A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Students in NKy private school appeal to state Supreme Court a ruling on chicken pox vaccine

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A group of students from a private Northern Kentucky school is seeking to have the Kentucky Supreme Court overturn a lower court ruling that upheld banning unvaccinated students from school.

 The case involved a chicken pox outbreak earlier this year at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy, a Catholic school in Walton. The students objected to the chicken...

Kentucky Court of Appeals upholds NKY Health’s actions to control chickenpox outbreak

KyForward staff The Northern Kentucky Health Department (NKY Health) calls the Kentucky Court of Appeals’ Order issued on June 26 in the Kunkel litigation a resounding victory for public health in Kentucky. The Court of Appeals upheld the Boone County Circuit Court’s finding that the control measures implemented by the Northern Kentucky Health Department in response to the chickenpox outbreak at...

Kentucky health officials advise taking precautions to avoid ticks: Protect, check, remove and watch

With the arrival of warmer weather and tick season underway in Kentucky, officials with the Kentucky Department for Public Health are reminding people to take precautions against tick bites, which can transmit serious and potentially deadly illnesses. “Spring and early summer are peak times for tick bites, which coincide with people venturing outdoors in the warmer weather,” said Jeff D. Howard,...

University of Kentucky, Department for Public Health collaboration aims to eliminate new HIV infections

A collaborative program aimed at preventing new HIV infections in Kentucky, as well as expanding education and care for persons living with HIV, is being launched in Northern Kentucky and throughout the Commonwealth. In 2018, there were 352 new HIV cases diagnosed in Kentucky with 46 of the cases in the Northern Kentucky Area Development District (ADD), where the rate of infection has doubled since...

Kentucky Department for Public Health announces tickborne disease prevention poster contest

The Department for Public Health is inviting school-age children across the Commonwealth to create and submit original artwork for a chance to win cash prizes in a tickborne disease prevention poster contest sponsored by the Northern Kentucky Independent District Health Department. “I am excited to announce this poster contest spotlighting tickborne disease because this is a serious health problem...

Surgeon General Jerome Adams comes to Kentucky to talk about opioid epidemic, treatment

By Hannah Carver Special to KyForward Fighting the opioid epidemic and its effects is no single-solution issue. Surgeon General Jerome Adams addresses local business and government leaders in Northern Kentucky (photos by Hannah Carver). Surgeon General Jerome Adams delivered that message Monday at the St. Elizabeth Training and Education Center in Erlanger, Kentucky, while addressing more than 100...

In second year, Grant County syringe access exchange program reducing threat of disease

Since it began in March of 2016, the Grant County syringe access exchange program has helped 322 people prevent infectious diseases spread through IV drug use, such as hepatitis C and HIV. Services are offered on Wednesday afternoons at the Northern Kentucky Health Department’s Grant County Health Center in Williamstown, Ky. “The syringe access exchange program in Grant County is an excellent example...

Commentary: After mild winter, take extra steps to protect from disease spread by animals

By Lynn Saddler Special to KyForward If you’re a fan of snowball fights, sledding or cold nights sitting by a warm fire, the winter of 2016-2017 was not a good one for you. If you’re a tick or a mosquito, the mild winter and a wet spring has led to a significant bump in your activity. If you’re a bat, it’s unclear yet how the mild winter will impact your activity this summer. Experts think...

Grant County needle exchange program ‘operates just as it should,’ according to first year report

In its first year of operation, the Grant County syringe access exchange program has helped 130 people prevent infectious diseases spread through IV drug use. Services are offered on Wednesday afternoons at the Northern Kentucky Health Department’s Grant County Health Center in Williamstown. The program launched on March 16, 2016. “The syringe access exchange program has operated exactly as it...

Northern Kentucky Health Department confirms first Zika virus case; residents urged to take precautions

With the first case of Zika virus in Northern Kentucky recently confirmed in a Boone County man, the Northern Kentucky Health Department is urging residents to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. The infected individual has a history of travel to an area where Zika virus has been found, and was diagnosed upon his return. A total of 820 cases of Zika virus have been reported in U.S....

Commentary: Fight the mosquito bite to protect yourself against Zika virus at home and away

By Lynne Saddler Special to KyForward We tend to think of mosquitoes as simply a pest—an annoyance during an evening out on the patio or an unwelcome guest on a hike or camping trip. But mosquitoes can also transmit disease. At the Northern Kentucky Health Department, we’ve been closely monitoring the global spread of the Zika virus, which is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. The...

Dr. Lynne M. Saddler: Infection control steps long in place, meaning Ebola no local threat

The current Ebola outbreak in Africa has rightfully received an abundance of media coverage due to the increasing number of cases and deaths. Events such as this catch the nation’s attention and can instill fear in many, as people wonder if such an outbreak could happen here.   People’s first instinct tends to be to fear these emerging diseases. While it is important to have an appropriate...

Making Health Fun: Duke Energy grant lets NKU, schools develop healthy habits game

(Photo from Youth Voices/U.C.Berkeley)   The St. Elizabeth Foundation has received a $50,000 grant from Duke Energy to improve science, technology, engineering and math skills among students while helping them learn better health habits.   Students from the Boone County school system will be paired with Northern Kentucky University College of Informatics students to create a gamification...

Northern Kentucky children get more than $9,000 of free dental care at HealthPoint

Regan Board, 6, of Independence, gets her teeth checked by Dr. Eric Soper. (Photo provided)   Northern Kentucky area dentists, hygienists and assistants met at HealthPoint Family Care this past weekend to provide free dental services to 51 children of families without dental insurance.   Services included oral health exams, X-rays, cleanings, sealant and fluoride varnish application and,...

Commentary: Set political feelings aside and learn how health care reform will impact you

By Dr. Lynne M. Saddler Special to KyForward   Looking for a sure-fire way to ignite a heated political discussion? Say the words Affordable Care Act, health care reform, or Obamacare. The changes to the health care system set in motion by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have sparked some of the most heated political debates this century.   And while healthy political...

Like firefighters and police officers, health department staffers are first responders, too

Dr. Lynne Saddler KyForward columnist   Marion Kainer, an epidemiologist with the Tennessee Department of Health, got an email from a colleague at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The Vanderbilt doctor was reporting a suspicious case of fungal meningitis in a patient who had received steroid injections.   You probably know the rest of the story: nationwide investigation launched, recall...