City Council celebrates water district agreement

February 4, 2014

The Issaquah City Council unanimously has backed the deal ending injecting storm water into the Lower Issaquah Valley Aquifer.

Less than a week after Mayor Fred Butler cemented an agreement between Issaquah and the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, the memorandum of understanding came to the council during its regular meeting Jan. 21. The deal essentially plans to create an agreement for the decommission of the Lower Reid Infiltration Gallery, which sent Issaquah Highlands storm water into the aquifer, in exchange for a 10-year Issaquah hiatus on exploring a takeover of district utilities.

Read more

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.

Read more

Department of Health calls for applicants to boards, commissions

February 1, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 1, 2013

The state Department of Health is seeking residents to serve on health-related boards, commissions and committees.

Overall, 26 groups need volunteers. The open positions include the Board of Hearing and Speech, Board of Optometry, Chiropractic Quality Assurance Commission, Examining Board of Psychology, Midwifery Advisory Committee, Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission and others.

“We’re excited to give our citizens a chance to influence the health and safety of our state in a variety of health fields,” Karen Jensen, assistant secretary for the Health Systems Quality Assurance Division, said in a statement. “These vacancies will be filled by people appointed by the governor and the secretary of health, who both take great pride in appointing qualified, responsible members to each position.”

Read more

Deaths from prescription painkiller overdoses drop

January 25, 2013

NEW — 8 a.m. Jan. 25, 2013

Deaths from pain medication overdoses decreased between 2008-11, after increasing eightfold in the preceding decade.

The overdose death rate dropped 23 percent, and the number of deaths dropped from 512 in 2008 to 407 in 2011, state Department of Health officials reported Wednesday.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” Dr. Maxine Hayes, state health officer, said in a statement. “While it’s encouraging that deaths have dropped, the death rate in 2011 was six times higher than in 1998. Health care providers play a critical role in prescribing medications and helping patients manage pain safely. Prescription pain medications are powerful drugs and must be handled carefully.”

Read more

State health officials urge vaccinations as flu spreads

January 6, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 6, 2013

State health officials urged residents to get vaccinated as influenza spreads across Washington.

The flu recently caused three deaths statewide — two adults in King County and a child in neighboring Pierce County.

Officials said many flu-related deaths may go unreported because the illness is not lab-confirmed or the patient is not tested for influenza.

“Any death from a preventable illness is upsetting, and it’s especially heartbreaking when a child dies,” state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky said in a statement. “These deaths are a somber reminder that flu is serious and makes thousands sick in our state each year. With flu season picking up, it’s important to remember that we can protect ourselves and our loved ones with a flu shot.”

Read more

Mason, Sophia rank as top baby names in Washington

January 1, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 1, 2013

Mason edged out Liam to rank as the most-popular name for baby boys in Washington, and Sophia remained in the top spot among names for baby girls.

The data released by the state Department of Health on Dec. 27 shows Mason moved to No. 1 from No. 11 for baby boys in 2011, and Liam moved to the No. 2 spot from the No. 8 spot.

The top 10 list for baby girls remained almost unchanged from 2010, albeit in slightly different order. Sophia is in the top position and Olivia is ranked in the No. 2 position.

Statewide, parents named 453 infant girls Sophia and 446 infant boys Mason in 2011.

Read more

Report: Illegal tobacco sales to minors increase

December 14, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 14, 2012

The number of Washington retailers illegally selling tobacco to minors is at the highest level in more than a decade, according to a report from the state Department of Health.

State health officials said about 16 percent of retailers offering tobacco illegally sold the substance to minors between January and June. The figure is up from 11 percent last year and 10 percent in 2010.

If the rate of retailers selling tobacco to minors exceeds 20 percent, Washington could lose almost $14 million in federal funding for drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention and treatment.

“This is unacceptable. Our young people should not have access to these deadly tobacco products,” state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky said in a statement. “Most adult smokers start as teens, so if we can keep tobacco out of the hands of kids, it’s likely they’ll never take up this dangerous habit.”

Read more

Change in marriage law raises need for gender-neutral certificates

November 27, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 27, 2012

The change in state law to legalize same-sex marriage means marriage and divorce certificates must change, and the state Department of Health is seeking public input on the issue.

The agency requested comments on proposed changes in gender-specific terms for Washington’s marriage and divorce certificates in response to the same-sex marriage law approved in Referendum 74. The law is poised to go into effect Dec. 6.

The department collects records of all people who marry or divorce in Washington, and issues copies of records to the public. The existing forms use gender-specific terms, including bride, groom, husband and wife.

State health officials propose using gender-neutral terms on certificates. The proposal includes identifying the gender of couples on the certificate form, so the public can gather information about the number of same-sex couples in Washington.

Read more

Statewide epidemic slows, but whooping cough lingers

November 20, 2012

The number of whooping cough cases reported in Washington is easing — with some areas returning to levels more typical before the epidemic — but state health officials said whooping cough is still active.

The epidemic included more than 4,500 reported whooping cough, or pertussis, cases — the highest number of cases in more than 70 years.

Pertussis is highly contagious and spreads easily from person to person through coughing and sneezing. The disease is most serious for infants, especially children too young to receive the vaccination. Pertussis causes cold-like systems followed by a long, severe cough.

Read more

Statewide whooping cough epidemic slows, but lingers

November 17, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 17, 2012

The number of whooping cough cases reported in Washington is easing — with some areas returning to levels more typical before the epidemic — but state health officials said whooping cough is still active.

The epidemic included more than 4,500 reported whooping cough, or pertussis, cases — the highest number of cases in more than 70 years.

“We’re watching whooping cough activity closely,” state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky said in a statement. “We’re encouraged to see the pace of new cases in our state slowing, but we are not completely out of the woods. Whooping cough is still active and babies are still at risk.”

Read more

Next Page »