HEALTH

HEALTH
5:35 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Colorado Board Votes Down Medical Marijuana Caregiver Patient Cap Change

Jenea Cox - who testified at the hearing - and her 5-year-old daughter Haleigh. They moved to Colorado from Georgia so Haleigh could take a special medical marijuana strain to help with her seizures.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 10:33 am

The Colorado Board of Health has voted against setting maximum patient caps for medical marijuana caregivers. The proposed rule would have limited caregivers to just 10 patients. After a tense and at times tearful hearing Tuesday, the board said the change was unnecessary.

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HEALTH
11:16 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Colorado Tries Hard To Convince Teens That Pot Is Bad For You

This human-scale lab rat cage is parked near a skate park in Denver, Colo., to make a point about the lack of science on marijuana.
Richard Feldman Studio/Sukle Advertising and Design

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 8:29 am

Colorado's new campaign to deter teen marijuana use tries to make the case that weed is bad for your brain.

One TV ad shows a group of teens lighting up inside a dark car as moody music plays in the background. The commercial cites a Duke University study that found a link between regular marijuana use and a lower IQ.

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HEALTH
9:32 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Antibiotics Prescribed For Children Twice As Often As Needed

Drat those viruses. They're the culprit in the majority of children's colds and sore throats.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:58 am

When your child has an earache or a bad cold, it's hard to think that there's not much you can offer beyond Tylenol and sympathy. But most of those infections are mostly caused by viruses that don't respond to antibiotics, a study finds.

Just 27 percent of acute respiratory tract infections are caused by bacteria, researchers at Seattle Children's Hospital found. That means that more than two-thirds are viral and antibiotics don't help.

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HEALTH
2:03 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Rare Virus Has Sickened Hundreds More Children, Hospitals Say

PCR tests like this can tell if a virus is an enterovirus, but they can't ID the new virus that has caused a surge in serious respiratory infections.
BSIP / Science Source

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 3:33 pm

Just 82 children have confirmed cases of enterovirus-D68, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but hospitals around the country say they are treating hundreds more children who have been sickened by the rare virus.

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HEALTH
2:02 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

CDC Warns Of Fast-Spreading Enterovirus Afflicting Children

13-year-old Will Cornejo of Lone Tree, Colo., recovers at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver from what doctors suspect is enterovirus 68. His parents found him unconscious on the couch and called 911. He was flown to Denver for treatment.
Cyrus McCrimmon Denver Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 11:46 am

A rarely seen virus is sending children to the hospital with severe respiratory infections, and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning doctors and parents to be on the alert.

"Hospitalizations are higher than would be expected at this time of year," Dr. Anne Schuchat, head of infectious diseases for the CDC, said Monday at a press briefing on enterovirus 68. "The situation is evolving quickly."

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HEALTH
11:37 am
Sun September 7, 2014

New Ebola Vaccine Is Tested In Humans, After Success In Monkeys

A woman receives a dose of a newly developed Ebola vaccine at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., last week, in a photo from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
AP

Originally published on Sun September 7, 2014 9:18 pm

An experimental Ebola vaccine is now being tested in people, according to scientists who say the drug has shown promising results when it was tested on monkeys. The small clinical trial is using healthy human volunteers in the U.S.

The Ebola vaccine is the subject of a study published Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine. Researchers say the vaccine treatment includes a booster shot to help the immune system fight off the virus for months after it's first administered.

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HEALTH
1:31 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Replacing An Ambulance With A Station Wagon

Eric Bleeker and a partner respond to 911 calls in this vehicle. The medical team can run simple lab tests and prescribe some drugs, which may spare a patient a trip to the ER.
Eric Whitney

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 8:58 am

When a fire department gets a call for medical help, most of them scramble both an ambulance and a fully staffed fire truck. But that's way more than most people need, according to Rick Lewis, chief of emergency medical services at South Metro Fire Rescue Authority in the Denver suburbs.

"It's not the prairie and the Old West anymore, where you have to be missing a limb to go to the hospital," Lewis says, "Now it's a sore throat or one day of cold or flu season sometimes, and that can be frustrating for people, I know it is."

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HEALTH
10:47 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Tri-County Health Conducts Survey To Understand Community Health Needs

Tri-County Health Network is conducting a survey to try and get a better understanding of community health needs in San Miguel County, Ouray County and the West End.

Lynn Borup is the executive director of Tri-County Health Network, a nonprofit network of medical providers on the Western Slope.

She says the purpose of the survey is to find out what people want out of their health care. Borup says the organization has several methods of getting the survey out to the community.

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HEALTH
4:24 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

St. Mary's Hospital Gets A New Chopper

The AStar accommodates one patient, travels at an average speed of 140 miles per hour, and has high altitude capabilities, according to St. Mary's.
Credit St. Mary's Hospital

St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction has a new helicopter in service. 

Flight staff say the Eurocopter AS 350 B3, also known as the AStar, is smaller and faster than the old helicopter. That aircraft has been sold and is now flying around Saudi Arabia doing medical transport.   

KVNF's Laura Palmisano spoke to Tom Feller about the AStar. He's a flight nurse for St. Mary's CareFlight. 

  

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HEALTH
12:35 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Suicide Rates High In Colorado, Especially Western Slope

Suicide continues to be a problem in Colorado, statistics from the CDC paint a grim picture.  To learn more, KVNF's Jake Ryan talked with Kristen Jones, a health reporter for Rocky Mountain PBS iNews, who has covered mental health issues in Colorado.

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HEALTH
4:39 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Colorado's Pot Brownies Now Come With Instructions

Edibles available at LoDo Wellness Center, a retail marijuana and medical marijuana dispensary and grow facility in downtown Denver.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:09 pm

When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use earlier this year, it also opened the door for food products infused with the psychoactive ingredient, THC, to anyone over the age of 21. That means bakers and food companies now have to ensure new products aren't contaminated with foodborne pathogens. And they have to make sure they're not falling into the hands of children or are too potent to eat.

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HEALTH
10:17 am
Tue August 19, 2014

North Fork Keeps West Nile At Bay

Captured mosquitoes
Credit Jake Ryan

Chris Tschinkel is stuffing mosquitoes into small plastic test tubes. 

He’s the field operations manager for the North Fork Mosquito Abatement District.  It’s a very small organization that tries to keep the local mosquito population under control.  Their territory runs from Hotchkiss to Paonia and further up the valley. 

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HEALTH
2:32 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Colorado Case Puts Workplace Drug Policies To The Test

Workplace drug testing for marijuana may need updating in light of changing laws, a case before the Colorado Supreme Court suggests.
Kai-Huei Yau MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 3:23 pm

A car accident crushed Brandon Coats' upper spine when he was 16, leaving him unable to walk. His muscles still spasm, disrupting sleep and causing pain.

"If I'm out in public it's embarrassing," Coats says. "It's always uncomfortable. If I smoke marijuana, it almost completely alleviates it" — more, he says, than other prescriptions.

Coats smokes at night, and says he was never high when answering customer calls at Dish Network. "I was really good at my job," he says.

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HEALTH
10:44 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Numbers Of Americans With Health Plans Way Up, But States Vary

Arkansas, Kentucky, Delaware and Colorado have all seen significant increases since 2013 in the percentage of residents who have health insurance.
Vectoraart/iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 7:47 am

A Gallup poll released Tuesday suggests the Affordable Care Act is significantly increasing the number of Americans with health insurance, especially in states that are embracing it. It echoes previous Gallup surveys, and similar findings by the Urban Institute and Rand Corp.

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HEALTH
4:14 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Mesa County Reports First West Nile Virus Infection Of Season

Credit Mesa County Health Department

On Monday, Mesa County has its first laboratory confirmed case of the West Nile Virus this year.  It’s the 5th case in Colorado since last mosquito season.

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HEALTH
11:06 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Mesa County Confirms Case Of Hantavirus

Deer mice are the primary carriers of the hantavirus in Colorado.
Credit John Good / National Parks Service

    

The Mesa County Health Department said a child who lives in the county is being treated for hantavirus.

The boy was transported to Denver over the weekend for treatment, according to a release from the county.

Hantavirus is a rodent-borne illness mainly carried by deer mice in Colorado and other Four-Corner states. It can be deadly

Jennfier House, a veterinarian for the Colorado Department of Public Health, said the virus can make people extremely sick and kills over a third of people who get it. 

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HEALTH
10:21 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Food Products Recalled From Whole Foods Over Listeria Concern

The Colorado Department of Public Health said products made in-store at Whole Foods in Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, New Mexico, and Utah are being recalled over concern the food could be contaminated with Listeria.

Whole Foods Market Peach Salsa and Peach Goat Medallion products sold between June 1 and July 21 have been recalled.

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HEALTH
8:47 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Shades Of The Middle Ages: The Plague Popped Up In China And Colorado

Health officials examine rats for signs of bubonic plague in New Orleans, 1914.
U.S. National Library of Medicine

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 2:48 pm

The plague isn't just something you read about in medieval history books.

This past week, five cases were reported: four in Colorado and one in China.

The Colorado residents were diagnosed after coming into contact with an infected dog.

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HEALTH
10:09 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Obamacare Subsidies Rulings Don't Affect Colorado

Two contradictory rulings on Obamacare subsidies don’t affect the Colorado insurance marketplace.

Politico reports one of the U.S. Court of Appeals rulings upholds the subsidies while the other strikes them down for millions of Americans who get coverage under the federal health exchange.

"Here in Colorado we are very fortunate that in 2011 our state legislature on a bipatrisain bases opted to create a state based marketplace," said Linda Gann who works on the Western Slope for Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s exchange.

HEALTH
9:53 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Fruit Recalled at City Market & King Soopers Over Listeria Concern

Peaches and other soft-skinned fruit packed by Wawona Packing Company were recalled Monday from City Market and other King Soopers out of fear the produce could be contaminated with Listeria.
Credit flickr.com/bcostin

A food safety recall has been issued for certain produce sold at City Market and other King Soopers out of fear the fruit could be contaminated with Listeria. 

KVNF's Laura Palmisano spoke with Laura Van Wagenen-Birdsill, an environmental public health specialist for the Colorado Department of Public Health, about the recall.  

PALMISANO: The Colorado Department of Public Health issued a food safety recall Monday. What was recalled?

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