health

Five Illinois residents have died so far this year after vaping. Two of those people have died within the last week, while public health investigators have struggled to find what’s behind the spike in illnesses.

This week, we hear about a community once known as a "sundown town" because African Americans were warned to be out of the city limits by nightfall.  It can be difficult for towns to shake that history.  We hear from a reporter who spent time in one to see if things have improved today. 

A northern Illinois man shares his story of getting to know German POW's who were kept in the state during World War II.  

And we learn about a camp for kids with type 1 diabetes.  That and more on this episode of Statewide.

This week, we hear how the legal system can have a disproportionate impact on low income individuals.  Fines and fees can pile up and experts say that can keep people in a cycle of poverty.  We'll learn what other states are doing to improve the situation.

East St. Louis has a rich cultural history, but even many of its residents are unaware.  A new effort is underway to show the town's contributions.

And speaking of history, Illinois has plenty to brag about when it comes to homegrown musical artists.  We'll learn about plans for the Rock and Roll Museum on Route 66.

That and more on this episode of Statewide.

Keeping Pets Safe During The Holidays

Dec 24, 2018
Claire Buchanan

Holiday celebrations can mean health and safety risks for pets. But there are a few things you can do to keep the festivities merry and avoid an unexpected vet visit.

Susan Cechner is a veterinarian at Elburn Animal Hospital in northern Illinois. She says the most common injuries she sees during the holidays happen when pets eat things they shouldn’t.

NIU Researchers Will Test Health App Effectiveness

Sep 27, 2017
Flickr user Leonardo Angelini / "#fitness" (CC V 2.0)

Northern Illinois University health and computer science researchers want to test how a fitness app they developed works.

Researchers say they hope to have 100 people participate in the test. The eight-week study looks at how fitness apps and health behavior may be connected.

Participants would download the app to their phones, use it when they work out, and see how effective it is. The features would be adjusted continually by researchers.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

There’s a significant increase in reported gonorrhea cases in Winnebago County, according to the county’s health department.

The number of reported gonorrhea cases in the first half of this year increased by 50 percent from the number of cases reported in the first half of 2015. Todd Kisner, who is with the Winnebago County Health Department, says that’s a difference of more than 100 cases.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Counties across northern Illinois are part of a state-wide test this week for distributing medical supplies in case of a public health emergency.

The mass dispensing plan required by the state will measure how quickly county public health systems can distribute medicine and medical supplies during a public health emergency. State health officials say it will simulate a bioterrorism attack, but similar tactics also can be applied for large-scale disease outbreaks.

WUIS

The rate of Illinois residents with health insurance continues to grow.

In 2013, nearly 18 percent of Illinois adults didn’t have insurance.

The next year, the Affordable Care Act took effect. The rate of uninsured dropped to 15 percent that year.

Last year, it continued to fall.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control puts the figure at more than 10 percent. That insurance comes from Obamacare for many Illinoisans.

Associated Press / NPR

Pope Francis says contraception might be acceptable for women threatened by the Zika virus. 

John Peller with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago says that’s given him hope that the exception might extend to other communicable diseases.

“We’re glad to see that the Pope is opening the door to condom use in a public health emergency and we think it’s really high time that the church recognized the role that condoms can have as a critical public health tool,” Peller said. 

Rauner Admin. Progress In Poison Hotline Cuts

Nov 19, 2015
Illinois Poison Center

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration is moving forward with cuts to a poison hotline.

The Illinois Poison Center is a non-profit that includes a hotline to field calls from doctors, hospitals, or just people who are worried about something their kid ingested.

Now, the Poison Center stands to lose 2 million dollars in state money.

Rauner’s administration announced in June it wanted to stop the flow of government money for the program, since there isn’t a state budget. This week, the administration got the go-ahead to make that cut.

WUIS

Illinois’s lack of budget is threatening rape crisis services, programs that help women get screened for cervical cancer and the public health network. Senators meeting at the capitol Wednesday heard details of these and other woes. 

There's been a mumps outbreak at the University of Illinois, and measles are back, too.

“The reemergence of STDs – HIV.  The globalization of travel certainly puts these once-thought eradicated diseases back on our doorstep," says administrator of McLean County’s health department Walter Howe. 

Cancer May Be Caused By Bad Luck

Jan 5, 2015
MostlyScience.com

Most cancers can be attributed to bad luck rather than risk factors, like smoking. 

That’s according to a study in the journal Science.

Results show two thirds of the cancer types analyzed were caused by chance mutations. However, some of the most common and deadly cancers are still influenced by lifestyle.

Personality And Health May Be Connected

Dec 30, 2014

Your personality could influence your health.

That's according to a study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. Research shows extroverts tend to have stronger immune systems than introverts.

Experts say personality testing could help doctors design special treatments in the future.

Flickr user Tim Sackton / "Thanksgiving Turkey [327/366]" (CC v. 2.0)

Eating turkey leftovers may better your long-term health. That’s according to Medical News Today

Turkey helps keep insulin levels stable after meals. It also contains selenium--studies suggest the mineral may decrease the risk of prostate, lung, skin and other cancers.

A drug that makes most cancers more vulnerable to the body's immune system may mark a new era in treatment. That’s according to a study published in the journal Nature.

The medicine strips cancer cells of the "camouflage" they use to evade attack by the immune system.

In the study, some patients totally recovered from terminal bladder cancer.

Flickr user Tim Sackton / "Thanksgiving Turkey [327/366]" (CC v. 2.0)

Families planning a turkey dinner tomorrow should think about food safety. The Illinois health department says it's important to give a frozen turkey enough time to thaw thoroughly before cooking.

Thawing in the refrigerator takes about 24 hours for every four to five pounds and thawing in cold water takes about 30 minutes per pound.

That means a 20- to 24-pound turkey can take five or six days to thaw in the refrigerator. It takes 10 to 12 hours to thaw in cold water.

Working Non-Traditional Shifts Dulls Your Brain

Nov 4, 2014
Flickr user / Matt Seppings "Sunday night in the office..." (CC BY 2.0)

Working non-traditional hours can prematurely age the brain and dull intellectual ability. That's according to a study in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Scientists say a decade of shifts aged workers' brains by more than six years and took five years to reverse its effects. Disrupting body clocks come with other risks to shift workers, including breast cancer and obesity.

Flickr user liz west / "milk" (CC v. 2.0)

Milk may not be as effective as experts thought in preventing bone fracture and maintaining bone health.

That's according to a recent study in the British Medical Journal.

Researchers found that sugars in milk may lead to increased mortality in men and women.

However, the authors say the study is observational and not meant to draw causal conclusions.

Cold Sore Virus Linked To Higher Alzheimer's Risk

Oct 24, 2014
Flickr user Monique Wingard / "Cleveland Walk to End Alzheimer's" (CC v 2.0)

The virus that causes cold sores may be linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.

That's according to two studies in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia. Researchers found being a carrier for cold sores, or herpes simplex virus, almost doubled a person's risk in developing Alzheimer's.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Four counties in northern Illinois are ranked among the healthiest 20 of the state's 102 counties.

That's according to a survey conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It allows you to measure health outcomes and factors in every U.S. county. It also lets you compare data from one county to another.

For example, if you wanted to know the number of primary care physicians per resident, there's an answer. By the way, the ratio for DeKalb County is 1 doctor per 2,910 residents. For Winnebago County it's 1 per 1,367 residents.

Area counties top annual Health Rankings list

Apr 3, 2012

Northern Illinois county Health Outcomes rankings ranged from 1 to 73 out of 102 counties in the state in the Third Annual County Health Rankings released Tuesday.

New evidence suggests environmental factors in the womb could lead to  increased body weight in later years. The research appears  in the journal Plos One.  Scientists found changes around the DNA at birth which may result from a mother's diet or exposure to pollution or stress. These changes were linked to a higher Body Mass Index in children around the age of nine.

Full Story from BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17234033