public health

Todd Bookman / NHPR

 

New Hampshire's director of public health says he is resigning to allow for "new leadership" of the division.

Dr. Jose Montero announced in a statement Thursday that he will leave the post he's held for the past seven years on May 1. He has been with the state's Division of Health Services for 15 years.

He said in his written statement that it's time for new leadership to help the division achieve the goal of becoming an accredited agency.

Javier Romero Otero / Flickr/CC

Our Science Café tackles medical screening: while advances allow detection of diseases like prostate and breast cancer much earlier, some in the medical field worry about the potential for over-diagnosis and overtreatment.  But patients and doctors alike are dealing with risk and anxiety, and many feel that if widespread testing can save even one life, it’s worth it.

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Ebola Response In N.H.: Facts, Fears, And Policy

Nov 13, 2014
Army Medicine / Flickr/CC

Since a handful of Ebola cases have made their way to the U.S., officials have mobilized to deal with the threat, sometimes seeming to add to confusion around this illness. And while the risk of contracting Ebola in New Hampshire remains extremely low, the state has issued a set of guidelines, ranging from symptom monitoring, to, more controversially, quarantine. We’re sorting out the facts, fears, and policies.

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First Cases Of Chikungunya Virus Reported In N.H.

Jul 8, 2014
Centers for Disease Control

Officials are confirming the first two local cases of chikungunya, a painful but rarely fatal virus characterized by fever, headache, joint swelling and a rash.

The Department of Health and Human Services says two people from New Hampshire who recently traveled to the Caribbean became infected.

“While this is our first announcement of this virus, unfortunately it probably won’t be the last," says DHHS Public Health Director Dr. José Montero.  

E-Cigarettes And Smoking

Mar 18, 2014
DayTripper (Tom) / Flickr Creative Commons

There has been a significant increase in the popularity of this alternative to smoking, but health officials are still weighing the positive and negative health effects.  Some say “vaping” with e-cigarettes is much healthier than smoking, but others are worried that the addictive qualities of e-smoking are being downplayed or ignored.

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Public health officials have a problem. They want more parents to get their kids vaccinated, because there's been a resurgence of dangerous diseases as vaccination rates have dropped.

NH Public Healh And Disaster Preparedness Improving

Feb 2, 2014

A national report says New Hampshire has made progress toward building and strengthening its abilities to prepare for a public health emergency.    Being prepared to prevent, respond to, and recover from all types of public health threats, such as disease outbreaks, chemical  releases, or natural disasters, requires that public health departments improve and maintain their capabilities in surveillance and epidemiology, laboratories, and response readiness.

Vaporizers_ / Flickr Creative Commons

Those hoping for the legalization of marijuana in New Hampshire now say they have momentum on their side, coming from several different directions. First, after years of defeats, supporters saw their first real victory in the Granite State last year when medicinal pot was voted into law. Second, marijuana legalization has now passed in two states, Colorado and Washington. And third, a new legalization bill this year passed the house by a slim margin.

Healthnewsnet / Flickr Creative Commons

Since Edward Jenner’s discovery of a smallpox vaccine in the 18th century, vaccinations have at times been controversial. Today, while vaccines have been proven to inoculate against a host of dangerous diseases, the debate continues. We’ll look at what underlies this debate today.

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Eight patients who underwent operations at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester may have been exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakod Disease (CJD), a rare and fatal brain disorder that affects only one in a million people worldwide.

Public health officials say a patient underwent a successful procedure in May of this year to remove a brain cyst at Catholic Medical Center. The patient then began displaying symptoms for CJD, which causes cognitive difficulties and a rapidly failing memory.

Mosquito-Zancudo
Hugo A. Quintero G. / Flickr Creative Commons

While mosquitoes in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont have tested positive for West Nile Virus, so far, Granite State bugs are coming up clean.  

The state doesn’t start testing mosquitoes until the first of July.  Vector Borne Disease Surveillance Coordinator Whitney Howe says that’s because it usually takes a few extra weeks for New Hampshire to heat up into good mosquito habitat.  And while it’s been a wet summer, Howe says that’s not a guarantee we’ll see an uptick in West Nile cases.

Rockingham Healthiest County In N.H., Coos Struggles

Mar 20, 2013
Stethoscope
jasleen_kaur

Rockingham County is officially the healthiest place in New Hampshire, while Coos County is struggling in terms of public health.  That’s according to a report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

 Earlier today, public health advocates gathered inside the State House cafeteria--as good a place as any--to update lawmakers on initiatives aimed at combating obesity.

Healthy Eating Active Living, or HEAL NH, organized the forum. Community projects set up displays touting successes like playground gardens and improved sidewalks.

New Hampshire consistently ranks as one of the healthiest state in the nation, but Jeanie Holt with the NH Public Health Association says more investment is necessary.

Mosquitoes Become Latest Public Health Battle

Aug 29, 2012
Todd Bookman / NHPR

Mosquitoes get West Nile Virus from birds, and then they give it to us. It’s Ryan Naujoks's job to stop that. He works for Dragon Mosquito Control, a private company that municipalities like Derry hire to spray insecticides.

"I’m at Rider Field right now, and everything is locked up," Naujoks says over the phone. "Rider Field…"

Eventually, someone from the Town of Derry comes and unlocks the gates. Naujoks fires up the sprayer.

The truck makes a lap around the field emitting a small puff of white smoke.

Questions Remain Following Hepatitis C Outbreak

Jun 19, 2012
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sskennel/4526014600/">SSkennel</a> / Flickr

After a lifetime of health challenges, the last thing Katrina wanted to hear was that she’d contracted Hepatitis C. 

“I was devastated,” says the 41-year old, whose last name is being withheld at her request.

She also suffers from diabetes and kidney failure, and believes she got Hep C about five years ago, possibly from sharing razors with a female roommate.

Because Hep C can live in the body for decades without producing symptoms, it’s sometimes called the silent killer.

TB Scare At Concord Elementary School

Mar 23, 2012

Public health officials have confirmed a case of tuberculosis at Dane Elementary School.

Director of Public Health, Dr. Jose Montero, says the infected child, a kindergarten student, likely contracted the illness from an adult who was exposed to the dangerous bacteria abroad. Most TB is treatable and is spread through the air. Montero says the adult was treated effectively.

New Hampshire One of Healthiest States In Nation

Dec 6, 2011

A new report shows New Hampshire is again among the healthiest states in the nation.

But health officials say there is still room for improvement.

The United Health Foundation’s report looked at a variety of health issues, including heart disease deaths, cancer rates, premature births and access to health insurance.

New Hampshire was ranked second healthiest, an improvement from third last year.

The state scored well because of its low percentage of children in poverty, low crime rate, and high use of prenatal care and immunizations.