Health

United States Department of Agriculture

If you bought some bratwurst for a Memorial Day cook-out, check the label.  The USDA says Zenner’s Quality Meat Products of Portland is recalling more than 3,500 pounds of bratwurst sold in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and California.  The recall was issued because the label doesn’t say the product includes soy protein, which some people are allergic to.  Zenner’s Smoked Brotwurst was sold at Winco stores and has a sell-by date of July 17th.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A new report out today says one in every eleven children will spend a portion of their lives without their parents, living instead with a relative.  That number is growing both in the U-S and in Idaho.  These kids often don’t get all the services that are available to them.  The study hopes to change that.

Idaho Prison Agrees To Improve Medical Care

May 16, 2012
Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

The Idaho Department of Correction has reached an agreement with the inmates at one of its prisons. This comes from a lawsuit spanning more than three decades.

Jason Prince is a lawyer who represents 1,600 inmates at the Idaho State Correctional Institution. He’s spent the last few months negotiating an agreement on changes to medical care at the prison near Boise. Prince says the biggest change will be increased staff.

www.idoc.idaho.gov

 The Idaho Department of Correction has reached an agreement over a lawsuit filed by prisoners more than 30 years ago. The agreement requires upgrades to medical facilities at the Idaho State Correctional Institution near Boise. The agreement reached in U.S. District Court Tuesday gives a six month deadline for initial improvements…followed by a 2 year monitoring period. Department of Corrections director Brent Reinke says the initial cost of the changes will be more than $1.5 million.

Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon
Aglie/Flickr

Saturday marks the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to fight breast cancer.  In Idaho, 117 out of every 100-thousand women will get the disease.  It’s a frightening diagnosis.  One group works to help the newly diagnosed through the maze of doctors, treatments, and emotions. 

Dartmouth Electron Microscope Facility / Dartmouth College

Here in the Northwest, you hear lots of complaints about the abundant rain. But this year's cool March weather and above normal rainfall in April may have eased the suffering of people with pollen allergies.

Idaho, Washington and Oregon are among the 44 states splitting a $100 million settlement with pharmaceutical giant Abbott Labs. The agreement announced Monday resolves a dispute over the company's marketing of a drug called Depakote.

The medication is federally-approved to treat certain mental illnesses. But a multi-state investigation found that Abbott used a flawed study to promote the drug as a way to treat other illnesses, such as schizophrenia and dementia.

Idaho Skips Pertussis Epidemic Despite Infant Death

May 7, 2012
Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho has had its first death from pertussis in three years. An eastern Idaho infant died last week from the disease also known as whooping cough. But  Idaho is not experiencing the epidemic some of its neighbors are.

A month ago Washington State’s Secretary of Health Mary Selecky declared a statewide epidemic of pertussis. She told KUOW more than 600 cases had been confirmed and 20 people had been hospitalized.

“If this pace continues we’re on track to have the highest number of whooping cough cases in our state in decades,” Selecky said.

Washington State University / Northwest News Network

The chance of a woman getting ovarian disease may be tied to the toxic chemicals her great-grandmother was exposed to. That’s according to a new study by researchers at Washington State University.  The study could help explain the role of environmental factors in inherited diseases.

Here’s how it works. Picture your great-grandmother. Now let’s say, while pregnant with your future grandparent, she was exposed to some toxic chemical. Pesticides, phthalates -- that stuff in plastic -- or maybe jet fuel. Those are some of the things the researchers looked at.

CDC to Investigate WA Whooping Cough Epidemic

May 7, 2012
twenty_questions / Flickr

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has sent two epidemiologists to Washington State. The investigators will try to find out what’s causing the state’s rapid rise of whooping cough cases.

The investigators are in Washington to help the state figure out how the number of whooping cough cases has reached epidemic levels. They’re here at the request of Washington Secretary of Health Mary Selecky, and U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell.

Brett Sayer / Flickr

New figures from the Alzheimer’s Association show 75-thousand people in Idaho - usually family members - are helping care for a patient with the disease.  An organization known as the Idaho Alzheimer’s Planning Group is working on a state plan to help patients and those caregivers.

Washington Steps Up Fight Against Whooping Cough

May 4, 2012
prashant_zi / Flickr

The number of whooping cough cases in Washington State is rising rapidly that the Governor has gotten involved.  Thursday Governor Chris Gregoire announced she’s releasing $90,000 in emergency funds to step up the state’s public awareness campaign.

Under the watchful eye of her mother, TV cameras, and the Governor, four year-old Kimberly Magdeleno reacts as the nurse gives her a series of shots. One of them is the vaccine for pertussis, or whooping cough.  Her crying quickly fades when the nurse rewards her with a set of stickers.

jdlasica / Flickr

The federal government has agreed to pump nearly two billion dollars into Oregon's experiment at changing the way it delivers health care to low income people. The news today came after Governor John Kitzhaber and three other state officials flew to Washington to personally lobby for the cash.

http://www.cedars-sinai.edu

A judge has a denied a motion for a retrial in a $52-million lawsuit involving Boise based St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center. Last year, the center lost a jury trial in the suit brought by MRI Associates, a medical imaging company it had partnered with in the past. Late last week, Fourth Judicial District Judge Mike Wetherell said no to a retrial.

Seventy people in Washington legally ended their lives in 2011 with the help of a physician. That continues a steady increase in each of the last three years. The latest numbers come from a report out [today] Wednesday on Washington's so-called Death with Dignity Act. The annual release of statistics on the law says 80 physicians wrote a total of 103 such prescriptions in 2011.

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