Health & Science

Jessica Lilly

This story has been updated.

Twenty-six families say that a coal company is responsible for damaging their water supply. Trial for 16 of those families begins Monday, April 11, in Wyoming County Circuit Court.

Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  A report published this week says an oil and gas wastewater disposal site in West Virginia is leaking chemicals that can harm fertility in animals.


Obama
Steve Helber / AP Photo

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and Senator Joe Machin join President Obama at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia Tuesday. According to a press release, Obama will announce Administrative actions to further the fight against the drug epidemic.

The Administrative actions include expanding access to treatment by releasing $94 million to 271 Community Health Centers to increase substance use disorder treatment services. West Virginia community health centers in Huntington, Weirton, Dawes, Scott Depot and Rock Cave will receive a total of $1.7 million in funding.

AP Photo / Tom Gannam

Fatal overdoses linked to a powerful opioid nearly tripled in West Virginia last year.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that overdoses caused by fentanyl increased from 55 deaths in 2014 to 154 deaths last year.

West Virginia's Bureau of Public Health commissioner Dr. Rahul Gupta says people can overdose and die more quickly with fentanyl. The drug is an opioid that is sometimes laced with heroin and is stronger than prescription morphine.

Yordan Rusev / Dollar Photo Club

  The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources is urging thousands of patients to get tested after possible hepatitis exposure at a Raleigh County heart clinic.

Multiple media outlets report that a letter issued by the department in Charleston says several cases of viral hepatitis appear to be associated with a cardiac stress test performed at Beckley's Raleigh Heart Clinic.

The DHHR says all patients who had the stress test at the clinic between March 1, 2012, and March 27, 2015 were sent a copy of the letter.

Charleston Area Medical Center

Officials from Charleston Area Medical Center may consider changing their policies on prescribing opioid.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that CAMC chief operating officer Dr. Glen Crotty told members of the hospital's board of directors Wednesday that the hospital system would consider placing more limits on what can be prescribed in its emergency rooms. Crotty says the hospital system is working on limiting prescriptions from 30 or 45 days to about five days.

WVU Hospitals / @wvumedicine / Instagram

Information technology specialists at Ruby Memorial Hospital are individually checking more than 14,000 computers on the hospital’s campus after malware or a virus sent the hospital into a lockdown this morning.

The hospital reportedly began experiencing issues with both its clinical and security operating systems just after midnight Tuesday, and around 4 a.m. lost the use of its video monitoring system. That sent the hospital into lockdown for nearly four hours.

In this episode, we'll hear stories of loss, grief, and resilience. A lesbian woman who was abused by her husband and left for dead when she came out of the closet talks about her journey to become a boxing champion.

Zika Virus, Mosquito
Rafaelgilo / wikimedia Commons

State health officials have confirmed the first case of a West Virginian with the Zika Virus.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health received laboratory confirmation Thursday, March 10, of the state’s first case of the virus.

Bureau for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Rahul Gupta says the confirmed case involves an adult male and resident of Clay County who traveled to Haiti.  He is no longer exhibiting symptoms and has made a full recovery, according to a news release.

dollar photo club

A hazardous chemical was spilled just upstream from the pubic water intake for Pine Grove, West Virginia.

Oil and gas company MarkWest owns the facility from which the chemical leaked. The company took water samples Saturday, but it’s not clear where those samples were taken from. Calls to the town of Pine Grove are directed to a MarkWest employee, who said state and local officials are working closely with the company to determine the best course of action.

Chuck Kleine / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A local-food nonprofit based in the Northern Panhandle is busy this week reclaiming abandoned property. 

“Once upon a time this was the Lincoln Home site,” said a founder of Grow Ohio Valley, Danny Swan. “There were three apartment buildings here with a parking lot. We’ve taken the parking lot and the three apartment buildings - which were torn down decades ago - and we’ve reclaimed those two terraces. Each are about 40 feet wide and about 200 or 300 feet long. And we plan to build greenhouses on them.”

Del. Don Perdue, Delegate Don Perdue
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Seven bills were up for passage in the House Wednesday, including one that would give pregnant women in the state priority for substance abuse treatment.

We all know West Virginia has a huge substance abuse problem; one of the worst in the nation. So lawmakers are considering measures to address it.

Lyme, tick, Lyme disease, IDSA, infectious disease, WVU
Dollar Photo Club

In June of 2007, Victoria Snyder, then age-nine, attended a week-long church camp. During the week she began to feel sick – muscle aches, lethargy, headaches. A doctor at the camp thought it might be the flu, but she didn’t get better. So after camp, her mother, Christine, took her to see a pediatrician.

“The pediatrician found a bullseye ring on her stomach,” said Christine. “I felt a lot of relief when they put her on antibiotics because with Lyme disease, we knew what we were dealing with.”

Black lung is a deadly disease caused by exposure to dust underground.
Department of Labor

The second phase of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administrations landmark rule that’s meant to prevent black lung disease, took effect this month. Among other requirements for companies, coal miners basically will be required to wear personal dust monitors.

If you want to improve your sense of well-being, leave the Lower 48.

A new report ranking all 50 states based on residents' sense of well-being puts Hawaii at No. 1, followed by Alaska, which held the top spot last year.

East Liverpool River-Rail Terminal Co. in Columbiana County, Ohio, across from Chester, West Virginia.
East Liverpool River-Rail Terminal Co. Facebook page

On Friday, Jan. 15, emergency officials confirmed a chemical leak into the Ohio River in the area of Chester, West Virginia and East Liverpool, Ohio. The leak came from East Liverpool River-Rail Terminal Co.

The Catholic Committee of Appalachia just published a pastoral letter. It’s the third of its kind. Forty years ago the first was written and acclaimed as “one of the most significant statements to emerge from the U.S. Catholic Church,” according to the West Virginia Encyclopedia.

Fracking, Fluid
Baker Hughes

  Fayette County Commission voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that bans dumping, storing, or injecting oil and gas waste anywhere in the county. It's the first ordinance of it's kind in West Virginia. The ordinance also allows citizens to enforce penalties in civil and criminal court.

Fayette County Courthouse
A.E. Crane, National Scenic Byways Online

Fayette County Commission will meet next week to consider banning the storage, disposal, or use of oil and natural gas waste. 

Community members will present a petition with 5,000 hand-written signatures that support what would be the first county-wide ban on oil and gas waste in West Virginia. It will be the second and final reading of the ordinance. If passed, violations will be punishable by civil and criminal penalties.

Morgantown Industrial Park
Northeast Natural Energy

A team of independent science advisers to the Environmental Protection Agency are criticizing a report that studied the effects of hydraulic fracturing practices on drinking water. The Science Board Advisers are seeking clarification.

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