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Stateside 3.28.2017

Mar 28, 2017

Today on Stateside, a new study links childhood lead exposure to lower IQ in adults across socioeconomic status. And, the mystery of Michigan's most famous UFO sighting lives on.

New Zealand had some of the highest lead and gasoline levels anywhere in the world, which meant that the small town of about 150,000 people in the South Island that was studied, had higher than expected lead exposure levels.
Ronald Dueñas / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Switching Flint to water from the Flint River had devastating effects for residents, particularly its children. 

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha first sounded that alarm in the summer of 2015. Her tests proved that after Flint switched the source of its drinking water, blood lead levels in Flint kids skyrocketed.

And that was later confirmed by a CDC analysis. It found that children who drank Flint water had a 50% higher risk of dangerously elevated blood lead levels than before the switch.

That analysis couldn't say exactly how many kids were affected, or what their futures hold.

A study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association may hold some answers. Researchers from Duke University studied childhood lead exposure and adult outcomes.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Health officials are concerned about a growing outbreak of Hepatitis-A in southeast Michigan.

Hepatitis A is a viral disease that attacks the liver.     It’s not usually fatal.  But two of the 107 patients recorded in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties since last August have died. 

“We do think that there are various pockets of this Hepatitis A,” says Dr. Eden Wells, the chief medical executive with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, “We’re not sure what’s driving it, but it is contagious.”

pixanay

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, remains the law of the land for now.

Nick Savchenko / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A personal tragedy can open your eyes to things that had previously been out of sight and out of mind.

For Abby Dart, it was her husband’s suicide in 2004. That loss opened her eyes to the stigma we’ve built up around mental health problems. She believes that stigma killed her husband Steve.

Centers for Disease Control

A new University of Michigan study finds a large percentage of children with diabetes are not getting necessary vision exams.

Dr. Joshua Stein is with the Kellogg Eye Center at UM. He says the study found 65% of children with Type 1 Diabetes and only 42% of those with Type 2 Diabetes receive recommended eye exams during the next five or six years.

Stein says the finding is significant since vision damage is a serious complication of diabetes in people under 21.

State capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of nurses marched from the Lansing Center to the state Capitol Wednesday. They want to urge the legislature to introduce a Safe Patient Care Act.

Nurses from around the state chanted, “What do we want? Safe staffing! When do we want it? Now!” on the steps of the Capitol.

Sarah Hodges is in nursing school and works as a nursing assistant. She says nurses love their patients and want to be able to give them the care they need.

Stateside 3.20.2017

Mar 20, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear about a mother's fight to improve Michigan's low vaccination rates after losing her daughter to whooping cough. And, an author describes how she freed herself from an "OCD prison." She offers advice to others trying to do the same.

Veronica McNally's daughter Francesca was just 12 weeks old when started to show signs of whooping cough. Nine days later, she passed away.
Courtesy of Veronica McNally

Baby Francesca was just 12 weeks old when she came down with a cough. Nine days later, she died of pertussis, better known as whooping cough.

Flickr user/Benjamin Watson / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Some call it the Doubting Disease.

OCD—Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder—is when you've got recurring, uncontrollable thoughts and behaviors. 

A Health Blog / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Rick Snyder wants the $2.4 billion in mental health Medicaid money to be turned over to private insurance companies to manage.

He believes that Medicaid funds will be better spent and more people with behavioral issues and mental illnesses will be better served. Mental health would be integrated with physical health under the HMOs.

Many mental health advocates and patients don’t like the idea.

man cries at desk
User omargurnah / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Crying at work — we’ve all done it.

So, when something negative happens at work, like a bad performance review, what can you do to save face after shedding a few tears? 

Julia Lee, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan's Center for Positive Organizations and soon-to-be assistant professor at the Ross School of Business, researched crying at work in a new study.

cell block in a prison
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Expanding Medicaid was a key part of the Affordable Care Act. In our state, it's known as Healthy Michigan, and it has meant health care coverage for more than 600,000 people.

But if you wind up in the criminal justice system, even if its just pre-trial detention, Medicaid benefits turn off immediately.

Researchers at the University of Michigan say excluding inmates from Medicaid is driving up costs and hurting the health of inmates.

Hospital bed
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Governor Rick Snyder is one of the Republicans who is not on board with the GOP plan in Congress to overhaul the Affordable Care Act.

Michigan is one of the states that expanded its Medicaid program under the ACA.

Snyder is particularly concerned about how the congressional plan would affect Medicaid, especially the Healthy Michigan program that enrolled more than 650,000 people who wouldn’t have coverage otherwise.

Peeling lead paint.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder will create a commission this week that has the mission of tackling the problem of lead exposure. A top administration official says the governor will also ask the Legislature to pass a law to make the commission permanent until the problem is solved.

 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Nick Lyon, head of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, has written a letter to McLaren Hospital in Flint, demanding it provide more information on efforts to respond to hospital-acquired Legionnaires' disease, a severe form of pneumonia.

A major outbreak of Legionnaires' was linked to McLaren Hospital in 2014 and 2015, and two more hospital-acquired cases occurred at the hospital in late 2016.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers will soon discuss proposed solutions to Michigan’s opioid drug epidemic.

State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker’s bills would crack down on doctors or clinics that prescribe narcotics without a legitimate medical purpose, and pharmacies that dispense them.

“Opioid related overdoses are skyrocketing nationwide, and unfortunately, Michigan’s overdose death rate is one of the highest in the nation,” said Schuitmaker (R-Lawton) in a written statement.

doctor
Public Domain

President Trump’s immigration ban of seven countries with predominantly Muslim populations is causing consequences to healthcare.

An article for The Conversation outlines what’s at stake.

While the immigration ban is temporarily suspended by the courts, the authors of the article write that the travel ban has already had significant consequences.

People in Flint waiting in line for water filters.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

For more than a year, Flint residents have been told to use filters on their taps to screen lead from their drinking water. Filters on kitchen faucets are as much a part of everyday life in Flint as bottled water. Specialized filters were one of the first responses to Flint’s lead tainted tap water crisis.  

However, state officials and others are changing their message on filters.

Even just a few months ago, they were still strongly urging their use.

Now, it’s more of a mild suggestion.

Danielle Atkinson is the mother of five children. Three of them were born at home.
Josh Hakala / Michigan Radio

A new law recently signed by Governor Rick Snyder means home birth midwives in Michigan will need to be licensed.

What does this mean for women who want to give birth at home in Michigan?

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, COURTESY DR. FLANDERS

The warnings about "superbug infections" and over prescribing antibiotics have been getting stronger and louder in recent years. Yet, it's still happening and we are seeing people die from infections that are caused by these so-called superbugs.

The Centers for Disease Control, for example, is telling us that every year 75,000 Americans with hospital-aquired infections are dying while they're in the hospital.

McLaren Hospital in Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State health department officials are ordering McLaren Hospital in Flint to comply with new recommendations stemming from a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak. 

A majority of the people who got sick and died during the Legionnaires' outbreak from 2014 to 2015 were patients at McLaren.

As part of its order, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services cites a document from a contractor hired by McLaren to test the hospital’s internal water system.

Jon Olav Eikenes / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Trauma comes in many forms: from refugees who were forced to walk over dead bodies as a child on the way to school in a war-torn country, to survivors of sexual assault, to the spiritual trauma many feel living in a nation that is divided and bitter.

Dr. Farha Abbasi, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University, joined Stateside to talk about her definition of trauma, what can cause it and how to treat it.

Moon Man Mike / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

They’re called “transplant tourists.” In need of an organ transplant but lacking a donor, they travel to countries where human organs are available for purchase on the black market. The organs they buy are harvested from the poorest of the poor, those who are most desperate for money. Often, after the organs are taken, the promised payments are never made.

Monir Moniruzzaman is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Michigan State University. He's studied the sales of organs by people trapped in extreme poverty and was invited to the Vatican to participate in a summit on organ trafficking.

Clare Luz (left) and Joan Ilardo (right)
Courtesy of MSU Today / Michigan State University

As the retirement-age population grows in Michigan, in-home care is increasingly in high demand. The state, however, is struggling to maintain a workforce that meets the need. 

Two researchers at the MSU College of Human Medicine are working to change that. They received grants from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. The Fund was set up in 2013 under state law. (Read more about the it here.) 

A doctor with a stethoscope on a young boys naked chest (he's wearing pants though)
user Laura4Smith / Flickr

Oakland County health officials say they’re seeing a spike in whooping cough (AKA pertussis), largely among kids in day care and preschool. That’s likely because the disease is contagious and spreads easily, but kids that age aren’t old enough to have had all their pertussis vaccinations yet.

Since November, the county health department says it's seen 56 confirmed cases of whooping cough, compared with 10 this time last year. The county saw just 59 cases for all of last year. None of those cases has been fatal.

A Cuban worker fumigates an apartment in Havana
Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

State health officials are warning Michiganders headed south on vacation this winter to be aware that Zika is still a major health threat.

The mosquito-borne virus can cause serious birth defects.  The Centers for Disease Control reports people have been infected in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico, as well as the Caribbean and South America.

Dr. Eden Wells is Michigan’s chief medical executive. She’s concerned travelers may be less worried because Zika has not been in the news very much lately.

Great Lakes Water Authority COO Cheryl Porter explains what cause water to have bad smell and taste.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Metro Detroit's water authority is assuring people the water is safe to drink after some downriver Detroit-area residents noticed their drinking water tasted or smelled bad.

Despite the odd smell, taste, and in some cases discoloration of the water, the Great Lakes Water Authority has not found any troubling contaminants in the water samples it has tested.

Cheryl Porter, GLWA’s Chief Operating Officer, doesn't know exactly what caused the smell and taste, but said the complaints started after a river basin's biannual cleaning began.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Two more deer have tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in Michigan.

The two female deer are from a farm in Mecosta County, north of Grand Rapids. The farm has been quarantined and other deer are being tested for CWD. 

State wildlife officials are investigating to see if the source of the infection can be determined.

CWD can be transmitted directly from one animal to another, or indirectly through the environment. 

Inhalers
Jack Lawrence / Flickr Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

More than $1 million in foundation and state grants are going to the Detroit Health Department for five new initiatives aimed at addressing health problems of Detroit children, the Department announced today.

The goal is to reduce health barriers that interfere with school attendance and learning.

"We're focusing on a number of critical outcomes that really affect children's health and keep them out of the classroom and prevent them from being able to learn and, in the future, earn," said Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, executive director of the Detroit Health Department.

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