public health

Adam Norris, the Director of Communications at the University of New Orleans, tells us UNO became a tobacco-free campus on Aug. 1.

The state legislature mandated all public colleges and universities become smoke-free on that date, but UNO took it a step further and banned all types of tobacco. Norris says there are smoking-cessation resources in place for faculty, staff and students.

U.S. Public Health Service / National Library of Medicine

At a time when the Ebola virus is causing panic throughout the world, and has prompted dire warnings from international public health officials, we're revisiting a plague of old: The Plague.

For this month's "Cityscapes" piece on, Tulane University's Richard Campanella focused on one of New Orleans's own epidemics. This month marks the 100th anniversary of the bubonic plague outbreak in New Orleans.

Sergey Uryadnikov /

A Tulane expert in viral epidemics raging in West Africa says it’s time to expand experimental treatments. Some are showing promise.

The sponsor of a Louisiana law restricting abortions doesn’t believe it’s in jeopardy, despite a federal appeals court striking down a similar law in Mississippi.

The legislation requires doctors performing abortions to have hospital admitting privileges.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 yesterday to overturn Mississippi's 2012 law, which would have closed the state's only abortion clinic.

The judges said every state must guarantee the right to an abortion.

Malorie Marshall / WWNO

Smoking in bars might become a thing of the past in New Orleans. City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and other organizations recently brought a smoke-free week to the city. That’s meant to raise support for a ban on smoking in bars.

New Orleans is known as a place where people like to unwind. Go-cups, ice-cold daiquiris, rich food, music and good times.

One aspect of this experience might be about to change.

James Jordan / Flickr

Louisiana health officials say a Caddo Parish resident has died from the West Nile virus.

The individual who died was between 60 and 74 years old. Martha Whyte, public health chief in northwest Louisiana, told the Shreveport Times she could not provide other information, citing confidentiality rules.

A drive kicks off this week to ban smoking in New Orleans bars.

Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell is backing the idea. She says the change would benefit local businesses.

“This has been going on across the country for over a decade now," she said. "And so we have real facts that it is not a negative impact on our businesses. Actually revenues increase. And it’s cheaper to maintain a bar or lounge that is smoke free than one that is not.”  

Cantrell says the effort will begin at various venues this week that are now voluntarily smoke-free. 

It’s National HIV Testing day on Friday — and there are several options available for a free test. Times-Picayune reports federal health officials rank Baton Rouge and New Orleans second and third nationally in the rate of new HIV infections.

Walgreens is offering free screenings at several locations Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Also look for free testing during Essence Festival weekend.

There will be a mobile unit outside Walgreens at 900 Canal Street on July 3, and at the Morial Convention Center July 4-6.

Every week WWNO's Listening Post project asks questions about local news in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and reports back on the community's response. This week's topic is the high rate of HIV infection in Louisiana.

Problems with the website set up for the Affordable Care Act doesn’t mean people can’t sign up for health insurance. Applications can still be made on paper.