Public Health

CAROLYN KASTER / AP

A bill introduced by an Allegheny County state representative this week would prohibit smoking in all workplaces in Pennsylvania. The legislation, from Rep. Dan Frankel, would include all bars, casinos and private clubs, which are currently allowed to apply for an exemption from the state Clean Indoor Act.

JAKE SAVITZ / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh-based PPG says it has made good on its 2016 pledge to eliminate lead from all products by 2020.

Facebook Page of Endless Mountains Health Systems

A new fiscal model aimed at keeping rural hospitals solvent is expanding in Pennsylvania, though this global budgeting strategy doesn’t always prevent facilities from operating at a loss.

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA News

Air quality activists protested at the City County Building in downtown Pittsburgh, before Friday’s Allegheny County Board of Health meeting, to voice dissatisfaction with the county’s efforts to improve air quality.

ROBERT PFEIL / AP

Western Pennsylvania is seeing more flu cases than what’s usually seen at this point during the season, according to state Department of Health data.

So far, Allegheny County is reporting that 1,223 people have gotten the flu. In comparison, only 137 people in the more populous Philidelphia County have reported coming down with the virus.

ALEX BRANDON / AP

Health and environmental scientists who specialize in the potential impacts of oil and gas production will discuss their work on Tuesday at the annual Shale & Public Health conference, hosted by the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania. 

JASON REDMAN / AP

Information is power, and Allegheny County has a new tool to track public health trends as they're happening.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

A second man has been indicted in relation to the rash of drug overdoses that occurred earlier this week in the Pittsburgh area.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Summer is winding down, which means pumpkin spice lattes are popping up in coffee shops and Halloween decorations are appearing on store shelves.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

The rate of fatalities caused by the opioid epidemic has begun to wane, according to both national and local data.

TOBY TALBOT / AP

Telemedicine has the potential to connect people in rural communities to health care providers who might otherwise take hours to reach by car. But a new University of Pittsburgh study finds that many of these places lack the infrastructure to actually make telemedicine possible.

Sarah Boden / WESA News

The Allegheny County Health Department administered 44 doses of the measles vaccine at a free clinic held Wednesday at the Homewood-Brushton YMCA. 

On Monday a man went to the UPMC Shadyside emergency room where he was diagnosed with measles.

This disease is highly contagious and can be airborne for up to two hours after an ill person leaves an area, which is why doctors say people who think they might have measles should not go the ER or physician’s office. Instead, call your primary care doctor who will advise you of next steps.

Toby Talbot / AP

Last week, a rabid raccoon was found in Frick Park, making it the sixth animal to test positive for the disease in Allegheny County this year.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warned in 2016 that people became sick from fentanyl through skin contact or inhalation, but the American College of Medical Toxicology and the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology released a joint statement in 2017 that said the chances of becoming ill this way are “extremely low." 

Nati Harnik / AP

A new study from University of Pittsburgh researchers looks at how different behaviors affect weight gain after gastric bypass surgery.

John Amis / AP

New analysis from the University of Pittsburgh finds patterns among the social media activity of people holding anti-vaccination beliefs. 

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

University of Pittsburgh researchers have found that previous exposure to Dengue Fever lowers the risk of infection from the Zika virus, which may have implications for maternal health.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The Breathe Project is holding a meeting Thursday night to discuss how the rerouting of rail traffic might impact air quality north of the Monogahela River.

GoogleMaps

The public health community has long called for a needle exchange in south Pittsburgh, as fatal overdose data indicates high opioid use in this area. On Tuesday, a proposed site for distributing sterile syringes to injection drug users passed its final hurdle. 

Alex Proimos / Flickr

A report released Thursday by the RAND Corporation recommends that the federal government greenlight clinical trials on the effectiveness of medical-grade heroin for treating people with opioid addictions.

Elise Amendola / AP

Public health workers at Thursday’s Drug User Health conference at Allegheny General Hospital advocated for several controversial strategies for helping people with opioid and other substance use disorders.

Damian Dovarganes / AP

The percentage of school students in Allegheny County who have received all their required vaccinations has dropped by about a percent since 2010.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

There have been six cases of West Nile Virus in Allegheny County so far this year, the highest in more than a decade.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

The state of Pennsylvania is asking coders and designers to look at its data on the opioid crisis as part of a month-long hackathon to find new strategies to fight the epidemic.

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A litany of health issues is arising as weather and temperatures become more severe, said emergency nursing experts at the national Emergency Nurses Association conference in Pittsburgh last week.

High on this list are illnesses related to poor air quality.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

A clean needle exchange that provides free syringes to drug users could soon open in the Carrick neighborhood, making it the first needle exchange in the southern part of the city.

DIANE CORDELL / Flickr

UPMC patients can get their flu vaccines starting this week, but unlike previous years, these immunizations were not manufactured with chicken eggs.

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