Category Archives: public health

How the pros kill ticks: Unwitting mice and deer get a dose of bug spray

Deer tick larvae on a mouse ear. Source: TicksInMaine.com

If anyone knows ticks in Maine, it’s the researchers at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute’s tick lab. They’ve been studying the eight-legged disease carriers for 26 years, learning about the deer tick’s emergence and rise to prevalence in our state. Now they’re sharing their expertise through a new website, TicksInMaine.com. “This new website is specific […]

Great service, long wait: Maine hospitals, like restaurants, get reviewed on Yelp

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Before today, the consumer review site Yelp was about the last place I’d look to find good medical care. Better known for restaurant and retail store critiques, Yelp’s been among several online repositories of physician and hospital reviews that relied solely on customer feedback — or as it’s known in health care, “patient satisfaction.” Customer reviews might cut […]

Think you’re running your generator safely? You might not know these poisoning risks

Four young people from Massachusetts were found dead Friday evening in their Wakelin family camp, this log cabin tucked in the Byron woods on Bateman Lane, east of Coos Canyon and Route 17. TERRY KARKOS | SUN JOURNAL

The deaths of four young people in Byron late last week from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning was rare for the state of Maine. We don’t often see such poisonings when homeowners use generators for auxiliary power, as that group did to get a refrigerator running in an off-grid cabin, according to state toxicologist Dr. Andy Smith. But all too often, […]

A Maine student’s homework, brought to you by Oreo

A Maine student's homework sheet. Source: Maine Public Health Association

Ladies and gentlemen, a Maine student’s opinions about snow — brought to you by Oreo. You don’t often see a child’s schoolwork sponsored by a multinational cookie brand. But food marketers regularly advertise to students in Maine schools using less overt tactics, according to Tina Pettingill of the Maine Public Health Association. She used the Oreo worksheet, passed […]

Maine seeing record cases of chickenpox among children

A child with characteristic chickenpox lesions. Source: U.S. CDC

A record number of Maine schoolchildren have been infected with chickenpox this school year, according to state health officials. From September 2014 through mid-May 2015, 84 cases of the highly contagious virus were reported in children, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s nearly double the 44 cases reported during the same period of the 2013-14 school […]