A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Teacher: Taking on electronic cigarettes, students join forces to stop the epidemic

By Jacob Perkins
 Kentucky teacher E-cigs. E-vape. E-hookah. Electronic cigarettes may have many aliases, but it can’t hide from the alarming statistics. According to the Kentucky Incentives for Prevention 2018 statewide trends report, electronic cigarette use doubled or nearly doubled in 6th-, 8th-, 10th- and 12th-grade students, the only grades that were included in the survey, from 2016 to...

Keven Moore: A pressure washer can be a useful tool, but users should be aware of its hazards

A pressure washer is a power tool that sprays water at high pressures to remove loose paint, mold, algae, grime, dust, mud, chewing gum and dirt from surfaces and objects like buildings, fences, masonry, vehicles, concrete or asphalt surfaces such as driveways or patios. Courtesy of the Home Depot website The pressure washer was invented back in the late 1920s, and its use was slow to grow, but today...

KY residents affected by national Salmonella outbreak, public advised to discard pre-cut melons

The Department for Public Health (DPH) announced today that 16 Kentuckians have tested positive with a strain of Salmonella Carrau that has been linked by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to pre-cut melon including cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew. DPH is advising that the public should discard any pre-cut melon or fruit salads that contain pre-cut melon. Caito Foods from Indianapolis,...

DPH continues to promote Hepatitis A vaccination; statewide outbreak continues, more deaths reported

People who are considered high risk for exposure to the Hepatitis A virus should get vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid contracting the virus and lessen the spread of the disease. High risk groups include individuals who use illicit drugs, close contacts of illicit drug users, and homeless people. The Department for Public Health (DPH) is making this recommendation as part of its efforts to respond...

CDC: Follow these four simple steps to food safety to be sure you and your family are safe, protected

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Following four simple steps at home — Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill — can help protect you and your loved ones from food poisoning. Clean: Wash your hands and surfaces often. • Germs that cause food poisoning can survive in many places and spread around your kitchen. • Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water before, during, and after...

Almost half of Kentuckians 30 and older have advanced gum disease that can cause tooth loss

Kentucky Health News Half of Americans aged 30 and older have a disease of the gums called periodontitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If left untreated, gum disease can not only lead to tooth loss, but can also lead to other health problems like heart disease and diabetes. The CDC data found that 45 percent of Kentuckians aged 30 and older had periodontitis, with...

Centers for Disease Control study ranks Ky. at or near top in several measures of binge drinking

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Binge drinking in Kentucky, which has been rising in recent years, is now among the heaviest in the nation, and tops in one measure. That’s according to the latest study of the topic, by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC defines binge drinking by consumption of alcoholic drinks in a two-hour period: five or more for men, and four...

Keven Moore: Flu season is here, widespread across nation, and its impact is dramatic and can be deadly

A new influenza (flu) season is upon us and it is widespread nationwide. Thirty-two states have experienced high flu patient traffic, making this year’s flu season the most hectic for hospitals since at least 2009. While the impact of flu varies, it places a substantial burden on the health of people in the United States each year. CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in 9.2 million-35.6 million...

Winter is here and cold weather can be deadly; the CDC offers helpful advice to stay warm and safe

KyForward staff Winter is in full swing and frigid temperatures are expected throughout the region for several days. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published guidelines on how to avoid, identify, and treat hypothermia. Hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature, is a dangerous condition that can occur when a person is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Stay...

Flu season is just around the corner; here
are a few things the CDC wants you to know

  Tomorrow is the first day of fall — and in addition to the shorter days and cooler weather, that means it won’t be long before people start getting sick with the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   (CDC photos) Influenza is a contagious respiratory disease that infects the nose, throat and lungs and can lead to serious complications, hospitalization,...

Old at heart? CDC says most Americans’ hearts are older than their actual age

  Kentucky is among the states with the highest percentage of adults with a heart age of five years or more over their actual age. (Click image for larger view)     Your heart may be older than you are – and that’s not good.   According to a new CDC Vital Signs report, three out of four U.S. adults have a predicted heart age that is older than their actual age. This means they...

CDC: Most middle and high school students start school too early, don’t get enough sleep

  Fewer than one in five middle and high schools in the United States begin the school day at the recommended 8:30 a.m. start time or later, according to data published today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Too-early start times can keep students from getting the sleep they need for health, safety, and academic success, according to...

CDC: Most middle and high school students start school too early, don't get enough sleep

  Fewer than one in five middle and high schools in the United States begin the school day at the recommended 8:30 a.m. start time or later, according to data published today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Too-early start times can keep students from getting the sleep they need for health, safety, and academic success, according to...

Report: Fewer Kentucky teens than ever are having sex; teen births also at all-time low

State’s new ‘Stop HPV’ campaign urges parents to vaccinate their 11-, 12-year-olds

  Kentucky’s ‘Stop HPB’ campaign launches July 20.   State officials will launch a statewide “Stop HPV” campaign July 20 to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, or HPV, and to stop its spread.   The campaign will feature television, radio and print advertisements promoting the benefits of the vaccine, which...

One in four nonsmokers – 58 million people – still exposed to secondhand smoke, CDC says

Click here for larger view. (Map from CDC/Source: State System, Tobacco Control Interactive Maps, Legislation-Smokefree Indoor Air)   Although secondhand smoke exposure in the United States dropped by half between 1999 to 2000 and 2011 to 2012, one in four nonsmokers — 58 million people — are still being exposed, according to a new “Vital Signs” report from the Centers...

Although flu season in full swing, state health official says it’s not too late to get vaccinated

It’s still not too late to get a flu shot, Kentucky’s deputy health commissioner said. (Photo from Kentucky Health News)   Kentucky Health News   Although it’s only halfway through the flu season, as of Jan. 8 Kentucky has reported 26 influenza-related deaths and 64 flu outbreaks in long-term care facilities, a top state health official said.   And with the flu season...

Kentucky public health officials report ‘widespread’ flu activity; vaccination urged

Kentucky Department for Public Health officials reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week that the influenza activity level in the state has increased from “regional” to “widespread.”     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...

CDC, Frontier Airlines passenger notification underway; new Ebola patient flew Oct. 13

On the morning of Oct. 14, the second healthcare worker reported to the hospital with a low-grade fever and was isolated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that the second healthcare worker who tested positive last night for Ebola traveled by air Oct. 13, the day before she reported symptoms.   Because of the proximity in time between the evening flight and first report of...

Keven Moore on Insurance: You can never be too prepared for Ebola or other health risks

No doubt, there is a lot of interest in – and concern about – the deadly Ebola virus that appears to be spiraling out of control in West Africa and, just recently, found its way into the United States with two confirmed cases. It’s gotten so bad lately that watching television might seem more like watching the 1995 movie Outbreak than the nightly news.   President Barack Obama...