University of Kentucky releases statement regarding possible case of Bacterial Meningitis on campus

The following is a statement released Monday from the University of Kentucky regarding a possible case of bacterial meningitis: On Monday, University of Kentucky officials were informed that a student has been hospitalized with a probable case of bacterial meningitis. Bacterial meningitis is a serious, and potentially fatal disease. In the interest of safety and to ensure everyone’s health and...

Analysis shows the Kentucky’s workers and families need a national paid leave program

An analysis of demographic data in Kentucky released Monday reveals the significant and growing need for a national paid family and medical leave plan that covers all working people in the Kentucky for the full range of serious caregiving and medical reasons. The release kicks off a series of nationwide activities marking the 25th anniversary of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which...

House committee approves bill to keep doctors’ peer reviews from being used in malpractice lawsuits

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A bill to keep doctors’ reviews of other doctors from being used in medical-malpractice lawsuits has passed a House committee and moves to the full House, where a similar bill stalled out last year. Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Florence, chair of the Health and Family Services Committee, told the panel that Kentucky is one of only two states that don’t apply...

Learning about risks from radon and testing your home can protect your family’s health

As part of National Radon Action Month, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services urges Kentuckians to learn more about the potential health effects of radon exposure and how to check your home for this potentially dangerous gas. To better acquaint Kentuckians with the dangers from exposure to radon, a short video clip, has been made available...

Medicaid enrollees sue federal agencies, officials, alleging Ky Medicaid changes violated the law

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Sixteen Kentucky Medicaid enrollees filed a class-action lawsuit in Washington Wednesday, claiming that federal officials violated federal law this month by approving changes to Kentucky Medicaid and declaring their intent to approve similar changes in other states. The lawsuit alleges that work requirements in the program, to be phased in starting July 1, “sharply...

Department of Public Health reports flu activity across Kentucky now at epidemic levels

The Kentucky Department for Public Health now describes influenza activity in Kentucky as an epidemic. This season’s strain of the flu virus can be extremely serious, even deadly, not just for those in higher risk categories but to generally healthy Kentuckians as well. Kentucky is in its sixth consecutive week of widespread flu activity which is the highest level of flu activity and indicates increased...

University of Kentucky dentistry students to offer free walk-in dental screenings to anyone 14 or older

University of Kentucky College of Dentistry students will provide no-cost screenings including limited x-rays and a limited review for tooth decay. The screenings, available to anyone age 14 or older, support student dentists as they prepare for their licensing exam. No appointment is necessary. Participants can register on the second floor of the UK Dental Science Building (see directions and parking...

Keys to fighting opioids in Appalachia: reducing stigma, furthering education and publishing success

The stigma of opioid addiction in Appalachia “not only keeps some from seeking help, but follows those who did — putting them at risk for relapse,” the Knoxville News Sentinel’s Kristi L. Nelson reports, on a six-month study that interviewed residents and held discussions with them. “We interviewed people who had been in recovery for 20 years, and they said they were still viewed...

Foot Health: Why do my feet feel great in heels, but hurt in flats? Achilles tendonitis may be the answer

By Dr. Nicole Freels Special to KyForward Sometimes we hear, “I can wear high heels all day, but my feet hurt in flats.” What’s happening is that the heels are simultaneously masking the pain because they cause the cord to shorten, but also are exacerbating the issue. Achilles tendinitis is an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon. This often occurs in runners or other sports enthusiasts who...

Committee recommends $1 increase in cigarette tax; doctors say it would increase revenue, save lives

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News What started as an information-only hearing about the benefits of raising tobacco taxes in tobacco-friendly Kentucky ended with an unexpected vote of recommendation by the Senate health committee to raise the state’s cigarette tax by $1 a pack, to $1.60. Sen. Julie Raque Adams, chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, opened the Jan. 17 meeting...

Attorney General warns against scams on access to affordable health insurance; don’t share information

Scammers are targeting Kentucky families looking for access to affordable health insurance, said Attorney General Andy Beshear. Beshear issued a Scam Alert after receiving multiple reports of health insurance related scams. A Lexington resident recorded a portion of a scam call from the “National Health Enrollment Center.” The automated caller asks if you are looking for affordable insurance...

Bevin tells PBS work for Medicaid enrollees will build character; opponent says more will lose coverage

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News In a national television interview, Gov. Matt Bevin reiterated his assertion that the work requirements for some in Kentucky’s newly approved Medicaid program will provide them with an opportunity to have more “dignity and self-respect” by allowing them to be more engaged in their health care. “So what is it we’re looking to change is,...

Rural Blog: Kentucky partnership creates system to track drug overdoses, to help fight opioid epidemic

Kentucky has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, but the state is trying to fight it with innovative efforts to gather more specific data about overdose deaths. The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, a partnership between the state Department for Public Health and the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, built a “drug-overdose fatality surveillance system” that...

New poll shows support for state cigarette tax of $1 pack for addressing budget shortfall, health benefits

A new poll shows a significant majority of Kentucky voters of all party affiliations support raising the state’s cigarette tax by $1 a pack as a smart solution to addressing the state’s budget shortfall and other revenue needs, while saving lives and health care dollars. The poll, conducted in mid-December by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, Inc., found that 69 percent of registered voters...

52 Weeks of Public Health: ‘Prevent to Protect’ during National Birth Defects Prevention Month

Every 4.5 minutes, a baby in the United States is born with a birth defect. While not all birth defects can be prevented, women can increase their chances of having a healthy baby by preventing infections before and during pregnancy. The Kentucky Department for Public Health is joining organizations nationwide during National Birth Defects Prevention Month in January to increase awareness about how...

Bill requiring sex-ed classes to teach abstinence clears committee; critics want comprehensive bill

A bill requiring sex education classes in Kentucky to include abstinence until marriage passed out of a Senate committee, despite the pleas of four women who urged the legislators to create a more comprehensive bill. Atherton High School senior Sophia Letson-Ettin told the Education Committee Jan. 11 that she had no objections to abstinence and monogamy being part of the curriculum, but said it should...

Rise in HIV among N.Ky. drug users sparks outbreak fears; officials renew calls for syringe exchanges

Health officials in Northern Kentucky have renewed their cry for syringe exchanges following a huge surge in cases of the human immunodeficiency virus among intravenous drug users in Kenton and Campbell counties. “HIV cases were up nearly 50 percent to 37 in 2017; the HIV cases among drug users rose 260 percent to 18,” reports Terry DeMio, who covers drug abuse for the Cincinnati Enquirer. The...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky marks significant increase in funding to curb tobacco use in 2017

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky invested more than $361,000 on work to reduce both tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke in 2017. This commitment represented a significant expansion of the Foundation’s annual budget focused on tobacco-use reduction over past years. Even so, the Foundation continued several research projects as well as its support of grantees working on a variety...

Officials report state’s first pediatric flu deaths this season as reported cases remain widespread

The Kentucky Department for Public Health has recorded the state’s first pediatric deaths for the 2017-18 flu season. “Of the thirty-six flu-related deaths reported so far this season, two of those were children,” said the Acting Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jeffrey D. Howard. “The average age of death of the other thirty-four people who died as a result of flu is 75 years...

Substance abuse common in both urban and rural areas, but rural users less likely to seek treatment

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News In some ways, substance abuse is worse in urban areas, but rural drug users are less likely to get treatment, according to two studies recently released by the Rural and Underserved Health Research Center at the University of Kentucky. The studies looked at the last 10 years, which included several significant developments in the field. In 2008-2010 came the...