• Suits filed against scope maker in superbug infection

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two lawsuits target the maker of a medical scope linked to the outbreak of a superbug at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Attorney Pete Kaufman filed suit Monday on behalf of 18-year-old Aaron Young, who remains hospitalized after becoming infected, the Los Angeles Times reported (http://lat.ms/1zhO4bb). The Los Angeles County Superior Court lawsuit claims negligence and fraud by Olympus Corp. of the Americas, which makes the difficult-to-clean duodenoscope involved in the outbreak of the deadly and antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as CRE. On Wednesday, Kaufman filed a second suit on behalf of the family of Antonia Torres Cerda. The 48-year-old Corcoran woman died in November after allegedly be

  • Nebraska senators kill bill to expand family planning

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A bill that would allow more women to qualify for Medicaid family planning services has stalled in the Nebraska Legislature. Supporters fell two votes short Thursday of the 25 needed to advance it, while 21 lawmakers opposed it. Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha says his measure would have prevented unwanted pregnancies, saving the state millions each year and significantly reducing the number of abortions in Nebraska. It also would have funneled some of those savings to the Every Woman Matters program, which funds cancer screenings and mammograms for women ages 40 to 64. Opponents argued the bill's savings were only hypothetical, and described it as a partial Medicaid expansion.

  • Macon County confirms 2 cases of tuberculosis

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Two people are being treated for tuberculosis in Macon County. The county health department confirmed the tuberculosis cases Wednesday. The department said in a news release that it's making sure contacts of the two people get follow-up medical treatment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says tuberculosis bacteria are spread through the air by coughing, sneezing, speaking or singing. People with the disease are most likely to spread it to others they have prolonged contact with. The CDC says the disease can be fatal if not properly treated, but not everyone infected gets sick. Symptoms of tuberculosis include a bad cough for three weeks or longer, chest pain, weakness or fatigue, and

  • Lake County health officials issue measles alert

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — Health officials in Lake County say people who visited a particular home-improvement store on Feb. 15 may have been exposed to the measles virus. The Lake County Health Department said Thursday that people who visited or worked at the Menards store on Lake Cook Road in Long Grove on Feb. 15 may have been exposed to measles. A person with measles at the store on that date could have been contagious. People who've been vaccinated are not at risk. Free vaccination clinics will be offered for customers and employees of the store who feel they may have been exposed. Dates and times for those clinics are being determined. There are now 15 confirmed cases of measles in Illinois, all in Cook County.

  • Supreme Court: Smoking shelters violate clean indoor air act

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court has overturned a lower court ruling that had allowed Great Falls casino owners to circumvent the Clean Indoor Air Act by building a separate shack with permanent vents for its smoking customers. Tuesday's ruling came in the Cascade City-County Board of Health's appeal of District Judge Greg Pinski's decision. In November 2013, Pinski found the wording of several laws, coupled with the health board's acknowledgement that the shelters were "partially open to the outside air," negated the board's argument that the shelters were "places of work" where smoking is disallowed under the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act.

  • If Supreme Court says no, they'd lose health insurance help

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — Millions of Americans have a big personal stake in next Wednesday's Supreme Court challenge to the nation's health care law: Can they legally continue to get subsidies to help pay for their insurance? If the court says no, people across more than 30 states could lose federal subsidies for their premiums. The legal arguments the justices will hear are complex. Opponents who brought the lawsuit argue the law's literal wording only allows the government to pay subsidies in states that have set up their own insurance markets, or exchanges. Most states have not. Supporters of the law say such a narrow reading misses its basic intent: to increase Americans' access to health insurance nationwide.

  • Indian Country looks to marijuana as new moneymaker

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    WASHINGTON — After making hundreds of billions of dollars running casinos, American Indian tribes are getting a good whiff of another potential moneymaker: marijuana. The first Tribal Marijuana Conference is set for Friday on the Tulalip Indian Reservation in Washington state as Indian Country gets ready to capitalize on the nation’s expanding pot industry. Organizers said representatives from more than 50 tribes in at least 20 states have registered, with total attendance expected to surpass 300. The gathering comes after the Obama administration announced late last year that it would not interfere with any federally recognized tribes that want to grow and sell pot on reservation lands — if they do a good job pol

  • Study: parasite infecting Florida snails poses health danger

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A rare parasite found in snails and rats that can cause serious health problems in humans and animals is more pervasive in South Florida than previously thought, a new study has found. University of Florida scientists say the nightmarishly named "rat lungworm" has been found in multiple species of snails in the Miami area, including the invasive giant African snail. The scientists, who published their results in the "Journal of Parasitology," made the discovery while investigating the death of an orangutan that died after eating snails and falling ill. It was the second primate to die from ingesting infected snails in Florida since 2004.

  • Debate on cold medicine prescriptions lingers in Legislature

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A proposal that would require drug offenders to get prescriptions before buying common cold medicines with pseudoephedrine will advance to the Indiana House for consideration. Senate members voted 46-3 Tuesday in favor of the measure, which aims to reduce the high number of meth-related incidents in Indiana, but lawmakers question whether more drastic action is necessary. Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in the meth-making process. Last-minute changes on the Senate floor took out a provision that would have made pseudoephedrine a prescription-only drug for everyone if the number of meth-related incidents didn't significantly decrease by 2019.

  • State to make decision about mental health care funding by Friday

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    CARLSBAD >> Carlsbad should find out Friday morning whether funding for Southeastern New Mexico's only residential substance abuse facility will stay in town. Wayne Lindstrom, head of the New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative, is expected to meet with the Mayor's Mental Health Task Force at a public meeting Friday. There he will announce who will receive the funding being used to run the drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, Villa de Esperanza, Jeff Diamond, chairman of the Mayor's Mental Health Task Force, said at Tuesday's City Council meeting. A decision was supposed to have been made by this week, but the state put off making a decision until either tonight or Friday morning, Diamond said.

  • Oklahoma House approves ban on certain kinds of abortions

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House has passed a bill that would prohibit abortions in which doctors use clamps, forceps or similar instruments to dismember a fetus in the womb. House members voted 84-2 on Thursday. The bill, being pushed in several states by a national anti-abortion group, now goes to the Senate. Republican Rep. Pam Peterson of Tulsa sponsored the bill that would outlaw procedures in which doctors use medical devices to dismember a fetus in the womb to complete an abortion. The bill would permit exceptions only in cases where the procedure, known as dilation and evacuation, would prevent a serious health risk to the mother. Doctors in violation would face up to two years in prison and a $10,000 f

  • Scott Walker's cynical comments

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    WASHINGTON -- When Scott Walker pronounced himself agnostic about President Obama's patriotism and Christian faith, it must have seemed like a clever formulation. "I've never asked him, so I don't know," he said. And about Obama's Christianity: "I've never asked him that." Walker quickly found his pitch unequal to the presidential big leagues. His argument can't be generalized into a rule. I have never met Billy Graham, for example, but I'm pretty sure what he believes. As political attacks go, this one is particularly heavy-handed -- the equivalent of saying: As far as I know, my opponent is not a swindler and a degenerate. A politician who tried this form of passive aggression before also got criticized for it.

  • Annual report: More errors, fewer deaths in Minn. hospitals

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An annual report on patient safety shows more errors but fewer deaths in Minnesota hospitals in the past year. The Department of Health found 277 so-called "adverse events" in categories that have long been tracked, such as wrong-site surgery or foreign objects left in a patient. That was up slightly from 258 a year earlier. Deaths fell from 15 a year earlier to eight in the categories that had previously been measured. The report added four new categories, including death or injury during a low-risk pregnancy and simple failure to communicate test results properly. Those new categories pushed adverse events to 308 and deaths to 13. Four of those deaths were of infants during labor and deliver

  • Arkansas medical research center awarded $3.75 million grant

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Prevention Research Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is being awarded a $3.75 million grant to continue its work. The grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allows the research center to continue for five more years as it helps address chronic disease in Arkansas. The CDC previously awarded a $1.7 million grant in 2009 to establish the center. The latest grant is to be used to help implement and evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a program to identify people with uncontrolled high blood pressure and to help them follow medical recommendations to lower their blood pressure.

  • Panel: Base quarantines, other outbreak decisions on science

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Attempts to quarantine health workers returning from Ebola-stricken West Africa were a mistake, the president's bioethics advisers said Thursday. The U.S. has a moral responsibility, as well as a self-interest, in helping to fight public health emergencies around the globe, said the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. The panel examined the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak that devastated Liberia, Sierra Leona and Guinea over the past year. It concluded that the nation must improve its health infrastructure and emergency response to be ready to respond quickly to next major disease outbreak, and it urged that ethics expertise be part of that planning.

  • Former NDSU fullback died of accidental drug poisoning

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The state medical examiner has concluded that former North Dakota State University football player Tyler Jangula died from accidental drug poisoning. The autopsy report on Jangula says he "ingested lethal quantity and combination of prescription-type drugs." His death has officially been ruled accidental. Jangula died Feb. 1 in his Williston home, after undergoing a surgery on his Achilles tendon just a few days earlier. He was 28. Jangula was a standout athlete in multiple sports at Williston High School and a fullback for the Bison from 2005 to 2008.

  • Oklahoma health officials say 6 more flu deaths in state

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma health officials say six more deaths due to influenza have been reported to bring the record number of deaths in the state to 90. The previous record of 72 flu deaths — set during the 2013-2014 flu season — was broken earlier this month. Statistics released by the Oklahoma Department of Health Thursday also indicate that about 2,000 people have been hospitalized due to the flu since the season began Sept. 28. Of this season's flu deaths, 69 were 65 or older and 12 were in the 50-64 age group. Three victims were aged 18-49, four were 5-17 and two victims were 4 or younger. Tulsa County has recorded the most deaths with 20, followed by Oklahoma County with 11 and five each in Garf

  • Va. governor OKs marijuana oils for treating epilepsy

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed into law a measure that allows the use of derivatives of the marijuana plant for treating severe epilepsy. The governor signed the bill Thursday at a Capitol ceremony featuring families with epileptic children who have suffered debilitating side effects from taking legal drugs. It's the first effective medical marijuana legislation to win approval in Virginia, according to its House sponsor, Del. Dave Albo. The governor and other elected officials praised the families for being effective advocates for the new law. The law allows possession of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil with written certification by a doctor that it is needed for treatment of intractable e

  • Correction: Mental Health-Housing story

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — In a story Feb. 25 about funding for mental health programs, The Associated Press reported erroneously the amount New York allocated last year to train police in handling confrontations with people in mental health crises. It was $400,000, not $400 million. A corrected version of the story is below: New York mental health advocates say more housing is needed New York mental health advocates say funding is needed for housing with staff support By MICHAEL VIRTANEN Associated Press ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Several hundred advocates for better mental health treatment for New Yorkers rallied Wednesday at the state Capitol for more housing with staff support.

  • NYC mayor defends deal oral suction circumcision ritual


    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio is defending New York City's tentative agreement with members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community over a tradition known as oral suction circumcision. Health officials have linked 17 cases of infant herpes since 2000 to the ancient ritual of sucking blood from the wounds on the infants' penises. The new deal no longer requires the circumcisers to obtain signed consent forms before the rites. The circumcisers are called mohels in Yiddish. Some health experts have said the city needs to establish more safeguards. De Blasio said Wednesday the old policy of obtaining signed consent forms was "unenforceable" and offended some community members.