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Vital Signs newsletter: Vaccine debate draws crowd to Augusta

A parade of speakers packed a legislative committee room on Monday, drawn to Augusta to debate Maine’s vaccination program. Among them was Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who’s been making the rounds in other states weighing vaccine legislation, hawking his book about the supposed dangers of immunization. Lawmakers are considering three bills on the issue, two that would […]

Vital Signs newsletter: Kittery shoppers exposed to measles

Measles often dominates conversations about vaccination, singled out as a disease that could resurge 15 years after the U.S. declared it eliminated from this country. Among the reasons — experts say it’s one of the most contagious infectious diseases, the vaccine is very effective, and an outbreak that began at California’s Disnelyland late last year has spread. Yesterday, Maine officials announced that an infected […]

Vital Signs newsletter: Lawmakers debate your health

Apparently it’s “controversial health legislation” week in Augusta. While bills related to Mainers’ health spark plenty of debate throughout the legislative session — see “Medicaid expansion” — lawmakers tackled a spate of proposals this week that could affect your physical well-being. First out of the gate was a bill to ban the use of electronic cigarettes, or “vaping,” in public […]

How to choose a primary care doctor in Maine

Do you have a primary care doctor? The Affordable Care Act relies on the trusted family doctor to help transform the country’s health care system. Along with boosting Medicare and Medicaid payments to primary care providers and investing in their work force, health reform puts primary care doctors and nurses at the heart of efforts to improve care while lowering costs. […]

Vital Signs newsletter: Maine organics groups join suit against USDA

Two Maine groups representing organic farmers have joined a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, arguing the agency undercut the organic certification program by changing the rules without public comment. The lawsuit concerns the process by which the USDA takes synthetic or natural materials off its list of ingredients prohibited in certified organic products. The board that oversees […]

Baby chicks are cute, but salmonella isn’t

Baby chicks may look adorable all nestled in Easter baskets this weekend, but bacteria could be hiding in those downy yellow feathers. The little fuzz balls can carry salmonella, the germ we most often associate with eggs and undercooked poultry. Sorry Peeps, I feel like this gal writing about it today, but I think it’s worth spreading the word. […]