Health

Health Insurance
5:17 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Mixed News For Northwest Exchanges As Enrollment Deadline Approaches

Wikimedia

You only have until the end of this month to sign up for coverage using one of the new health insurance exchanges.

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Research
7:30 am
Mon March 10, 2014

University Of Idaho Researchers Find Common Chemical Changes Fetal Monkey Genes

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The chemical BPA, or bisphenol A, is commonly found in plastics, soup cans, and store receipts. Scientists continue to study how the chemical affects people. New research from the University of Idaho may sound a cautionary note for humans. 

Gordon Murdoch is an associate professor of physiology at the University of Idaho. He focused on fetal heart development in rhesus monkeys.

For the study, pregnant monkeys were fed fruit containing BPA. “Our question was did it affect the genes in the fetal heart?” he asked, “And to our surprise and dismay, it did.”

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Idaho News
7:56 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Death Of Northwest Family Shows Hazards Of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide detector
Judy van der Velden Flickr

Local officials say the deaths of a Pocatello, Idaho, couple and their teenage sons is one of the worst tragedies in recent memory in the southeast Idaho community.

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Health
7:22 am
Sun January 19, 2014

Little Progress In Fighting Spread Of Gonorrhea In Northwest

Neisseria gonorrhoeae
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Public health officials in the Northwest say a series of gonorrhea outbreaks shows little sign of letting up. In fact, in some places, rates of the STD may be getting worse.

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Flu Season
6:18 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Flu Season Arrives In Northwest, Bringing New Cases Of H1N1

The H1N1 influenza virus
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Washington, Oregon and Idaho are among 25 states now facing widespread cases of the flu.

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Flu Season
10:43 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Adult Over 60 Becomes Idaho's First Flu Casualty

The deadly side of the flu emerged in Idaho this week, with an adult over 60 becoming the first person to die this season after being infected with the virus.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare made the announcement on Monday.

Every year, influenza contributes to the deaths of 36,000 people in the United States and causes more than 200,000 hospitalizations.

Idaho's share of the tragedy last flu season amounted to 35 people.

The dominant strain of flu being detected is a strain that first began circulating in 2009.

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Smoking Regulation
10:45 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Bannock County Bans E-Cigs In County Buildings

Credit LeonardoRodriguez / Flickr Creative Commons

Bannock County commissioners have decided to include electronic cigarettes in the smoking ban in county buildings.

The Idaho State Journal reports commissioners unanimously approved the resolution Wednesday.

Commissioner Howard Manwaring says they received some complaints about the use of e-cigarettes in county facilities. He says their use is still perceived as smoking and they do have some odor.

Manwaring says no one spoke against the resolution during the public hearing before Wednesday's vote.

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Healthcare
6:01 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Idaho’s Suicide Hotline Expands Hours

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Since the end of October, Idaho's Suicide Prevention hotline has fielded more than 800 calls. Now, the year-old hotline is expanding its hours of operation and may soon receive national accreditation.

The suicide prevention hotline continues to see an upward trend in the number of people calling for support. Currently, volunteers from Idaho answer the phone from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Outside those hours, all calls to 1-800-273-TALK are answered by people out of state.

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Reader's Corner
4:23 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Football And Concussions: An Interview With 'League Of Denial' Author Steve Fainaru

“Iron Mike” Webster was one of the most revered and beloved Pittsburgh Steelers of all time. The Hall of Fame center was a tough, hardworking and disciplined player who gave everything he had to football.

But after retiring from the NFL in 1990, he suffered a severe decline in both physical and mental health. When he died 12 years later at age 50, his body made one of its most significant contributions to the sport, and to the fellow players he loved.

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Health Insurance
10:43 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Slow Start, Mixed Results For Health Care Law In Northwest

A screengrab of Washington's health plan finder website.
Washington Health Benefit Exchange

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 11:38 am

The first numbers on enrollment under the new health care law confirm a slow start and mixed results in Northwest states.

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Health
3:31 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

So, You Have Gonorrhea. Who Tells Your Ex?

Illustration by Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 8:48 pm

In an effort to stop a spate of gonorrhea outbreaks, at least one public health department in the Pacific Northwest is offering a helpful service to infected patients: anonymous notification of former sexual partners.

That's right. A government worker will track down and contact each ex for you. Awkward for all concerned? Yes. But at a time when gonorrhea is becoming stubbornly drug-resistant, health officials see it as time — and embarrassment — well spent.

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Health
9:53 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Uptick In Measles Cases Highlights Need For Vaccination

File photo. Recent measles cases in the Northwest highlight the need to be vaccinated against the infection.
Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 6:19 pm

Public health officials say recent measles cases in the Northwest highlight the need to be vaccinated against the infection.

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Health
8:28 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Report: Most Idaho Kids Don’t Get Screened For Developmental Problems

Developmental screening questionnaires ask about children's fine and gross motor skills as well as cognitive and social skills.
Credit tanakawho / Flickr Creative Commons

Less than 30 percent of Idaho kids get developmental screenings recommended by doctors. That’s according to a report out this week from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids get screened for developmental problems at nine-months-old, 18-to-24 months and at 30 months.

Perry Brown, pediatric education director at the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho says those screenings are questionnaires doctors give to parents. Brown leafs through a file and pulls one out for parents of a 24-month-old.

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Health
10:25 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Poor Idaho School Brings Health Care To Students

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A southwestern Idaho school district is building an in-school medical clinic at Meridian's poorest elementary school in an effort to boost student health and reduce absenteeism.

Meridian School District Superintendent Linda Clark told the Idaho Statesman that the clinic will be the first in-school clinic in Idaho.

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Health
4:01 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Health Officials Perplexed By Number Of Northwest Gonorrhea Cases

Health officials across the Northwest are trying to figure out why they’re seeing a big upswing in the number of people with gonorrhea this year.

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Health
4:50 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Warning: Some Columbia River Fish Not Safe To Eat

US Army Corps of Engineers

New advisories from health officials in Washington and Oregon warn that some fish in the Columbia River aren’t safe to eat.

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Trends
6:30 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Why More Idaho Moms Breastfeed Than Anywhere In The U.S.

Rachel Gootchey nurses her 10-month-old son Jasper. She also breast-fed her first child without complications.
Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month shows more Idaho moms breastfeed their babies than anywhere else in the country.

We wanted to know why. It turns out Idaho's cultural and racial makeup are two of the largest contributing factors to the increasing number of breastfeeding moms.

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Hispanics
10:58 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Report: Idaho Latinos Face Disparities In Weight, Health Care

A new report finds Latinos in Idaho are struggling with many of the same health problems as the rest of the state’s population - but to an even worse extent. The wide-ranging demographic study is intended to guide policymakers on issues that affect Hispanics.

Overall, the findings paint a picture of a Hispanic population that's young and mostly born in the U.S. About half speak English at home and Latinos in Idaho are more likely to own their home than Latinos in other states.

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Education
5:47 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Idaho Schools Get Grant To Provide Healthy Snacks

Dragon fruit was of the new things Van Buren students got to try last time they had an afternoon snack.
mfdudu Flickr

More than 100 Idaho schools have been selected to receive a federal grant to give kids more fresh fruits and vegetables. The grants are meant to provide healthy snacks outside of the school lunch and breakfast program.

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Education
6:10 pm
Sat May 19, 2012

Boise Schools Raise Lunch Prices; Others Soon To Follow

Students in Boise schools will pay more for lunch this fall. And lunch prices in other districts are likely to go up as well.

Peggy Bodnar says the Boise School District has tried hard to keep from raising the lunch price. But the district’s Food Service Supervisor says now they have to. She explains, “there were numerous changes that came about with that Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.”

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