public health

Illinois public health officials say a central Illinois woman has died after using synthetic marijuana.

Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood says the most recent victim was in her 30s. He says she was a resident of Stark County, but died at a Peoria hospital. No additional details regarding the death have been released.

Illinois public health officials say the state has received a major donation that will help those who have suffered severe bleeding as part of a deadly outbreak involving synthetic marijuana.

The flu season in Illinois is especially rough this year. And physicians think they know why.

The flu struck early and hard this year. Brian Curtis is the Director of Physician Practice at OSF Medical Group in Peoria, and he says the flu peaked right around Christmas, instead of the usual peak time in late January.

CURTIS: “It was kind of an inopportune time with the holidays and gatherings that people have which gave a prime opportunity to share it.”

Illinois public health officials are reporting a second case of measles in a person who was at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Wednesday said this case is unrelated to a case reported last week at the airport. The department says there isn't a measles outbreak at O'Hare.

Melanie Hayes [Flickr] /

The Peoria City/County Health Department is urging people who feel sick or have a fever to stay home. Peoria Health Department Officials say there is widespread flu activity in the Peoria Region. A statement from the agency says local hospital emergency departments and the emergency 911 system are responding to a higher number of people seeking care for flu-like symptoms including fever, sore throat, muscle and body aches, headache, fatigue, and a runny or stuffy nose.

Illinois public health officials say a Kankakee County resident is the first Illinoisan to die from West Nile virus this year in the state.

Public Health Event Focuses on LGBTQ Youth

Sep 5, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

An advocacy group that promotes equal rights for gay and transgender people in Peoria is hosting a public health event this weekend, centered on children and teens.

Illinois public health officials say the state has confirmed its first human case of West Nile virus this year.

A community health clinic in Peoria is one of ten organizations in Illinois to get major funding from the federal government.

Dieu Nalio Chery / AP Photo

The continued shortage of doctors in rural areas is further widening the healthcare disadvantage felt by communities worldwide. The University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria is hoping a new specialty track will serve as a pipeline, directing more doctors and public health solutions to areas with fewer resources.

Jim Bowen / Flickr/Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois state lawmakers are planning to assess how Medicaid cuts proposed by President Donald Trump's administration could impact vulnerable residents.

National Cancer Institute / Wikimedia Commons

Health officials have declared a mumps outbreak at a suburban Chicago high school after confirming a third case among its students.

The Lake County Health Department says it has nearly 20 suspected mumps cases at Barrington High School, along with an adult from Lake Zurich and a Libertyville High School student.

Those cases come as the U.S. is in the midst of one of the largest mumps surges in decades, with schools and college campuses in many states contending with outbreaks.

CHICAGO (AP) - A Chicago-based physician has been appointed to a national panel that makes evidence-based recommendations on preventive health care.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford Counties are now joined together in the state’s first regional health assessment. 

Peoria City/County Health Department

Flu season is kicking into high gear, and area hospitals providers are responding with a public request to limit patient visits. This helps the minimize the chance of spreading the virus.

The request comes in response to health department data that shows increased cases of flu in the region. The health department shows since 237 people in the region tested positive for the virus, between Oct. 31 and Dec. 24th.

The Peoria City/County Health Department says those who are not feeling well or have had flu-like symptoms in the past week should not visit hospitalized patients. 

Education, Prevention Efforts Continue on World AIDS Day

Nov 30, 2016
Sham Hardy / Flickr/Creative Commons

As President-Elect Donald Trump assembles his cabinet, it’s becoming clearer that he will likely attempt to alter the US’ healthcare system.

His appointments to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have already worked in varying capacities to alter health care funding in their respective states.

That is worrisome to those involved in prevention efforts, like University of Illinois Chicago professor and researcher Jennifer Brier.

Neeta Lind / Flickr/Creative Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois health officials have posted new forms for doctors and patients in the state's medical marijuana program to reflect changes in the law.

The Illinois Department of Public Health posted the updated information on its website Tuesday. The new material includes a form physicians must use to certify that a patient has a qualifying health condition. Doctors no longer need to recommend marijuana, but must certify a patient's diagnosis.

 An updated patient application is available, as is new information on how patients who are terminally ill can apply for a medical marijuana card.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has lately been critical of efforts to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, saying it’s not “what matters” in Illinois government. Our reporter has been closely following the governor’s overall efforts to improve Illinois’ criminal justice system, and was struck by Rauner’s comments on pot. So he decided to talk to someone who can explain how decriminalization fits into that broader effort.

UICOMP Research Findings On Display

Apr 13, 2016
markus spiske / Flickr/Creative Commons

Healthcare students, professionals and the public have a chance to survey the latest medical research being done in the Peoria area. 

The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria is holding its fourth annual  Medical Research Day on campus Wednesday. UICOMP pharmacology professor Steve Lasley says the experience gives medical students a competitive edge in residency applications, but additionally,  it gives attendees a chance to witness the range of topics pertaining to local health outcomes.

ILRI vaccines research / Flickr/Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois health officials have proposed new rules requiring parents who oppose vaccinating their children based on religious reasons to provide a special document to schools and child care facilities each year.

The Illinois Department of Public Health proposal is in response to a law approved last year. The law created a "certificate of religious exemption" for children whose parents don't want them to be vaccinated for religious reasons.

Claus Rebler / Flickr/Creative Commons

Area hospitals are asking people to voluntarily limit their hospital visits.

The request is based on data from the Peoria City/County Health Department that indicates more flu activity throughout the region. The guidance for limiting hospital visits includes those who are not feeling well or have experienced flu-like symptoms in the last seven days.

Hospital visitors should also be at least 18 years old. The idea is to limit patient exposure to children who have a higher risk for transmitting viral infections.

Daquella manera / Flickr/Creative Commons

Peoria County fares above national standards, when it comes to women getting prenatal care early in their pregnancy. But there is much work to be done in preventing preterm births and pregnancies among teens aged 15-19. 

Those are findings of the Peoria City-County Health Department’s report released this month.

At least sixteen of Illinois' 97 public health departments have laid off employees or cut back service hours, and more are expected unless the state comes through with funding.  

An association representing nearly 100 local health departments says the state budget impasse is "eroding" the ability to respond to public health emergencies. 

Illinois’ lack of budget is threatening rape crisis services, a program that helps women get screened for cervical cancer, and the public health network.  Senators meeting at the capitol today heard details of these and other woes. 

Governor Bruce Rauner's decision to cancel grants to some social services has upset advocates.  The move is being done to help close a budget gap. 

State concerned about health worker shortage

Mar 10, 2014

Public health officials are concerned there won't be enough health care providers to serve the increased patient load that is expected under the Affordable Care Act. A state panel has released nearly two dozen recommendations to alleviate what it sees as a workforce shortage in the state.