<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Health News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/health http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.comen-usMon, 20 Feb 2017 17:32:30 -0500Mon, 20 Feb 2017 17:32:30 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Brain Scans May Detect Signs of Autism in Infants]]> Wed, 15 Feb 2017 20:57:36 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.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[Plantation Company Turns Cobra Venom Into Healing Treatment]]> Wed, 15 Feb 2017 19:42:41 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.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[Sore Back? Try Heat and Exercise First, Guidelines Say]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:56:07 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.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 16:04:28 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.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 14:45:47 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.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 06:29:37 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.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[Kids Are Trying Potentially Harmful E-Cigarette Hack]]> Tue, 07 Feb 2017 07:25:07 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.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 11:12:11 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.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 14:38:06 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.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 07:46:46 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.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[Doctor: Natural Remedies Work Better to Combat Common Cold]]> Wed, 01 Feb 2017 18:27:44 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/nariz987654+%281%29.jpg

It’s that time of year again, cold & flu season -- the “dreaded cough” keeping many people miserable. In extreme cases taking medicine, some doctors say, could cause more harm than good.

Dr. Gustavo Ferrer is a pulmonologist in Weston who founded the Chronic Cough Center at Cleveland Clinic Florida.

“Seven out of 10 people who go to the urgent care this winter season will get an unnecessary antibiotic,” said Dr. Ferrer.

The doctor says Americans are spending $7.7 billion on respiratory medication from over the counter. He adds that many of these drugs may not work and have a multitude of side effects.

“But, on the other hand we have 100 natural remedies being used all through the world that are extremely helpful,” said Dr. Ferrer.

The doctor published a new book called “Cough Cures” which illustrates helpful tips.

It gives readers a clear description of how to treat the winter bug, by combining herbs, homeopathic medicines and other researched alternatives.

His first pharmacy was discovered in a beloved family member’s kitchen in his native Cuba.

“My grandma was known to be the person who knew every single herb. You name it, she has a remedy for almost everything.”

Dr. Ferrer says you can save time and money by simply going to your pantry or fridge. For instance, instead of cough syrup, he says try warm lemon and honey tea. He also suggested adding ginger either chewed or boiled. The root has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory effects.

And, who knew that dark chocolate not only satisfies your sweet tooth, but can act as a natural cough suppressant.

Are you suffering from bronchitis? “Beets are very well known bronchial dilation bringing up the mucus,” said Dr. Ferrer.

Many of these remedies disappeared in popularity over the last 50 years but, in this doctor’s office, they’re making a comeback.

“I'm going to tell my patients listen. They have the test of time,” said the doctor.

Dr. Ferrer says if you have a persistent cough with a number of other symptoms like chills, fever or mucus and the cough lasts more than 4 to 6 weeks consult a medical professional.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[House Passes Abortion Funding Ban Days After Women's March]]> Thu, 26 Jan 2017 16:36:24 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.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 05:22:25 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.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 20:05:50 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.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 12:31:49 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.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 07:57:44 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.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[Mom, Toddler Daughter Fight Cancer at the Same Time]]> Wed, 18 Jan 2017 09:39:13 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/cancerstrikesmomandtot.jpg

Heather Wilson received some bad news just five days before Christmas.

The 31-year-old mother of three, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor six months earlier, learned that her 14-month-old daughter, London, also had cancer, the Today Show reported.

Doctors found a yolk sac tumor in the area of London's ovaries.

The two have been an inspiration as they bravely face the disease together, rallying friends and family to help ease the financial and emotional burden on the young mom from Covington, Georgia.



Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pam Hunt]]>
<![CDATA[Caffeine May Help Fight Cardiovascular Disease: Study]]> Wed, 18 Jan 2017 08:50:23 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-472209108.jpg

The cup of coffee you have each morning could be doing more than you think in the fight against cardiovascular disease.

According to a study from scientists at Stanford University, caffeine has been found to help people – especially elderly people – who have a "chronic inflammatory process" that may heighten the risk of having the disease.

Scientists used blood samples and studied medical and family history for 100 people in their multi-year study. The research found a connection between the inflammatory process and caffeine consumption – the metabolites in caffeine were seen to counteract inflammatory proteins.

Past studies have shown that those who drink caffeinated coffee are less likely to develop issues such as cardiovascular problems and multiple sclerosis — as well as live longer — than those who don’t have the beverage.

The study was published online in Nature Medicine in January.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[18M Will Lose Health Insurance With ACA Repeal: Analysis]]> Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:12:53 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/obaGettyImages-630310534.jpg

About 18 million people would lose or drop their health insurance in the first year after Obamacare is repealed, the Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday.

The nonpartisan federal agency also found that health insurance premiums would spike another 20 to 25 percent, NBC News reported. Within 10 years, 32 million more people would be without health insurance, the CBO projects.

Without a replacement, health care costs overall would continue to rise every year, as would the number of people going without health insurance, according to the projection

Premiums would continue to go up, as well.



Photo Credit: Getty Images for Moveon.org, File]]>
<![CDATA[The Pros and Cons of Marijuana Use]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 20:05:46 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NC_pot0112_1500x845.jpg Marijuana use may help with chronic pain and nausea, but a new study says there are also negative consequences for young children and those at risk for certain mental illnesses. Experts from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine reviewed all research on marijuana published since 1999 to find who should smoke and who shouldn't. ]]> <![CDATA[Ziploc Freezer Bags Help Premature Babies Stay Warm: Study]]> Thu, 12 Jan 2017 10:25:35 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NICU+Hypothermia+011117.jpg

For premature babies, getting the slightest chill can increase their chance of life-threatening illnesses.

Nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Texas Health Fort Worth developed a program to keep fragile babies warmer.

It has led to a decrease of very low birth weight babies being admitted to the NICU as hypothermic, and potentially increasing their chance of survival.

Premature infants with admission temperatures below 96.8 degrees are at higher risk of mortality and some morbidities, including late-onset sepsis, intraventricular hemorrhage and oxygen toxicity.

The program involves placing the most fragile premature babies, usually less than 32 weeks gestation and 3.3 pounds, into Ziploc freezer bags.

The team cuts a hole at the top of the bag and slides the baby in head first moments after birth.

"It creates kind of a hot house effect so the babies stay warm. So, as they are rolled into the NICU, their admission temperatures are normal," said Stephanie Eidson, B.S.N., clinical educator.

"It sounds so simple that people might wonder why the focus on temperature is just now being addressed, but the process was actually very involved," said Lindsey Cannon, M.S.N., R.N., NICU manager.

Cannon and Eidson put together a team consisting of Labor & Delivery and NICU nurses and leaders, physicians, respiratory therapists and Operating Room, Engineering and Housekeeping staff to work on what's been called the "Hypothermia Eradication from Admission Temperatures "H.E.A.T." study."

The study resulted in interventions like the use of preheated radiant warmers, thermal mattresses, polypropylene bags and plastic shower caps to prevent infant heat loss upon birth.

Additionally, they increased the room temperature of the delivery room from 74 to 76 degrees, using cooling vests to keep staff comfortable.

Within two years, the percentage of hypothermic infants on NICU admission decreased from 20 to 10 percent, and the percentage of infants with normal temperatures increased from 50 to 70 percent, according to the hospital system.

Christine Evans gave birth to her twins girls at 30 weeks gestation in November.

Emma weighed three pounds and her sister, Abigail, weighed two pounds, 11 ounces.

"We are lucky that I came out okay and that they came out of it OK. The outcome could have been vastly different," Evans said.

Seconds after they were born, both girls were placed into Ziploc freezer bags. Elastic bowl covers were placed on their tiny heads.

"Seeing them in Ziploc bags was very odd. I didn't expect that one," said new father, Jason Evans.

"We could have been at any other hospital and not had the same outcome. We don't know. But we were in the right place at the right time," said Christine Evans.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Asks Vaccination Skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to Lead Vaccination Safety Commission]]> Tue, 10 Jan 2017 16:17:26 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/trumpKennedy.jpg

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a vocal vaccination skeptic, said Tuesday that President-elect Donald Trump has asked him to "chair a commission on vaccination safety and scientific integrity" and that he has accepted.

Both Trump and Kennedy have spread fringe theories linking vaccines to autism in children, an idea that medical experts overwhelmingly reject and have warned is endangering public health by discouraging parents from immunizing their kids.

Trump has tweeted previously that he knew a child who developed autism after receiving immunizations, but he did not provide evidence for that claim.

Scientists have debunked the link between vaccines and autism. But Kennedy, the son of the late U.S. attorney general, believes there is connection and has advocated for parents to be allowed to opt out of vaccinations for their children.



Photo Credit: Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Holiday Sweets Recall]]> Tue, 10 Jan 2017 08:46:14 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/holiday+sweets+recall.jpg

Hostess Brands and Palmer Candy Company have recalled holiday-themed sweets over concern the desserts may be contaminated with the harmful Salmonella bacteria.

Hostess Brands recalled its Holiday White Peppermint Hostess Twinkies in response to Blommer Chocolate Company’s recall of its confectionery coating, which contains milk powder ingredients recalled by Valley Milk Products. 

The milk powder ingredients recalled by Valley Milk Products were also in sweets distributed by Palmer Candy Company, which, like Hostess, issued a voluntary recall as a precaution.

Testing has shown no Salmonella in the milk confectionery coating supplied to Hostess and Palmer Candy. No illnesses have been reported.

All affected products were sold to grocery and convenience stores and other distributors nationwide.

A number of candy packages are in the Palmer Candy recall, including chocolate almond bark, Christmas tree pretzels, peanut brittle and holiday gift bowls. For more details about the recall, head to this FDA recall page.

The only Hostess product affected by the recall is the Holiday White Peppermint Hostess Twinkies. For further details about the recall, go to this FDA recall page.

Palmer Candy Company customer service can be reached at 712-258-5543.

Hostess Brands customer service can be reached at 1-800-483-7253.



Photo Credit: Handouts]]>
<![CDATA[Flu Season Hits Hard Nationwide]]> Fri, 06 Jan 2017 22:47:44 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NC_flu0106_1500x845.jpg Twelve states are reporting widespread flu activity as the United States slide into flu season at the start of the year. The Centers for Disease Control say flu activity is higher this season compared to last year. ]]> <![CDATA[Cancer Deaths Fell 25 Percent Since 1991]]> Fri, 06 Jan 2017 07:47:18 -0500 //media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-495314721-doctor.jpg

Fewer Americans are dying of cancer. The latest numbers from the American Cancer Society show a 25 percent drop in cancer deaths since 1991, the peak year for cancer deaths, NBC News reported.

Cancer rates are holding fairly steady, but better screening and better treatments mean that people who get cancer are living longer, the American Cancer Society says in its annual report. And as fewer and fewer people smoke, cancer death rates follow.

It projects that nearly 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and 600,000 will die of it. 

"The continuing drops in the cancer death rate are a powerful sign of the potential we have to reduce cancer's deadly toll," said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the group.



Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images]]>