MTPR

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Flu shot. File photo.
(PD)

A total of 145 new cases of influenza were reported during the first week of the new year, according to the most recent data from the Montana Health Department.

Stacey Anderson, the agency’s vaccine preventable disease epidemiologist, describes these cases as the 'tip of the iceberg'.

Butte residents gathered at a Superfund health study meeting to discuss a range of health concerns with agency officials and health department staff. October 30, 2018.
Nora Saks / Montana Public Radio

A new analysis by the state health department says that the rate of new cancer diagnoses in Silver Bow County is about the same as the rest of Montana.

But at a council of commissioners meeting Wednesday night in Butte, state cancer epidemiologist Heather Zimmerman said that's not the case for cancer mortalities.

Flu shot. File photo.
(PD)

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Montana health officials say a Missoula County child has become the first person to die of an influenza-related illness in the state this season.

Department of Public Health and Human Services officials said in a statement Monday there aren't many flu cases in Montana right now, but the number is expected to increase in the coming weeks.

The rising number of children entering Montana’s foster care system appears to be slowing after years of sharp increases that burdened the state justice system and the caseload of health department workers.

According to the Department of Public Health and Human Services, the increase in the number of kids in foster care is stabilizing after doubling over the last decade.

Romaine lettuce.
iStock

Romaine lettuce is not safe to eat. The warning comes from public health officials investigating an E. coli outbreak in several states. Although no cases have been reported in Montana, the Department of Public Health and Human Services still says to avoid all forms of romaine.

Thirty-two cases of infections from a dangerous type of E. coli bacteria in 11 states have been linked to romaine lettuce. 

The Solving Perinatal Drug and Alcohol Use Initiative uses a system of care made up of clinical and community teams that provide the patient with comprehensive primary care, behavioral health and social services.
Montana Healthcare Foundation

The state health department announced it's getting $5.6 million in grant funding to help pregnant women who are struggling with addiction or other behavioral health problems.

The health department's Jen Rieden says it can be hard for women to find treatment beyond basic pregnancy care outside of Montana's big cities. 

Senate Bill 96 proposes a 50-percent tax on vaping products.
iStock

The nation’s most popular e-cigarette company has suspended sale of its flavored products at over 90,000 brick and mortar stores nationwide. This development underwhelms Montana health officials.

Nicole Aune describes JUUL Labs’ announcement as, “A little too late and it’s not quite enough.”

Caregiver. File photo.
iStock

The Montana health department is proposing a $1-per-hour wage increase for direct-care workers for disability services. It’s part of Governor Steve Bullock’s plan to restore budget cuts enacted over the last two years. But not all the money that was cut is getting put back.

More than 40 people came to the DPHHS hearing on Medicaid cuts Feb. 1, 2018 in Helena.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

When Montana lawmakers and the governor cut $49 million from the state health department earlier this year, it disrupted care for thousands of Montana’s most vulnerable residents. Over 100 case management jobs were cut. Now, the health department is meeting with contractors about the possibility of redesigning the system.

Nearly 23 percent of Montana high school students use electronic cigarette type products, according to the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the Montana Office of Public Instruction.
(PD)

Montana’s health department issued a warning Thursday about a popular electronic cigarette they fear is addicting a new generation to nicotine.

The warning comes just five days before Montana voters will decide whether or not to tax e-cigarettes in the state for the first time.

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