skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, March 4, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Democracy Trailblazers ignite enthusiasm among teen voters; CA monster blizzard batters Tahoe, Mammoth, Sierra amid avalanche warnings; MN transportation sector could be next in line for carbon-free standard; IN teachers 'stunned' by lawmakers' bid to bypass collective bargaining.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Nikki Haley says she may not endorse the GOP nominee, President Biden says the U-S will continue air-dropping aid into Gaza and more states look at ditching the electoral college for a national popular vote.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Virginia Faces Meningococcal Disease Outbreak

play audio
Play

Tuesday, September 5, 2023   

The Virginia Department of Health has reported a statewide outbreak of meningococcal disease.

It initially began as a regional outbreak in the eastern part of the state one year ago in September, and health department experts don't know what's led to this increase in cases over the last year.

However, they've found - through genetic sequencing - that these cases are highly genetically related.

Most patients are African American adults between ages 30 and 60.

Dr. Laurie Forlano, state epidemiologist with Virginia Department of Health, described healthy habits to stay safe.

"General health protection practices are advised," said Forlano, "like washing your hands, staying home when you're sick, not sharing things - like lipstick or cups, or drinking glasses, toothbrushes, etc. And that can keep you healthy from a lot of things that can be transmitted person to person."

Meningococcal disease symptoms include fever, chills, headache, stiff neck, nausea and possibly a rash. Rarely it can develop into a more serious illness like meningitis or septicemia.

People can be treated with antibiotics, though some are being asked to get vaccinated if they haven't been recently.

More information is on the Virginia Department of Health website, 'vdh.virginia.gov.'

Some of the groups at greater risk of catching this include people who are immunocompromised, or who don't have a spleen.

Dr. Forlano noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has helped prepare the health department for this kind of outbreak.

"COVID-19, unfortunately, gave us lots of opportunities to practice our skills in disease surveillance and disease investigation," said Forlano. "We have a lot of really talented epidemiologists on our team."

While the pandemic helped exercise these skills, she said the components to handle it successfully were already in place.

Local health departments in the state respond to every meningococcal infection. When these reports are received, they confirm each diagnosis with the person's healthcare provider.




get more stories like this via email

more stories
Democracy Trailblazers works to engage, empower and inspire high school students through awareness, education and activation year-round. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Most teenagers eagerly anticipate turning 16 to start driving and 21 for other milestones, but the significance of obtaining the right to vote at 18 …


Social Issues

play sound

New York state lawmakers have appointed members to the Community Commission on Reparations Remedies, created through legislation Gov. Kathy Hochul …

Social Issues

play sound

A new report argued many charitable foundations need to examine the origin of their wealth and repair harms done. The National Committee for …


Massachusetts has been losing roughly 5,000 acres of forest each year to housing and industrial development as well as large-scale solar power installations, according to Mass Audubon. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A proposed urban reforestation program in Massachusetts aims to help cities mitigate the effects of climate change. Legislation would create a state …

Social Issues

play sound

A Wyoming nonprofit is helping single mothers climb out of poverty by connecting them with the training and support they need to step into and succeed…

Social Issues

play sound

Even though March is barely underway, parents of Wisconsin kids are being encouraged to plan for summer reading activities - especially if their …

Social Issues

play sound

A law aimed at immigrants crossing the border in Texas will not take effect tomorrow, after a federal judge halted enforcement until a court battle …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021