Health & Science

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.

West Virginia American Water
Foo Conner / Flickr

A new report released just days after the second anniversary of the Elk River Spill highlights shortcomings of the private water company that dealt with the spill. 300,000 people were told not to use their water for days following the accident.


401(K) 2012 / www.401kcalculator.org

An advocacy group says declines in uncompensated care have saved West Virginia hospitals millions of dollars.

State data compiled by West Virginians for Affordable Health Care show more than two dozen hospitals saved a total of more than $265 million from 2013 to 2014.

Dollar Photo Club

Seventy people in Cabell County died in 2015 of drug overdoses.

WSAZ-TV reports that the numbers were tallied by the city of Huntington's Office of Drug Control Policy. The office found that there were more than 900 drug overdoses last year in Huntington and Cabell County.

The number of reported drug overdoses in 2015 was greater than the total number of ODs from 2012 to 2014.

In recent years, West Virginia has ranked near the top or at the top among states in terms of overdose deaths in the U.S.

pills
Wikimedia Commons

A Northern Panhandle pain doctor is suing two state government agencies after he was stripped of his medical license and his clinic was closed.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Dr. Roland Chalifoux is suing the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health and a medical board. The suit states their actions forced him into debt and damaged his reputation.

The civil action filed in Marshall County Circuit Court seeks lost wages and damages.

BotMultichillT / wikimedia Commons

A Huntington church cancelled services following a fire that damaged the building.

Media outlets report that the fire broke out early Sunday morning at Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church.

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

The West Virginia Public Health Impact Task Force has approved the final version of a plan to redefine the mission of public health in the state and work more effectively with communities.

quickfacts.census.gov

The latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show West Virginia was one of seven states to lose population.

According to figures released Tuesday, West Virginia lost 4,623 residents between July 2014 and July 2015. The 0.25 percent dip was the highest in the nation.

http://history.wvu.edu/r/images/homepage/13223

West Virginia University's governing board has responded to a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a student who died following a hazing for a fraternity that had its charter revoked.

Coal Layoffs, unemployed
Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Alpha Natural Resources continues to scale back its coal-mining operations.

Workers were told Friday at mines in West Virginia and Virginia that they were being laid off. The total in both states is more than 160, with the majority occurring in West Virginia, according to media reports.

Axiall Corporation / axiall.com

Axiall Corp. says eight contract workers injured in a boiler accident at its Natrium plant in West Virginia have been released from the hospital.

The company says two other workers were expected to be released on Wednesday. Another worker remained hospitalized under observation.

Doctor Patient Health Care Coverage
Fæ / wikimedia commons

Federal officials are extending the amount of time West Virginians have to sign up for health insurance through the HealthCare.gov website. 

HealthCare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan made the announcement in a press release Wednesday.

Kara Lofton / WVPB

The most common way children are exposed to lead these days is from the lead-based paint almost universally found in homes built before 1980. (Lead-based paint was outlawed in the late ’70s.)

When the paint deteriorates and chips, it causes dust particles that can be inhaled or even eaten (think slobbery teething toy belonging to a 10-month-old on the floor next to an old baseboard covered in lead-based paint).

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