Health

Indiana's HIV Outbreak Continues To Grow

Mar 20, 2015
NIAID / https://www.flickr.com/photos/niaid/

Last month, the Indiana State Department of Health announced an outbreak of HIV in the southeastern part of the state, and the number of cases continues to rise.

The outbreak has been concentrated in Scott County. Dr. Kevin Burke of the Clark County Health Department, which handles HIV cases for the region, says his team has confirmed 51 cases as of Wednesday afternoon. Fifteen other people have been flagged through preliminary screenings.

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

Senate lawmakers unanimously approved legislation Tuesday that its sponsor says will give “hope to the hopeless.” 

The Right to Try bill would allow terminally-ill patients to receive experimental drugs as long as they meet three standards.

Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso), the bill’s sponsor says, first, the medications must have passed through the first of three phases in the FDA’s approval process.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Senate lawmakers say they want to more time to work on a bill allowing terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs before sending the measure to the floor. 

The bill would help 5-year-old Jordan McLinn, who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  Those afflicted with the fatal disease typically only live to about age 20. 

But Jordan’s mother, Laura McLinn, told a Senate panel that help could be on the way.  As Jordan sat in her lap, she told lawmakers about a new drug being developed to change Jordan’s type of Muscular Dystrophy into a milder version.

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

Governor Mike Pence says he lobbied against legislation encouraging more young people to get vaccinated against human papilloma virus, or HPV, because of concerns about government mandates. 

The proposed House bill, authored by Rep. Sue Erringto (D-Muncie), set a goal for the state to have 80 percent of 13-to-15 year olds vaccinated against HPV by 2020. 

HPV is a virus linked to several forms of cancer, including cervical cancer, and only around 20-percent of Hoosiers are currently vaccinated against it. 

Pence Touts HIP 2.0 As A Model For Other States

Feb 20, 2015
State of Indiana / http://www.in.gov/fssa/hip/

Indiana’s governor says the expansion of the Healthy Indiana Plan will extend medical coverage to an additional 350,000 Hoosiers, end traditional Medicaid for low-income people, and provide a model for other states.

That’s the message Mike Pence is taking on a tour of medical facilities across Indiana to rally support for HIP 2.0.

Under the plan, recipients must make monthly payments into health savings accounts based on their income. Other Medicaid plans don’t charge fees to beneficiaries.

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A Senate committee passed a bill Wednesday prohibiting women from having abortions because of the child’s gender or disability. 

Supporters say the measure helps affirm the value of all life.

David Herholz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dherholz/

The House unanimously passed legislation Tuesday it hopes will help reduce Indiana’s infant mortality rate, one of the worst in the country. 

It’s called the Safety PIN bill, standing for Protecting Indiana’s Newborns.  It creates a grant program, run by the State Department of Health, for organizations seeking to reduce the state’s infant mortality rate.  Evansville Republican Representative Holli Sullivan sponsored the bill, which she says is purposefully non-specific regarding what types of programs applicants must have.

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According the Centers for Disease Control, about 720,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year.

A new effort by the American Heart Association encourages people to seek medical attention at the first sign of a heart attack.

The non-profit says quick medical intervention after a heart attack can mean the difference between life and death.   

Is Indiana At Risk for Measles Outbreak?

Feb 5, 2015
Sanofi Pasteur / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sanofi-pasteur/

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has a lot in common with Disneyland, the starting point for the current measles outbreak, which has infected more than 100 people and spread to 14 states. Kids there interact a lot with their environment, sometimes putting their hands in their mouths, then everywhere else — then back in their mouths.  To fight the spread of germs, at the museum, hand sanitizer and soap and water is never far away, and the staff is vigilant about wiping down surfaces with disinfectants. 

Jonny Williams / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ecigclick/

A Senate committee Thursday narrowly approved a bill regulating manufacturers of e-liquids, which are used in vaping pens and e-cigarettes.

The production of e-liquids, also known as vaping liquids or e-juices, is essentially unregulated in Indiana.

Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, authored legislation that would create several regulations, including a new permit that would cost manufacturers $5,000, stringent security requirements — bottling and packaging standards, using child-proof caps on containers and prohibiting the sale of e-liquids to minors.

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