public health

BATON ROUGE — Officials at Louisiana's health department are looking for ways to cut $859 million from the state's Medicaid program for the poor and uninsured. It would strip 11 percent of the funding for health services. 

HOUMA — Terrebonne Parish voters will be asked this fall for permission to use taxpayer money to build a new Terrebonne Parish Health Unit. The Parish Council has unanimously agreed to add the measure to the Nov. 6 ballot. 

New Orleans officials say West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected in the city.

No human West Nile cases have been reported in New Orleans so far this year, although one human case has been reported in St. Bernard Parish.

Most people infected do not get sick. However some develop flu-like symptoms and a few will develop serious illness.

Tyler A. Gamble / Office of Mayor Mitch Landrieu

The city of New Orleans is stepping up efforts to help residents get fit. The plan calls for more movement and less junk food.

A federal judge in New Orleans will accept materials through a deadline next week on whether Nalco, the maker of chemical dispersants used in the BP oil spill, can remain in litigation. Hundreds of signatures have been submitted to keep the chemical maker included. 

New Orleans officials say the city's Mosquito and Termite Control Board has detected higher numbers of mosquitoes in the city.

That includes the variety known as the Southern house mosquito, identified as a carrier of West Nile virus.

The city said Monday in a news release that the board has responded by using insecticides targeting mosquito larvae and adults. Also, adult mosquitoes are being treated by fog trucks and by airplane.

Tyler A. Gamble / Office of Mayor Mitch Landrieu

Tulane University has opened a new health center inside the former Ruth’s Chris Steak House on North Broad Street. Up to 1,500 patients can receive care at the center every month — with or without insurance.

BILOXI, Miss. — Mississippi's Department of Environmental Quality has posted more warnings of high bacteria levels along Mississippi beaches so far this year than in all of 2011. But the head of the Harrison County Sand Beach Authority says there have been fewer sewer-related problems in the past few years than there used to be. 

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