Health

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

As KBSX reported Wednesday, the biggest health risk associated with high levels of nitrates in drinking water is a condition called methemoglobinemia, which can make infants six months and younger sick. Babies who drink formula using nitrate-contaminated water are at risk of developing the condition.

Screenshot from video by Jason Urry / St. Lukes

Last month we told you the story of a Twin Falls doctor, who was once paralyzed, but was able to climb Idaho's tallest mountain. Now you can watch a video of his inspiring climb.

Jonathon Myers broke his neck ten years ago in a car accident. Paralyzed from the neck down, he fought back and learned how to walk again. He went to medical school and specialized in rehabilitation.

Idaho is working to reduce suicides in the state with a new $1 million program.

The Spokesman-Review reports that lawmakers this year allocated ongoing funding and changed the law that governs the mission of the state Department of Health and Welfare to specifically include suicide prevention.

To celebrate the ongoing efforts, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter on Thursday declared this week Suicide Prevention Week in the city.

Leaflet / Wikimedia Commons

A hospital trying to raise money for a high-tech piece of equipment to help its patients might be newsworthy. Someone who was once paralyzed and is now climbing Idaho’s tallest mountain certainly would be. Now a Twin Falls doctor who thought he’d never walk again is climbing Borah Peak Wednesday in order to raise money for a machine to help his patients learn to walk again.

Jennifer Dunaway / Flickr Creative Commons

Health officials say they have discovered E. coli bacteria in several private wells south of Nampa.

Southwest District Health says six out of 11 households tested positive for the bacteria. There have been no reports of illness connected to the outbreak.

The agency is working the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to determine the source of the contamination.

Residents within 1,000 feet of the contaminated wells have been notified of health risks.

Health officials are advising private well users to get their water tested.

Airman Magazine / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho state health officials say an Idaho woman who recently traveled to Mexico has been infected with the Zika virus.

The virus is carried by two types of mosquitoes which don't live in Idaho but are found in hotter climates. In a statement issued Wednesday, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare officials said there is no danger to the general public of developing Zika through casual contact.

According to the press release the infected woman is from northern Idaho and over the age of 60. She had symptoms but did not require hospitalization.

insurance exchange, computer, your health idaho
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Officials with Your Health Idaho say they are actively working to ensure that customers don't see another delay in receiving a critical tax form needed to prove health coverage and avoid a tax penalty.

The state's health insurance exchange failed this year to distribute the forms by the required Jan. 31 deadline. The exchange also issued thousands of corrections because of inaccurate information on the forms.

While all customers eventually received their correct forms before April 15, officials have raised concerns about the same challenges occurring next year.

Blue Cross of Idaho Ad
Sawyer Miller for Blue Cross of Idaho

If you buy your own health insurance rather than getting it from an employer, you’ll probably pay more for it next year, maybe a lot more. Health insurance carriers have told the Idaho Department of Insurance what changes they want to make to plans next year and the department has posted those proposed changes on its website. Six insurers want to make substantial rate increases that average 27 percent.

Central District Health Department

A second cat in Elmore County has likely died of plague. This cat lived outside the plague area boundary drawn by health officials.

This is the second cat death in a week. The Central District Health Department reports this cat lived two miles from Mountain Home and lived both indoors and outdoors. It had contact with ground squirrels before it died. Members of both families, along with the rest of their pets, are being monitored to make sure the cats did not spread the plague.

Final lab results on the animals will come in next week.

A new state-sponsored substance abuse recovery center is expected to open next month in eastern Idaho.

The Post Register reports that the Center for Hope in Idaho Falls is expected to open in mid-July. It's the eighth such facility created in Idaho.

The effort to open the center began two years ago when the Idaho Association of Counties asked lawmakers to fund the facilities across the state. Along with the Center for Hope, recovery centers have been funded in Bannock, Kootenai and Nez Perce counties this year.

For the second year in a row, Idaho health officials say preliminary tests on dead ground squirrels south of Boise have come back positive for plague.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is still confirming the diagnosis, but officials are asking the public to be cautious.

A map of the infected area is a circle shape extending about 45 miles south from Boise to the Snake River. The boundary also extends over Interstate 84 but doesn't reach Mountain Home.

St Luke's Hospital Sign
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A U.S. Department of Labor investigation found that one of Idaho’s largest employers was systematically violating the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The Labor Department says St Luke’s Medical Center failed to ensure that employees received FMLA protections.

dion gillard / Flickr Creative Commons

Twenty-year-old Boise resident Mariah Walton told the Guardian U.S. she wants to see her parents prosecuted.

“They deserve it. And it might stop others,” Walton said.

The news site owned by British Guardian Media posted a story Wednesday about Idaho’s faith healing law and the untold number of child deaths it has contributed to.

screengrab truth208.org

The Idaho Meth Project has been warning about the dangers of methamphetamine through graphic advertising and outreach to teens since 2008. Now, the pet project of Idaho’s governor and first lady - Butch and Lori Otter - has changed its name and its focus.

The re-christened “Idaho Prevention Project” will continue its anti-meth message using the old name, but director Adrean Cavener says it will have a similar campaign called Truth 208 aimed at abuse of legal drugs like prescription opiates .

data from Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

We told you this week that the heroin epidemic much of the country is experiencing has not yet reached Idaho but that it could soon. However, some people say heroin is already a big problem here.

Pages