public health

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.

Nola.com/The 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.

Kate Howe

It’s lunchtime at the Renew Cultural Arts Academy, and that means a group of medical students from Louisiana State University are sitting down with kindergarden, first and second graders to talk about the food that’s on their plates.

“So what do you use your protein for?”

“Makes you strong!” 

“Makes you strong. Got to have big muscles, huh? Can you show me your muscle? All right, there you go.”

About a dozen medical students are equipped with colored building blocks: red for protein, green for carbohydrates, and yellow for fat.

Louisiana health officials say they are reopening some oyster harvest areas where the threat of flooding from Tropical Storm Karen has diminished.

Louisiana harvest areas 13 to 23 will open Sunday morning. They were among the areas ordered closed because of the possibility of contamination from flood waters.

Saturday's announcement said a precautionary closure of oyster harvest areas one through 12 would remain in effect until health officials determine the waters meet standards set by the National Shellfish Sanitation Program.

For the past few weeks, the culinary arts students at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., have been working with some less-than-seasoned sous chefs.

One of them, Clinton Piper, may look like a pro in his chef's whites, but he's struggling to work a whisk through some batter. "I know nothing about baking," he says.

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