CDC

As flu cases begin to appear in Kansas, a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist urged providers to continue distributing the flu vaccine while also preparing antiviral medications for high-risk patients.

William Atkinson, a doctor who spent 25 years at the CDC and is now associate director for immunization at the Immunization Action Coalition, said there's still time to inoculate more of the population before the flu season peaks.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment has received a federal grant of almost $1 million to help the CDC develop strategies to reduce the number of violent deaths, and the state will share homicide and suicide data with the National Violent Death Reporting System for five years.

The system delves into not just how these deaths happen, but why. It collects data on homicides such as the relationship between the victim and the suspect. In cases of suicide, it gathers details on depression, financial stress, and relationship problems.

The first-ever statewide report on infections in Kansas hospitals shows progress against two specific types of infections.

According to the CDC, Americans contract 1.7 million infections every year while being treated in hospitals and 99,000 people die from these infections, adding $30 billion to the nation’s healthcare costs. 

Joey Scaletta directs the Kansas healthcare-associated infections program. He says approximately five of every 100 patients admitted to a hospital contract an infection while there.

A new report on obesity in America says Kansas is now the 14th most obese state in the nation.  Missouri ranked just one spot below at 15th. 

The annual “F as in Fat” report says 29.9 percent of adults in Kansas are obese and 29.6 percent in Missouri. That’s barely changed from last year. 

Novel Virus Discovered Near St. Joe

Jan 7, 2013
Dr. Scott Folk/CDC

This past year brought some unexpected attention to the St. Joseph, Missouri area. That’s where a team of researchers identified a new virus, believed to be transmitted by ticks.

That Wyandotte County is grappling with some major health issues is no secret.  It’s ranked one of the least healthy regions in Kansas, and findings from a recent health assessment reaffirm the challenges:

Elana Gordon / KCUR

Johnson County, Kansas is in the midst of a whooping cough outbreak. It's not as bad as in Washington State, where they’ve declared an epidemic of the disease.  But health workers and schools in the region have been taking extra steps to get a handle on the disease.