A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Got a Virus? They don’t help, but Kentucky leads nation in outpatient antibiotic prescriptions issued

Antibiotics don’t cure illnesses caused by viruses, and can even cause “dire consequences” when used inappropriately, so it’s important to take them only when necessary, says a news release from the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “Antibiotics are the only drugs where use in one patient can impact the effectiveness in another patient,” Andrea Flinchum,...

Getting a flu shot is always a good idea; CDC says October is best time to get it done

While there is disagreement among experts about the perfect time to get a flu shot, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October. “Baptist Health is committed to protecting the health of those in the communities that we serve. With that in mind, we recommend getting an annual flu shot in October,” said Donna Schwartz, nurse practitioner, at Baptist Health...

Travel-related Zika infection identified in Fayette County; mother, baby post no risk to spread

The first instance of laboratory-confirmed infection with Zika virus in Lexington was recently identified in a Fayette County infant born to a woman who had travelled during pregnancy to an area where the virus is circulating. Test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that the infant was exposed to the virus in the womb. Although the infant’s mother never described...

UK researchers find that pollutants, poor diet and nutrition may increase risk of human disease

Appalachian Kentucky has some of the highest rates of chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in the country. Researchers at the University of Kentucky’s Superfund Research Center (SRC), which is supported through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), are interested in understanding how exposure to environmental pollutants and poor diet and...

Poultry specialists urging Kentucky chicken producers to guard against salmonella infection

Poultry specialists from the University of Kentucky are urging Kentuckians who raise chickens or ducks to take extra precautions against salmonella infection, since 21 cases have been reported in the state. “Any contact with live poultry puts you at risk for salmonella infection,” Jacqueline Jacob, UK poultry extension project manager for the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, said in...

Health Department reports Kentucky flu activity level is widespread for 9th consecutive week

Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) officials are reporting “widespread” flu activity to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the ninth consecutive week. 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 activity levels for states are tracked weekly...

Despite budget dispute, a number of significant health proposals were passed by Legislature

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky legislators have all but ended their regular session without agreeing on a budget, but they were able to pass a wide range of health bills that await Gov. Matt Bevin’s signature or veto. Legislators can still pass more bills, including a budget, when they return for one day, April 12, and reconsider any bills the governor vetoes (except the budget,...

Kentuckians urged to get vaccinated against the flu as officials confirm state’s first case

The Kentucky Department for Public Health is reporting the first positive lab-confirmed influenza case this week, indicating the presence of flu circulating in Kentucky. The case was in Jefferson County.   DPH officials are reporting the results to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of statewide flu surveillance efforts. Kentucky’s flu activity will be classified as “sporadic,”...

E-cigarette use more than doubles among U.S. middle, high schoolers from 2011-2012

Special to KyForward   The percentage of U.S. middle and high school students who use electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   (Photo from Wikimedia Commons) The findings from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, in the most recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, show...

‘Journey Thru Lyme Disease’ hike is effort
to create awareness about tick-borne illness

Logan McCulloch is about to complete a six-month hike along the Appalachian Trail to raise awareness about Lyme Disease. (Photo from Kentuckiana Lyme Disease Support Group)   Logan McCulloch of Louisville was a healthy, athletic 52-year-old with a demanding job as the chief development officer for the Kentuckiana Region of American Red Cross. As an outdoor enthusiast, he spent his free time hiking,...