The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the flu is now widespread in 47 states, including Idaho. Doctor Leslie Tengelsen is Idaho’s deputy state epidemiologist. She says the flu season has arrived early this year.
Idaho's governor announced yesterday the state should build its own health insurance exchange rather than go with a federally- run model. Exchanges are online marketplaces that allow consumers to assess health insurance plans. Under the Affordable Care Act, every state must have one by 2014.
Idaho has until the end of the week to decide whether or not to build its own health insurance exchange. But some northwest states are already well on their way toward creating such an online marketplace.
One of Blue Cross of Idaho’s new television commercials opens with a chirpy jingle. “You’re protected in the sun, you’re protected when it rains,” the song begins. The pitch is clear: this is the insurer for you, no matter your lifestyle.
Tomorrow is World AIDS Day. In response, Southwest District Health will offer free HIV tests today in Caldwell.
The seven Idaho Health districts report more than 1,300 people in Idaho are currently living with HIV or AIDS. Those are the people who know they have the infection. Health officials want to reach people who haven’t been tested, and may be infected.
The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline began taking calls this week. The hotline is the first of its kind in Idaho since 2006, when state funding for the previous hotline ran out.
Up until Monday’s launch, Idahoans in crisis were routed to a call center in other western states. But executive director John Reusser says it’s important for people who are contemplating suicide to have an empathetic ear on the other end – someone who understands Idaho’s unique rural culture.