Vasa Park beach reopens; officials say water quality is safe for swimming and boating

August 27, 2015

NEW — 3:33 p.m. Aug. 27, 2015

Vasa Park beach on Lake Sammamish is again open for swimming and boating after being closed Monday in response to a sewage overflow from King County’s Sunset Pump Station. Laboratory tests conducted over several days confirmed water quality is safe for recreation.

On Aug. 27, Public Health – Seattle & King County approved the reopening of Vasa Park beach, which was temporarily closed following a brief sewage overflow from the Sunset Pump Station on Monday afternoon.

King County’s Sunset Pump Station is at 3730 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway.

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County sends ‘Best Start for Kids’ initiative to voters

August 19, 2015

NEW — 6 p.m. Aug. 19, 2015

The Metropolitan King County Council approved July 22 sending to voters in November a six-year property tax levy to fund the Best Starts for Kids initiative.

Best Start for Kids, proposed by County Executive Dow Constantine, would be a prevention-oriented regional plan aimed at supporting the healthy development of children and youths, families and communities across the county. Funding would focus on providing services early in a child’s life — with the heaviest focus on pregnancy and children from birth through age 5 — and continuing services during a young person’s development through age 24.

If approved by voters, $19 million in levy proceeds would support a youth and family homelessness prevention initiative and the remaining proceeds would be distributed in four categories: Read more

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New Public Health blog tells health stories

January 27, 2015

Public Health – Seattle & King County has launched Public Health Insider, a blog telling timely, behind-the-scenes stories from inside the health department.

Recent content from Public Health Insider includes posts such as “Making sense of this season’s flu vaccine,” an interview with Dr. Jeff Duchin, interim health officer and chief of Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Immunizations.

Subscribe via email by clicking on the subscription link on the front page under the logo: You also can follow the blog as a WordPress user.

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Some late-season cyanobacteria in Lake Washington is toxic to people, can be fatal to dogs

January 16, 2015

NEW — 12:09 p.m. Jan. 16, 2015

Generally mild weather this fall has extended the algae-growing season on lakes across King County. Toxic cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae) are currently blooming along some shorelines on Lake Washington.

The King County Environmental Laboratory found concentrations above the state recreational guideline that are potentially dangerous for human health, according to a news release from Public Health — Seattle & King County.

“Scums” or accumulation of toxic algae were found at Arrowhead Point in Kenmore, Mercer Island, Magnuson Park and Gene Coulon Park in Renton, but they may be found in other areas because the blooms float and are moved easily by the wind.

Advice for people and dogs:

People and dogs should not swim, wade or play in the lake if blue-green algae or scum are present. Dog owners should not allow their dogs to have any contact with the water if there is an algae bloom or scum nearby. If a dog has contact with an algae bloom, do not let it lick its fur; rinse the dog with clean water and then rinse your hands and any exposed skin.

Warning signs: Read more

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King County resident does not have Ebola, initial tests show

December 7, 2014

NEW — 3:25 p.m. Dec. 7, 2014

A King County resident is negative on initial testing for the Ebola virus, according to results released today by the Washington State Department of Health, Public Health Laboratory.

The man had recently returned from Mali, a county with a small number of Ebola cases, and had developed a slight fever yesterday.

Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health – Seattle & King County had been monitoring him for possible Ebola symptoms, according to a news release. In addition to the fever, the patient also had a sore throat but none of the other typical symptoms to suggest Ebola infection.

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County gets $6 million grant to improve Hepatitis C treatment

November 11, 2014

King County health care providers will be better able to identify and successfully treat people with chronic Hepatitis C virus thanks to a $6 million grant awarded to Public Health – Seattle & King County.

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New text message service aids health insurance enrollment

December 3, 2013

County residents can text “King” plus a ZIP code to “468311” and Public Health – Seattle & King County’s new text messaging program will send information about upcoming health insurance enrollment events customized to that ZIP code.

“Now, it just takes a quick text to find the most convenient place to sign up for affordable healthcare,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said.

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City hosts health care insurance enrollment event

October 22, 2013

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Issaquah residents who don’t have health insurance can now enroll in affordable health insurance options online at

Still, enrolling might seem daunting for anyone who doesn’t have good Internet access, or who doesn’t feel comfortable signing up using a website.

That’s why the city of Issaquah and Public Health – Seattle & King County have teamed up for an in-person enrollment event from noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Eagle Room at Issaquah City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way.

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King County unveils health care blog

September 24, 2013

The most common complaint about the new health care law is that it’s too complicated.

Figuring out what’s happening locally can be a challenge. The blog, created by Public Health — Seattle & King County, should help.

It keeps track of the events, milestones and stories unfolding locally. The blog is also used to communicate with a network of local health and human services organizations that are assisting the uninsured get health coverage. It’s not targeted at a wide public audience.


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Beware of shellfish: infections are at double summer average

August 18, 2013

NEW – 6 a.m. Aug. 18, 2013

Watch out for the shellfish — a saltwater bacteria has sickened more than twice the number of people in King County this summer than reported in past summers.

During July, there were 13 confirmed or probable cases of vibrio parahaemolyticus infection in the county, compared to an average of four in recent years. Since the beginning of August, eight more cases have been confirmed.

“This is probably the tip of the iceberg. For every case that is reported, an estimated 142 additional cases go unreported,” Dr. Jeff Duchin, chief of communicable disease for Public Health – Seattle & King County, said in a press release.

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