Public Health

This post was updated May 28, 2019 at 9:15 p.m. to include the leastest outbreak numbers and an additional infographic.

Measles have reached the highest numbers in 25 years, with more than 900 cases reported so far to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Mountain West is especially vulnerable. According to CDC data, too few kindergarteners in our region are fully vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella. One Colorado family took that to heart — and then things got personal.

Global Monitoring of Pharmaceuticals Project

A recent study of rivers across 72 countries found that waterways are often contaminated with antibiotics, including here in the Mountain West.

Over the past 70 years, ultra-processed foods have come to dominate the U.S. diet. These are foods made from cheap industrial ingredients and engineered to be super-tasty and generally high in fat, sugar and salt.

Water is again flowing through faucets in the Western Slope town of Paonia.

Town administrator Ken Knight told residents at a meeting Tuesday evening enough water is being treated and kept in storage to return service to the more than 1,500 people who rely on the town for drinking water. Some residents have been without drinkable tap water for nearly two weeks after officials discovered leaks in water pipes.

When Paonia resident Jon Howard went turn on the dishwasher last Friday morning, there was no water to clean the dishes.

Same thing when he went to the bathroom, wanted to take a shower or fill up a glass from the kitchen sink.

Noelle Cerone has noticed a disturbing trend at her high school situated in the mountains just north of Steamboat Springs.

“I know a lot of kids who have changed over time because they have gotten addicted to the nicotine in vape pens,” the Steamboat Mountain School junior wrote this week in a letter to state lawmakers.

Democratic lawmakers will introduce a bill soon that would give local governments in Colorado more control over oil and gas drilling operations.

The legislation from House Speaker KC Becker and Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg would not increase the setbacks between oil wells and homes. But the lawmakers say it will give cities and counties the ability to increase those setbacks themselves.

It's that time of year again. You wake up with a scratchy throat, stuffy nose, a little achy — maybe a fever. Is it a classic head cold, or do you need to be more concerned? Could it be the flu?

Parents and teachers who traveled to Denver on Dec. 18 to watch the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission increase the buffer zones between schools and oil and gas wells didn't have much praise for the state board.

Instead, they questioned why the state wasn't going even further to protect students. They also raised the prospect of another ballot initiative to extend the setbacks if state lawmakers don't act in the upcoming session.

Investigators who are trying to track down the source of E. coli contamination in romaine lettuce are feeling that they've seen this movie before.

Over the past six weeks, at least 50 people in the U.S. and Canada have gone to the doctor suffering from the symptoms of food poisoning. They were infected with an identical strain of E. coli bacteria. Most of them remembered eating romaine lettuce.

Doctors across the U.S. have become increasingly vocal in addressing gun violence as a public health crisis, a posture that recently has drawn the wrath of the National Rifle Association.

Yet, in Colorado, a diverse group that includes doctors, public health researchers and gun shop owners has come together to bridge this divide. The Colorado Firearm Safety Coalition has found common ground on at least one issue: preventing firearm suicide.

Courtesy: Bessamer Historical Society

A promise of increased funding earlier this year is anticipated to expedite cleanup at the Colorado Smelter Superfund site in Pueblo, and a new contractor will be taking over the work.

What Will Become Of Venetucci Farm?

May 16, 2018
Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC


Peak Curiosity is a community-driven reporting series from 91.5 KRCC. We ask listeners to submit their questions about the Pikes Peak region and Southern Colorado, and then we answer them. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to submit your question!

St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office / Creative Commons

Colorado's Department of Public Health and Environment is  calling for a repeal of the Dickey Amendment - the law that essentially limits federal funding for gun violence research. Mountain west states have some of the highest rates of gun-related deaths in the country.

Jim Mone / AP

 

Manufacturing and chemical giant 3M will pay $850 million to settle a lawsuit with the state of Minnesota over groundwater contaminated with Perfluorinated Compounds, or PFCs. 3M is also one of several companies named in a lawsuit over PFC contamination identified in El Paso County drinking water in 2016.

91.5 KRCC

There is bipartisan support during the 2018 legislative session for a slate of bills on two major topics—consumer data protections and combating Colorado’s opioid epidemic. The measures are slated to get their first hearings this month, but there are still disagreements on how any legislation will ultimately come together.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP

For the second time in five years, the El Paso County Board of Health has put the brakes on a plan to create a syringe exchange program. The decision came at the end of an impassioned, three-hour-long meeting Monday morning, where concerned citizens, healthcare providers, and others voiced both support for and opposition to the plan.

Wednesday Newscast, 7/26/17, 7:04 AM

Jul 26, 2017

Newscast for Wednesday, July 26, 2017, 7:04 AM:

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Officials at Peterson Air Force Base say they've finished drilling wells meant to help determine whether the base is to blame for potentially toxic Perfluorinated Compounds, or PFCs, detected in drinking water in southern El Paso County. 

Just How Fit is the Pikes Peak Region, Really?

Nov 20, 2016
Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs now has the tagline "Olympic City USA," branding that suggests it's a haven for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. The city has a reputation for being fit, but health indicators show that for many residents, that may not be the case.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

The Air Force released new details yesterday about a previously reported discharge of contaminated water into the Colorado Springs sewer system at Peterson Air Force Base. Officials are now saying the discharge didn’t happen as they thought.

Thursday Newscast, 10/27/16, 5:32 PM

Oct 27, 2016

Newscast for Thursday, October 27, 2017, 5:32 PM:

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Attorneys with Colorado Springs-based McDivitt Law and New York firm Napoli Shkolnik are calling on the Colorado Department of Health to help pay for blood testing for people living in areas where perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, have been detected above safe levels. 

Jake Brownell / KRCC

A Denver-based law firm has filed a class action suit on behalf of residents in Security, Widefield, and Fountain over drinking water contamination.

Associated Press / Stock Photo

Peterson Air Force base announced Thursday a contract for supplying bottled water to some Security, Widefield, and Fountain residents whose tap water contains Perfluorinated Compounds, or PFCs.

Associated Press / Stock Photo

It's been almost two months since residents of Security, Widefield, and Fountain first learned their drinking water contained potentially unsafe levels of chemicals called Perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs. And despite steps taken by local, state, and federal agencies to address the problem, many residents still wonder when they'll be able to feel confident their tap water is safe to drink. In the meantime, they're looking for alternatives.

Jake Brownell / KRCC

Hundreds of residents of Security, Widefield and Fountain attended a community meeting Thursday to learn more about potentially harmful chemicals recently detected in area drinking water.  The chemicals are called Perfluorinated Compounds, or PFCs, and have been linked to low infant birth weight and other health problems.

Wednesday Newscast, 7/6/16, 7:04 AM

Jul 6, 2016

Newscast for Wednesday, July 6, 2016, 7:04 AM:
 


Micah B. Hahn, Rebecca J. Eisen, Lars Eisen, Karen A. Boegler, Chester G. Moore, Janet McAllister, Harry M. Savage, John-Paul Mutebi / Journal of Medical Entomology

Researchers have released maps showing which U.S. counties have been home to the two species of mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus.  Pueblo County is among them.

Colorado residents have vastly different health outcomes, based in part on where they live in the state. Rocky Mountain PBS News analyzed health data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to rank each of the state's 64 counties based on a variety of health indicators from obesity, to amount of exercise, to smoking and premature deaths.