public health

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This week, the Food and Drug Administration gave its stamp of approval to a new rapid test to detect the Ebola virus. The test is based on technology originally discovered at Tulane University.

Planned Parenthood is appealing a state decision blocking abortion services at a New Orleans clinic under construction. The process could ultimately land in court.

When Earl K. Long Hospital closed nearly two years ago, LSU’s private partner in Baton Rouge — Our Lady of the Lake — took over patient care, but refused to take care of inmates. That meant a whole lot of scrambling for Angola Warden Burl Cain.


Lane Regional Medical Center in Zachary sits on the northern edge of East Baton Rouge Parish. Ochsner on O’Neal Lane and Our Lady of the Lake on Essen are both about 20 miles to the south.  

There will be no emergency room in between once Baton Rouge General at Mid City closes their ER sometime between April and May.  That means ambulances will have farther to travel. 

A group of health organizations trying to help Louisianans quit smoking has formed a krewe in the Mardi Gras tradition. The new Krewe De Quit is an online initiative that brings smokers together around the shared bonds of a krewe. Ochsner Clinic’s Dr. W. Brooks Emory has been a pulmonary care specialist for 45 years. He says tobacco is ten times more addictive than heroine, which makes it very difficult to break the habit. He says it helps to have people doing it with you.

Explosions used to be no big deal for residents of sleepy rural towns in north Louisiana's piney woods near the Arkansas border. Blasts meant jobs.

The Army's Camp Minden was the site of a former ammunition factory built during World War II. The factory closed in the 1990s. Still, the place is littered with millions of pounds of leftover artillery waste.

The stuff in question is called M6, a toxic propellant in grenades and artillery rounds. The Army doesn't use it anymore, and tons of M6 are stored in bunkers at Camp Minden.

LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge has launched a new initiative aimed at helping reduce obesity in children.

The center released its new Childhood Obesity Treatment Toolkit Thursday. It gives the state’s primary care physicians tactics for evaluating childhood obesity and approaches to treatment. The center is distributing more than 2,000 toolkits statewide, according to Pennington’s pediatric obesity researcher Dr. Amanda Staiano.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu will be signing an ordinance today that will ban smoking in city bars and casinos.

Nola.com reports his signature means the ban will take effect in 90 days.

The law also includes electronic cigarettes. The City Council had been asked by several speakers at public hearings not to treat the vapor cigarettes the same as regular tobacco. But others argued there isn’t enough information yet about the health effects of e-cigarettes.

Baton Rouge is embarking on a new collaborative to tackle the problem of childhood obesity.

Over the next six months, the capitol city is one of seven cities joining forces through the National League of Cities to better understand obesity-related health disparities among children.


Deutschlandreform / Wikimedia

In a move to protect the health of musicians and late-night workers, the New Orleans City Council has voted unanimously to ban smoking in bars and gambling halls.

New Orleans had been one of the last major American cities to allow people to smoke tobacco in bars. Smoking at indoor restaurants is no longer permitted. The new ban is expected to take effect in three months.

The ban was tweaked before being approved. For instance, New Orleans police won't have to enforce the ordinance and smoking will be allowed within 5 feet of bar entrances — not 25 feet away.

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