Health

News on health, wellness and health care

Kerry Klein/KVPR

The last time we reported about the Fresno Needle Exchange, it was an illegal program, operating without support from policymakers and under threat of police intervention. It became legal in 2012 under a state law. Now, the program is more popular than ever, and new research suggests it’s making the community safer. Michael lives in north Fresno. He’s 56. He studied social work and he’s now self-employed. He has a daughter in nearby Dinuba . He doesn’t want to share his last name, though,...

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Have you ever called your doctor or hospital seeking an appointment and been told the wait will be weeks or maybe months? You have been affected by the Central Valley’s doctor shortage. Now more than one group is pushing a potential solution, locally sourced doctors from a new medical school. Being in a waiting room at the doctor’s office isn’t the most pleasant place to be. But waiting to get into that waiting room can be even worse. That is what health care experts call a ‘doctor shortage’...

Fresno County Department of Public Health

Zika has finally appeared in Fresno County. An adult woman tested positive for the virus after traveling internationally and developing flu-like symptoms. Health officials won’t reveal where she traveled. Fifty-five cases of Zika have been reported in California since January of last year, out of almost a thousand nationally. None are believed to have been transmitted locally, though some were spread through sexual contact. The disease is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. David Luchini...

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Air quality is a tremendous problem in the San Joaquin Valley. Our air is consistently ranked the worst in the nation, alongside the Los Angeles area, and it’s been linked in Valley residents to immune problems, emergency room visits and even premature death. It’s an old problem, but local officials have put forth a bold new solution. If it were winter, you could turn to the east from almost anywhere in the San Joaquin Valley and admire the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains. But it’s...

Michael Conner

The water crisis in Flint Michigan has led a lot of people across the country to ask what’s in their water. Residents of Northeast Fresno are growing increasingly frustrated with their own water problem that’s been a decade in the making, one that they say is threatening their health. When you walk into Mari Rose’s modest northeast Fresno home, you are greeted several friendly cats and given a warning ‘don’t drink the tap water’. “There it is. Like a yellow…looks like pee,” Rose says. Rose...

Monday June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, and Fresno County is offering free HIV tests throughout the week. In 2014, the county reported 94 new cases of HIV/AIDS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone 13-64 years old be tested at least once, and they encourage mothers to be tested with each pregnancy. The CDC also recommends annual testing for those who inject drugs, have an STD, or have more than one sexual partner. Free rapid HIV tests will be available at the...

Following a mass shooting in the U.S., like last week’s attack on a nightclub in Orlando, there are often calls to improve mental health services. Two of the valley’s most populous counties are taking very different approaches on one key California law that advocates say could help more people receive treatment they otherwise wouldn’t seek. Kern and Fresno Counties are at odds over something known as Laura’s Law. Laura’s Law is named after Laura Wilcox who was killed by a mentally ill man in...

frankieleon/Flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

This week on Valley Edition Fresno Bee Reporter Barbara Anderson joined VE Host Joe Moore to talk about Zika virus. Anderson recently wrote several pieces about how Central California residents are worried that the virus could spread in communities like Clovis unless spraying is successful. To listen to interview click play above.

California Healthline

In the interview below Valley Edition Host Joe Moore Interviews Emily Bazar with Kaiser Health News about how aid-in-dying isn't so easy. Starting June 9, terminally ill Californians with six months or less to live can request a doctor’s prescription for medications intended to end their lives peacefully. If that sounds simple, it won’t be. California’s End of Life Option Act creates a long list of administrative hurdles that both patients and their doctors must clear. For instance, you must...

Kerry Klein/KVPR

May was National Bike Month, and Fresno celebrated with group rides, bike clinics and a city-wide bike to work day. But in two high-profile incidents earlier this spring, one cyclist was killed and another seriously injured while riding in central Fresno. So is bicycling safe here? Dennis Ball is wearing a Spandex shirt, padded shorts, and clip-in shoes, and he’s looking at me through a tiny mirror on his helmet. He’s president of the Fresno Cycling Club, and he’s taking me on a bike tour of...

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