HEALTH

Since the opioid epidemic began, policy makers have been trying to stop the torrent of highly addictive painkillers that providers began pouring into the general population in the 1990s.But clamping down on prescriptions is not as simple as it might seem. As Virginia nails down regulations that could prevent...
Virginia has seen 12 human cases of West Nile virus so far this year, the state's Department of Health reported Tuesday.Last year, Virginia had 13 West Nile cases, up from only eight in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The number of West Nile cases vary...
It's that time of year again, and Virginia's college campuses are swarming with students who might gain a lot over the next semester: hopefully some knowledge, maybe a few pounds and possibly mumps.So far, there have been 157 cases of mumps this year, more than three times the typical...
All over the state, Virginia residents have been quick to condemn this year's especially wet summer. But those torrential downpours might be why you have fewer mosquito bites on your arm.As the climate grows steadily warmer, the risk of increased illness from heat-loving insects like mosquitoes grows with it....
A massive shift is on the horizon for Virginia’s health care landscape as the state prepares to expand its Medicaid program in January, broadening the eligibility and welcoming an estimated 400,000 people into its ranks.But more than 300,000 uninsured Virginians will likely remain, many relying on the state’s free...
When she was a child, Kristen Garland spent a lot of time alone in her room with the door locked.Maybe the lock could keep away the men who abused her. Maybe the lock could stop her flashbacks, or her nightmares of a strange man entering her room.When the lock...
The scene could be plucked from science fiction. Or maybe a horror movie.Picture hundreds of ticks swarming over a horse’s head in Virginia’s Warren County and thousands crawling up a New Jersey woman’s arm as she shears her sheep.The longhorned tick has been known to spread deadly disease in...
The drugs helped Stephanie Hague stay numb to the pain.If she left her brain alone for too long without any substances to distract it, she’d start to remember the abuse and trauma in her past. All she wanted to do was forget.“I just did not want to feel,” she...
Annie Washington is 60 years old, has diabetes and no insurance. If she needs to see a doctor, she winds up in the emergency room.But while hospitals can’t turn indigent patients away, they can still bill them. And when patients can’t afford those bills, collection lawsuits often follow."I work...
Virginia’s medical turf war appeared to come to an end earlier this year when nurse practitioners won the right to practice autonomously without physician supervision, despite objections from many of the state’s doctors.But the battle still rages on quietly behind the scenes as the state works to create the...