public health

Updated on Sept. 27 at 7:06 p.m. ET to reflect the latest information from federal agencies

An outbreak of severe lung disease among users of electronic cigarettes continues to spread to new patients and states.

Ben Ryan / Courtesy

South Florida has among the highest number of new HIV cases in the country. A 2016 report from the CDC found Miami had 46 cases per 100,000 people and Ft. Lauderdale had 47 – that’s nearly double what is seen in New York City and Los Angeles.  A new investigation by the Guardian found that millions of dollars in federal funds for HIV prevention and treatment were turned away by the state of Florida while Rick Scott was governor.

Why Are So Many Palm Beach County Beaches Closing?

Aug 15, 2019
Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post

Another round of beaches closed Wednesday because of harmful bacteria levels. Unfortunately, the ‘no-swimming’ warnings you get are usually too late. Also, as of now it’s almost impossible to find out where the bacteria is coming from.

Alicia Simons snorkeled with her granddaughter at Lake Worth Beach for two days last month before learning the water was foul with a fecal contamination.

Between Monday, when a water sample was taken, and the Wednesday beach closure, she suspects the duo swallowed at least a little of the bacteria-laced slurry.

Florida Surgeon General Declares Public Health Emergency Over Hep A

Aug 2, 2019
USDA.GOV

After more than 2,000 cases of reported hepatitis A cases in Florida this year, state Surgeon General Scott Rivkees declared a public health emergency Thursday.

“I am declaring this Public Health Emergency as a proactive step to appropriately alert the public to this serious illness and prevent further spread of Hepatitis A in our state,” Rivkees said in a prepared statement.

Rivkees encouraged people to be vaccinated against the virus, which is spread through oral injection or fecal matter.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than 900 cases of measles in the United States this year, including two in Florida. Meanwhile the number of cases of Hepatitis A in the state continues to rise.

Needle Exchanges Find New Champions Among Republicans

May 9, 2019
Sammy Mack / WLRN News

Once repellent to conservative politicians, needle exchanges are now being endorsed and legalized in Republican-controlled states.

At least four legislatures have considered bills to allow hypodermic needle exchanges, and two states, Georgia and Idaho, made them legal this year. In each of these states, the House and Senate are controlled by Republicans and the governor is a Republican.

‘Medieval’ Diseases Flare As Unsanitary Living Conditions Proliferate

Mar 12, 2019

Jennifer Millar keeps trash bags and hand sanitizer near her tent, and she regularly pours water mixed with hydrogen peroxide on the sidewalk nearby. Keeping herself and the patch of concrete she calls home clean is a top priority. 

The rate of cesarean sections around the world is increasing at an "alarming" rate, reported an international team of doctors and scientists on Thursday.

Since 1990, C-sections have more than tripled from about 6 percent of all births to 21 percent, three studies report in The Lancet. And there are no "signs of slowing down," the researchers write in a commentary about the studies.

A public health state of emergency has been declared in Florida after Hurricane Michael. Medical personnel have been deployed at the national level to respond. A team of seven people from the Orange County Health Department has been sent to help with recovery efforts after Hurricane Michael.

In London, there's a museum dedicated to Charles Dickens, housed in his old, lovingly preserved home near the King's Cross rail station. There are over 200 museums in London. This one wasn't anywhere near the top of my list.

Danny Hwang

Peak mosquito season is coming and Miami-Dade County officials say they are ready to fight it with a new weapon: a bacteria that makes mosquitos sterile. 

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez said in a press conference Wednesday that the county will be using the Wolbachia bacteria to handle the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which is seen as being primarily responsible for transmitting diseases like Dengue and Zika.

A hundred years ago, the world was struck by a nightmare scenario.

World War I was still raging. And then a suspicious disease appeared.

Editor's Note: This story was produced in partnership with WOSU and Side Effects Public Media, a reporting collaborative focused on public health.

CREDIT SHELBY U VIA FLICKR / HTTPS://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/HEAVYYMETAL/4539604112/

The deadline is approaching for Florida’s governor to sign off on a bill aimed at tracking the use of addictive prescription drugs. Some medical professionals see the measure as key to fighting the opioid epidemic.

A man named Eddie threads through the mid-afternoon crowd in Cambridge, Mass. He's headed for a sandwich shop, the first stop on a tour of public bathrooms.

"I know all the bathrooms that I can and can't get high in," says Eddie, 39, pausing in front of the shop's plate glass windows, through which we can see a bathroom door.

Pages