public health | New Hampshire Public Radio

public health

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Many school districts in New Hampshire are open, at least for now, with a hybrid or fully in-person model. But in Nashua, schools have remained mostly closed since March.

Jonathan W. Chipman / Dartmouth College

Researchers at Dartmouth College are studying ways that doctors can encourage more homeowners to test their private water wells for toxins such as arsenic.

New Hampshire has lots of natural arsenic in its groundwater, and is working toward halving its limit on arsenic in public water systems – joining New Jersey as the only states to differ from the default federal standard.

But as much as half of New Hampshire and the rest of Northern New England relies on unregulated private wells for drinking water. 

Se Necesitan Fondos Para La Fuerza Laboral Comunitaria De Salud

Aug 5, 2020

Escrito en inglés por Damien Fisher para Granite State News Collaborative

Traducido al español por María Aguirre

Si New Hampshire quiere ganar la guerra contra el COVID-19, va a necesitar de un ejército de trabajadores comunitarios de salud,  dice la doctora Trinidad  Tellez, directora de la oficina de equidad de la salud para el departamento de salud y servicios humanos. 

“No importa qué tipo de cultura, tener un miembro confiable de la comunidad es lo que brinda un trabajador comunitario de salud", dijo Tellez en inglés. 

CDC

State health officials said Sunday evening that a person in New Hampshire who recently traveled to Italy is being tested for coronavirus.

CDC

State health officials are monitoring two potential cases of coronavirus in New Hampshire.

The individuals developed respiratory symptoms after recent travel to Wuhan, China. They are in isolation and are undergoing testing, according to the state health department.

 

 


Note: This story has been updated.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban all flavored vaping products except for menthol in New Hampshire stores. 

The move follows work by a bipartisan group of lawmakers this year that raised the age for vaping and smoking to 19 and made it illegal to vape indoors.

Dr. Partha Sarathi Sahana/Flickr

Vaccination safeguards both personal and community health. But a recent outbreak of the measles in Washington state is revealing the necessity for high vaccination rates. Every state allows medical exemptions and many allow religious exemptions. But Washington state, along with about 20 other states, allows for a philosophical exemption for families who disagree with the mandate to vaccinate.

New Hampshire allows no such exemption — and the Granite State boasts one of the highest vaccination rates nationally. But the number of religious exemptions is on the rise. On the verge of a Hepatitis A outbreak in the state, we talk to medical providers about vaccines in early childhood and what risks unvaccinated youth pose to the greater community. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Federal researchers are getting ready to start a major health study of families who drank PFAS chemical-contaminated water at Pease International Tradeport.

The project will be a model for the Centers for Disease Control’s first-ever national health study on the effects of industrial PFAS chemicals.

But the study likely won’t include Portsmouth firefighters. Officials say the kind of exposure they and others like them have had to PFAS is too different from the study of PFAS in community drinking water.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

An effort to fund new public health positions like a state toxicologist and a water quality analyst went before a Senate committee Tuesday.

The idea for the positions comes from the recommendations of two legislative commissions. One was set up to investigate a pediatric cancer cluster on the Seacoast. The other investigated environmentally triggered diseases more broadly.

Sarah Gibson / New Hampshire Public Radio

New Hampshire continues to rank among the hardest-hit states in the opioid crisis. Gov. Chris Sununu and state health officials are now investing heavily in a new system they say will significantly improve care for those struggling with addiction. This so-called "hub and spoke" plan kicks off at the start of the new year. Now, with that launch date just weeks away, NHPR’s Britta Greene and Sarah Gibson having been reporting on how the effort is taking shape. 

Sununu Signs New Lead Exposure Protections Into Law

Feb 8, 2018
Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Governor Chris Sununu signed into law Thursday morning new protections against childhood lead exposure.

At a signing ceremony in Claremont, the Governor championed the public health impact of the new law.

"We will, without a doubt, prevent a lot of children from getting lead poisoning,” he said. “That's a really good thing"

The legislation mandates lead screenings for all one and two year olds. It also lowers the blood-lead level that triggers state intervention.

Public health officials are warning about an outbreak of syphilis in New Hampshire, with reported cases of the sexually transmitted disease nearly double that of previous years.

From January through May, there were 42 documented cases in the state, according to new figures released Thursday by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. In recent years, there has been an average of 20 cases during that same period.

New research from UNH shows close to half of New Hampshire residents think scientists alter their findings to get the answers they want. That’s raising concerns about whether the public will trust advice from public health experts.

The survey from the Carsey School of Public Policy asked New Hampshire residents about the threat posed by the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Matt Allworth via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/7ZZiPM

Doctors Without Borders provides emergency medical aid to people the world over, and is funded almost entirely by individuals. So, why did they turn down free pneumonia vaccines from Pfizer? On today’s show we’ll look into the hidden costs of free vaccines.

Plus, futuristic TV shows and movies make facial recognition technology seem like a sure bet, but a new report reveals problems with racial bias, and reliability. And like it or not, it's already being used today.

We’ll also check in with the latest installment of The Bookshelf with author Chelsey Philpot.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 The city of Manchester has won a $25,000 prize from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for cultivating what the foundation calls a “culture of health.” 

Manchester is one of seven communities to receive the prize, out of nearly 200 applicants. 

Emily Corwin

Democratic U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen called on Congress today to provide money for research on the Zika virus. She spoke to state and town officials in Salem, where mosquitos with both West Nile and EEE have been successfully controlled in years past.

Healthnewsnet / Flickr Creative Commons

In New Hampshire, there’s about a 5-year gap between the life expectancy for adult women at the top of the income bracket and those at the bottom. For men in the same age group, the gap’s more than nine years wide.

That's according to new data released by The Health Inequality Project, which takes a sweeping look at the relationship between income and mortality across the country.

Gloconda Beekman / Flickr/CC

After the Flint, Michigan water crisis, many around the country started taking a closer look their own water systems. And with a recent contamination scare in southern New Hampshire by the chemical PFOA  - the concerns have become local.  We'll look at the state's sources for drinking water, and the challenges to delivering it free from contaminants.

Todd Huffman / Flickr/CC

Designed to reduce the spread of disease by distributing clean needles to drug users, needle exchange programs can also provide outreach and referral for treatment.  Now, a bill in the legislature would allow these centers in New Hampshire. And while there's general support, concerns include whether to decriminalize trace amounts of heroin.

State Confirms Mumps Cases In Saint Anselm Students

Feb 28, 2016
CDC/ Dr. F. A. Murphy

  New Hampshire health officials have confirmed several cases of mumps at Saint Anselm College. 

Is Gun Violence a Public Health Issue?

Jun 29, 2015
Michael Saechang / Flickr / Creative Commons

After the latest mass shooting, both sides of the divisive gun debate are digging in and change appears unlikely. But there are some who frame gun violence in a third way -- as a public health issue. Still others see this as a thinly veiled approach to more gun control.

Mosquito Season Brings Concerns About EEE, West Nile

May 25, 2015
USDA

  New Hampshire health officials are preparing for mosquito season.

Mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis are far less common than tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease, and state testing won't get underway until mid-summer.

But Beth Daly, the state’s Chief of Infectious Disease Surveillance, says because both can be dangerous or even fatal in some cases, she's urging the public to take precautions, like wearing insect repellant and wearing long-sleeved clothing outdoors.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

 

New Hampshire's director of public health says he is resigning to allow for "new leadership" of the division.

Dr. Jose Montero announced in a statement Thursday that he will leave the post he's held for the past seven years on May 1. He has been with the state's Division of Health Services for 15 years.

He said in his written statement that it's time for new leadership to help the division achieve the goal of becoming an accredited agency.

Javier Romero Otero / Flickr/CC

Our Science Café tackles medical screening: while advances allow detection of diseases like prostate and breast cancer much earlier, some in the medical field worry about the potential for over-diagnosis and overtreatment.  But patients and doctors alike are dealing with risk and anxiety, and many feel that if widespread testing can save even one life, it’s worth it.

GUESTS:

Ebola Response In N.H.: Facts, Fears, And Policy

Nov 13, 2014
Army Medicine / Flickr/CC

Since a handful of Ebola cases have made their way to the U.S., officials have mobilized to deal with the threat, sometimes seeming to add to confusion around this illness. And while the risk of contracting Ebola in New Hampshire remains extremely low, the state has issued a set of guidelines, ranging from symptom monitoring, to, more controversially, quarantine. We’re sorting out the facts, fears, and policies.

GUESTS:

Centers for Disease Control

Officials are confirming the first two local cases of chikungunya, a painful but rarely fatal virus characterized by fever, headache, joint swelling and a rash.

The Department of Health and Human Services says two people from New Hampshire who recently traveled to the Caribbean became infected.

“While this is our first announcement of this virus, unfortunately it probably won’t be the last," says DHHS Public Health Director Dr. José Montero.  

E-Cigarettes And Smoking

Mar 18, 2014
DayTripper (Tom) / Flickr Creative Commons

There has been a significant increase in the popularity of this alternative to smoking, but health officials are still weighing the positive and negative health effects.  Some say “vaping” with e-cigarettes is much healthier than smoking, but others are worried that the addictive qualities of e-smoking are being downplayed or ignored.

GUESTS:

Public health officials have a problem. They want more parents to get their kids vaccinated, because there's been a resurgence of dangerous diseases as vaccination rates have dropped.

NH Public Healh And Disaster Preparedness Improving

Feb 2, 2014

A national report says New Hampshire has made progress toward building and strengthening its abilities to prepare for a public health emergency.    Being prepared to prevent, respond to, and recover from all types of public health threats, such as disease outbreaks, chemical  releases, or natural disasters, requires that public health departments improve and maintain their capabilities in surveillance and epidemiology, laboratories, and response readiness.

Marijuana Legalization: Is N.H. Next?

Jan 30, 2014
Vaporizers_ / Flickr Creative Commons

Those hoping for the legalization of marijuana in New Hampshire now say they have momentum on their side, coming from several different directions. First, after years of defeats, supporters saw their first real victory in the Granite State last year when medicinal pot was voted into law. Second, marijuana legalization has now passed in two states, Colorado and Washington. And third, a new legalization bill this year passed the house by a slim margin.

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