LA County has its own hepatitis A outbreak |Sep 19, 2017

LOS ANGELES — Health officials said today that Los Angeles County has a hepatitis A outbreak based on two “community-acquired” cases that cannot be traced back to San Diego County or Santa Cruz.

LA County declares its own hepatitis A outbreak; 10 infected include homeless |Sep 19, 2017

Public health officials declared a hepatitis A outbreak in Los Angeles County on Tuesday, saying there are now 10 people infected, two of whom are homeless and contracted the potentially fatal liver disease locally.

Healthcare: Uninsured rate in US falls to record low of 8.8% |Sep 16, 2017

Three years after the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion took effect, the number of Americans without health insurance fell to 28.1 million in 2016, down from 29 million in 2015, according to a federal report released Tuesday.

Most effective tool for anti-vaccine crusaders: A note from the doctor |Sep 10, 2017

Dr. Tara Zandvliet was inundated with calls and emails from parents last year, after California passed a law nixing personal beliefs as an exemption from school vaccinations. Suddenly, many parents sought exemptions for medical reasons.

Chronic happiness: How to actually enjoy getting older |Sep 9, 2017

By all rights, Fletcher Hall should not be happy. At 76, the retired trade association manager has endured three heart attacks and eight heart bypass operations. He’s had four stents and a balloon inserted in his heart.

Providence St. Joseph Health network to cover three Southern California counties |Sep 7, 2017

Providence St. Joseph Health announced a new leadership structure on Thursday, Sept. 7, that will unify health services across three Southern California counties and work to allow patients seamless access throughout the region.

5 out-of-the-box ideas for fixing the individual insurance marketplace |Sep 4, 2017

With Republican efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act stalled, tentative bipartisan initiatives are in the works to shore up the fragile individual insurance market that serves roughly 17 million Americans.

For low-income drug users, Medi-Cal offers a fresh start |Sep 4, 2017

Breann Johnson stopped using heroin on Mother’s Day this year, determined to end her 13-year addiction. Days later, she began three months of residential treatment in Riverside — all paid for by California’s Medicaid program.

Southern California DACA recipients hope for the best, brace for the worst as Trump readies announcement |Sep 4, 2017

A day before President Donald Trump was expected to announce his decision on an Obama-era program protecting young immigrants from deportation, dozens of young people who fear how they could be affected by the decision joined a Labor Day march in downtown Los Angeles Monday.

Successful Aging: Getting a sense when hygiene issues have deeper causes |Sep 3, 2017

Q My parents are in their 80s and lack good personal hygiene. My mother has been diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Even before my mother became ill, she resisted bathing. Both my parents do not shower enough, and they wear the same clothes daily, some with stains.

Frustration mounts over premiums for individual health plans |Sep 3, 2017

WASHINGTON >> Millions of people who buy individual health insurance policies and get no financial help from the Affordable Care Act are bracing for another year of double-digit premium increases, and their frustration is boiling over.

Offshore testing of herpes vaccine sets off debate |Sep 3, 2017

The government of St. Kitts and Nevis has launched an investigation into the clinical trial for a herpes vaccine by an American company because it said its officials were not notified about the experiments.

Nutrition: It’s gut-check time when considering how microbiota affects healthy digestion |Sep 2, 2017

Evolving science is pretty clear that the microorganisms inhabiting our digestive tracts, also known as the gut microbiota, are largely responsible for our overall health and well-being. The gut microbiota is the complex mix of the thousands of species of healthy bacteria that live within the gastrointestinal tract of their host.

Emergency room crews learn to spot elder abuse |Sep 2, 2017

Abuse often leads to depression and medical problems in older patients — even death within a year of an abusive incident. Yet, those subjected to emotional, physical or financial abuse too often remain silent.

West Nile kills LA County resident as reports of virus activity spike |Sep 1, 2017

California Department of Public Health confirmed a Los Angeles County resident from the San Fernando Valley was among the first three human deaths from West Nile virus. Two residents, one in San Bernardino County and another in Kern County, have also died, according to the state.

Leukemia-fighting gene therapy has ups (it usually works) and downs (you won’t believe what it costs, side effects are brutal) |Aug 31, 2017

WASHINGTON — Opening a new era in cancer care, U.S. health officials have approved a breakthrough treatment that genetically engineers patients’ own blood cells into an army of assassins to seek and destroy childhood leukemia.

Is there a Maury for mountain lions? Asking for two adorable LA kittens |Aug 29, 2017

Two blue-eyed mountain lion kittens born to a young mother and a father that gets around were found earlier this month in the Santa Monica Mountains, marking the 13th litter discovered by researchers in the area, officials announced Tuesday.

Successful Aging: It all depends on how you look at the greatness of 80 |Aug 28, 2017

Q I am 79 years old and soon will be celebrating my 80th birthday. Although I am grateful to have lived this long I feel so different about this birthday. I recently dreamed that I was about to wander through an arch and at the last minute stopped, which is when I woke up with heart palpitations.

What happens when you’re forced to change health plans when you’re sick? |Aug 28, 2017

Joanna Joshua, 39, panicked when she opened a letter from her family’s insurer, Cigna, only to learn it was pulling out of California’s individual market next year. The Santa Clarita resident would have no choice but to change health plans.

Dyslexia, once the reading disability that shall not be named, comes into its own in California |Aug 26, 2017

Jamie Bennetts created a spreadsheet of every child’s reading scores in the small Knightsen Elementary School District a few summers ago, identified the laggers and greeted them in the fall with state-adopted reading interventions.

Home visits help new parents overcome tough histories, raise healthy children |Aug 26, 2017

EL CENTRO >> Seated at a kitchen table in a cramped apartment, Rosendo Gil asked the young parents sitting across from him what they should do if their daughter caught a cold. Blas Lopez, 29, and his fiancée, Lluvia Padilla, 28, quickly answered: Check her temperature and call the doctor if she has a fever they can’t control.

Rodent droppings, cockroaches, lack of hot water lead to closures at 3 San Gabriel Valley restaurants |Aug 25, 2017

Three restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley were temporarily closed last week due to major public health hazards. Between Aug. 13 to Aug. 19, those facilities had their health permits suspended for cockroach and rodent infestations and a lack of hot water, according to a report from the Los Angeles County Public Health Department.

California needs health-care workers, and it’s asking for help |Aug 23, 2017

Health and education leaders across California have joined forces with business and labor leaders to address workforce shortages in health care. The new group aims to create a blueprint for policymakers.

Cal State LA awarded $16.6M grant to promote dental health |Aug 22, 2017

LOS ANGELES >> Cal State Los Angeles was awarded a $16.6 million grant Monday from the California Department of Health Care Services to promote dental health among low-income children and young adults.

Canter’s among 10 LA restaurants forced to close for cockroaches, other health hazards |Aug 22, 2017

Ten restaurants in Los Angeles were temporarily closed last week due to major public health hazards. Between Aug. 6 and Aug. 12, those facilities had their health permits suspended for cockroach, rodent and fly infestations and a lack of hot water, according to a report from the Los Angeles County Public Health Department.

LA County strikes deal with cities to ‘streamline’ homeless services |Aug 22, 2017

Hoping to place thousands of homeless people into affordable housing regionwide, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to partner with all cities across the county that step up and help in the effort.

Anthem’s exit leaves thousands without health insurance choice in California |Aug 21, 2017

For about 60,000 Covered California customers, choosing a health plan next year will be easier, and possibly more painful, than ever: There will be only one insurer left in their communities after Anthem Blue Cross of California pulls out of much of the state’s individual market.

Drinking lead: Why California may force all schools to test their water |Aug 20, 2017

When a therapy dog refused to drink at a San Diego grade school, it was the first clue that something was wrong with the water. Tests revealed why the pup turned up its nose—the presence of polyvinyl chloride, the polymer in PVC pipes that degrade over time.

Often missing in the repeal-and-replace health care debate: The voices of women |Aug 20, 2017

Women, in particular, have a lot at stake in the fight over the future of health care. Not only do many depend on insurance coverage for maternity care and contraception, they are struck more often by such diseases as autoimmune conditions, osteoporosis, breast cancer and depression.

Number of dialysis patients in California surges |Aug 19, 2017

The number of Californians who are getting care at dialysis centers has jumped in recent years — but not because kidney disease is more prevalent. The reason is that people are living longer with end-stage renal disease, said Anjay Rastogi, a professor of nephrology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.

Kicking heroin in California’s opioid ‘treatment desert’ |Aug 19, 2017

Heather Menzel squirmed in her seat, unable to sleep on the Greyhound bus as it rolled through the early morning darkness toward Bakersfield, in California’s Central Valley. She’d been trapped in transit for three miserable days, stewing in a horrific sickness only a heroin addict can understand.

Pomona Valley Hospital personnel get training on new helipad |Aug 18, 2017

POMONA >> Periodically, the sound of a helicopter fills the air around Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center. Helicopters from various fire, air ambulance and law enforcement agencies have been landing on the helipad on top of the hospital’s five-story parking structure.

Medical marijuana makers, distributors to be allowed in El Monte, but retail locations still banned |Aug 16, 2017

The city of El Monte is OK with supporting the business of medical marijuana but draws the line at dispensaries. The City Council voted Tuesday 3-1 to move forward with new rules allowing operators on the business side of the medical marijuana industry — distributors, manufacturers and lab testers among them — to set up shop in the city, while still banning retail outlets selling the drug to patients.

What if LA County paid residents to house the homeless? Leaders are exploring the idea |Aug 14, 2017

Some Los Angeles County homeowners may qualify for up to a $75,000 subsidy to build a second dwelling on their property to house homeless people, if a pilot program is approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.

Lack of brain donations is hampering understanding of dementia in blacks |Aug 13, 2017

The question came as a shock to Dorothy Reeves: Would she be willing to donate her husband’s brain for research? She knew dementia would steadily take Levi Reeves’ memories of their 57-year marriage, his remaining lucidity and, eventually, his life.

35 children die in north Indian hospital in 3 days |Aug 12, 2017

LUCKNOW, India >> Parents of at least 35 children who have died in a state-run hospital in northern India over the past three days have alleged that the fatalities were due to the lack of a sufficient oxygen supply in the children’s ward.

Colon cancer rates rising among younger white adults — and falling among blacks |Aug 12, 2017

When Crawford Clay discovered blood on his shorts at the end a routine run in the spring of 2014, he did not know the stains were a symptom of a condition that also afflicted his family. His doctor said it was likely hemorrhoids, but as a precaution, the physician scheduled a colonoscopy.

Bending the trend, more employers are offering job-based health insurance |Aug 12, 2017

The shrinking unemployment rate has been a healthy turn for people with job-based benefits. Eager to attract help in a tight labor market and unsure of Obamacare’s future, large employers are newly committed to maintaining coverage for workers and often their families, according to new research and interviews with analysts.

Bed bugs make unwelcome return to Southern California |Aug 12, 2017

Each night a couple years ago, Louis Salgado fell asleep knowing he would wake up a few hours later itching all over his body. The West Covina apartment he and his late wife shared for two decades was infested with bed bugs for the better part of 2015.

Baldwin Park gives green light to commercial cultivation of recreational, medical marijuana |Aug 11, 2017

BALDWIN PARK >> Commercial cultivation and the manufacture of marijuana — both medical and recreational — will be allowed in Baldwin Park, city leaders decided. At a special meeting Thursday, the City Council voted 4-1 to preliminarily approve an ordinance which allows that specific pot-related activity in the city’s industrial areas.

Cockroaches shut down 3 restaurants in Walnut, South El Monte |Aug 11, 2017

Three restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley were temporarily closed last week due to major public health hazards. Between July 30 and Aug. 5, those facilities had their health permits suspended for cockroach infestations, according to a report from the Los Angeles County Public Health Department.

Texas cuts aid to ‘colonias’ after years of offering help |Aug 10, 2017

ALAMO, Texas >> While the economy in Texas has boomed over the last 20 years, along the border with Mexico about a half million people live in clusters of cinderblock dwellings, home-built shacks, dilapidated trailers and small houses.

California funds groups to serve food to Medi-Cal’s poor, just like medicine |Aug 9, 2017

Federico Guzmán moved from Mexico to San Francisco in 1992, fleeing anti-gay sentiment and searching for AIDS treatment. He couldn’t find a job and sometimes went hungry until friends introduced him to Project Open Hand, a nonprofit organization that began serving free, nutritious meals to HIV patients in 1985.

UCR researchers find way to thwart ovarian cancer, plan to work with City of Hope |Aug 9, 2017

A pair of UC Riverside researchers say they have found a mechanism for blocking the spread of ovarian cancer, one of the deadliest cancers for women. Recent University of Notre Dame transplants Mark Alber and Oleg Kim, along with a team of researchers, published a study in Oncology Times in July that detailed how they used a monoclonal antibody named GC-4 to block a protein responsible for allowing ovarian cancer cells to latch onto and penetrate other cells.

Los Angeles gets biggest boost from HIV housing funds |Aug 8, 2017

In a bipartisan push, Congress has restructured a federal housing program for HIV patients to funnel more money into areas struggling to control the spread of the virus. While legislators and housing advocates say the adjustments will better target regions with high rates of HIV, the changes are likely to mean less money for some of the large cities that faced the early effects of the epidemic.

Teen pregnancy prevention programs at risk after Trump Administration budget cuts |Aug 6, 2017

Luanne Rohrbach was stunned when she got the letter from Washington: The federal money for her teen pregnancy prevention program was being shut off. Rohrbach helps lead a program providing sexual health education for middle- and high-school students in Los Angeles and Compton.

Paying doctors more — now will they treat more poor Californians? |Aug 6, 2017

It seems like a simple solution. Raise what you pay doctors for treating low-income patients, and they’ll treat more of them. All those waits for appointments and physician shortages that have long plagued the state’s low-income health insurance program—a program that one out of every three Californians now relies on—could be remedied with a simple dose of economics.

California-led effort helps improve blood pressure control among low-income patients |Aug 5, 2017

California faces a big challenge in controlling the blood pressure of low-income residents with hypertension, but a state-led program has shown some signs of progress. Nine of the state’s 23 Medicaid managed care plans spent a year working with state officials, studying the latest blood pressure control methods, consulting with experts and sharing their own successes and failures.

This drug puts $750,000 ‘price tag on life’ |Aug 5, 2017

Jana Gundy and Amanda Chaffin live within two hours of each other in Oklahoma. Each has a child with the same devastating disease, one that robs them of muscle strength, affecting their ability to sit, stand or even breathe.

Record high vaccination rates of 7th-graders reported in 1st year of stricter requirements |Aug 5, 2017

Vaccination rates for California 7th-graders reached their highest recorded levels, the California Department of Public Health reported, in another sign that a stricter vaccination law is having an effect in its first year.