Health, Science, Environment

Infant Mortality Rates
4:47 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Missouri Nurse Steps Up Campaign for Black Infant Mortality Awareness, Despite Setback

Sherry Payne is a registered nurse and executive director of the perinatal health organization Uzazi Village, which works to decrease disparities in birth outcomes.
Credit Sherry Payne

A Missouri registered nurse who had to abandon plans to walk across the state to raise awareness of black infant mortality rates made her final stop in St. Louis Friday.

Sherry Payne, who is the director of the perinatal health organization Uzazi Village based in Kansas City, gave a presentation at St. Louis University on ways to improve birth outcomes for black babies.

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5:06 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Analysis: Ferguson Protests Are About Justice But Also About Health And Economic Disparities

Credit For the Sake of All

The police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the sight of his limp body sprawled for hours in the street have provoked an intense debate that reveals our nation’s deep divisions when it comes to questions of race and justice.

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Public Health
6:17 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Respiratory Virus Confirmed by Hospital in St. Louis Area

Credit Dr. Farouk / Flickr Creative Commons

A relatively rare virus strain that can cause respiratory problems in children has been confirmed in St. Louis. It has sent dozens to pediatric intensive care units in Kansas City and Chicago.

Late last week, St. Louis Children’s Hospital ran in-house tests and confirmed Enterovirus-68, or EV-D68, in a small sample of three patients who had been admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit.

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Women's Health
3:19 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Kiener Plaza Fountain Turns Teal For Ovarian Cancer Awareness

St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness president Lisa Sienkiewicz stands next to the Kiener Plaza Fountain in downtown St. Louis. The fountain was dyed teal in honor of National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. SLOCA members handed out flyers and information about ovarian cancer symptoms to passersby.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

To kick off National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, local organizers dyed the water in the Kiener Plaza Fountain in downtown St. Louis teal -- the trademark color of the awareness campaign.

Sometimes called the ‘silent killer,’ ovarian cancer can be difficult to recognize before it’s in an advanced stage.

The rate of survival is low: 20,593 American women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011. 14,346 women died, according to the Center for Disease Control. But treatments are most effective when the cancer is diagnosed in its earliest stages.

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Better Together
7:50 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

'Better Together' Seeks to Streamline Public Health Services

Credit Dr. Farouk / Flickr Creative Commons

Like many municipal services, the St. Louis City and County Departments of Health operate separately.

Although the city and county collaborate and serve many of the same purposes, the divide may make it more difficult for the agencies to help residents. That's according to a report released Wednesday by the group ‘Better Together,’ a project that is exploring whether or not St. Louis county and city should consider altering merging various services.

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New Madrid Fault
9:54 pm
Sun August 31, 2014

After Napa, Missourians Weigh Costs of Earthquake Insurance

National Seismic Hazard map of the continental United States, released in July of 2014. This view measures peak ground acceleration.
Credit United States Geological Survey

Last week, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Napa, Calif. ripped through a region where less than 6 percent of homeowners and renters have earthquake insurance.

Could the same thing happen along the New Madrid Fault in southeastern Missouri?

Statewide, about one-third of Missourians are insured against earthquakes. But those who live in the most earthquake-prone areas are much less likely to have coverage.

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Urban Wildlife
3:23 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Night Of The Cemetery Bats

Big brown bats like this one are relatively common in urban areas, sometimes roosting in buildings. Contrary to popular belief, bats rarely carry rabies and are not rodents. They belong to the order Chiroptera, which means "hand-wing."
Courtesy of Robert Marquis

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 6:28 pm

I've visited St. Louis' Bellefontaine cemetery before, but never at night.

It's really dark. The looming trees are black against the sky, where a half-moon is just barely visible behind some clouds.

I can see eerie lights and strange, shadowy figures moving among the gravestones.

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Aging water systems
3:33 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Water Utilities Push For New Infrastructure, Rates Could Rise

An infrared photograph shows a water main leak in Webster Groves. Water utility companies photograph roads at night to determine which pipes may be in need of repair.
Credit courtesy of Missouri American

Water pipes in the St. Louis area are old … and getting older.

A report published Tuesday by a consortium of five St. Louis-area water utilities shows much of the area’s water system has outlived its expected lifetime:

  • Life expectancy for reservoirs and da

    ms ranges from 50 to 80 years. The average age of a St. Louis-area reservoir or dam is 80 years.

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West Lake Landfill
4:02 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Suit Dismissed That Alleged West Lake Landfill's Radiation Had Spread

Map of the West Lake Landfill
Credit EPA | 2013 report

At the behest of the man who had filed the suit, a U.S. District Court has dismissed a suit that had alleged the radiation from the West Lake Landfill had spread into surrounding neighborhoods.

The dismissal had been requested by the lawyer for John James, who lived in a subdivision near the landfill, which is near Bridgeton. The lawyer has said that test results failed to show enough radiation to meet the federal standard for damages.

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Mental Health
11:36 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

What’s Helpful To Know About Trauma After Upheaval In Ferguson

Regina Greer of the United Way Coaches volunteers at the new community resource drop-in center at the Dellwood Community Center on August 21.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

In the past two weeks, residents in Ferguson have seen familiar businesses broken into and looted, heard gunshots at night and had to drive through police checkpoints to enter their neighborhoods. Some say their trust of law enforcement has been deeply shaken since the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of a Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson.

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