Health, Science, Environment

Coldwater Creek
9:15 am
Thu April 12, 2012

North County residents seek answers on Coldwater Creek contamination

A map of the Coldwater Creek area.
(via Napoli, Bern, Ripka, Shkolnik & Associates LLP Attorneys at Law and Byron, Carlson, Petri & Kalb, LLC Attorneys at Law)

Updated at 12:15 p.m. to revise the caption of the Hazelwood/Florissant health map.

Concerned North County residents got an opportunity last night to meet with attorneys who are involved in two lawsuits relating to radioactive contamination in Coldwater Creek.

The lawsuits allege that North County residents have developed cancers and other illnesses from exposure to radioactive waste produced by the Mallinckrodt chemical company.

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E. coli in Missouri
10:44 am
Tue April 10, 2012

5 in Missouri reported ill from E. coli

Low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria, magnified 10,000 times. Each individual bacterium is oblong shaped.
(Via Wikimedia Commons/Eric Erbe, digital colorization by Christopher Pooley, both of USDA, ARS, EMU)

State health officials say five people from central Missouri, including two toddlers, have contracted E. coli since late March.

The state health department said Monday it had not determined the source of the bacteria. But a Boone County health spokeswoman says three of the patients, including a 2-year-old, reported drinking raw dairy products.

The department says the 2-year-old was hospitalized and a 17-month-old developed life-threatening complications affecting the kidneys.

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Steam Pipe Rupture - Asbestos
5:20 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Health Department: Health risk 'minimal' following downtown steam pipe rupture

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Updated 3:54 p.m. with comment from Walker

We have an update on that steam pipe rupture that happened in downtown St. Louis Thursday morning.  The City of St. Louis Department of Health says that "while swab samples have indicated small amounts of ground level asbestos, air quality tests have come back clean."

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Animals
4:56 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

White-Nose Syndrome: A scourge in the bat caves

A little brown bat with white-nose syndrome hangs in Greeley Mine, Vt., in March 2009. The disease is spreading across the country, currently affecting bat populations in 19 states.
Marvin Moriarty U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 2:01 pm

A disease that has killed more than 5.5 million bats in the eastern United States and Canada is making its way west. White-nose syndrome has now been diagnosed in three Missouri bats — the first confirmed cases west of the Mississippi. And scientists say it won't stop there.

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Health Rankings
10:35 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Health rankings: St. Louis City among the least healthy counties in Missouri

Health rankings for 3,000 counties and the District of Columbia are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.
(University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

St. Louis City is among the ten least healthy counties in Missouri.

That's according to nationwide county health rankings released today by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Minority Health
5:22 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

SLU hosts forum on minority health

(via Flickr/Jennifer_Boriss)

Saint Louis University is hosting a forum on Tuesday about the public health issues facing minorities, in particular African Americans.

A panel of local academics from SLU and Washington University will present their research on topics ranging from maternal health to how segregation affects health literacy.

SLU community health expert Keon Gilbert will talk about the relationship of education to health outcomes in young African American men at risk of dropping out of high school.

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Bats - White-Nose Syndrome
12:16 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Bat disease confirmed in Missouri, likely to spread

A little brown bat showing symptoms of white-nose syndrome in Greeley Mine, Vermont (April, 2009).
(Marvin Moriarity/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Updated at 3:00 p.m. to clarify and expand description of white-nose syndrome.

A disease that has killed millions of bats across the eastern U.S. has been confirmed in Missouri for the first time.

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Weather - Insects
6:25 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Warm weather means more bugs, right? Maybe, maybe not.

Local experts say this year’s mild winter and early spring won’t necessarily mean more insect pests like ticks and mosquitoes. The lone star tick (pictured) is the most common of several disease-carrying ticks in Missouri.
(U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

This year’s mild winter and early spring has plants flowering and putting out leaves about three weeks sooner than usual. Ticks and mosquitoes have also been spotted early.

So with all this warm weather, we can expect a particularly bad bug season, right?

Missouri Department of Conservation natural history biologist Mike Arduser says not necessarily. “I hate to use the phrase “old wives’ tale,” but…”

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Severe Weather
5:20 pm
Sun April 1, 2012

New, ramped-up tornado warnings to start Monday

Joplin residents look through the remains of their house on May 24, 2011, two days after an EF-5 tornado devastated the city.
(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

As of Monday, the National Weather Service will be issuing a new kind of tornado warning in Missouri and Kansas.

The new, more forceful and explicit messages are designed to get attention and drive people to take shelter during dangerous storms.

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Record Heat
2:54 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

March was warmest on record in St. Louis - Illinois, too.

(via Flickr/Jack W. Reid)

March’s average temperature in St. Louis this year is almost 15 degrees above normal. If the forecast holds true tomorrow, St. Louis’s unusually high temperatures will make this the warmest March on record.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Mark Britt says the average temperature this month will be almost 61 degrees.

“The previous record of 1910 was only about 57.5 so that’s a considerable breaking of the record,” he said.  

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