Health & Science

Huntington Ohio River
Youngamerican / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia American Water says it has initiated a contingency plan for a temporary backup water supply to its Huntington water treatment plant in response to increasing algae blooms on the Ohio River.

The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission notified the utility last week that algae blooms had been detected on the river upstream of Huntington.

Cabell Huntington Health Department
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

The Cabell-Huntington Health Department is set to make history in the state of West Virginia Wednesday, with the first needle exchange program. 

“The Teflon Toxin” is the title of a series of three investigative reports that surfaced this month. The series examines the 70-year history of DuPont and the no-stick chemical called C8 used to coat Teflon pans and other products.

A decade ago it came to light that DuPont contaminated water sources in West Virginia and Ohio with the chemical, and soon after that the chemical is toxic. The use of the C8 was phased out of production this year at DuPont’s Washington Works plant just outside Parkersburg. But this September, the first of about 3,500 personal injury claims is coming to trial.

That’s one reason the investigative series was just published.

wikimedia commons

The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department and the city of Wheeling are asking residents to use caution after blue-green algae was found in water samples taken from the Ohio River.

 

According to a health department news release, water testing on Wednesday, Aug. 19, at the Pike Island Lock and Dam on the Ohio River showed elevated levels of blue-green algae. The algae, at high concentrations, can cause health problems such as skin irritation, eye irritation or intestinal illnesses.

Bill Hughes

The federal Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new rule this week that would regulate methane gas pollution in the oil and gas industry. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and the Obama administration wants to see emissions cut in half over the next decade.


Marshall University Joan. C. Edwards School of Medicine

The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine has expanded its neuroscience program.

The university is creating separate departments of neurosurgery and neurology.

Joseph I. Shapiro, dean of the school of medicine, says Anthony Alberico will become chairman of the department of neurosurgery.

U.S. Attorney's Office

An Eastern Panhandle company has been fined $10,000 for distributing medical products without federal approval.

Rebuilder Medical Technologies, Inc. also must spend a year on probation. The Jefferson County company was sentenced on Monday in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg.

Rebuilder Medical Technologies had pleaded guilty in May to one count of introducing an unapproved drug into interstate commerce.

Steve Shaluta / West Virginia Division of Tourism

Charleston, West Virginia, is a good place for health care and home affordability.  The capital city was ranked in the top 20 by a national financial information company.

Prosecutors say in court documents that evidence about the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster is a necessary part of the government's criminal case against former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

Sketch artist Jesse Corlis

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship wants a judge to let him take a business trip to North Carolina.

National Governors Association

According to a report by the nonprofit groups Trust for American's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, West Virginia has the highest rate of overdose deaths in the country, about 34 for every 100,000 people. The state is working to find ways to reduce those rates, but is not alone in its work. States across the country are grappling with the same problems. 

Oklahoma saw a record number of overdose deaths in 2014, reaching 864 that year. Neighboring Kentucky reported nearly 1,000 in the same year, more than half of which were due to prescription narcotics and heroin.

WCHS-TV

Two Huntington children have been injured after a homemade explosive was thrown into their living room.

Christy Cabell tells WCHS-TV that her children were taken to the hospital after a crudely constructed bomb made from a liquor bottle stuffed with fireworks was thrown through their home's window Tuesday night.

Cabell's 13-year-old son needed 13 stitches in his chest. The 2-year-old girl has several cuts on her face.

Sponge / wikimedia Commons

Another prescription drug collection effort will be held in September.

U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and other Senate colleagues had asked U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to reinstate the national initiative after it was discontinued by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

linkedin.com

Bridgeport's City Council is seeking a federal narcotics investigation unit for the Northern District of West Virginia.

The Exponent Telegram reports that the council unanimously approved a resolution this week asking the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to assign a tactical diversion squad to the region.

Councilman and former DEA agent Lowell J. Maxey says the unit would focus on prescription drugs. That would give the Greater Harrison County Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force more time to investigate other drugs, such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

Health officials are investigating a spike in syphilis cases in West Virginia.

Data posted on the Department of Health and Human Resources' website show the number of early syphilis cases jumped from 10 in 2010 to 62 in 2014. Early syphilis includes primary, secondary and early latent stages of infection.

Dr. Loretta Haddy with the state Office of Epidemiology and Prevention Services says 39 cases have been diagnosed so far this year.

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

Four workers have been injured after a jackhammer hit an underground power line at a plant in Fayette County.

A Fayette County emergency dispatcher says the workers suffered flash burns and were taken to area hospitals for treatment. Their conditions weren't known.

The dispatcher, who declined to be identified, says the contact with the power line also caused a transformer to blow.

Jodyperry / wikimedia Commons

Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College are banning tobacco use on their shared campus.

Both schools' governing boards have approved adoption of a tobacco-free, smoke-free and vapor-free campus. The Times West Virginian reports that the new policy is effective Aug. 1.

Pierpont Board of Governors chairman James Griffin says the board wanted to create a healthier environment for students.

Jessica Lilly

A much anticipated alternative for addiction recovery is now a reality in southern West Virginia. The Four Seasons Recovery Center in Mercer County is part of the West Virginia Justice Reinvestment Act. 

WV FOODLINK

Researchers at West Virginia University are working to holistically understand "food insecurity" throughout West Virginia with a program they call WV FOODLINK.

Jessica Lilly

Food deserts are a growing problem in West Virginia and across the country. The USDA defines a food desert as a part of the country where people don’t have access to fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods. Parts of more than 40 counties in West Virginia endure some sort of limited food access and the number is growing as more and more grocery stores close their doors. But when the grocery store in one Greenbrier County town closed, the community worked to find local resources with hopes of becoming self-sufficient.


Pages