Report highlights students’ soda consumption

October 23, 2012

King County health officials called for teenagers to consume fewer sodas and other sugary drinks after a report showed 26,000 high school students countywide drink soda daily, and 8,000 students drink two or more sodas daily.

The information comes from a report released Sept. 6 about teenagers’ consumption of sugary drinks.

Such consumption is linked to risks for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and hypertension.

Read more

King County deputies to receive cardiac arrest equipment

January 4, 2012

NEW — 3:05 p.m. Jan. 4, 2011

King County public health officials said equipment and training for King County Sheriff’s Office deputies to respond to cardiac arrest could mean the difference between life and death.

King County Emergency Medical Services, a division of Public Health – Seattle & King County, plans to distribute 53 automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, to deputies interested in the training. Trained deputies can then be dispatched to a cardiac arrest call alongside emergency medical responders.

Officials announced the initiative Wednesday.

Equipped deputies arriving first to the scene of a cardiac arrest can start resuscitation and deliver the initial defibrillator shocks and, as soon as emergency medical responders arrive on the scene, they can take over resuscitation duties.

Read more

King County’s tuberculosis infection rate remains high

December 20, 2011

King County continues to experience one of the highest tuberculosis infection rates in the United States.

Public Health – Seattle & King County released the latest findings about the infectious disease Nov. 21 in the 2010 TB report. The report also details local efforts to control the disease, and the ongoing and expensive challenge of battling drug resistant strains.

In 2010, the public health agency’s TB Program identified 114 cases of active TB, and provided treatment and or evaluation to more than 1,100 King County residents suffering from active or latent TB.

“TB control is an essential investment in the health of our communities that helps us fight the local effects of this global disease,” Dr. David Fleming, director and health officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, said in a statement. “In these difficult budget times, state funding support for this work is now threatened, but we can’t afford to let down our guard.”

Read more

Locals can still receive a flu vaccine

December 20, 2011

King County public health officials said time remains for people to receive a flu vaccine.

Health experts recommend for everyone 6 months of age and older to get the flu vaccine, especially children, pregnant women, elderly people and people suffering from health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.

The flu season usually peaks in February or later, and can last as late as May.

“No one wants to spend the holidays sick with flu,” Dr. David Fleming, director and health officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, said in a statement. “Even people who were vaccinated last season should be vaccinated again to boost their protection.”

The flu vaccine is available at doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, public health centers and other providers. Find a flu shot clinic at www.flucliniclocator.org. Find complete information about seasonal influenza at www.kingcounty.gov/health/flu.

Officials said healthy habits can limit the spread of contagious illnesses, including the flu. Cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands often, avoid close contact with ill people, and stay home from work, school and other public settings when ill.

Report: King County homicides, suicides decline

December 20, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 20, 2011

King County experienced the fewest homicides — 59 — in a decade last year, as suicides declined after a spike in 2009.

The information comes from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. In the agency’s annual report, officials analyze suspicious, sudden, unexpected and violent deaths in King County, plus trends in drug overdose deaths, homicides and traffic fatalities. The agency released the 2010 report Monday.

Overall, King County experienced fewer homicides, suicides, accidental deaths and deaths from natural causes last year than in 2009. (The report includes only deaths under medical examiner’s office jurisdiction.)

The deaths investigated by the medical examiner’s office also made 156 organ transplants possible last year.

Firearms ranked as the most frequent instrument of death in homicides and suicides.

Read more

King County Council fears public health cuts as Legislature meets

November 22, 2011

King County leaders managed to preserve dollars for public health and other human services in the $5.2 billion budget for 2012.

Now, as state legislators prepare to gather for a special session Nov. 28, King County Council members said cuts from Olympia could force the county to cut services. Lawmakers need to slash spending to close a $2 billion budget gap.

“When they make those decisions, it rolls downhill to us,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, a budget team member and the Issaquah representative, said a day after the council adopted the 2012 budget.

Councilwoman Julia Patterson, a South King County representative and the budget team leader, said a difficult economy could magnify service cuts.

Read more

Guest Column

November 22, 2011

Continuing the fight against childhood obesity

We have much to celebrate and be thankful for this Thanksgiving. In King County, we are fortunate to live in a community committed to helping people access healthy food.

Yet much work remains to be done, especially in supporting our children’s health.

By the time our children in King County reach middle and high school, they will have a better than one in five chance of being obese or overweight. By the time they are adults, more than half will be obese or overweight — causing debilitating health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, and adding hundreds of millions of dollars in health care costs locally.

Read more

King County’s tuberculosis infection rate remains high

November 22, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 22, 2011

King County continues to experience one of the highest tuberculosis infection rates in the United States, public health officials announced Monday.

Public Health – Seattle & King County released the latest findings about the infectious disease in the 2010 TB report. The report also details local efforts to controls the disease, and the ongoing and expensive challenge of battling drug resistant strains.

In 2010, the public health agency’s TB Program identified 114 cases of active TB, and provided treatment and or evaluation to more than 1,100 King County residents suffering from active or latent TB.

“TB control is an essential investment in the health of our communities that helps us fight the local effects of this global disease,” Dr. David Fleming, director and health officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, said in a statement. “In these difficult budget times, state funding support for this work is now threatened, but we can’t afford to let down our guard.”

Read more

Thanksgiving food safety is key ingredient for holiday

November 20, 2011

NEW — 1 p.m. Nov. 20, 2011

Before the time comes to carve the turkey and dish up the cranberry sauce, local public health officials reminded Thanksgiving revelers to follow steps to ensure food safety.

The majority of food borne illness stems from inadequate handwashing, cross contamination, and improper cooking, heating and cooling. The proper handling, preparation, cooking and storing of food minimizes growth of E. coli, salmonella, and other causes of foodborne illness.

“Food safety for the holidays goes beyond the proper preparation and cooking of turkey,” Dr. David Fleming, director and health officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, said in a statement. “Whether you’re preparing turkey with all the trimmings or other traditional favorites, be sure to handle all food with care to minimize the risk of foodborne illness.”

Read more

Police trick-or-treat for Halloween DUI suspects

October 29, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 29, 2011

Extra law enforcement officers in Issaquah and elsewhere in King and Pierce counties fanned out on local roads Halloween weekend to search for impaired motorists.

Halloween is a historically dangerous holiday on local roads due to the number of people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The extra patrols started Friday evening and continue throughout the weekend. Halloween is Monday.

“Impaired drivers are the scariest things on our roads this weekend,” Dr. David Fleming, Public Health – Seattle & King County director and health officer, said in a statement. “Treat everyone to a fun and safe Halloween by driving sober or planning a safe ride home. Designate a sober driver, ride a bus or use cabs this weekend.”

Read more

« Previous PageNext Page »