Topic: Washington State Department of Health
You are viewing the most recent posts on this topic.
September 25, 2013 at 5:19 PM
Folks in Des Moines can drink straight from the tap again.
The Washington State Department of Health has lifted an advisory for residents of Water District 54 to boil their water before drinking it, after lab tests showed the water now meets safe drinking-water standards, a spokesman confirmed.
Officials issued the warning Saturday, after tests found E. coli bacteria in the water. No source for the E. coli was identified, but the district has inspected and disinfected the system and flushed out its water supply, a release from the department of health said.
Public Health – Seattle & King County ordered 39 restaurants closed during the advisory, and an estimated 5,000 residents of Des Moines and Normandy Park were affected.
The release encouraged Des Moines-area customers with questions or concerns about their water quality to call the water district at 206-878-7210.
June 20, 2013 at 6:14 PM
Since Washington’s Death with Dignity Act took effect in March, 2009, the number of patients using it to acquire lethal medication, and the number of doctors prescribing it, has grown slowly but steadily.
In 2010, the first full year for the law, which allows adult residents of Washington with six months or less to live to request lethal doses of medication from doctors, 87 patients filled the prescriptions, written by 68 different doctors.
Last year, 121 people filled the prescriptions, which were written by 87 different doctors, according to the annual report released Thursday by the state Department of Health.
As has consistently been true throughout the years, the vast majority of the patients had cancer, were white, non-Hispanic, had at least some college education, and had private or public insurance. Nearly all reported to their doctors concerns about loss of autonomy and dignity.
Dr. Tom Preston, a retired cardiologist who has written several books about assisted dying, said he is disappointed that more doctors aren’t prescribing for their patients. As he does in his books, Preston advises patients to talk to their doctors early in their disease process, because many patients wait too long.
The law requires a series of steps and waiting periods, including forms patients and doctors must complete and which must be filed with health department, which monitors compliance with the law.
April 5, 2013 at 7:14 PM
Several frozen food products have been recalled after an E. coli outbreak has sickened 27 people in 15 states, including a Pierce County woman in her 20s.
The Washington State Department of Health says potentially contaminated products from brands Farm Rich, Market Day and Schwan’s have been distributed throughout the state. The United States Department of Agriculture posted a full list of products tied to the contamination on its website.
“E. coli can be very serious. We’re asking people to look at the recall list, check their freezers carefully, and throw out any of these products that they find,” said Dave Gifford, the state’s food safety program manager in a statement.
The E. coli strain involved in the outbreak is called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O121 (STEC O121), which is similar to E. coli O157:H7. It can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and can sometimes be deadly.
June 5, 2012 at 5:13 PM
Parts of the Penn Cove shellfish growing area got the OK to re-open to harvest today, though areas closest to where a sunken boat leaked fuel remain closed.
Based on test results, officials from the state Department of Health lifted the closures in the areas north of Mueller Park.
In a news release, the department said that while earlier chemical testing showed no contamination, taste and smell sampling in the southern portion of Penn Cove show the slight presence of contaminants that won’t allow the commercial harvest area or recreational beaches to be opened yet.
On May 15, a diesel spill from the vessel Deep Sea, which burned and sank, prompted the closure of Penn Cove to all shellfish harvesting.
The health department said it would reopen the remaining area once testing shows there is no contamination in the shellfish.
April 3, 2012 at 1:18 PM
From Staff Reporter Mary Jean Spadafora:
The Washington State Department of Health today announced a dramatic increase in reported cases of pertussis, or whooping cough.
So far this year in the state, 640 cases have been recorded, well over the 94 reported by this time last year. Health Secretary Mary Selecky said the disease has reached epidemic levels in the state.
At a morning news conference, Selecky said she wants all teens and adults to get vaccinated to help protect babies too young for the vaccine.
Pertussis is a contagious bacterial infection that causes a severe, long-lasting cough. For adults, pertussis can manifest as a mild cold with occasional coughing; for young children, especially infants, it can be severe and life threatening.
The health department plans to work with health-care providers to encourage their patients to get vaccinated.
February 8, 2012 at 6:36 PM
After a record-setting number of whooping cough cases, Washington health officials are advising pregnant women and people who are around infants to get vaccinated for the highly contagious disease.
In 2011, there were 912 cases of the disease in Washington state, the highest number in six years.
State health officials recommend that women who plan to become pregnant should get vaccinated again for the disease, because the vaccine usually wears off in five years.
Women who are already pregnant should wait until after 20 weeks’ gestation; the waiting time is precautionary for newly pregnant women, although the vaccine is considered safe, said Michele Roberts, health promotion manager for the Washington State Health Department’s office of immunization. Pregnant women who have been vaccinated pass some protection on to the fetus.
Babies get a series of four vaccines against pertussis, or whooping cough, starting at 1 months and ending on their 1st birthday. Because they don’t develop full immunity from the disease until they are 1 year old, it’s important for them to gain some immunity from their mothers before they are born.
February 7, 2012 at 5:52 PM
An unknown number of people who attended a statewide cheerleading competition at Everett’s Comcast Arena on Saturday have become ill, and state and local health officials are investigating a possible intestinal-illness outbreak.
The symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. The Washington State Department of Health and the Snohomish Health District are investigating.
Health officials say thousands of people attended the event, and symptoms began appearing on Sunday and Monday. The cause and source of the illnesses, as well as the number of people sickened, are unknown. About 3,000 people attended the event, and 1,000 participated in the competition.
Donn Moyer of the state Department of Health said at least 19 of the squads that participated in the event have reported sickness among members.
Investigators are sending a questionnaire to participants and collecting samples for testing at the state Public Health Laboratories. People who attended the event and have severe symptoms are advised to contact their doctors.
Intestinal illnesses can be caused by several viruses and bacteria from a variety of sources. Symptoms typically include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and may include headaches, stomach cramps, and fever.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
Trending with readers