WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Health Health en-us Copyright 2019, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Thu, 24 Jan 2019 HH:01:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Death of area doctor's brother prompts health screening events http://www.wbrz.com/news/death-of-area-doctor-s-brother-prompts-health-screening-events/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/death-of-area-doctor-s-brother-prompts-health-screening-events/ Health Wed, 25 Apr 2018 9:58:02 AM WBRZ staff Death of area doctor's brother prompts health screening events

BATON ROUGE – An area doctor is hoping she can carry on her brother's legacy through free health screenings.

Dr. Cordel Y. Parris will host screenings over the next two weeks in Baton Rouge and Denham Springs.

Parris' brother died of a blood clot.

Wednesday, April 25, the screening is at Parris Cardiovascular Angel Heart Center at 236 Wabash Ave. from 6 to 7 in the evening. A week later, Dr. Parris hosts a stroke risk screening at 8369 Florida Boulevard, Suite 1, in Denham Springs.  The second event is April 30.

For more information call 225-243-5655.

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Walmart stores to hold free health screenings Saturday http://www.wbrz.com/news/walmart-stores-to-hold-free-health-screenings-saturday/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/walmart-stores-to-hold-free-health-screenings-saturday/ Health Wed, 18 Apr 2018 2:51:46 PM WBRZ Staff Walmart stores to hold free health screenings Saturday

BATON ROUGE - Walmart stores around the Capital City will host free health screenings on Saturday, April 21.

The event will provide information on blood glucose, blood pressure, body mass index, and low-cost immunizations. At select locations, customers will have the opportunity to take free vision screenings.

Health screenings will take place at all Baton Rouge stores from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

For more information on Walmart Wellness Day, click here.

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Colon cancer: It's the cancer nobody talks about http://www.wbrz.com/news/colon-cancer-it-s-the-cancer-nobody-talks-about/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/colon-cancer-it-s-the-cancer-nobody-talks-about/ Health Mon, 16 Apr 2018 6:52:02 AM WBRZ Staff Colon cancer: It's the cancer nobody talks about

BATON ROUGE- Cancer survivors and supporters will gather in Baton Rouge Saturday to stand up to a disease and participate in an annual run/walk.

The Colon Cancer Coalition’s annual Get Your Rear in Gear 5K Run/Walk will take place at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Registration begins at 7 a.m. The Kids’ Fun Run starts at 8:20 a.m., the 5K Timed Run starts at 8:30 a.m., and the 5K Walk starts immediately after the runners.

Through Tuesday at midnight the fee for adults is $25 and children 12 and under is $12. On race day the fee for adults will be $25 and children 12 and under is $15.

Participants can enjoy post-run refreshments, tech shirts for all participants, and marathon quality medals for age group winners.

For more information about the race, click here. Those who can’t participate in the event can also help by donating to a team or individual or directly to the event.

Colon cancer, or colorectal cancer, is one of the most common forms of cancer according to the Colon Cancer Coalition. It is the second leading cause of deaths in the United States. To learn more about colon cancer click here.

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Reduce Your Risk: Raising awareness for cardiovascular diseases http://www.wbrz.com/news/reduce-your-risk-raising-awareness-for-cardiovascular-diseases/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/reduce-your-risk-raising-awareness-for-cardiovascular-diseases/ Health Mon, 2 Apr 2018 5:59:00 AM WBRZ Staff Reduce Your Risk: Raising awareness for cardiovascular diseases

BATON ROUGE-  The mission of the American Heart Association is to "build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke."

The organization aims to improve patient care, advocate for better health and raise awareness for heart related diseases.

In 1999, the organization set a 10 year goal to reduce coronary heart disease, stroke and risk by 25 percent by 2010. The organization achieved the reduction in deaths ahead of schedule and made "substantial progress" against three of the six risk factors.

According to their website, by 2020 the organization wants to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent. 

One way the organization is continuing raise awareness for cardiovascular disease and strokes is by holding an annual heart walk.

The 2018 Capital Area Heart Walk will take place April 7 at the LSU Old Front Nine. Check-in time begins at 8:30 a.m. for the 5k, with the event starting at 9 a.m.

To register heart walk, click here. Residents can walk as a team, join an already existing team, or walk as an individual. 

If residents wish to help, but can't participate donations are always welcome. The American Heart Association is trying to reach a goal of $700,000. To donate, click here.

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Like the flu, sinus season is keeping area doctors busy http://www.wbrz.com/news/like-the-flu-sinus-season-is-keeping-area-doctors-busy/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/like-the-flu-sinus-season-is-keeping-area-doctors-busy/ Health Mon, 19 Feb 2018 6:46:14 PM Sydney Kern Like the flu, sinus season is keeping area doctors busy

BATON ROUGE - We've been hearing about how bad this flu season is, but now, there's another sickness causing patients to flock to hospitals: sinus infections.

"There's been a huge up-tick in the number of new patients that we're seeing," said Dr. Christian Hall with the Sinus and Nasal Specialists of Louisiana.

For the past four months, Dr. Hall and his partner, Dr. Henry Barham, are having to fit in 10 to 20 percent more patients to their already booked up schedules daily.

"Because the flu season has been so long, people will question is this flu related or sinusitis, and trying to differentiate between the two is what we've dealt with," said Dr. Barham.

Many of the patients come in with the complaint that they can't breathe through their nose. Dr. Hall says the changing weather is the main reason why people are getting clogged up. Many are out enjoying the outdoors today, but that hasn't always been the case this winter.

"The rapid changes of temperatures drives people indoors, people turn their heater on and you get a dry environment," said Dr. Hall. "There's a lot of spread of viruses, which can lay the groundwork for bacteria infections for the nose and sinuses."

Hall says some of the infections don't last long.

"If their symptoms have been present for less than a week, it's probably a viral issue, anything longer than that requires antibiotics," said Dr. Hall.

The doctors don't expect the upper respiratory sinus season to end until April when the warmer temperatures begin to stick around.

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No cost flu shots to be offered while supplies last http://www.wbrz.com/news/no-cost-flu-shots-to-be-offered-while-supplies-last/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/no-cost-flu-shots-to-be-offered-while-supplies-last/ Health Mon, 5 Feb 2018 11:28:18 AM WBRZ Staff No cost flu shots to be offered while supplies last

BATON ROUGE- Free flu shots are still available to residents who have not received the vaccine.

Due to widespread flu activity remaining throughout the state, the Louisiana Department of Health will continue to offer flu vaccines at no cost at Parish Health Units across the state while supplies last.

The department is extending the free vaccines in an effort to meet the need for flu vaccinations. According to the coroner's office, there have been 13 flu related deaths in the 2017-2018 flu season. All were elderly.

"We want to avoid being around people who are particularly vulnerable to infections and respiratory infections, particularly the elderly," said Dr. Parham Jaberi, the assistant state health officer for the Office of Public Health. "So if you're ill, it's not wise to go see your loved one in a nursing home."

To schedule an appointment to receive a vaccination click here. Residents are asked to wear short or loose-fitting sleeves and should have their private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare card on hand.

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BRG diabetes program earns reaccreditation http://www.wbrz.com/news/brg-diabetes-program-earns-reaccreditation/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/brg-diabetes-program-earns-reaccreditation/ Health Tue, 30 Jan 2018 9:40:47 AM WBRZ Staff BRG diabetes program earns reaccreditation

BATON ROUGE- The Baton Rouge General's Diabetes Education and Nutrition Program has been reaccredited by the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

According to a release, at least 32,000 Louisianans are diagnosed with diabetes each year. For years, BRG's program has educated people on strategies for managing their condition. In the past year alone, the program has helped nearly 500 people who live with or are at risk for diabetes implement lifestyle changes, lower their A1C, and reduce the risk of diabetes-related deaths, officials say.

“Diabetes and obesity are prevalent in Louisiana and the numbers increase every day,” said Jeanene Thibaut, RN, CDE, Diabetes Education Coordinator at BRG’s Diabetes Education Program. “It is more important than ever for people with diabetes to have access to education that helps them learn how to change behaviors and manage this disease, prevent complications and have a better quality of life.”

The accreditation assures that BRG's program meets the National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support, according to the release.

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Panera Bread recalls cream cheese products after possible listeria contamination http://www.wbrz.com/news/panera-bread-recalls-cream-cheese-products-after-possible-listeria-contamination/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/panera-bread-recalls-cream-cheese-products-after-possible-listeria-contamination/ Health Mon, 29 Jan 2018 5:58:35 AM WBRZ Staff Panera Bread recalls cream cheese products after possible listeria contamination

ST. LOUIS- Panera Bread is recalling all of its 2-ounce and 8-ounce cream cheese products due to possible listeria contamination.

Company officials say a recent sample tested positive for the bacteria. The recall only applies to cream cheese sold in U.S. locations with an expiration date on or before April 2, 2018.

“The safety of our guests and associates is paramount, therefore we are recalling all cream cheese products sold in the US with an active shelf life. We have likewise ceased all manufacturing in the associated cream cheese facility,” said Blaine Hurst, Panera’s President and CEO. “Only one variety of 2-oz cream cheese from a single day yielded the positive result. Our intent is to go above and beyond for our guests. You should expect nothing less from Panera.”

Here is a list of affected 2-ounce cream cheese:

-Plain Cream Cheese

-Reduced-Fat Plain Cream Cheese

-Reduced-Fat Chive & Onion Cream Cheese

-Reduced-Fat Honey Walnut Cream Cheese

-Reduced-Fat Wild Blueberry Cream Cheese.

Here is a list of affected 8-ounce cream cheese:

-Plain Cream Cheese

-Reduced-Fat Plain Cream Cheese

-Reduced-Fat Chive & Onion Cream Cheese

-Reduced-Fat Honey Walnut Cream Cheese

-Reduced-Fat Wild Blueberry Cream Cheese.

According to the company, consumers in possession of the cream cheese should throw them away and contact Panera Bread Customer Service at 1-855-6-PANERA or visit Panera.custhelp.com for a full refund.

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People turning to virtual doctor appointments during flu epidemic http://www.wbrz.com/news/people-turning-to-virtual-doctor-appointments-during-flu-epidemic/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/people-turning-to-virtual-doctor-appointments-during-flu-epidemic/ Health Wed, 24 Jan 2018 8:04:18 AM ABC News People turning to virtual doctor appointments during flu epidemic

As more people are getting sick, the risk of infection is growing.

According to the CDC, there have been nearly 9,000 confirmed flu-related hospitalizations. That is almost double the number at this point last year.

Many hospitals are canceling elective surgeries to try and keep beds available for new flu patients, there are Tamiflu and IV bag shortages, and hospital staff are working overtime.

With some doctors urging people not to flood the ERs unless they are really sick and some patients worried about catching something else, virtual doctors visits are booming.

New York-Presbyterian offers patients its NYP On-Demand Virtual Urgent Care program, which allows users to schedule a doctor's visit virtually through their smartphone or computer.

With virtual doctors visits patients can get a flu diagnosis and in some cases, even Tamiflu prescriptions right from their smartphone. With the Doctor on Demand app, virtual appointments cost $75 for a 15 minute consultation.

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Baton Rouge General expands Urgent Care network http://www.wbrz.com/news/baton-rouge-general-expands-urgent-care-network/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/baton-rouge-general-expands-urgent-care-network/ Health Wed, 3 Jan 2018 10:20:28 AM WBRZ Staff Baton Rouge General expands Urgent Care network

BATON ROUGE- Baton Rouge General has announced the expansion of its clinic network through a new partnership with Dutchtown Urgent Care in Geismer.

According to a release, the partnership will bring the Dutchtown clinic under the BRG umbrella and make it part of the General Health System network.

The Dutchtown Urgent Care accepts walk-in patients of all ages and treats common illnesses and injuries seven days a week.

“Ascension Parish residents will continue to receive the convenient, affordable and high quality healthcare services seven days a week that Dutchtown Urgent Care is known for,” said Edgardo Tenreiro, President and CEO of Baton Rouge General. “But with this partnership, patients who need a higher level of care can now transition easily to other Baton Rouge General services at Bluebonnet or the Ascension Neighborhood Hospital once it’s built.”

BRG also recently announced a new neighborhood hospital in Prairieville set to open in 2019.

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Price tag on gene therapy for rare form of blindness: $850K http://www.wbrz.com/news/price-tag-on-gene-therapy-for-rare-form-of-blindness-850k/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/price-tag-on-gene-therapy-for-rare-form-of-blindness-850k/ Health Wed, 3 Jan 2018 8:18:15 AM Associated Press Price tag on gene therapy for rare form of blindness: $850K
WASHINGTON- A first-of-its kind genetic treatment for blindness will cost $850,000, less than the $1 million price tag that had been expected, but it's still among the most expensive genetic therapies in the world.
Spark Therapeutics says it decided on the lower price tag for Luxturna after hearing concerns from health insurers about their ability to cover the injectable treatment.
Consternation over skyrocketing drug prices, especially in the U.S., has led to intense scrutiny from patients, Congress, insurers and hospitals.
"We wanted to balance the value and the affordability concerns with a responsible price that would ensure access to patients," said CEO Jeffrey Marrazzo, in an interview with The Associated Press.
Luxturna is still significantly more expensive than nearly every other drug on the global market, including two other gene therapies approved earlier last year in the U.S. Approved last month, Luxturna, is the nation's first gene therapy for an inherited disease. It can improve the vision of those with a rare form of blindness that is estimated to affect just a few thousand people in the U.S.
Luxturna is an injection - one for each eye - that replaces a defective gene in the retina, tissue at the back of the eye that converts light into electric signals that produce vision. The therapy will cost $425,000 per injection.
The treatment is part of an emerging field of medicine that could produce dozens of new gene-targeting medications in the next few years.
There are questions about the wisdom of devoting so much energy to specialty drugs, which are used to treat so few people, but still account for a growing slice of overall health care costs.
Drugmakers have historically offered little explanation for the prices they charge. However, some companies have begun to offer more detailed reasoning as the backlash against drug prices has grown more heated.
Spark Therapeutics, based in Philadelphia, has said that the cost for a lifetime of blindness - including lost earnings and caregiver wages - can easily exceed $1 million.
Not everyone agrees with that argument. A preliminary analysis by one group found the drug would have to be priced significantly lower "to be a cost-effective intervention."
The estimate by the non-profit Institute for Clinical and Economic Review assumes the drug would maintain patients' vision for 10 years. However, Spark expects the drug's effect to be long-lasting, if not lifelong, though it has only tracked patients for about four years.
At least one gene therapy sold oversees has already crossed the $1-million price threshold.
The treatment for a rare protein disorder launched in 2012 with a price of $1.2 million. Manufacturer uniQure stopped selling the drug earlier last year after seeing a lack of demand. The drug was never approved in the U.S.
Like most prescription medicines in the U.S., most of the immediate costs of Luxturna will be borne by insurers, including private plans and government programs.  For patients, Spark said it would cover all out-of-pocket expenses needed to obtain the medication, including transportation to hospitals trained to administer the injections.
Spark will try to deflect some pricing concerns by offering unconventional payment plans to insurers. Under one arrangement with the non-profit insurer Harvard Pilgrim, Spark will repay some of Luxturna's costs if patients don't experience the expected improvements in vision. The company did not disclose how much money would be returned to the insurer, which covers more than a million people in New England.
Spark said it is also discussing a proposal in which insurers would pay for the drug in installments over several years. That idea would apply to government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which provide health coverage to the poor and elderly.

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Ochsner in tentative deal to run north Louisiana hospitals http://www.wbrz.com/news/ochsner-in-tentative-deal-to-run-north-louisiana-hospitals/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/ochsner-in-tentative-deal-to-run-north-louisiana-hospitals/ Health Wed, 20 Dec 2017 7:39:46 AM Associated Press Ochsner in tentative deal to run north Louisiana hospitals

BATON ROUGE - Management of the state-owned safety-net hospitals in north Louisiana could soon be changing hands.

Southeast Louisiana-based Ochsner Health System has tentatively agreed to take over day-to-day oversight of the Shreveport and Monroe facilities from BRF.

The move announced Tuesday by Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration is aimed at ending years of disputes over operations of the facilities.

The Edwards administration and LSU, which previously managed the hospitals, sent breach-of-contract notification letters to BRF in September claiming the hospital manager wasn't following contract terms.

Officials hope striking an agreement with Ochsner will remedy the complaints.

The paperwork signed so far with Ochsner are non-binding "letters of intent" that spell out plans for the management transfer. The official contract terms remain to be completed, and the exact transition date isn't yet set.

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Trim and terrific treats with Holly Clegg http://www.wbrz.com/news/trim-and-terrific-treats-with-holly-clegg/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/trim-and-terrific-treats-with-holly-clegg/ Health Fri, 15 Dec 2017 1:34:36 PM WBRZ Staff Trim and terrific treats with Holly Clegg

BATON ROUGE- One great way to get on Santa's nice list is to leave him treats. Instead of leaving cookies, try some trim and terrific treats from Holly Clegg.

Once again, Louisiana cookbook queen Holly Clegg and WBRZ's John Pastorek were in the kitchen making delicious food. The two made sesame honey chicken and blonde brownies.


The recipes are as follows:

Sesame Honey Chicken
Makes about 6 (2/3-cup) servings

2/3 cup honey

1/4 low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

1 teaspoon olive oil 
1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic 
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 breasts)
2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup water 
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

1. In 3 ½-6-quart slow cooker, insert plastic liner if desired, or coat slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, onion, garlic and pepper. Add chicken and mix with sauce. Cover and cook on low 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender.
2. Remove chicken to plate, leaving the sauce in slow cooker. In a small cup, combine cornstarch and water, mixing well. Pour into slow cooker; stirring into the sauce. Cover and cook sauce on high 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.
3. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and return to pot, stirring. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Blonde Brownies
Makes 48 squares

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 2/3 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup skim milk
1 cup holiday colored chocolate coated candies

1. Preheat oven 350°f. Coat 13x9x2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine butter and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add vanilla.
3. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually stir into sugar mixture alternately with milk. Stir in chocolate candies. Transfer to pan.
4. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Don't overcook.

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Healthy holiday recipes with Holly Clegg http://www.wbrz.com/news/healthy-holiday-recipes-with-holly-clegg/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/healthy-holiday-recipes-with-holly-clegg/ Health Thu, 14 Dec 2017 1:31:25 PM WBRZ Staff Healthy holiday recipes with Holly Clegg

BATON ROUGE- Louisiana's cookbook queen Holly Clegg shared some of her recipes from her cookbook 'Eating Well to Fight Arthritis.'

WBRZ's John Pastorek was in the kitchen with Clegg to make healthy holiday treats. The two made spiced walnuts, an avocado and edamame dip called "Guacamame" and carrot cake bars with cream cheese icing.

Below are the recipes for the three dishes.

Spiced Walnuts

Makes 8 (1/4 cup) servings

2 cups walnut halves
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil

1. Preheat oven 375°F.
2. Spread walnuts on baking sheet and bake about 5-7 minutes or until golden.
3. In a small bowl, combine sugar, salt, garlic powder, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne.
4. In nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add nuts and stir to coat with oil. Add seasoning mix, stirring until nuts coated. Remove to paper towel to cool.


Makes 10 (1/4-cup) servings

1 large avocado, (about 2/3 cup mashed)
1 1/2 cups shelled edamame, thawed
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup salsa
3 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients, mixing until smooth.

Terrific Tip: Can also use to stuff vegetables or as a sandwich spread.

Nutrition Nugget: Soybeans are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which are necessary to ingest through food for their anti-inflammatory benefits.

Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 24-30 bars

1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Cream Cheese Frosting

1. Preheat oven 350°F. Coat 13x9x2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, brown sugar, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla. Stir in carrot and pecans.
3. In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Add to carrot mixture; stirring just until combined. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely and ice with Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe).

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
1 tablespoon butter
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice

1. In mixing bowl, beat together all ingredients until creamy.

Terrific Tip: Use pre-shredded bagged carrots as step saver.

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Health risks to look out for during the solar eclipse http://www.wbrz.com/news/health-risks-to-look-out-for-during-the-solar-eclipse/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/health-risks-to-look-out-for-during-the-solar-eclipse/ Health Sun, 20 Aug 2017 5:14:33 PM Kara St.Cyr Health risks to look out for during the solar eclipse

BATON ROUGE - Louisiana residents will see a historical natural phenomena covering the sky on Monday, August 21 — a solar eclipse. 

As the moon shields off a section of the sun, a partial amount of sunshine will be visible causing the effect. Although exciting, this small chunk of sunlight can be dangerous without the proper protection. 

Without covering the naked eye, the sun's ultraviolet rays can penetrate the retina of your eye, causing temporary or permanent blindness. The retina does not have nerve endings, so there will be no pain or initial evidence of damage. 

NASA suggests using special glasses to safely view the eclipse. Objects like sunglasses, telescopes and cell phones are not strong enough to protect the eye from UV damage. Shade 14 welder glasses are the only exception.  

Dr. Jen Ashton says there is no safe way to view the eclipse without suitable glasses. 

"You can damage your vision in as little as a few seconds," Ashton said.

If you experience blindness for more than a few hours, experts recommend seeking medical attention. 

You can find appropriate eyewear at BREC's Highland Observatory for two dollars each. Only two adults per family can purchase the glasses. Meanwhile, LSU students and faculty can visit the Student Union to get solar eclipse glasses.

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WATCH: 'Supergirl' survives chemo, receives special send-off http://www.wbrz.com/news/watch-supergirl-survives-chemo-receives-special-send-off/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/watch-supergirl-survives-chemo-receives-special-send-off/ Health Sat, 5 Aug 2017 5:26:05 PM Josh Jackson WATCH: 'Supergirl' survives chemo, receives special send-off

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A little girl received an emotional goodbye after her last chemotherapy treatment from staff members at John Hopkins All Children's Hospital.

This supergirl, 1-year-old Emilie Meza walked the halls of the hospital with her family, showered with applause. 

Meza was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a form of blood cancer, at 9-months-old. Her father, Eduardo Meza, became her blood doner. 

“Oh, it was an amazing feeling,” Emilie’s mother, Roxana Meza, told ABC News. “There were tears in my eyes -- tears of joy. She’s gone through so much and she doesn’t know it because she’s so little. It was tough at a lot of points, but to feel accomplished that you’re getting past the chemo part of it is amazing.”

Now Emilie and her family will move to the Ronald McDonald house to monitor her recovery. 

Emilie's attending physician, Dr. Benjamin Oshrine said the send-off was "heartwarming and adorable." 

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Horse infected with lethal mosquito-transmitted virus in Iberville Parish http://www.wbrz.com/news/horse-infected-with-lethal-mosquito-transmitted-virus-in-iberville-parish/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/horse-infected-with-lethal-mosquito-transmitted-virus-in-iberville-parish/ Health Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:13:00 PM WBRZ Staff Horse infected with lethal mosquito-transmitted virus in Iberville Parish

IBERVILLE PARISH - The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry says an unvaccinated horse in Iberville Parish has been infected with a potentially deadly mosquito-transmitted disease.

According to LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, the horse tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a severe virus that can infect both pets and humans. 

Like the West Nile Virus, EEE is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord. The virus can be spread to horses, dogs, cats and humans.

Commissioner Strain says the virus can often be deadly. 

“This is the time of year mosquitoes are more prevalent. Horses are infected the same way humans are infected – by being bitten by infected mosquitoes - so everyone needs to take extra precautionary measures at this time,” Strain said.

Prevention methods include removing standing water where mosquitos breed, and using mosquito repellant that is safe for horses and humans. Horses can also be vaccinated, but there is currently no vaccination approved for humans.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, EEE is one of the most severe mosquito-transmitted diseases in the United States with a 33 percent mortality rate and significant brain damage in most survivors. 

Horse owners should contact their local veterinarian regarding proper vaccination protocols.

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62-year-old woman donates kidney for granddaughter's life-saving surgery http://www.wbrz.com/news/62-year-old-woman-donates-kidney-for-granddaughter-s-life-saving-surgery/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/62-year-old-woman-donates-kidney-for-granddaughter-s-life-saving-surgery/ Health Sat, 22 Jul 2017 5:27:50 PM Kara St.Cyr 62-year-old woman donates kidney for granddaughter's life-saving surgery

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A toddler got a second chance at life after her 62-year-old grandmother gave up her own kidney for the 2-year-old child's surgery.

At 2 months old, Wryn Graydon was diagnosed with congenital nephrotic syndrome, a rare disorder that affects the kidneys. Wryn had both her kidneys removed two months after her diagnosis and received further treatment from home.

While Wryn's doctors waited for her to grow strong enough for a kidney transplant, the family began its search to find the perfect match. 

“Everybody wanted to be a match so bad,” Wryn's father, Mike Graydon, told ABC News. “My wife [Haley] and I didn't know who to choose to get tested first. I had kidney stones so I knew I wouldn't be a possibility and my wife was the primary caregiver, so they wouldn't let her do it.”
While Wryn's doctors waited for her to grow strong enough for a kidney transplant, the family underwent tests to find the perfect match. 
After extensive testing of family members, doctors determined Wryn's grandmother, Carol Graydon, was the perfect fit. Doctors said the 62-year-old had the "kidneys of a 20-year-old."

“There are so many emotions that hit you,” Wryn's father said. “We're big believers in God so we trust in him. But from the medical side we know what can go wrong and this was my mom and daughter.”

After a three-hour transplant surgery both grandmother and granddaughter recovered successfully. A normal transplant for a child lasts around 15 years, so it is likely that Wryn will need another kidney in the future.

Currently, Wryn is recovering from her surgery and waiting to be discharged, while her grandmother is recovering at home. The family said they are looking forward to Wryn regaining her strength and becoming an energetic child.

“We’re excited about it but also scared,” Graydon said of him and his wife. “She was already our wild child.”

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$368M budget boost sought for Louisiana Medicaid expansion http://www.wbrz.com/news/368m-budget-boost-sought-for-louisiana-medicaid-expansion/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/368m-budget-boost-sought-for-louisiana-medicaid-expansion/ Health Mon, 22 May 2017 10:40:40 AM Associated Press $368M budget boost sought for Louisiana Medicaid expansion

BATON ROUGE - Louisiana lawmakers are being asked to add $368 million in federal funding to the health department budget to keep from running out of money for the state's Medicaid expansion.

The Louisiana Department of Health has enrolled more people than expected in Medicaid expansion since Gov. John Bel Edwards began the program. Those signing up for the free insurance coverage are older and costlier patients than projected.

More than 428,000 people have enrolled in the government-financed coverage.

The Medicaid expansion program is scheduled to run out of federal financing Tuesday. The Legislature's joint budget committee is meeting Monday to consider accepting the federal dollars and filling the gap.

The health department says it would have to temporarily shuffle dollars from other programs to pay providers, without federal financing approval from lawmakers.

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Mother Nature to blame for the busy allergist's office. http://www.wbrz.com/news/mother-nature-to-blame-for-the-busy-allergist-s-office-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/mother-nature-to-blame-for-the-busy-allergist-s-office-/ Health Thu, 13 Apr 2017 7:47:02 AM Michael Vinsanau Mother Nature to blame for the busy allergist's office.

BATON ROUGE - Mother Nature is to blame for the busy lines at the allergist's office.

The mild winter has allowed plants to grow earlier, and pollen generate quicker. One allergist said his office saw numbers of people in January, that normally isn't seen until March.

Nasal sprays and allergy medicines are easy cures to symptoms for many, but doctors can combat symptoms with an allergy shot.

If you do plan on spending the day in the garden or outside in general, try wearing a mask. You can also shower as soon as you're finished, to wash most of the pollen away.


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