HEALTH 12/28/2018 05:45 am ET Over 10,000 people in the U.S. have contracted the preventable disease this year. By Lauren Weber CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kristi Haynes knew she had a problem when her eyes turned the color of traffic paint. Haynes had been feeling strangely tired, but she didn’t have many opportunities to look at herself in a mirror because she’d been homeless for a few months. Her fiance noticed her yellow eyes and freaked out. And that’s how Haynes knew she had caught the disease so many of her friends already had: hepatitis A. Hepatitis A, a vaccine-preventable disease that attacks the liver and is spread by contaminated fecal matter, is a scourge in developing nations with poor sanitation systems. Imported contaminated food is typically to blame when the disease occurs in developed countries. But U.S. cases of the disease have tripled in 2018, and the outbreak has nothing to do with imported food. Hepatitis A is spreading … [Read more...] about Deadly Hepatitis A Outbreaks Are Exposing Crumbling U.S. Public Health Infrastructure
West virginia university school of public health
Maggie Hill, 67, poses for a portrait with a 10-year-old Charity in Madison, W.Va., on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. The grandmother is raising Charity, the daughter of Maggie's son, as her own child. They live in a small wooded valley with a creek in it _ a holler, as they say in West Virginia. Her house is a cabin that from the outside resembles a small, tidy barn. Charity has given her life a purpose, she said. (AP Photo/Tyler Evert) MADISON, W.Va. (AP) — If you want to understand why U.S. life expectancy is declining, West Virginia is a good place to start. The state is a bellwether of bad health, portending major problems years before they became severe nationally. “It seems that the worst outcomes happen here first,” said Dr. Michael Brumage, a West Virginia University public health expert who formerly ran the health department in Charleston. “We’re the canary in the coal mine.” The drug overdose death rate for all Americans today is where West … [Read more...] about Experts: West Virginia a Bellwether of Poor Health
MADISON, W.Va. (AP) — If you want to understand why U.S. life expectancy is declining, West Virginia is a good place to start. The state is a bellwether of bad health, portending major problems years before they became severe nationally. "It seems that the worst outcomes happen here first," said Dr. Michael Brumage, a West Virginia University public health expert who formerly ran the health department in Charleston. "We're the canary in the coal mine." The drug overdose death rate for all Americans today is where West Virginia's rate was 10 years ago. The nation's suicide rate is where West Virginia's was nearly 20 years ago. Obesity was common in West Virginia before it became widespread in the rest of the country. And life expectancy started tumbling in the Mountain State before it began falling across the U.S. Maggie Hill has lived in the state for all of her 67 years. Sitting in her cabin in the town of Madison recently, she ticked off the many deaths that have befallen her … [Read more...] about West Virginia shows challenges of getting people healthier
HORSHAM, Pa. -- Lauren Woeher wonders if her 16-month-old daughter has been harmed by tap water contaminated with toxic industrial compounds used in products like nonstick cookware, carpets and fast-food wrappers. Henry Betz, at 76, rattles around his house alone at night, thinking about the water his family unknowingly drank for years that was tainted by the same contaminants, and the pancreatic cancers that killed wife Betty Jean and two others in his household. Tim Hagey, manager of a local water utility, recalls how he used to assure people that the local public water was safe. That was before testing showed it had some of the highest levels of the toxic compounds of any public water system in the U.S. At "community engagement sessions" like the one in Horsham, residents and state, local and military officials are demanding that the EPA act quickly -- and decisively -- to clean up local water systems testing positive for dangerous levels of the chemicals, perfluoroalkyl and … [Read more...] about Toxins turning up in dozens of public water systems in the U.S.
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