Health & Medicine

Health, Medicine

Tiffany Eckert

The second day of the "mass vax" clinic at the University of Oregon saw fewer students than anticipated. Pharmacists lined the halls of Matthew Knight Arena with Meningitis vaccinations at the ready. According to one care provider, students have been "trickling in."

Undergrad students who do show up are being walked through health questions and insurance paperwork. The UO is partnering with Albertson's and Safeway pharmacies to process insurance claims to the myriad providers, many of whom just approved coverage of the vaccine, Trumenba.

Tiffany Eckert

Institutional response to the Meningococcal Group B outbreak at the University of Oregon has become a lesson in prevention.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have joined county and state authorities to coordinate the largest on-campus vaccination clinic in recent history. A campus-wide ad campaign uses the phrase "Get the Vax" to encourage students to show up at Matthew Knight Arena for the shot.

Shotimage

Staff, volunteer nurses and EMT’s are giving Meningitis vaccines to University of Oregon students at a staggering pace. Public Health officials say ten percent of the student population has received the shot so far. Meanwhile, Lane County Public Health continues to investigate the Meningitis outbreak.

Public Health officials have yet to confirm which of the sickened students is the “sentinel case,” – the one who contracted the disease first. They continue to evaluate several people but say there are currently no suspected cases.

Tiffany Eckert

In the wake of a Meningitis-like outbreak at the University of Oregon, health officials are stepping up a vaccination program. Due to demand, a temporary clinic opened Monday in Mathew Knight arena to vaccinate students who want to be immunized as soon as possible. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert was there.

Since Monday morning, more than 700 students have received the vaccination for Meningococcal Group B, the disease that has sickened three students and caused the death of freshman athlete Lauren Jones.

Mike Eyster is Executive Director of the University Health Center.

Tiffany Eckert

The Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office has now confirmed the death of an 18-year old University of Oregon student athlete was caused by a highly contagious Meningitis infection.

Half way through a press conference Friday afternoon, Senior Public Health Officer Dr. Pat Luedtke was handed a note. Then he announced:

GoDucks.com

Lauren Jones, a University of Oregon student athlete passed away after seeking medical attention on Tuesday. A bacterial infection was suspected to be the cause of her death, but the autopsy results are inconclusive.

GoDucks.com

A University of Oregon freshman died suddenly after seeking medical attention on Tuesday. Lauren Jones was a student athlete and her death may be related to a bacterial infection outbreak.

Lauren Jones was a chemistry major and a member of the U of O acrobatics and tumbling team. Three cases of Meningococcemia have been confirmed at the university. Lane County Public Health spokesman Jason Davis says an autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of Jones's death.

Lane County Public Health has confirmed a third case of a University of Oregon student with the deadly bacterial infection that can lead to meningitis. Public Health spokesman Jason Davis says the young man lives off campus. He says the U of O has reached out to students and others who may have been in contact with the patient.

"The good news is it is a relatively confined population of people and so we're confident that we're going to be able to get a handle on this."

Oregon Has The Highest Vaccination Exemption Rate In The U.S.

Feb 6, 2015

Oregon has the highest vaccination exemption rate in the nation. Parents whose children aren’t fully vaccinated, will start getting letters from the state this week warning about school exclusion day.

Some Oregon schools are seeing up to 70 percent of their students secure vaccination exemptions.

Children whose medical records show missing immunizations won’t be able to go to school or child care starting February 18.

But parents can get an exemption after hearing a doctor’s presentation, or watching an online video and printing off proof at the end.

UPDATE: Lane County Health officials said Wednesday a third person has been hospitalized with a potential case of Meningococcemia.

Lane County health officials are looking for connections between the recent diagnosis of Meningococcemia– a blood infection that causes meningitis - and the case diagnosed last month. Both women with the diagnosis are University of Oregon Students.

An epidemiological team will collect samples from the two women and send them to the state lab where they will be compared. The results will be released in a few days.

Karen Richards

The new Oregon State Hospital in Junction City hosted public tours today (Thursday). Approved by the State Legislature in 2007, the campus is nearly ready to accept patients.

The state-run psychiatric hospital has the capacity to house 174 people. It will offer treatment to adults who are civilly or criminally committed.

Greg Roberts is Superintendent of the Oregon State Hospital. He says philosophies have changed since he started working in mental health in the 1970s. Then, people often remained in the institutions for life:

Egan Warming Center

Despite the unseasonably warm weather this week in Oregon, the Egan Warming Centers in Eugene and Springfield plan to activate Wednesday night. Four shelters will be open for the national one-night homeless count.

Egan volunteer Shelley Corteville says others will be out in the community counting people without homes.

Corteville: "This count is very important because it helps bring in money to communities for homeless services."

Federal funds are allocated to counties based on the number of homeless people.

Health officials say a Eugene man who has measles is expected to make a full recovery. No new cases of measles have been confirmed in Lane County.

Lane County Public Health spokesman Jason Davis says hundreds of people contacted the agency after they released a list of businesses the man had visited after he returned from California.

Lane County Public Health officials kicked into high gear Tuesday after a case of measles was confirmed in Eugene. They have launched a full investigation to determine the potential reach of the case. It is believed the un-named 40-something man who lives and works in Eugene, contracted the disease while at Disneyland.
County Health spokesman Jason Davis says hundreds of people  have been notified, interviewed and in some cases, tested.

A case of measles has been confirmed in Eugene. Lane County Public Health officials say it's believed to be related to an outbreak linked to Disney theme parks in Southern California.
County Health spokesman Jason Davis says a Eugene man in his 40s went with his family to a Disney park in the outbreak area. After returning to Eugene, he  displayed symptoms and went to a medical provider.
Davis says he believes this is the first Oregon case linked to the Disney parks outbreak. It's the first measles case in Lane County since 2007.

Jes Burns

There have been no new reports of University of Oregon students becoming ill with a bacterial infection that causes meningitis. A student who was diagnosed with the infection has been hospitalized and is reported to be in stable condition. 

Chris Bradshaw/FeaturePics.com.

Despite Oregon's decision to abandon its own health exchange system in favor of the federal portal, the State's Medicaid program is doing well.

A new report from the Oregon Health Authority says costs for inpatient hospital services decreased by about 5.5% since 2011. And there are 380,000 Medicaid enrollees in the new system. CareOregon's Director of Public Policy, Martin Taylor, says developing the State's Coordinated Care Organizations, or CCO's, helped ease the changeover to the federal exchange.

Angela Kellner

A new clinic offering a one-stop shop to treat substance abuse, mental health and primary care held a grand opening in downtown Eugene Thursday.

Willamette Family is a non-profit that has been in the Eugene area for fifty years. It offers residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment, detox and help for families. Now they've opened a Rapid Access Clinic for walk-ins or appointments. Senior Manager Jonathan Smith.

Beginning Wednesday a new partnership is bringing a mobile crisis intervention team to Springfield and Glenwood.

Since 1989, White Bird in Eugene has operated two CAHOOTS vans. It stands for Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets.

Paid for with a grant from Lane County, there will be one CAHOOTS van dedicated to serving those in need in Springfield and Glenwood. The van is staffed with a mental health crisis worker and an emergency medical technician.

Niel Laudati is Spokesman for the City of Springfield.

Flu season usually peaks in the second or third week of January, but not this year. Flu cases are still increasing in Oregon, and at a steep rate.

The strain of the flu affecting most people in Oregon this year is called H-3-N-2. Jason Davis is with Lane County Health and Human Services. He says there's been misunderstanding about this year's flu vaccine.

"The vaccine will actually work against H3N2, it's just not working as well as we'd like it to, but it's still working. So, it's still a really good idea to get the vaccine, and it's far better than not getting it."

Amanda Butt

Foggy days are common during Oregon winters. When damp air lingers for too long, it can lead to health problems.

Air stagnation occurs when two layers of cold air trap a layer of warm air between them. This warm air can then become saturated with pollutants such as car exhaust and chimney smoke.

Jason Davis from Lane County Health says this poor air quality can result in many symptoms.  

www.aces.edu

The Willamette Valley and parts of southern and eastern Oregon have higher radon levels than elsewhere in the state. January is Radon Action month and the Oregon Health Authority urges everyone to test their homes for the gas.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is odorless, invisible and tasteless. Brett Sherry with the Oregon Health Authority says regardless of your zip code it’s a good idea to test.

Visitor Restrictions At Salem Hospital Due To Flu Risk

Jan 3, 2015
Salem Hospital

Salem and West Valley Hospitals are limiting visitors to protect patients from the flu virus. Only people needed to give support to and care for patients should visit. And people who are currently, or just slightly ill should not visit. Since December 28th, Salem Hospital has admitted 9 patients who tested positive for the flu, and health care officials are concerned activity will increase. The Oregon Health Authority encourages all residents to get vaccinated even though flu season is underway.

copyright, 2014 KLCC

Chris Thomas

There's a new system to help patients organize multiple medications and communicate with their doctors. It's called the "My Easy Drug System."

The "MEDS" system is designed to create easy communication between pharmacists, doctors, and patients to keep track of what they are taking and why. CareOregon is a nonprofit that serves the health care needs of low-income Oregonians. James Slater is Director of Pharmacy services for CareOregon. He says an the organization form starts with the name of the drug and the dosage.

Eugene agogo

A bedbug problem at the Eugene Public Library seems to have been solved. But, the pests are popping up in rentals in Lane County.

St Vincent de Paul Executive Director Terry McDonald says bedbugs do not discriminate.

McDonald: "You can be in a very expensive place or a very modest home or facility and bedbugs can find their way in."

McDonald says he's heard of bedbugs in some of St. Vinnie's rental properties.

Lane Blood Center

During the holiday season, blood banks around the county tend to have shortages. Lane Blood Center in Eugene is hoping to inspire people to donate blood with the promise of free beer.

Kristi McElhinney is with Lane Blood Center. She says with schools closed for winter break, and other changes due to the holiday season, fewer people give blood this time of year.

Lane County

Lane County Commissioners Tuesday voted 3 to 2 to regulate the sales of e-cigarette products. The ordinance would establish tobacco retail licensing and ban e-cigarette sales to minors.

PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend

Nurses at PeaceHealth Medical Center RiverBend and University District continue to seek public support through an online petition. Understaffing is at the core of their campaign. For years, the hospital has been cited in hundreds of staffing request forms filled out by floor nurses when patient care is affected because units are short-staffed.

Hospital management insists the problem is being resolved. I spoke with PeaceHealth’s new Chief Administrative Officer, Rand O’Leary, about nurses’ workplace concerns and how the hospital is addressing them.

susan komen oregon

When an Oregon Latina gets breast cancer, there is a significant chance that it will be more serious than breast cancer found among other women. A variety of groups are trying to do something to change that:

Proportionately fewer Latinas in Oregon get breast cancer, but 36-percent of Latinas who do get breast cancer have it detected at an advanced stage compared to 26-percent of other women. Thomas Bruner is former CEO of the Susan Komen Foundation of Oregon:

ratehospitals.com

Caregivers at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center have agreed on a two-year contract. Over 300 members of  S-E-I-U Local 49 had been without a contract for the past year. Jesse Stemmler is with the Service Employees International Union. He feels the walkout in late October was key:

Stemmler: “Having the three-day strike, and just seeing the overwhelming support was really a big help for these workers. This is a process, and the contract has been settled. This is by no means an end to the important work they’re doing.”

Pages