public health

Shots - Health Blog
2:00 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

With West Nile On The Rise, We Answer Your Questions

A Beechcraft airplane sprays insecticide over Dallas early Monday morning to curb the spread of West Nile virus.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 8:45 am

This year is on track to be the worst ever for West Nile virus in the United States. Here are the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • 1,590 reported cases, nearly 500 more than a week ago for a rise of 44 percent.
  • 889 cases, or 56 percent, involve severe neurological disease.
  • 66 deaths, compared to 41 last week.
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Hurricane Isaac
8:33 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Citizens asked to report oily material or oiled debris

It is possible that oil and oily material present in the environment as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill will wash up on beaches, barrier islands, marshes, and other areas along Louisiana's coast during and following severe weather events. Members of the public should not handle any oil or oily material, including tarballs, tar mats, or other oily debris.

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Nicholls State University
12:22 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Nicholls to offer master's in nursing

Nicholls State University is going ahead with plans to offer a master of nursing program beginning in spring 2013.

The university recently received approval from the Louisiana State Board of Nursing to offer the program under its College of Nursing and Allied Health.

Master's candidates will be able to choose from four areas of concentration: family nurse practitioner, family psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner, nursing educator or nursing executive.

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West Nile Virus
12:06 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Three new West Nile deaths, total cases up to 53

State health officials confirm three more people have died from West Nile virus, bringing the total to nine so far this year.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals also said Friday that 53 new human cases of the virus have been confirmed and mark 145 reported infections so far in 2012 — the highest number of cases the state has seen in the past several years.

Salmonella Outbreak
1:41 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Agriculture Commissioner: No salmonella-tainted cantaloupes in Louisiana

Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain says none of the salmonella-tainted cantaloupes that recently killed two people and sickened 141 nationwide have been traced to Louisiana.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the salmonella outbreak is linked to contaminated cantaloupe grown in southwestern Indiana. The outbreak comes a year after cantaloupes contaminated with listeria from Colorado killed at least 30 people and sickened 146.

Public Health
11:54 am
Tue August 14, 2012

New flu strain spreading from pigs at county fairs

Livestock exhibits are a popular part of farm country fairs, but they're coming with a warning this year: Don't pet the pigs. And wash your hands well after exhibiting swine.

Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain is relaying word from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It says human cases of swine flu rose last week from 29 to 158. Most of the patients were children who probably were infected while raising, displaying or visiting pigs at the fairs.

The CDC says the H3N2v virus may spread more easily to humans than is usual for swine flu viruses.

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West Nile Virus
2:30 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Two West Nile deaths reported in Louisiana

Two people have died in Louisiana as a result of West Nile Virus infections.

Louisiana's health department confirmed this week's deaths, the first West Nile deaths in the state since 2008, when one person died.

The health department also said the number of overall West Nile infections in the state this year rose by 21 this week for a total of 53.

West Nile infections usually cause no symptoms or relatively mild flu-like symptoms. But, in some cases, the mosquito-borne virus causes life-threatening brain or spinal cord diseases.

Science & Health
6:28 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

DHH confirms four new cases of West Nile virus

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says four new cases of West Nile virus bring this year's total to 14.

It says the new cases include the year's third nervous system infection — the infection's most dangerous form. That patient is in St. Tammany Parish; earlier neuroinvasive cases were reported in Rapides and Vernon parishes.

The other new cases were in Bossier and East and West Baton Rouge parishes. They include one patient with flu-like West Nile fever and two people without symptoms, found in blood donor screening.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:39 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

FDA Approves First Drug To Prevent HIV Infection

Dr. Lisa Sterman holds up a Truvada pill at her office in San Francisco in May. Even before the Food and Drug Administration's approval, Sterman had prescribed Truvada for about a dozen patients at high risk for developing AIDS.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 1:57 pm

The Food and Drug Administration has given the first OK for a drug to prevent HIV infection.

The daily pill Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences, combines two medicines that inhibit the reproduction of HIV. It's been a mainstay in the treatment of HIV/AIDS for years, and as of today is an approved option for reducing the risk of HIV infection for people at high risk.

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West Nile Virus
7:46 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

State reports six more cases of West Nile Virus

State health regulators have confirmed six more human cases of West Nile Virus, bringing the year's total to 10, including two cases of the more serious neuroinvasive disease.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, in a news release Friday, said the new cases are from East Feliciana, Jefferson, Rapides, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes.

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