Illinois Department of Public Health

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Medical marijuana use is up more than 80% in Illinois, with PTSD as the most common condition treated, according to a report by the state Department of Public Health.

More than 46,000 people have used medical marijuana in Illinois this year, The Chicago Tribune reported. Almost 75% of patients are older than 40.

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The Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed the first West Nile virus death in the state this year. A LaSalle County resident has died after becoming ill earlier this month.

Melaney Arnold is a spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Public Health. She says many infected with the virus will not have symptoms, but everyone should take precautions against mosquito bites.

IDPH

The Winnebago County Health Department is warning people to avoid all synthetic cannabinoids. It has identified four cases of severe bleeding connected to their use in the county. Many more have been reported across the state.

The Health Department said there are many different chemicals, including one used in rat poison, in the various synthetics available. The department’s Director of Health Protection, Todd Kisner, said the effects can be unpredictable and dangerous, and people shouldn’t wait to act.

OFFICE OF ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL

The Illinois Attorney General's Office is working with state lawmakers to draft legislation that would require hospitals to have a specially trained medical provider available to examine a sexual assault victim.

Of the more than 196,000 registered nurses in Illinois, only 32 are certified by the International Association of Forensic Nurses to work with adult sexual assault patients, the Chicago Tribune reported. A dozen of the sexual assault nurse examiners are certified to treat children.

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A year ago, lawmakers decided to change school health examination requirements. They added screenings for social and emotional development, but the details are still being worked out.

The law leaves it up to the Illinois Department of Public Health to put together the rules regarding these screenings. As the law reads right now, it’s vague. How they’ll be done, who receives them, and the tools needed to do so isn’t spelled out. That’s what the stakeholders are trying to figure out.

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Health officials across the country report flu cases are starting to match numbers seen from the H1N1 outbreak nearly a decade ago.

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After reporting by the Chicago Tribune uncovered public health officials were failing to test babies for a devastating neurological disease, the Illinois Department of Public Health says the tests will begin today.

Krabbe disease is an inherited disorder that causes neurological deterioration; basically, the body shuts down and children don’t typically live past 10 years of age if it’s not caught in time.

Dr. Doug Carlson, chief of pediatrics at SIU School of Medicine, says there is effective screening and treatment but it’s not always 100%.

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Communities across Illinois lacking access to fresh food will soon be tracked. This initiative, which goes into effect mid-2018, will attempt to solve more than one issue in these affected areas. 

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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.

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At least sixteen of Illinois' 97 public health departments have laid off employees or cut back service hours. More are expected unless the state comes through with funding.

It comes as flu season approaches, after regional outbreaks of Legionnaire's Disease and the mumps, and after the state announced that it will no longer pay for testing STD specimens. This means the local departments have to take on an additional cost.

President of the Illinois Association of Public Health Administrators, Miriam Link-Mullison, says the fiscal situation is increasingly desperate.

Illinois Calls For More HIV Awareness For Women

Mar 11, 2013

The Illinois Department of Public Health says when it comes to HIV awareness, sexually-active women and young girls are often overlooked. The Department is putting a renewed emphasis on teaching women to protect themselves and how to get tested.

Thursday may be Thanksgiving, but it's also National Family History Day. State officials say families should take advantage of holiday get-togethers to learn more about their family members' health history.