Health

Coeur d’Alene's North Idaho College received a major grant Monday to train people in rural areas for hard-to-fill jobs in the health care industry.

Parkinson's Disease, dance class
Jodie Martinson / Boise State Public Radio

Elizabeth Keller has trained her body to be completely stable even while standing on her tip toes. She's performed with Boise's best dancers as part of the Trey McIntyre Project and now with Ballet Idaho. But her passion these days is for helping people who shake because of Parkinson's disease find fluidity through dance.  

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

Idaho health officials say an unusual respiratory virus that's been causing illness among children across the U.S. is in Idaho.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday confirmed the presence of the enterovirus D68.

Officials say a child hospitalized in eastern Idaho tested positive for the virus. The child has since been released from the hospital.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

There’s a bill in Congress that would legalize a marijuana extract to treat children with severe epilepsy. We’ve reported previously on plans to introduce a similar bill in Idaho’s Legislature.

Eastern Idaho health officials say four children have been hospitalized due to a respiratory virus.

Officials tell KIFI-TV that the children are being treated at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

Hundreds of children in more than 10 states have been sickened by a severe respiratory illness that public health officials say may be caused by an uncommon virus similar to the germ that causes the common cold.

drpavloff / Flickr Creative Commons

A new initiative to make daycare centers healthier for Boise children will be the subject of a public hearing Tuesday at Boise City Hall. 

City councilman T.J. Thomson wants the city to adopt his “Healthy Child Care Initiative.”

medical stock, scale, healthcare
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

New figures on weight show Idaho stands out among Western states -- but not in the way public health officials would like. 

Idaho was the most obese state west of the Dakotas and one of only six states nationwide where adult obesity rose between 2012 and 2013.

Idaho jumped nine places on the annual ranking by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The report shows nearly 30 percent of adults in Idaho are obese.

Antibiotics are ubiquitous in modern human life. Along with their well-known medical applications, they also are routinely used in agriculture, including our increasingly industrial production of meat.

But as resistant strains of bacteria continue to emerge, health authorities around the world are growing alarmed at the increasing impotence of antibiotics to fight disease. In fact, they worry we are on the verge of a total breakdown in the overall usefulness of these drugs. It’s a scenario of horrifying scope to those who understand the implications for human health.

school lunch, cafeteria, students
Lance Cheung / USDA | Flickr Creative Commons

Most Idaho kids went back to school this week, meaning for many, a return to school lunches. Food in public schools has changed significantly since new federal nutrition guidelines were passed in 2010.

Becky diVittorio, Optum
Idaho Statesman

A federal agency is investigating whether the company Idaho hired to manage part of its Medicaid program has violated patient-privacy laws.

Optum Idaho, a unit of United Behavioral Health, took over insurance management for Idaho Medicaid's mental-health and substance-abuse patients last fall.

Local health-care providers who treat those patients say Optum has erroneously sent them reports meant for other providers. The reports show patient names and mental-health or substance-abuse services the patients received or were authorized by Optum to receive.

Federal Officials Order Medicaid To Cover Autism Services

Aug 26, 2014

When Yuri Maldonado's 6-year-old son was diagnosed with autism four years ago, she learned that getting him the therapy he needed from California's Medicaid plan for low-income children was going to be tough.

Public health officials across the U.S. say the number of cesarean sections being performed has gotten way out of hand. It's a life-saving surgery for complicated births, but today nearly a third of pregnancies end up as a C-section.

medical stock, scale, healthcare
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's employee health insurance plans are comparable to the federal government's most expensive option offered under the Affordable Care Act and better than what most private companies provide.

According to a report from the Pew Charitable Trusts released Tuesday, Idaho covers 93 percent of all medical costs for state employees.

That compares to private Idaho employers, where plans generally cover 80 percent of medical costs.

Authorities in central Idaho are testing a bat for rabies after it bit a 6-year-old girl.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports the bite occurred Friday while the girl played in her grandmother's yard.

Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey says the grandmother captured the bat and took the girl for treatment at an area hospital.Ramsey says the girl received antibiotics but he's not sure if rabies shots have been started.

He tells the newspaper that medical officials usually wait until they test the animal that made the bite to see if it has rabies.

mosquito, bug, West Nile
Enrique Dans / Flickr Creative Commons

West Nile virus has now been reported in seven Idaho counties. The mosquito-borne virus has shown up in Adams, Ada, Bingham, Boundary, Canyon, Gem and Payette counties.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says all instances of the virus have been discovered in mosquito pools, no human cases of the disease have been reported.

Last year, West Nile was found in 16 Idaho counties. Forty people were infected with the virus and two Idahoans died. One of the worst West Nile years on record was 2006 when nearly 1,000 Idahoans were infected and 23 people died.

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