Health

Alberto Garcia / Flickr

More mosquitoes, carrying the potentially deadly West Nile Virus, have popped up in traps in Canyon County. Two weeks ago, the disease was found between Parma and Notus. Now, mosquitoes at the Roswell Marsh near Parma have tested positive.

Ed Burnett, with the Canyon County Mosquito Abatement District, says they found hundreds of Tule mosquitoes in a trap on the marsh. Tules – which carry the virus – are rare for this area. Burnett says they’ve multiplied because of recent hot weather.

Idaho Statesman

The Boise City Council Tuesday will consider a revised master plan for St. Luke’s downtown hospital. A public hearing on the plan last week drew so much testimony for and against that the meeting lasted until 1 a.m.  As a result, the council delayed its vote to this week.

Evan James hymo/Wikipedia

Health officials say a third area in southwestern Idaho has rodents that are likely infected with plague.

Laurie Boston with the Southwest District Health Department says six voles and one wild mouse from the Riddle area were tested. One vole showed probable plague infection.

Riddle is 79 miles south of Mountain Home. The vole was found along Highway 51 in southern Owyhee County.

Boise Co-op

Update at 3:52 p.m.: The Boise Co-op reopened the store's deli following a health inspection Friday. Read more here.

The Boise Co-op’s deli is usually a bustling place. The North End store – which upgraded its deli in 2012 to stay competitive as chains like Whole Foods moved in – gets nearly a fifth of its business from the deli.

Omar Bárcena / Flickr

Idaho's online insurance exchange needs to collect $9 million in revenue by the summer of 2017 or risk dipping into its limited reserves in order to stay in business.

The federal government stopped providing funding for state-based exchanges on Jan. 1. This means the 13 states currently operating their own exchange must find a way to become sustainable.

A.Currell / Flickr

As Idaho gets ready for the third year of using a state health exchange under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are still adapting to the new system. This month, those companies announced some proposed rate increases for insurance policies next year.

The Associated Press reported last week that Blue Cross of Idaho has asked for the most rate hikes.

“[That’s] simply because we offer more plan options for people,” says Josh Jordan, manager of Corporate Communications with Blue Cross of Idaho. He says every insurance carrier in the state asked for increases.

Jean-François Chénier / Flickr

Ducks and geese may be missing from Idaho's county fairs as state officials are recommending a ban on waterfowl to fight the spread of bird flu.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the Idaho State Department of Agriculture plans to release a recommendation this week that fair boards prohibit showing ducks and other waterfowl. Such birds can be asymptomatic, meaning they can spread the disease while appearing healthy.

Neil Weightman / Flickr

A dog in Ada County has tested positive for plague. It’s the first case – human or canine – of the bacterial disease since officials reported an outbreak in ground squirrels south of Boise two weeks ago.

Epidemiologist Sarah Correll is with the Central District Health Department. She says a preliminary test came back positive, which means the dog likely has the plague. Results from a second test will come back next week.

USAF Airman Shane Phipps

Idaho health officials say ground squirrels south of Boise have tested positive for plague. They say humans and pets should avoid the area.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in a statement Friday says the bacterial disease can be spread by the bites of fleas or by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, rabbits and pets.

“We have investigated reported mortalities of ground squirrels in the area southeast of Boise during May,” State Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Mark Drew said.

UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences / Flickr

Norovirus has been found in samples from an outbreak at a Nampa Middle School two weeks ago. The Southwest District Health Department confirms two stool samples came back positive for the virus.

It started two weeks ago when children at Lone Star Middle School came down with vomiting and diarrhea. By that Thursday, more than 150 kids stayed home sick. The next day, close to 500 students missed class.

kevinkarnsfamily / Flickr

A drug, alcohol and mental illness treatment center for residents in north-central Idaho could open as early as this summer.

The Lewiston Tribune reports that the Latah County commissioners have challenged a group of community members to open the recovery center as soon as possible after state funding is approved in July.

Back in the 1960s, the U.S. started vaccinating kids for measles. As expected, children stopped getting measles.

But something else happened.

Childhood deaths from all infectious diseases plummeted. Even deaths from diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea were cut by half.

Scientists saw the same phenomenon when the vaccine came to England and parts of Europe. And they see it today when developing countries introduce the vaccine.

Some women may be paying hefty fees for birth control pills, vaginal rings and emergency contraception, despite a federal requirement that insurers pay their full cost. And some women only have coverage for a less effective type of emergency contraception, according to a report released Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Stethescope, Health Care, Doctor, Medical
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Patients seeking care at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Boise have some of the longest waits for care in the entire VA system according to government data reviewed by The Associated Press.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs statistics show that about 1 in every 16 patients seeking care during a six-month period at the Boise facility had to wait 31 days or longer. That compares to a national average of about 1 in 36 patients.

During that time period there were more patients waiting three months or longer for care in Boise than there were in 45 states.

Morgan / Flickr Creative Commons

Latinos in Idaho experience barriers that make the process of enrolling in healthcare through the state's  insurance exchange more challenging. That's according to a report released Thursday by a liberal advocacy group, the Idaho Community Action Network (ICAN).

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