Illinois Department of Public Health

The Illinois Department of Public Health recently reported the state is aware of 47 cases of Zika virus, including at least three pregnant women. Meanwhile, officials in Florida are trying to contain the first known mosquito-borne outbreak of the disease in the continental U.S.

In an attempt to sort through the facts and fears about Zika, we spoke to Dr. Janak Koirala, division chief of infectious disease and a travel medicine specialist at the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.

The Centers for Disease Control says the Zika virus poses a low risk to the donated blood supply in the country. But one northern Illinois blood bank says the virus is still affecting the overall supply in the area.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says the state's doing everything possible to reduce the risk of further contamination by legionella bacteria at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.

Rauner visited the home Wednesday, a day after state officials reported two residents have new cases of Legionnaires' disease.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Nirva Shah said at a news conference that both affected residents have been treated and released from a hospital.

DHS.state.Il.us

CARBONDALE - Southern Illinois residents continue to lack easy access to hospitals with trauma centers that offer specialized care for severe injuries.

A judge has ordered Illinois health officials to reconsider their decision not to include migraine headaches on the list of conditions that qualify for use of medical marijuana in the state.
 
A Cook County judge overturned Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Nirav Shah's denial of a petition to add migraines to the list.

The court ruling was in response to a suit filed by an unidentified man who has already been using marijuana to treat his headaches. Attorney Robert Bauerschmidt says the middle-aged man has suffered severe migraines since adolescence.

Hot Hot Hot ... Child Car Safety Reminder

Jun 10, 2016

The East Peoria Fire Department is participating in the Safe Kids Worldwide campaign reminding people to never leave children alone in a hot car and to lock unattended vehicles. 

Wisconsin recently had a large increase in the number of deer ticks throughout the state. But what does that mean for Illinois? 

Deer ticks are the ticks that could carry Lyme disease, and the peak time for reported cases of the disease is usually in June and July. The University of Wisconsin Arboretum saw the number of immature deer ticks increase by more than 1,000 percent from 2014 to 2015, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

AP Photo

Two Peoria Nursing Homes have been cited by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

In January, Sharon Health Care Elms on North Rochelle is cited for failure to follow fall procedure policy resulting in significant patient injuries. The home is being assessed a $25,000 fine.

CDC

A death in Illinois has been linked to the same strain of bacteria that has caused an unprecedented outbreak of infection in Wisconsin and one case in Michigan.  The Illinois Department of Public Health announced that an Illinois resident died after contracting an infection from the bacterium Elizabethkingia.

Summer is coming to Illinois, and with it - the return of mosquitoes. This year it may also bring fear about the Zika virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and has been linked to birth defects in South America.  

OSF HealthCare has the regulatory approval from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board to make the former Streator hospital a freestanding emergency center.

Illinois is continuing to approve patients to use medical marijuana, with about 400 more approval letters sent in January.

Health officials say reports of influenza are down this winter in Illinois compared with recent years.  Data from the Illinois Department of Public Health show that that from Dec. 20 to Dec. 26, there were 49 flu-related intensive care unit admissions and two outbreaks. 

The pace of Illinois patients getting state approval to use medical marijuana has increased.  The Illinois Department of Public Health announced it approved 4,000 patients to use medical marijuana in the state's pilot program. 

A Chicago businessman convicted of stealing $2.9 million in state grant funds has been sentenced six years in prison. 

The number of Illinois patients getting state approval to use medical marijuana jumped a bit higher during November, the first month of legal sales of the drug.

David Trawin / Flickr/Creative Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - The number of Illinois patients approved to use medical marijuana continues to climb as dispensaries get ready to sell the drug for the first time.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Wednesday it has approved 3,300 patients to use medical marijuana in the state's pilot program. That includes 20 children.

 The department began mailing official identification cards to registered patients and caregivers Friday. Last week, program director Joseph Wright said sales should begin soon and a date would be announced. 

An advisory board voted to add eight health conditions to the list of illnesses that can be treated by marijuana in Illinois. 

Illinois has notified more than 100 jails, health departments and family planning programs that it no longer will provide free testing for sexually transmitted diseases at state labs.

CHICAGO - The typical patient seeking to use medical marijuana in Illinois is an older woman in Cook County with either severe fibromyalgia or cancer. That's the picture revealed Thursday in a new report to the Legislature from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The report shows more than one-third of 3,300 completed applications submitted through June 30 came from patients in Cook County. Counties with the next highest number of applicants - Will, DuPage, Lake and Kane - also are in northern Illinois.

Blue-green algae could show up in IL

Sep 30, 2015
www.epa.illinois.gov

Visitors to the Ohio River in southern Illinois are being cautioned about potential toxins from blue-green algae. The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency issued the warning Tuesday. The agencies are working with the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission following reports of an algal bloom in the river. A bloom hasn't yet been confirmed near Illinois, but conditions could lead to one. Toxins from the algae can cause rashes, vomiting and coughing.

Illinois will be the first state in the nation with a program to dispense some prescriptions in locking pill bottles. 

Health officials confirm this year's first human case of West Nile virus in Illinois.  The Illinois Department of Public Health report that an adolescent girl got sick from the virus in St. Clair County. 

Illinois sent about 200 approval letters in May to patients who qualify for the new medical marijuana program, but the pace of approvals and applications has slowed.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports the first positive test for West Nile virus this year was found in mosquitoes collected in southern Illinois.

Swimming season is starting in Illinois and the state has been licensing public pools and beaches.

Eager Illinois marijuana patients are jumping the gun by submitting applications for diseases that haven't yet been officially approved.

  A measure extending Illinois' medical marijuana program beyond 2017 has passed an Illinois Senate committee.  The Senate Executive Committee approved the measure Wednesday with an 8-3 vote. It heads to the Senate floor. The legislation changes the program's duration to four years from when the first dispensary begins operating instead of the automatic repeal scheduled for Jan. 1, 2018. The Illinois Department of Public Health has approved 2,300 medical marijuana patients since September.

A free smoking cessation program has shut down. Twenty-seven of its workers were laid off yesterday, days after the tobacco quitline received a letter last Friday from the state public health department.  The letter said it would get no more money for the remainder of the fiscal year. 

  People who want to present evidence about adding migraines, post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions to the Illinois medical marijuana program must mail a statement of intent by Saturday.An advisory board is reviewing 14 medical conditions suggested by the public in petitions and will hold a public hearing May 4. People wishing to present evidence at the hearing are asked to send a summary of their testimony to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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