A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Hepatitis A outbreak in Kentucky worst ever — over 900 cases confirmed, six deaths — and it isn’t over

Kentucky Health News State health officials say the hepatitis A outbreak in Kentucky is the worst ever, and the crisis isn’t over. “It’s the worst on record across the nation and in Kentucky,” Dr. Jeff Howard, Kentucky Commissioner of Public Health, told Beth Warren of the Louisville Courier-Journal. Kentucky health officials have confirmed 969 cases and six deaths from...

Dept. for Public Health recommends Hepatitis A vaccination for at-risk counties in Kentucky

Due to an ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A, the Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is recommending vaccination for everyone residing in Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd counties.   To date, 214 cases have been reported in the Jefferson County/Louisville area. Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd counties have each reported...

Bevin vetoes rare disease council, end-of-life controlled substances; legislature can override

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky lawmakers, so far, have two vetoes by Gov. Matt Bevin to potentially override when they return from recess on April 13. Senate Bill 7, would establish and fund the Kentucky Rare Disease Advisory Council, to support rare disease research and treatment for 10 years. The bill received unanimous approval in both the Senate and House and delivered to the governor on...

Kentucky Department for Public Health commissioner participates in national roundtable on opioid abuse

Kentucky is helping inform national policy on the opioid epidemic. Dr. Jeffrey Howard, acting Commissioner of the Department for Public Health took part in a national roundtable discussion earlier today focused on the prevention of opioid abuse through states’ prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs). The invitation-only event in Washington, D.C. was sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control...

52 Weeks of Public Health: Move with heart to better your health during American Heart Month

As part of American Heart Month in February, the Department for Public Health encourages Kentuckians to increase their levels of physical activity to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. To get involved, use the hashtag #MoveWithHeart on social media to connect with others and search for posts about exercise, physical activity and improving cardiovascular health. Heart disease is the second...

February is deadline for Ky students to receive first of two-dose Hepatitis A vaccine for 18-19 school year

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A new state regulation says Kentucky students must prove that they have had the two-dose hepatitis A vaccine by the first day of school, so it’s time to get the first dose, because the shots are given six months apart. Most schools start in August. The regulation also applies to children entering day-care centers, certified family child-care homes and pre-school...

52 Weeks of Public Health: Winter weather poses many risks; some tips for cold weather safety

With temperatures below freezing, and in some cases near zero, throughout this week, Department for Public Health (DPH) officials emphasize the importance of limiting exposure to the cold and taking steps to prevent hypothermia. The National Weather Service is reporting bitterly cold air will enter the area this evening, lowering temperatures and increasing risk of frostbite and hypothermia. Precautions...

Flu is now ‘widespread’; increased activity is early this year, expected to continue for several months

Department for Public Health (DPH) officials, within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), now report “widespread” flu for the first time this flu season.  Widespread activity is the highest level of flu activity, which indicates increased flu-like activity or flu outbreaks in at least half of the regions in the state.   The traditional flu season lasts from October through May....

School Boards Association says it will support any legislation to make all schools in state tobacco-free

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Usually opposed to statewide mandates on schools, the Kentucky School Boards Association says it will support any legislation that proposes a statewide tobacco-free school law in the 2018 legislative session, because the majority of its members support such a law. “We really try to protect local decision-making on these things,” Eric Kennedy, director...

Department for Public Health reports a second Kentucky resident has tested positive for Zika

A second Kentucky resident has tested positive for Zika virus disease after traveling in a Caribbean country where the virus is circulating, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is reporting. Test results were reported to DPH today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has been tracking cases across the United States. The male patient, who experienced Zika-related...

Call to Action: State public health officials call on Kentuckians to help end childhood obesity

Kentucky’s Department for Public Health is challenging the public to join in the fight to end childhood obesity with a call to action, a pledge and a Southern Obesity Summit in Louisville.   A kindergartner with type 2 diabetes became indignant when the school nurse thought he didn’t know how to tie his shoes. “I know how to tie my shoes!” he said. “I just can’t...

Call to Action: State public health officials call on educators to help end childhood obesity

Kentucky’s Department for Public Health is challenging the public to join in the fight to end childhood obesity with a call to action, a pledge and a Southern Obesity Summit in Louisville.   A kindergartner with type 2 diabetes became indignant when the school nurse thought he didn’t know how to tie his shoes. “I know how to tie my shoes!” he said. “I just can’t...