, NBC News reported.

The brain imaging scans, taken at 6 months, at 12 months and again at 2 years, showed significant growth in brain volume during the first year in babies who would later meet the criteria for autism, such as not making eye contact, delaying speech or other displaying other developmental delays.

Parents who have a child with autism have a 2 percent to 18 percent increased risk of having a second child who is also affected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Photo Credit: Sally Anscombe/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[South Florida Company Turns Cobra Venom Into Healing Treatment]]> Wed, 15 Feb 2017 16:42:41 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/021417+cobra+venom.jpg

When you think about Cobra venom, eventual death comes to mind. A South Florida company is changing the perception of the deadly venom.

Nutra Pharma Corp., a biotechnology company specializing in the acquisition, licensing and commercialization of pharmaceutical products and technologies,  has turned the toxin in the venom into treatment for pets and people.

The treatment fills medicine bottles at the facility in Plantation.

Tom Crutchfield, a herpetologist, says there’s really no need to be afraid of this potentially deadly snake.

“I always knew they were special even as a kid, because when I was a kid everybody hated snakes,” said Crutchfield.

He raises and handles the slithering creatures in his farm in Homestead.

Twice a month, Crutchfield milks the venom that will be used to help people and pets with chronic pain.

“The biodiversity on this planet never ceases to amaze me. And, the more we look, the more we find, the more medicines we find when we look at venoms and poisons and things like that. It’s amazing,” said Crutchfield.

The venom is taken to the Nutra Pharma lab, where it undergoes a process converting it from fluid to powder.

The product is then sold and marketed as Nyloxin, selling for $24.95.

“All the principle work has been in humans. So, the Nyloxin product is amazing. It’s non-addictive, no opiate, non-narcotic. In the last model, it outperformed morphine. It lasted six hours longer than morphine without any of the side effects,” explained Rik Deitsch, CEO of Nutra Pharma Corp.

Deitsch said the extracted venom is also good for pets. It’s sold as Pet Pain Away.

“The problem with pain medication for dogs and cats is there aren't a lot of choices,” said Deitsch.

The product comes as a spray and topical gel. The South Florida-based company says it has three patents on this specific healing formula.

Nutra Pharma says there are 46 published clinical studies about the product.

Nyloxin and Pet Pain Away are all natural and can also be used for auto immune diseases, viruses and pain. Every time the lab milks a cobra, more than 100 bottles of product are made.



Photo Credit: NBC Miami]]>
<![CDATA[Coronado-Based Psychiatrist Pens Letter to NY Times]]> Wed, 15 Feb 2017 20:02:32 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/636205472080603545.jpg

A Coronado-based psychiatrist who was one of the experts who developed the criteria for narcissistic personality disorder has penned a letter to the editor of the New York Times asking people to stop using the disorder to describe President Donald J. Trump.

"Most amateur diagnosticians have mislabeled President Trump with the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. I wrote the criteria that define this disorder, and Mr. Trump doesn’t meet them," the letter reads.

"He may be a world-class narcissist, but this doesn’t make him mentally ill, because he does not suffer from the distress and impairment required to diagnose mental disorder," the letter to the editor continued.

Read the entire letter here.

The NY Times cites the author as Allen Frances, M.D. A professor emeritus at Duke University, Frances was the chair of the DSM-IV Task Force and of the department of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC.

The DSM is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders used by psychologists and psychiatrists.

Frances has also written for Psychology Today and posted a link to the article stating that he's "tired of amateur analyses" to his Twitter account.

During the presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump's personal physician released a one-page letter.

Long-time personal physician Dr. Harold Bornstein stated in September 2016 that the candidate was in "excellent physical health."



Photo Credit: EFE
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<![CDATA[Sore Back? Try Heat and Exercise First, Guidelines Say]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2017 08:56:07 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/212*120/Back-Guy.jpg

Prescription drugs should only be a last resort as a treatment for lower back pain, a leading doctors' group said Monday.

NBC News reported on the new guidance from the American College of Physicians, which says doctors should tell patients to try heat wraps and exercise first, then over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen (Tylenol has been shown to do little for back pain), before they prescribe opioids.

"Given that most patients with acute or subacute low back pain improve over time regardless of treatment, clinicians and patients should select nonpharmacologic treatment with superficial heat massage, acupuncture, or spinal manipulation," the group says in its new guidance, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Among the therapies that may help and have little risk of harm are tai chi, yoga and cognitive behavioral therapy, the group said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Firstborns Get Intellectual Advantage Over Siblings: Study]]> Mon, 13 Feb 2017 13:04:28 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*122/GettyImages-73781080.jpg

Firstborn children are set up for more academic and intellectual success, according to a new study that delved into nearly 40 years of data.

Today.com reported that firstborn babies and toddlers started scoring better on cognitive tests than their younger siblings at the same age, and the advantage continued through their lives.

The study was published in the Journal of Human Resources and based its findings on the Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of the Youth, which included information on thousands of Americans 14-21 years old who were interviewed several times starting in 1979.

“First-time parents tend to want to do everything right and generally have a greater awareness of their interactions with and investments in the firstborn," co-author Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann, an economist at the Analysis Group in Boston, told "Today."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Shoveling Snow Can Be Deadly for Men: Study]]> Mon, 13 Feb 2017 11:45:47 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-462353044.jpg

Men are more likely to have a heart attack after a snowfall, probably from shoveling snow, according to Canadian researchers.

NBC News reported that researchers found a slight increase in heart attacks and deaths following a storm in Quebec. With each day of snow, these likelihoods increased. A single day of snowfall raised a man’s risk of heart attack by just less than one percent, the researchers reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

“Men are potentially more likely than women to shovel, particularly after heavy snowfalls,” researchers wrote. “Snow shoveling is a demanding cardiovascular exercise require more than 75 percent of the maximum heart rate, particularly with heavy loads.”

The study found that men were one-third more likely to die after an eight-inch snowfall compared to a dry day. Researchers did not find a similar trend with women.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Praises 911 Dispatcher]]> Sun, 12 Feb 2017 03:29:37 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/258*120/170211-911-dispatcherJPG.JPG

There were happy tears all around Saturday at the Corona Police Department when a woman met the 911 dispatcher who helped save her husband’s life.

On Jan. 21, Carolyn Evans called 911. Her husband, 65-year-old Jeff Evans, had suffered a heart attack and wasn’t breathing.

“His face is turning purple,” Carolyn Evans can be heard saying to the dispatcher in the 911 call.

Elise Rodriguez, the voice on the other end, kept Carolyn Evans calm and walked her through two rounds of CPR until paramedics arrived four minutes later.

“I want you to put the heel of your hand on the breast bone in the center of his chest,” Rodriguez instructed. “I want you to count out loud with me."

Even as the paramedics arrived and continued to administer life-saving care, Evans said Rodriguez deserves tremendous credit.

"She really walked me through the whole thing. I’d never done it,” Evan said. “I’ve been told about it. My daughter told us, but I've never done it. And [Rodriguez] perfectly walked me through it.”

For Rodriguez, it’s all part of the job, but she said it’s nice to hear about the end result and meet Evans’ family.

“When I found out from one of the officers initially on scene that he survived, I was really excited about that,” Rodriguez said. “You always hope for the best, but you have no idea what happens once they've been taken away.”

Jeff Evans had two stints put in and was put into a medically induced coma. But three weeks after his heart attack, he’s recovering well.

On Saturday, Evans, his wife and his 11 grandchildren wanted to thank the dispatchers and first responders who helped make that recovery possible.

“I’m able to read and comprehend,” Jeff Evans said. “It’s a miracle. I don’t understand it, but I’m good.”



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV ]]>
<![CDATA[Bill Would Require Ingredients on Cleaning Supplies Labels]]> Wed, 08 Feb 2017 12:41:04 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/window+cleaner+gallery.jpg

A bill proposed Wednesday could make California the first state in the nation to require cleaning products to disclose ingredients.

State Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, introduced SB258 that would require companies list all ingredients in cleaning products. Currently, many ingredients are listed under words like fragrance.

The bill would not require the concentrations of ingredients, or details on how the cleaning product is made.

Some chemicals used in cleaning supplies can cause reproductive problems, exacerbate asthma, burn or irritate skin, and harm the environment.

“We trust Californians to check the labels on food, drugs and cosmetics, but you have to be a chemist to know what is in the cleaning products that are under your kitchen sink,” Lara said in a written news release.

The bill called The Cleaning Product Right to Know Act is co-sponsored by the Environmental Working Group, the Breast Cancer Fund and Women’s Voices for the Earth.

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<![CDATA[Giant Tumor Removed from Man Told He's 'Just Fat']]> Tue, 07 Feb 2017 15:57:06 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/docGettyImages-71205638.jpg

A California doctor removed a 130-pound tumor from a Mississippi man who had been told by other physicians that he was just fat.

Roger Logan, 57, had the non-cancerous growth removed on Jan. 31 at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, where he will remain for another week or so before returning to Gulfport, Mississippi.

The tumor probably started as an ingrown hair that became infected, swelled and developed its own blood supply, Logan's surgeon, Dr. Vipul Dev, told the Bakersfield Californian.

It sprouted from his lower abdomen more than a decade ago.

Doctors told him: "You're just fat, it's just fat," Logan told KERO-TV in Bakersfield.

The tumor grew so massive that it hung to the floor when he sat.

"I used to equate it, you just put a strap around your neck and carry three bags of cement around with you all day long, just swinging," Logan said.

Virtually unable to move, he spent most of his time in a recliner in one room of his home.

By the time the tumor reached 130 to 140 pounds, doctors told Logan it was too risky for him to have surgery, giving him only a 50 percent chance of surviving it.

But his wife, Kitty, scoured the country for specialists to perform the operation and found Dev, who had performed similar surgeries.

"She just kept pushing," Logan told the Californian. "She wouldn't let me quit."

Logan finally made the 2,000-mile, 40-hour trip to Central California with his chair bolted to the floor of a cargo van, "just like I was in my living room at home," Logan told the paper.

Logan is now recovering and last Thursday he was able to walk for practically the first time in years.

"My feet are together," Logan said, wiggling his toes in his hospital bed. "They haven't been together in years."

He is looking forward to returning home and resuming his life, out of an armchair.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kids Are Trying Potentially Harmful E-Cigarette Hack]]> Tue, 07 Feb 2017 04:25:07 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_34020085243.jpg

As many as a quarter of U.S. kids who are using e-cigarettes may be taking them apart and "dripping" — a method that gives them more vapor but a potentially higher hit of nicotine, researchers reported Monday, according to NBC News.

They recommended more research into whether it's more dangerous for kids, and experts said parents should ask their kids if they've tried it.

"E-cigarettes are also being used for 'dripping,' which involves vaporizing the e-liquid at high temperatures by dripping a couple of drops of e-liquid directly onto an atomizer's coil and then immediately inhaling the vapor that is produced," Dr. Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin of Yale University and colleagues reported in the journal Pediatrics.

"Among 1,080 ever e-cigarette users, 26.1 percent of students reported ever using e-cigarettes for dripping. Reasons for dripping included produced thicker clouds of vapor (63.5 percent), made flavors taste better (38.7 percent), produced a stronger throat hit (27.7 percent)," they added.



Photo Credit: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II]]>
<![CDATA[Laundry Pod-Linked Eye Injuries Surged in Small Kids: Study]]> Fri, 03 Feb 2017 08:12:11 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-453144893.jpg

Liquid laundry packets are responsible for a surge in eye injuries in young children, according to new medical research.

The pods are already under scrutiny after thousands of incidents of kids mistaking them for toys or candy, the "Today" show reported. But chemical burns to the eyes of preschool-aged kids caused by the packets jumped 32-fold between 2012 and 2015, according to a report published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

The report noted that by the end of 2015, liquid laundry packet-involved eye injuries represented more than one in four chemical eye burns in children 3-4 years old.

An industry group says that voluntary safety standards meant to prevent such injuries were put in place after the period covered in the data.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Tackle Food Safety: Keep Your Food Safe on Game Day]]> Thu, 02 Feb 2017 11:38:06 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2017-02-02+at+2.25.05+PM.png The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a list of food safety tips for Super Bowl party hosts.]]> <![CDATA[Science Could Soon Develop Eggs, Sperm From Skin Cells]]> Thu, 02 Feb 2017 04:46:46 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/170131-babies-mn-1600.jpg

The world is on the brink of another revolution thanks to an emerging technology called in vitro gametogenesis, or IVG, which would allow doctors to develop eggs and sperm from a surprising source: skin cells, NBC News reported.

These reproductive cells could then be used to create fertilized embryos to be implanted into a woman's uterus (or, someday, an artificial womb).

Researchers in Japan created viable eggs from the skin cells of adult female mice, which were then fertilized with naturally derived sperm from male mice.

Using the same process in people isn't exactly feasible, so scientists need to find another way to turn primordial germ cells into mature eggs in vitro.

"It's a technology that will come someday, but the question is when and whether it will be completely safe," says Zev Rosenwaks, director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.



Photo Credit: Blaine Harrington III/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[12 New Flu Deaths Reported in San Diego County]]> Wed, 01 Feb 2017 12:08:11 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Sick-Flu_generic.jpg

San Diego County has suffered a dozen new victims of this year’s flu season.

The County Health and Human Services Agency released its weekly report Wednesday.

At this point last year, seven people had died from the flu in the county. So far this flu season, the county has confirmed 33 influenza deaths.

As of February 1, more people were going to the emergency room for influenza-like illness than the previous week, according to county officials.

However, cases of influenza confirmed by lab work dropped to 283 for the week, less than the number reported the previous week (326).

“Even though the number of reported flu cases has fallen in the past three weeks, more than one peak can occur in a flu season, which can last through the spring,” Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer said in a written news release.

Wooten suggests getting a flu shot if you have not had one.


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<![CDATA[Scripps Women’s Heart Center Opens in La Jolla]]> Wed, 01 Feb 2017 08:28:51 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Scripps-Womens-Heart-Center.jpg

A team of four women cardiologists will treat women’s hearts exclusively at a new medical facility in La Jolla. 

The Scripps Women’s Heart Center recently launched at the John R. Anderson V Medical Pavilion at the Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla campus, owner Scripps Health announced Jan. 31.

It said the center will be staffed by Drs. Poulina Uddin, Christina Adams, Elizabeth Kaback and Namee Kim.

“As female physicians, we are acutely aware of the unique needs that women have when it comes to heart care,” Uddin said in the release. “My colleagues and I know how factors such as estrogen imbalances, pregnancy, autoimmune conditions and migraine headaches can greatly affect women’s hearts.”

Adams said research shows women with heart disease are less likely than men to be accurately diagnosed and treated. “Our new center is focused on erasing those differences,” she stated.

[[283098621,C]]



Photo Credit: Scripps Women's Heart Center
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<![CDATA[San Diego Gets 'D' Grade on Tobacco Control Policies]]> Wed, 25 Jan 2017 13:35:50 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/smoking-stock-generic-73160938.jpg

When it comes to key tobacco control policies in 2017, San Diego is lacking – earning a “D” grade in a study compiled by the American Lung Association.

The American Lung Association released its annual “State of Tobacco Control” report Wednesday, which assigns grades to all California cities and counties on how well they protect their citizens from tobacco.

San Diego received poor marks. The study shows San Diego, like many other cities across California, struggles with comprehensive tobacco control policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use and to limit exposure to secondhand smoke.

The American Lung Association said that while the City of San Diego got a “D” in the study, unincorporated San Diego County failed, receiving an “F.” 

In San Diego County, just two cities – El Cajon and Solana Beach – received “B” grades.

San Marcos, in San Diego’s North County, was also recognized in the report. The community was listed among the “Cities and Counties on the Rise” for passing an ordinance requiring retailers to obtain a license to sell tobacco and other electronic cigarette products. San Marcos scored a “C” overall, but an “A” in the category of reducing sales of tobacco products.

The study looked at four key categories: Smoke-free outdoor air, which examined efforts by communities to adopt local ordinances that restrict smoking in outdoor areas, from parks to sidewalk, to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke; Smoke-free housing, which examined efforts to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing; Reducing sales of tobacco products, which focused on efficient ways to reduce the availability and sales of tobacco products in the retail environment; Emerging issue bonus points, which looked at how cities and counties are adopting policies in new and challenging areas to reduce the prevalence of smoking in California and to combat how the tobacco industry promotes the use of tobacco.

Dr. Julie Ryu, Clinical Director of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego and a member of the American Lung Association in California San Diego Leadership Board, said there are many health risks associated with tobacco use and leaders must learn to recognize this.

“Tobacco-related illnesses remain the single most preventable cause of disease and death in California and we urge communities to institute policies to reduce smoking rates and exposure to secondhand smoke, and to protect our children from a lifetime of addiction,” Ryu said in a press release.

According to the study, more than 50 percent of California’s population lives in communities scoring a D or F. None of the top 10 most populous cities – including San Diego – scored an “A” grade.

But it’s not all bad grades across the state.

The American Lung Association said that for the first time in the history of the report, more than 20 cities and counties received an overall “A” grade for their tobacco control policies. This year’s report also saw 12 fewer “F” grades than before.

Statewide, California was one of the most improved states in 2016 in the State of Tobacco Control 2017 report.

The American Lung Association said this is, in part, to policies passed by the Legislature and signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016 including raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21, and the passing by voters of Proposition 56, which will raise taxes on a pack of cigarettes by $2, to $2.87 per pack starting in April.

Statewide, smoke-free air policies received an “A” – up from a “B” in 2016. Level of tobacco taxes got a “B,” up from an “F” last year. However, coverage and access to services to help smokers quit tobacco was graded with an “F.”

The State of Tobacco Control 2017 report issued grades for all 482 cities and 58 counties in California. To see the full report or check out how your community scored, click here.



Photo Credit: FILE/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[7 More Flu Deaths Reported in San Diego]]> Wed, 25 Jan 2017 13:37:16 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/flu+shot+generic1.JPG

Seven more flu-related deaths were reported in San Diego last week, health officials confirmed Wednesday, bringing the total number of deaths this season to 21. 

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) said influenza activity has dropped from last week across the county. Those who died ranged in age from 45 to 96. The HHSA said each person – except for a 45-year-old woman and an 89-year-old woman – had underlying medical conditions.

By this same time last year, there were a total of six influenza-related deaths reported in San Diego.

Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer, said for those with underlying health conditions, influenza can be deadly. This is why health officials recommend getting a flu vaccine, as it is considered the best protection against the illness.

Health officials recommend an annual flu shot; after the vaccination, it takes two weeks for immunity to develop, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The vaccination is especially recommended for those at high-risk of experiencing complications with the flu, including people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women and people age 65 and older.

The HHSA’s latest “Influenza Watch” report, from the week ending on Jan. 14, says 5 percent of all emergency department visits in San Diego were patients experiencing flu-like symptoms.

There were 332 lab-confirmed cases of influenza for the week, down from 437 the week prior.

To date, there have been 2,106 lab-confirmed cases of the flu in San Diego. Last year at this time, there were 784.

Flu season in the U.S. occurs between December and May.

For a list of county public health centers where you can get a flu shot, click here or call 211.



Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[House Passes Abortion Funding Ban Days After Women's March]]> Thu, 26 Jan 2017 13:36:24 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/my-body-my-choice.jpg

Days after millions of people marched nationwide to bring attention to women’s issues, the Trump administration and Congress have responded with actions against women's reproductive rights.

On Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. House passed H.R. 7, anti-abortion legislation, voting 238-183. The bill proposes to permanently ban women from receiving federal financial assistance for abortions. While the bill does not ban abortions outright, it bans all government subsidies of abortions. This ban reaches beyond Medicaid to include private insurers that cover abortions through plans bought on exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act. The bill was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey.

“Pro-life Americans struggle for the day when abortion violence will be replaced by compassion and empathy for women and respect for weak and vulnerable children in the womb,” the Republican congressman said on the House floor. “They believe, as do my pro-life colleagues and I, that we ought to love them both--mother and child--and not fund the destruction of children through abortion.” 

The bill extends the provisions the Hyde Amendment, which excludes abortions from federally funded health care provided to low-income people, primarily through Medicaid. The only exceptions in the Hyde Amendment to permit abortions are rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is endangered. 

Most states have followed this provision, but 17 states still fund abortions for low-income women.

If H.R. 7 is signed into law, no state would be permitted to subsidize them. Furthermore, the law will indirectly stop insurance plans from offering abortion coverage by refusing government subsidies to women to choose plans that include abortion coverage under ACA.

“There is no chance this bill will pass the Senate,” said Matt House, senior aide to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. "It won't gain enough Democratic support."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office said it had no announcement to make about the legislation or when it might be taken up.

Identical versions of H.R. 7 were passed in 2014 and 2015, but never made it through the Senate and would have likely been vetoed by then-President Obama. However, if the bill passes in the Senate, President Trump could be expected to sign the bill into law, having voiced a strong anti-abortion stance on the campaign trail and through the revival of "The Mexico City Policy."

On Monday, President Trump reinstated the policy, which is an executive order blocking foreign aid or federal funding to any international nongovernmental organization that provides abortions. The “gag” order began with President Ronald Reagan in 1984. Since then, incoming Democratic presidents have rescinded the order and incoming Republican presidents have reinstated the order upon taking office. 

H.R. 7 comes on the heels of the Women’s March on Washington, which took place on Jan. 21 and expanded to sister marches in major cities across the country and around the world. A common theme in speeches and seen on signs at the marches was the phrase “my body, my choice,” referencing women’s reproductive health choices. One women's group, New Wave Feminists, was removed from the official sponsorship of the event after voicing anti-abortion views. 

“Decisions about a woman’s health care should be made in her doctor’s office, not on the House floor,” Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement about H.R. 7. “The bill passed by the House is a sweeping assault on women’s health that aims to eliminate abortion coverage for millions, make Hyde and other abortion bans permanent and undermine a woman’s ability to make personal decisions about her own health care.” 

Richards also said that the passage of H.R. 7 would disproportionately affect low-income women and women of color. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 75 percent of abortion patients are poor or low-income women and 59 percent are women of color.

“The House of Representatives’ vote today on H.R. 7 was a vote to punish women who seek abortions on the basis of how much money they earn, where they live, and how they are insured,” Dr. Willie Parker, board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health, said in a statement. “No woman should be denied the ability to make this personal health decision because she is poor.”



Photo Credit: Toronto Star via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police in Glendale, Calif., Give Dementia Patients Trackers]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 02:22:25 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/knbc-dementia-tracking-device-project-lifesaver.jpg

Police in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale are hoping to reduce the time it takes to find missing people diagnosed with dementia by providing patients with tracking devices.

The Glendale Police Department has partnered with the nonprofit group Project Lifesaver to provide tracking devices to families with members who suffer from cognitive issues such as Alzheimer's disease of autism, The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. If that relative wanders away, the device would allow authorities to find that person in minutes instead of hours.

Glendale police Sgt. Traci Fox says 15 people are currently enrolled in the program, which costs $375 per person for the first year.

Fox says the tracker program is a short-term solution for those with wandering relatives. She says families should still look for other ways to keep relatives from walking out.



Photo Credit: Project Lifesaver]]>
<![CDATA[GOP Obamacare Replacement Plan Would Grant States More Power]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:05:50 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/obamacare-que-pasara-thumbnail.jpg

Republican senators introduced a partial replacement to the Affordable Care Act on Monday that would let states keep some aspects of the Obamacare law while eliminating the mandate requiring citizens to carry health insurance.

The measure is being billed as an "Obamacare replacement plan" aimed at empowering states and broadening health insurance access, NBC News reported.

The move comes days after President Donald Trump's issuance of an executive order directing the Health and Human Services Department to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay" any ACA requirement that would impose a fiscal burden.

For now, however, the executive order that Trump signed Friday night has changed very little.



Photo Credit: Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[WHO on 'High-Alert' Over New Outbreaks of Bird Flu]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2017 09:31:49 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/influenza1.jpg

The World Health Organization is urging all countries to monitor avian influenza and to report any human cases that could indicate the beginning of a flu pandemic, Reuters reported.

About 40 countries have reported new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry and wild birds since November, according to WHO. Several strains of bird flu have been spreading across Europe and Asia, resulting in large-scale poultry slaughters and some human deaths in China.

Due to the rapid pace and expansive nature of these outbreaks, WHO director-general Dr. Margaret Chan said the organization is on "high alert."

The WHO’s 194 member states are required to detect and report human cases promptly, Chan added: "We cannot afford to miss the early signals."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Fighting Winter Allergies]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2017 04:57:44 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/WinterAllergies0120_MP4-148517587405100001.jpg Many people believe that as the spring and fall seasons wrap up, so do their allergies, but that's not always the case once winter rolls around.]]> <![CDATA[6 More Flu Deaths Reported in San Diego]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 13:56:04 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/flu+shot+generic1.JPG

Six more flu-related deaths were reported in San Diego last week, health officials confirmed Thursday, saying influenza activity is widespread across the county.

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) said this brings the season’s total flu-related deaths to 14 in San Diego County this season. Those who died ranged in age from 45 to 96. The HHSA said each person – except for a 45-year-old woman – had underlying medical conditions.

By this same time last year, there were a total of three influenza-related deaths reported in San Diego.

Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer, said for those with underlying health conditions, influenza can be deadly. This is why health officials recommend getting a flu vaccine, as it is considered the best protection against the illness.

Health officials recommend an annual flu shot; after the vaccination, it takes two weeks for immunity to develop, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The vaccination is especially recommended for those at high-risk of experiencing complications with the flu, including people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women and people age 65 and older.

The HHSA’s latest “Influenza Watch” report, from the week ending on Jan. 14, says 5 percent of all emergency department visits in San Diego were patients experiencing flu-like symptoms.

There were 442 lab-confirmed cases of influenza for the week, down from 474 the week prior.

To date, there have been 1,788 lab-confirmed cases of the flu in San Diego. Last year at this time, there were 603.

Flu season in the U.S. occurs between December and May.

For a list of county public health centers where you can get a flu shot, click here or call 211.



Photo Credit: NBC]]>