All posts by Jackie Farwell

Jackie Farwell

About Jackie Farwell

I'm the health editor for the Bangor Daily News, a Bangor native, a UMaine grad, and a weekend crossword warrior. I never get sick of writing about Maine people, geeking out over health care data, and finding new ways to help you stay well. I live in Gorham with my husband Nick and our hound dog Riley.

Vital Signs: Monthly shot prevents high from opiates

Men and women climbing out of the dark hole of opiate addiction are turning to a new hope for recovery: A monthly injection that prevents them from getting high. The shot, a medication called naltrexone — known by the brand name Vivitrol — blocks the brain’s opioid receptors, thwarting the euphoric effects of heroin and prescription […]

Hand, foot and mouth disease: Does your kid have it?

hand washing

If you’ve got a kid in daycare, you’re probably hearing a lot about hand, foot and mouth disease. The highly contagious summertime virus is making the rounds, cropping up where little ones congregate and share their germs more readily than their toys. (Not to be confused with foot-and-mouth or hoof-and-mouth disease, which affects cattle, sheep, and pigs. […]

Vital Signs: Maine records spike in tick-borne diseases

Many Mainers know about Lyme disease. But the deer tick that spreads the increasingly prevalent infection can also harbor several other diseases in its tiny eight-legged body. Maine has confirmed 103 cases of the bacterial infection anaplasmosis this year, already exceeding the 94 cases recorded in all of 2013. Anaplasmosis can lead to similar long-term effects as Lyme disease without a proper […]

Vital Signs: EMHS in talks to add Ellsworth hospital

Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems is again expanding its footprint, less than a year after adding Portland’s Mercy Health System of Maine to its collection of hospitals. Now, the Brewer-based health system is in talks to bring Maine Coast Memorial Hospital into the fold, a move that would mark the end of the Ellsworth hospital’s nearly 60 years […]

Don’t panic about Ebola patients stopping in Bangor

Plane carrying second ebola patient refuels at Bangor International Airport.

A second American aid worker who contracted the Ebola virus in West Africa landed at Bangor International Airport this morning, aboard a medical transport plane stopping to refuel.  Missionary Nancy Writebol, 59, the expected passenger, was on her way from Liberia to be treated by infectious disease specialists in a special isolation unit at Emory University Hospital […]

Is your antibacterial soap safe? UMaine researchers study common ingredient

soap

Examine the label on one of the many antibacterial products in your home, and you’ll likely find “triclosan” listed as an ingredient. The antimicrobial chemical was once used only in hospitals, but in the 1990s manufacturers began adding it to soaps, body washes, toothpaste, deodorants, facial cleansers, and countless other personal hygiene products. You’ll even find […]

Vital Signs: 10 years of tracking prescription pills

Maine’s prescription monitoring program turns 10 years old this month. Upon its founding in July 2004, Maine envisioned the potential to identify patients who “doctor shop” — visiting multiple medical practices to score narcotics and other drugs — and prevent the diversion and abuse of painkillers. After a decade of monitoring in Maine, the program still has […]

Vital Signs: Dueling rulings over Obamacare subsidies

The Affordable Care Act is no stranger to the court room. First came the U.S. Supreme Court challenge over the constitutionality of its key requirement that all Americans get health insurance or pay a penalty. More recently, the country’s highest court ruled that owners of some private companies can object on religious grounds to a provision […]