A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Pay close attention to good hygiene practices, keep holiday gatherings safe from foodborne illness

Parties, family dinners and seasonal gatherings where food is served are a traditional part of holiday cheer. This holiday season, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), urges consumers to take precautions in purchasing and preparing food items, and to pay close attention to good hygiene practices to combat foodborne illness this Thanksgiving...

Department for Public Health launches free service to help Kentucky teens stop vaping, smoking

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is launching a free service aimed at helping teens quit vaping, smoking, and using other tobacco products. The service is called My Life, My Quit and began across the state Nov. 12. Teenagers who want to stop using e-cigarettes or other tobacco products can text or call the toll-free My Life, My Quit number: 1-855-891-9989. They will then be connected...

Kentuckians should prepare to ‘fall back’ by checking home carbon monoxide detectors

Now that Kentuckians have turned back the clocks, and with temperatures falling, officials are reminding residents to take action to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. “To prepare for colder weather, Kentuckians should make sure their heat sources and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order,” said Dr. Angela Dearinger, Commissioner for Kentucky’s Department for Public Health.   On...

KDFWR increasing monitoring of deer and elk for chronic wasting disease as hunting season returns

As hunters return to the woods and fields for the fall seasons, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is increasing its efforts to monitor the state for chronic wasting disease (CWD) at the same time. Seventeen years ago, the department recognized an encroaching threat to Kentucky’s deer and elk herds and took steps to prevent the spread of CWD to the state. Now, in 2019, the agency...

Kentucky Health officials urge caution regarding vaping as reported cases of severe lung injury rise

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) continues to monitor and investigate a growing number of cases of severe pulmonary disease related to e-cigarette use or vaping. DPH is working closely with healthcare providers, local health departments, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the Food & Drug Administration and other states to gather information about this outbreak. “As...

Algal bloom recreational public health advisory issued, blooms found at locations on the Ohio River

The Kentucky Division of Water and the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) have issued a harmful algal bloom (HAB) recreational public health advisory for the Ohio River from the McAlpine Dam near Louisville to the Greenup Dam near Greenup. An advisory is also being issued for Briggs Lake near Russellville. A HAB recreational public health advisory means algal toxins have been found at various...

Be prepared, not scared: September is National Preparedness Month for emergency planning

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is reminding the public that households, businesses and communities can increase their preparedness by following this year’s theme of Prepared, Not Scared. Be Ready for Disasters during September – National Preparedness Month (NPM). This nationwide effort is organized each year by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to encourage citizens to prepare...

UK physician Dr. Angela Tackett Dearinger appointed commissioner of KY Department for Public Health

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services has named Dr. Angela Tackett Dearinger commissioner of its Department for Public Health. Dearinger, 43, is board-certified in internal medicine, pediatrics, public health and general preventive medicine. She is an associate professor at the University of Kentucky and is its College of Medicine’s assistant...

DHP reminds Kentuckians to reduce potential rabies exposure by avoiding contact with bats, wild animals

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), along with local health departments across the state, is reminding the public about the potential for rabies exposure from contact with bats and other wildlife. “Bats become active during this time of year and that increases the possibility of exposure to rabies, which is a dangerous and life-threatening condition if contracted,” said Kelly Giesbrecht,...

Food safety regulations amended to improve safety and health; changes reflect national food code

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is working to make the general public and business community aware of new changes to the state’s food code which will improve safety and health standards for food storage, preparation and serving. To prepare for upcoming changes, which will take effect in July, DPH conducted regional training for local health departments to educate food inspectors....

Department of Public Health offers tips after E. coli outbreak affects 20 across Commonwealth

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) has announced that 20 Kentuckians have tested positive with a strain of E. coli O103. Public health investigators have not yet identified the source of the outbreak, but have noted that some sort of food distribution is a likely mechanism for this outbreak among many of the individuals afflicted by the sometimes life-threatening bacteria. The reported...

Department for Public Health reminds Kentuckians that March 24 is World TB Day

As part of its ongoing work to educate the public about tuberculosis (TB) and prevent the spread of the disease, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is reminding Kentuckians that March 24 is World TB Day. This year’s theme from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is “It’s Time,” in an effort to encourage latent TB testing among providers and raise awareness for...

Officials are reporting ‘widespread’ flu activity across state for the first time this season, urge vaccinations

The Department for Public Health (DPH) is reporting “widespread” flu activity in Kentucky for the first time this flu season. Widespread is the highest level of flu activity, which indicates increased flu cases or flu outbreaks in at least half of the Commonwealth’s regions. “We strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t received a flu vaccine, particularly children six months and older and those...

Feeling depressed? Need help with substance abuse? Holidays can be trigger; FindHealthNowKY

Many people can experience feelings of anxiety or depression during the holiday season. Extra stress, unrealistic expectations or even sentimental memories that accompany the season can be a catalyst for the holiday blues.   The holiday season can bring out many triggers that may induce uncomfortable feelings and negative emotions such as sadness, loneliness, anger, bitterness, and anxiety. Moreover,...

Keven Moore: Severe outbreak of hepatitis A in Kentucky is dangerous and costly

Just about every other day it seems that our local news reports on another case of restaurant workers contracting hepatitis A. In fact, multiple restaurants throughout the entire state of Kentucky have been dealing with a severe outbreak and it isn’t going away any time soon. In accordance with 902 KAR 2:020, cases of acute hepatitis A should be reported within 24 hours. Hepatitis A is caused...

National Influenza Vaccination Week is Dec. 2-8; get vaccinated to help prevent spread of flu

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, encourages Kentuckians to get a flu shot during National Influenza Vaccination Week, Dec. 2-8, to help prevent the spread of flu this holiday season. “The flu vaccine is the single best way to protect you and your loved ones against the flu,” said Jeff Howard, M.D., commissioner of DPH. “If...

Ky. has 78 confirmed flu cases, two deaths this season; officials urge shots for all over six months

Kentucky is one of three states under an influenza threat defined as “regional,” with confirmed cases in 11 of the state’s 17 regions. During the 2018-19 flu season, Kentucky has had 78 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu and two deaths from it, according to the state Department for Public Health’s weekly influenza surveillance report. The flu killed 325 Kentuckians in last...

Department of Public Health reminding all Kentuckians to get vaccinated against flu

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is reminding Kentuckians to get vaccinated against the flu. “Getting the flu can be debilitating and sometimes life-threatening,” said Jeffrey Howard, M.D., commissioner of DPH. “Vaccination is the best tool we have to prevent the flu and it is also extremely important to take simple preventive steps to avoid the flu and other illnesses...

Kentucky health officials are warning of rare polio-like virus AFM after a case found in the state

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today. Health officials are warning of a rare but serious virus with polio-like symptoms affecting mostly children, a case of which has recently occurred in Kentucky. Acute Flaccid Myelitis, or AFM, affects a person’s nervous system, specifically the spinal cord, causing weakness in one or more limbs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From August...

Officials reminding Kentuckians of importance of flu shots as Fayette Co. records first flu-related death

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky remains in the midst of its worst Hepatitis A outbreak in years, but now the flu has claimed its first victim of the season. The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department confirmed on Monday their first death due to the flu. Take the flu vaccine is being recommended. The first death of in Kentucky this flu season was reported in Lexington. (Fayette County Health...