Health & Medicine

Health, Medicine

Whooping Cough is on the rise in Oregon. Deschutes County health officials report more than 20 cases since the first of the year. Lane County has confirmed nine.

The bacterial infection, Pertussis, is also known as whooping cough. The Chinese named it the "hundred day cough"—because of the severe spells it elicits.

(Cough sounds…)

According to the World Health Organization, 195,000 children die from the disease each year. Whooping cough is easily spread through coughs and sneezes.

In the months and weeks after six cases of Meningitis-B appeared on campus-- killing one student---the University of Oregon continues communication with students and parents about vaccination efforts. The college reports that students are still coming in for shots. However, data on the vaccination rates among the highest-risk groups on campus is still not available.

Fundraiser for Scarlet Craig

Family and friends are rallying around a 5-year-old Eugene girl diagnosed with cancer. A fundraiser is planned for this Saturday for Scarlet Craig.

Scarlet's mother, Elena Rudy, says they found out in July that her daughter has neuroblastoma.

Rudy: "It's a nerve cancer. So it started with a tumor on her adrenal gland. At some point. It wasn’t actually discovered until it had metastasized into her bone, which is the normal progression of the disease, usually. It's not discovered until it starts to create problems with pain, walking."

Bill McLean / JPR

For many elderly people, having to move into a nursing home is frightening and traumatic. It’s also very expensive, and taxpayers usually end up footing a lot of the bill. A groundbreaking program that originated in Oregon is helping many people stay in their homes longer, enhancing the quality of their lives and reducing the need for nursing home care.

Cecil Michael is 96 years old. He still lives in his own home, and he has no plans to leave. Only, he can’t do all the things he used to. Enter... The Caregiver.

Benton County prides itself on its public health programs. It’s been ranked the healthiest in Oregon four of the past six years. Now it’s fallen behind Washington and Hood River counties. Deputy Director of the Benton County Health Department Charlie Fautin says an increase in deaths before age 75 cost them the top spot:

Fautin: “We'll need to go back into our death records and take a closer look at what's behind that during that period. It wasn’t a statistic we were really aware of before this.”

Benton County prides itself on its public health programs. It’s been ranked the healthiest in Oregon four of the past six years. Now it’s fallen behind Washington and Hood River Counties. Benton County Health Spokesman Charlie Fautin says an increase in premature deaths before age 75 cost them the top spot:

Fautin: “We’ll need to go back into our death records and take a closer look at what’s behind that during that period, it wasn’t a statistic we were really aware of before this.”

Lane Blood Center

Lane Blood Center says recent trauma situations in area hospitals and reduced mobile blood drives have depleted inventories of negative blood types-- particularly the highly coveted-- “O” negative. They are actively seeking donations.

Some people give blood as a matter of course. When their eligibility comes back around, they show up at the blood bank, roll up their sleeve and donate. It’s all over in about 45 minutes. According to the Lane Blood Center, every donation saves up to three lives.

Health Officials Urge U of O Students To Get Meningococcal Vaccine

Mar 20, 2015

The state confirmed Thursday a sixth student from the University of Oregon has come down with meningococcal disease. Health officials want parents to persuade students to get vaccinated over Spring Break.

So far, one student has died, a second was seriously ill on a ventilator and three others missed classes. Now, another student has come down with the disease.
Lane County Public Health officer, Dr. Patrick Luedtke  , would only say he's a 20-year-old sophomore who lives off campus.

Wikimedia Commons

There are 4 confirmed cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, at the Village School in Eugene.

The charter school notified students and parents last week. Andy Perra is Executive Director of the Village School. He says 2 of the cases were kids that were up to date on their vaccinations. The other two were not completely vaccinated. Perra says the school has been in close contact with Lane County Public Health.

Spring is the time of year when people purchase baby poultry. Maybe they are replacing older birds. Sometimes they become gifts in an Easter basket. Health authorities have some precautions.

Chicks and ducklings are fuzzy and cute. But, many of them carry a bacteria that is dangerous--particularly to young children.

Dr. Emilio DeBess is Oregon's Public Health Veterinarian. He says between the months of March and May his office sees increased cases of Salmonella which are directly attributed to poultry.

Wi-Fi, Cell Towers And Smart Meters -- Oh My!

Mar 16, 2015

Recorded on: March 13, 2015

Air Date: March 16th, 2015

Some ongoing concerns among community members center on cell tower locations, mobile telephones, digital “smart meters,” wi-fi in homes, schools, and even some new autos. Emissions from the devices range along the microwave electromagnetic spectrum bands between radio waves and infrared light. The issue is whether increased exposure to those devices have an impact on people’s health.

srpenvironmental.com

The Oregon Association of Hospitals has developed a new initiative to make the cost of medical care known to patients in advance.  All of Oregon's 62 community hospitals have agreed to participate. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert explains what this means to patients with and without insurance.

When it comes to health care price transparency, a national rating system finds Oregon is failing, literally.

Davidson: "Oregon currently receives an F."

A fifth University of Oregon student has tested positive for the meningococcemia bacteria. This is the first confirmed case since a student died of the illness last month.

The student is a sophomore who lives at the Capstone complex in downtown Eugene. He was diagnosed Thursday with the bacteria that can cause a deadly blood infection. Mike Eyster is Executive Director of the U of O Health Center. He says they alerted the campus community immediately:

A bill introduced last week in Salem would give Oregonians and lawmakers more tools to regulate aerial spraying of chemical pesticides on private forest land.

Lisa Arkin is Executive Director of Beyond Toxics, based in Eugene. She says the bill, called the Public Health and Water Resources Protection Act, was inspired by cases in Triangle Lake and Curry County where residents believe they were poisoned by spraying of pesticides on nearby private forestland.

ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

Oregon may soon join Washington and 2 other states by requiring tougher regulations on products used by children ages 12 and under. Public hearings were held last week on Senate Bill 478.

The Toxic-Free Kids Act would require manufacturers and importers to report children's products containing 66 toxic chemicals to the State. In 6 years the use of those chemicals would be phased out.  Eugene Senator Chris Edwards is the Chief Sponsor of SB-478.

KEZI.com

A Eugene-based secure residential treatment center for the mentally ill was closed Monday after state officials suspended its license. The patients were taken to other facilities.

The ShelterCare Heeran Center Residence on Coburg Road housed 12 adults who required “high levels of psychiatric treatment.”  

Tiffany Eckert

KLCC's Tiffany Eckert visits the mass vaccination clinic at Matthew Knight Arena on the University of Oregon campus. The newly approved vaccine Trumenba is being administered to any undergraduate who wants it. As students trickle in for the vaccination, Tiffany spoke with Andre Le Duc, Executive Director of Enterprise Risk Services.

Tiffany Eckert

The second day of the "mass vax" clinic at the University of Oregon saw fewer students than anticipated. Pharmacists lined the halls of Matthew Knight Arena with Meningitis vaccinations at the ready. According to one care provider, students have been "trickling in."

Undergrad students who do show up are being walked through health questions and insurance paperwork. The UO is partnering with Albertson's and Safeway pharmacies to process insurance claims to the myriad providers, many of whom just approved coverage of the vaccine, Trumenba.

Tiffany Eckert

Institutional response to the Meningococcal Group B outbreak at the University of Oregon has become a lesson in prevention.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have joined county and state authorities to coordinate the largest on-campus vaccination clinic in recent history. A campus-wide ad campaign uses the phrase "Get the Vax" to encourage students to show up at Matthew Knight Arena for the shot.

Shotimage

Staff, volunteer nurses and EMT’s are giving Meningitis vaccines to University of Oregon students at a staggering pace. Public Health officials say ten percent of the student population has received the shot so far. Meanwhile, Lane County Public Health continues to investigate the Meningitis outbreak.

Public Health officials have yet to confirm which of the sickened students is the “sentinel case,” – the one who contracted the disease first. They continue to evaluate several people but say there are currently no suspected cases.

Tiffany Eckert

In the wake of a Meningitis-like outbreak at the University of Oregon, health officials are stepping up a vaccination program. Due to demand, a temporary clinic opened Monday in Mathew Knight arena to vaccinate students who want to be immunized as soon as possible. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert was there.

Since Monday morning, more than 700 students have received the vaccination for Meningococcal Group B, the disease that has sickened three students and caused the death of freshman athlete Lauren Jones.

Mike Eyster is Executive Director of the University Health Center.

Tiffany Eckert

The Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office has now confirmed the death of an 18-year old University of Oregon student athlete was caused by a highly contagious Meningitis infection.

Half way through a press conference Friday afternoon, Senior Public Health Officer Dr. Pat Luedtke was handed a note. Then he announced:

GoDucks.com

Lauren Jones, a University of Oregon student athlete passed away after seeking medical attention on Tuesday. A bacterial infection was suspected to be the cause of her death, but the autopsy results are inconclusive.

GoDucks.com

A University of Oregon freshman died suddenly after seeking medical attention on Tuesday. Lauren Jones was a student athlete and her death may be related to a bacterial infection outbreak.

Lauren Jones was a chemistry major and a member of the U of O acrobatics and tumbling team. Three cases of Meningococcemia have been confirmed at the university. Lane County Public Health spokesman Jason Davis says an autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of Jones's death.

Lane County Public Health has confirmed a third case of a University of Oregon student with the deadly bacterial infection that can lead to meningitis. Public Health spokesman Jason Davis says the young man lives off campus. He says the U of O has reached out to students and others who may have been in contact with the patient.

"The good news is it is a relatively confined population of people and so we're confident that we're going to be able to get a handle on this."

Oregon Has The Highest Vaccination Exemption Rate In The U.S.

Feb 6, 2015

Oregon has the highest vaccination exemption rate in the nation. Parents whose children aren’t fully vaccinated, will start getting letters from the state this week warning about school exclusion day.

Some Oregon schools are seeing up to 70 percent of their students secure vaccination exemptions.

Children whose medical records show missing immunizations won’t be able to go to school or child care starting February 18.

But parents can get an exemption after hearing a doctor’s presentation, or watching an online video and printing off proof at the end.

UPDATE: Lane County Health officials said Wednesday a third person has been hospitalized with a potential case of Meningococcemia.

Lane County health officials are looking for connections between the recent diagnosis of Meningococcemia– a blood infection that causes meningitis - and the case diagnosed last month. Both women with the diagnosis are University of Oregon Students.

An epidemiological team will collect samples from the two women and send them to the state lab where they will be compared. The results will be released in a few days.

Karen Richards

The new Oregon State Hospital in Junction City hosted public tours today (Thursday). Approved by the State Legislature in 2007, the campus is nearly ready to accept patients.

The state-run psychiatric hospital has the capacity to house 174 people. It will offer treatment to adults who are civilly or criminally committed.

Greg Roberts is Superintendent of the Oregon State Hospital. He says philosophies have changed since he started working in mental health in the 1970s. Then, people often remained in the institutions for life:

Egan Warming Center

Despite the unseasonably warm weather this week in Oregon, the Egan Warming Centers in Eugene and Springfield plan to activate Wednesday night. Four shelters will be open for the national one-night homeless count.

Egan volunteer Shelley Corteville says others will be out in the community counting people without homes.

Corteville: "This count is very important because it helps bring in money to communities for homeless services."

Federal funds are allocated to counties based on the number of homeless people.

Health officials say a Eugene man who has measles is expected to make a full recovery. No new cases of measles have been confirmed in Lane County.

Lane County Public Health spokesman Jason Davis says hundreds of people contacted the agency after they released a list of businesses the man had visited after he returned from California.

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