public health

Bob Marshall / The Lens

The recent outbreak of the Zika virus has New Orleans on edge. The Gulf Coast is considered the most vulnerable part of the U.S. Mayor Mitch Landrieu has asked Congress for money to fight Zika, as the city continues local efforts to understand the mosquito-borne disease.

As health officials around the world study how the Zika virus is spreading, a Tulane researcher says New Orleans has some extra time to prepare.

Fighting For Health Care Reform, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 2009.
Health Care For America Now / flickr.com

The mayor’s office is working to get more New Orleanians enrolled in health coverage, and is asking barbershops and beauty salons around the city to help.

Louisiana Sea Grant College Program at Louisiana State University

The state is bringing back its program to test fish for mercury, a heavy metal that is dangerous for human consumption. The program will be back up and running in January.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality scaled back the program in 2008, when it ran out of funding.

Mercury comes from burning coal and other industrial activities. It gets into the air and then settles in streams and other waters, where fish absorb it.

Tulane University researchers are leading a study examining the long-term effects of Hurricane Katrina. The national project will examine the health effects of the storm, who came back, and where they are now.

America's Watershed Initiative

A new report card for the Mississippi River basin is not good. The lower Mississippi gets a D+ from a water coalition due to poor infrastructure maintenance, run-down levees and unhealthy fish.

America’s Watershed Initiative is a coalition of industry, academic and environmental groups. Its report card graded watersheds along the river, and the river as a whole, by looking at ecosystems, transportation, water supply, flood control and the economy.

State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry says customers served by North Monroe Water System should use precaution in light of the prescence of Naegleria fowleri, referred to as the brain-eating amoeba.

Testing results announced Tuesday showed the amoeba was found in a water sample from the Guthrie Street site in Sterlington.  About 8,400 residents are served by the North Monroe Water System in the area.  North Monroe Water is owned by Greater Ouachita Water System.

Elizabeth Mahoney, St. Bernard resident and peer counselor.
Brett Anderson

The devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the floods that followed is most visible in pictures of ruined houses and people’s destroyed possessions lying out on city streets. But there’s unseen damage that runs even deeper: the collective emotional trauma experienced by the thousands of people who lived through it.

The Eastbank of Orleans Parish is under a boil water advisory due to disruptions in power to city water pumping stations, according to statements from the Mayor’s Office and the Sewerage and Water Board.

A boil water advisory means residents in the affected area — the whole of the City of New Orleans on the east bank of the Mississippi River using the city water supply — should refrain from drinking tap water, making ice, brushing teeth or showering, or preparing or rinsing food until the water has been disinfected.

A potentially deadly brain-eating amoeba has been discovered in the St. Bernard Parish Water System at a leaking sampling station that serves more than 44,000 people.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals notified the water system and parish officials last night.

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