Centers for Disease Control

Michael Velardo | Flickr

The nation’s opioid crisis is threatening to undo decades of HIV prevention work, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

In response to a national survey of intravenous drug users in 22 cities, they’re calling for wider distribution of clean needles.  

“The science shows that syringe services programs work,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said. "They save lives, and they save money." 

The chlamydia bacteria, stained and viewed at 500 times.
National Cancer Institute | Dr. Lance Liotta Laboratory

Rates of three common sexually transmitted diseases have risen to a record high level nationwide, and St. Louis continues to rank high among cities, according to federal data released Wednesday.

The St. Louis region recorded 14,961 cases of chlamydia in 2015, the 17th highest per-capita rate in the country. Rates of syphyllis stayed relatively steady at just over 400 cases in the metro area. The city of St. Louis, however, measured the highest rate of both chlamydia and gonorrhea among counties and independent cities. 

“We’ve seen closures of publicly funded STD clinics around the country, and St. Louis is similar in that we have very few options for people to get tested and treated,” said Dr. Brad Stoner, medical director of the St. Louis STD/HIV Prevention Training Center.

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito feasts on the blood of CDC photographer James Gathany. Aedes aegypti is the type of mosquito most likely to carry Zika and other tropical diseases.
James Gathany | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The breed of mosquito most likely to carry the Zika virus probably won’t make its way to St. Louis this summer, but local public health agencies are still taking precautions.

gavin rice | Flickr | http://bit.ly/23yE1Ru

As of Friday, at least 31 people in the U.S. have been infected with the Zika virus. That includes three pregnant women — two in Illinois and one in New York. The virus has been reported across the globe in Africa, South Asia, Polynesia, as well as Central and South America.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, rash and conjunctivitis. It has been associated with microcephaly birth defects, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It spreads to people via mosquito bites.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

William Stage, a former investigator for the Centers for Disease Control in St. Louis and longtime writer for the Riverfront Times, is back with a new novel, “Creatures on Display.” The book is a “gritty mystery set in the seedy underside of St. Louis.”

This is no typical comic noir, though. It takes a hard look at the fictional efforts of investigators who must confront the AIDS crisis during the 1980s. Investigating the AIDS crisis was something that Stage had to undertake through his work with the CDC.

Dr. Ken Haller talks about vaccination safety with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Feb. 10, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Rumors of a link between autism and the measles vaccine persist, although the original paper that claimed the link, as well as its author, have been discredited.

Adrian Clark | Flickr

After test results confirmed that a nurse in Dallas had contracted the deadly Ebola virus from a patient, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told hospitals to ‘start thinking Ebola’ when patients present flu-like symptoms.

Hospital officials in the St. Louis region say they’ve already done so. They've been working to determine protocols, train health workers and buy protective equipment. The virus is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids.

(via Flickr/Daniel Paquet)

Missouri is still near the bottom of the pack when it comes to childhood vaccination rates.

The results of the CDC's annual National Immunization Survey show about 68 percent of children under age 3 got all the required vaccinations in 2011. That's about the same as in 2010, and up from 56 percent in 2009.

In Illinois, vaccination rates fell from about 75 percent in 2010 to about 72 percent in 2011.

(via Flickr/Daniel Paquet)

Missouri is doing a better job of getting toddlers vaccinated for childhood diseases.

Results of the CDC’s National Immunization Survey show Missouri rose from last in the rankings in 2009 up to 39th last year.

(via Flickr/shnnn)

Reporting from KCUR's Elana Gordon used in this report.

A decade ago, more than one in four Missourians smoked. Now, only about one in five smoke, and those who do smoke are doing so less often.

Flickr/Dave Hogg

St. Louis Industrial Fire Forces Evacuations Near Hampton

Updated 4:35 p.m. - All three firefighters were released from the hospital around noon.

A five-alarm fire in the 2100 block of Clifton at Chemisphere Corp., a solvent distributor, was reported at about 2:30 this morning, and was under control by 6 a.m.

St. Louis Fire Captain Dan Sutter said a few minor injuries were reported .

tylerdurden1 | Flickr

If you use a cellphone instead of a landline, you aren’t alone. More people are dropping their landlines in exchange for a cellphone-only existence.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released estimates today showing a two year increase in Missouri and Illinois households making the switch to cellphones.

In Missouri: