Health

Meningitis
9:31 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Health Department Mobilizes After Suspected Meningitis-Related Death

Meningococcal vaccines protect against most types of meningococcal disease.
Credit WikiHow: Creative Commons.

A Chapel Hill teen died suddenly on Wednesday. The Orange County Health Department suspects it was caused by a bacteria called meningococcus. It can lead to meningitis and blood infections. Both bring body aches and a rash among other symptoms.

The Chapel Hill boy only noticed symptoms a day before, but health officials estimate he was exposed to the bacteria last week.

Zack Moore is a medical epidemiologist with the state Division of Public Health.

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ACA Numbers
6:29 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Affordable Care Act Enrollment Numbers Include People Who Never Paid

Credit NC Department of Health and Human Services

This week, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina announced that 6,400 people went all the way through the process of enrolling for a plan on the federal exchange, but never paid their first month's premium. Thus, they were never eligible to receive benefits. The federal government, however, has been including those people in its tally of newly enrolled individuals.

The Affordable Care Act requires that individuals pay their first month's premium before they can receive benefits.

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Health
8:59 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Rocky Mount Community Gathers To Brainstorm After Teen Shootings

Community members and leaders will gather in Rocky Mount today to discuss potential solutions to poverty and gang violence there.
Credit Rocky Mount Police http://www.rockymountnc.gov/police/gangawareness.html

Rocky Mount community members and leaders are gathering at Word Tabernacle Church tonight for a public forum. This comes just weeks after four boys were shot on the church basketball court, and another was killed in a drive-by shooting.

Word Tabernacle Church Pastor James Gailliard said the tragedies have been a catalyst for social dialogue. He said he sees people crossing the aisle politically and having constructive discussions about how to combat gang violence, poverty and joblessness in the community.

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Health
9:03 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Pretty In Pink: Rex Mobile Mammography Unit Hits The Road

Revlon is the biggest financial sponsor of the new Rex Healthcare Mobile Mammography Unit.
Credit Leoneda Inge

Rex Healthcare is back on the road with a brand new mobile mammography unit screening for breast cancer.

You can’t miss the shiny, pink and purple Mobile Mammography Unit.

“Yeah, we love it, she’s very pretty," said Wendy Avery, Mobile Mammography Coordinator.

The "pink" mammography unit is often called "she."  “She” welcomed about 25 women Thursday, parked outside Revlon’s manufacturing plant in Oxford.

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Health
8:36 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Counties Need Volunteers To Review Senior Care Centers

The Triangle's county citizens advisory committees need more volunteers to review long-term senior care facilities.
Credit Meena Kadri, Flickr, Creative Commons

Regulators who oversee quality at the state's long-term care facilities depend on trained volunteers to visit assisted-living and nursing homes and report back about conditions. But there are ongoing vacancies on the citizen advisory committees in the Triangle.

Dennis Streets is the director of the state health department division on Aging and Adult services. He said the job is more important than ever.

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Health
8:20 am
Mon February 3, 2014

NC Refused Medicaid Expansion. How Is The State Enrolling So Many People For Health Coverage?

NC is enrolling more people in private health care than any other state that refused to expand Medicaid. One analyst says the support network formed by Community Care of North Carolina has made all the difference.
Credit Community Care of North Carolina

North Carolina is enrolling more uninsured people than any other state that refused to set up its own health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

Health care policy director Adam Searing of the NC Justice Center says the state-run Medicaid system, Community Care, has made a big difference.

The state has encouraged social and health services to cooperate to provide Medicaid patients solid care up front, and now friends and family members who don't qualify for Medicaid have affordable options and guidance for enrolling in private healthcare.

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Fast Food Study
11:12 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Fast Food: A Symptom, Not The Cause Of Childhood Obesity

Credit jasonlam via Flickr, Creative Commons

It's easy to point the finger at fast food joints. A decade after the breakout documentary, Super Size Me, the cheap, un-nutritious, happy meal is a go-to candidate for public ire when it comes to childhood obesity.

But a new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina says that explanation might be too easy.

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The State of Things
11:41 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Ditching Tater Tots For Kale: The 'Cafeteria Man' Transforms School Menus

Tony Geraci
Credit Tony Geraci

    

Tony Geraci is best known as "Cafeteria Man." He is on a mission to transform menus at school cafeterias and give students healthier options. He launched a farm-to-school program in Contoocook N.H. Then he went on to make changes in larger school systems in Baltimore and Memphis.

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Ear Tubes
10:54 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Study: Children's Ear Tube Surgery Might Be Unnecessary In The Long-Term

A report shows that children with ear fluid pressure who undergo surgery to implant tubes fare just as well in the long run as those who don't.
Credit Seaman Erica Mater / U.S. Navy 040203-N-4182M-001

Researchers at the University of North Carolina and RTI International have found that children who have tubes implanted in their ears to remove fluid pressure fare just as well in the long run as kids who wait out the symptoms under a doctor's care.

The small tubes are surgically implanted in a child’s eardrums to relieve the condition, called otitis media with effusion. Nearly 670,000 kids undergo the procedure in America each year, making it one of the most common surgeries for children.

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Health
4:11 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

One Of North Carolina's Top Docs Busts 3 Myths About Healthcare

Bill Roper, UNC Health Care
Credit UNC

Americans pay more per capita for healthcare than anywhere in the world, but the outcomes are far from the best. And when it comes to improving the system, the only thing experts agree on is that its complicated. The Affordable Care Act is an attempt at comprehensive reform.

Bill Roper is head of the UNC Health Care system. He has spoken out in favor of Obamacare. He acknowledges there are downsides, but he says there is one undeniable benefit.:

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