Health

State Health Department Creating Trauma Guidebook

Jun 5, 2015
Luigi Scorcia / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bizz0k0/3432638976/

The Indiana State Department of Health plans to target preventable injuries with a resource guide for emergency rooms and child-welfare caseworkers.

Officials plan to complete a guidebook by the end of the month, spelling out strategies for preventing 10 common injury sources, from child abuse to senior citizen falls. 

Some of those topics are what the Centers for Disease Control classify as "winnable battles" -- areas where the solution is to simply not do something. Other areas will offer proactive suggestions, says injury prevention epidemiologist Jessica Skiba.

Fayette County Considers Needle Exchange To Prevent HIV

Jun 3, 2015
Gretchen Frazee / IPBS

Fayette County health officials in Eastern Indiana are trying to learn from the HIV outbreak in Scott County as they consider implementing a needle exchange of their own.

Scott County created a needle exchange under recently passed legislation to combat an HIV epidemic that’s infected more than 160 people and it seems to be working. The spread of the virus is tapering off.

Indiana Trains Prisoners To Combat Avian Flu

Jun 2, 2015
indianapublicmedia.org/news

Indiana is training 300 prisoners how to euthanize and properly dispose of poultry infected by viruses.

It’s one of several precautions the state is taking to prevent a new strain of the avian flu from taking hold in the state.

Indiana has been lucky so far. Two strains of avian flu have killed about 10 percent of the poultry industry’s laying flock nationally.

Indiana had only one case last month in a backyard flock.

But Indiana State Poultry Association Vice President Paul Brennan says the virus could hit Indiana hard any day.

Barbara Harrington / http://indianapublicmedia.org/news/

 

Needle exchanges are controversial. Critics say handing out clean needles enables drug use, while others point to evidence, showing that exchanges reduce the spread of disease.

For the past several weeks, Scott County, Indiana has been operating a needle exchange, to combat an outbreak of HIV linked to injection drug abuse. It’s the first of its kind in Indiana, and it recently received approval from the state to run for a year. But getting the community to accept the idea was a process -- and in some ways, one that’s ongoing.

ZaldyImg / https://www.flickr.com/photos/8499561@N02/

Indiana State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams testified Thursday before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in Washington D.C about the HIV outbreak in southern Indiana.

Adams says the number of positive cases is up to 160.

He suggests a three-part system for dealing with the drug abuse that led to the epidemic.

Steven Depolo / https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/

Health workers continue to fight an HIV outbreak in the Southeastern part of the state.

As of Monday, 158 people had tested positive for the virus, mostly due to injection drug abuse.

To help stem the spread of the virus, health workers in Scott County have been operating a temporary needle exchange, where drug users can trade in dirty needles for clean ones.

The county is one step closer to making that exchange more permanent.

World Bank Photo Collection / https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldbank/

The Marion County Health Department has asked Tippecanoe County officials to partner with them on a new initiative designed to disseminate information about public health events more quickly.

Tippecanoe County Health Administrator Craig Rich says hospitals currently report concerns to the state Department of Health, which eventually disseminates the information to county health departments.

Kreg Steppe / https://www.flickr.com/photos/spyndle/535493117

The number of new HIV infections in southeastern Indiana now sits at 153.

While the number of cases continues to rise, incidence of infection has slowed down, and officials hope to see it plateau soon.

A local community outreach center in Scott County has become a one-stop shop for testing, HIV treatment coordination and, insurance enrollment. Since the outbreak has been linked to injection drug use, referrals for addiction treatment are also available.

Barbara Harrington / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The streets of Austin are lined with campaign signs focusing on the future of this struggling small town.

They’re on every corner, in every yard, even greeting drivers on the outskirts of town.

But, it’s the handwritten sign posted on Tammy Breeding’s lawn that sends perhaps the most powerful message of all.

"I had to make a statement. I want to take back my community, my neighborhood," she says.

The sign reads: "No loitering, prostituting in front of or around these premises. Violators will be prosecuted."

hitthatswitch / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ringai/

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is urging the legislature to pass a bill that would allow permanent needle exchanges in some Indiana counties.

Zoeller heads the state’s Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, and he cited concerns over the ongoing HIV crisis in Scott County. So far, more than 130 people have tested positive for HIV since just December. A majority of the cases have been linked to injection drug use.

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