Vermont Health Department

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The state of Vermont has finalized rules governing how many opioid painkillers medical professionals can prescribe.

Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and state Health Commissioner Harry Chen recently announced proposed changes to the Health Department’s rules that would severely restrict the prescribing of opioids for pain. Much of the outgoing governor’s tenure has been devoted to countering the heroin and opioid crisis.

Picture of Heroin
Adobe Stock

The Vermont Health Department is warning street drug users that an especially deadly strain of heroin is circulating in several parts of the state, including central Vermont and the Northeast Kingdom.

The Vermont Health Department says blood tests of 477 people in the Bennington area exposed to the chemical PFOA found an average level that is almost five times the national average.

Cancer plan cover
Vermont Department of Health

Advocates gathered at the Statehouse in Montpelier Thursday for the launch of the state’s latest five-year action plan to reduce cancer.

Vermont State Police

The Vermont Public Safety commissioner is ordering a review of training processes in the aftermath of the death of a state trooper who was trying out for the Tactical Services Unit.

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Vermont will get $4 million during the next four years from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent overdose deaths caused by prescription opiate drugs.

Vermont Department of Forest Parks and Recreation

Vermont officials have confirmed that norovirus sickened dozens of visitors to Branbury State Park in Salisbury last week.

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Confirmation that the overdose deaths of two brothers found dead in Burlington last month was caused by the high-powered drug fentanyl has re-focused attention in Vermont on the drug that can be 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Vermont Health Department

Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen spent the week speaking forcefully in favor of eliminating the philosophical exemption that some parents use to avoid getting their kids fully vaccinated. As has been the case around the country, the issue was the subject of fierce debate in Montpelier this week. Commissioner Chen spoke with WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

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The Vermont Health Department is seeking people to serve as volunteers with emergency medical services and the medical reserve corps.

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The Vermont Health Department says seven children and one adult from the Charlotte Central School have tested positive for tuberculosis. None of those who tested positive are sick.

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The Vermont Health Department is warning travelers to the Caribbean, Central and South America and parts of Mexico of a new mosquito-borne disease.

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Officials at the Vermont Health Department say they're concerned about a number of overdoses involving the synthetic drug known as spice that have been reported recently in New Hampshire.

Mosquito
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The Vermont Health Department says tests have detected West Nile virus in the state for the first time this season.

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The Vermont Health Department is urging adults who live near the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant to replace their potassium iodide tablets.

The pills are available for anyone who lives or works in the six towns within the emergency planning zone around the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant: Brattleboro, Dummerston, Guilford, Halifax, Marlboro and Vernon.

The adult tablets expire at the end of the month. Tablets for children are not expiring and don't need to be replaced.

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The Vermont Health Department wants health care providers to be alert for measles because the highly contagious disease has been found in 18 states this year.

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Vermont Health Department statistics show that overdose antidote kits for heroin and other opiate drugs distributed to the general public were used 38 times to treat overdoses during the first six months of a pilot program.

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The Vermont Health Department is launching a program to distribute an antidote for opium-based drug overdoses directly to addicts.

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The Vermont Health Department is urging parents to make sure their children are tested for lead poisoning.

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The Vermont Health Department says tests have found more mosquito pools infected with the virus that causes the potentially deadly disease Eastern equine encephalitis.

Mosquito
James Jordan/flickr

The Vermont Health Department says it has confirmed that one person has been sickened by West Nile virus spread by mosquitoes this year.

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The Vermont Health Department says aerial spraying of a pesticide is planned in southern Addison County after Eastern equine encephalitis has been detected in more mosquitoes.

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A survey by the Vermont Health Department shows that about 87 percent of students going into kindergarten have had a full round of vaccines, which is the same as last year.

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The Vermont Health Department is investigating an infant salmonella case after child came in contact with a chick.

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The Vermont Health Department says the number of whooping cough cases in the state has dropped in half since a vaccination and public information campaign was launched in December.

Last year the state reported a record number of 645 cases of whooping cough, a number the state considered an epidemic.

Incidents of the flu appear to be rising in Vermont.

As of last week, about 20 percent of hospital visits were for respiratory illnesses and about 5 percent of visits to doctors' offices were for flu-like symptoms. Three adults have died so far, all of them in December.

The Vermont Health Department was dispensing free vaccines Wednesday at clinics around the state to prevent the spread of whooping cough,  which has reached epidemic numbers in Vermont.

AP Photo by Don Heupel

Vermont officials are trying to prevent any more highway fatalities this year by urging drivers to slow down, buckle up and not drive drunk or drug-impaired this holiday season.

Officials say Vermont has seen a spike in fatal crashes over last year — with 75 to date, compared to 51 last year.

Vermont health officials are urging adults to get a new vaccine for whooping cough as the state deals with an outbreak of the disease.

More than 500 people have been affected by whooping cough or pertussis this year. That's 10 times the amount reported by the end of 2011.

More than 20 babies younger than a year have had the disease and six infants have had to be hospitalized.

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