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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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CDC: 11M fewer uninsured since passage of Obama’s law

WASHINGTON — The number of uninsured U.S. residents fell by more than 11 million since President Barack Obama signed the health care overhaul five years ago, according to a pair of reports Tuesday from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Flu season, only halfway through, claims six lives in Spokane County

This flu season has claimed six people in Spokane County, including Chad Rattray, who was 37, vaccinated against the flu and generally in good health. While tragic, that statistic alone doesn’t make this an extraordinary flu season, said Mark Springer, an epidemiologist with the Spokane Regional Health District.

Lab tech possibly exposed to Ebola

ATLANTA (AP) — A laboratory technician at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was being monitored Wednesday for possible accidental exposure to the Ebola virus that came during an experiment, officials said.

CDC: Circumcision benefits outweigh risks

NEW YORK — U.S. health officials on Tuesday released a draft of long-awaited federal guidelines on circumcision, saying medical evidence supports having the procedure done and health insurers should pay for it.

Doctor monitoring himself for Ebola upon return

A Thurston County resident who returned from spending three weeks in Liberia and didn’t come in contact with anyone with Ebola has agreed to self-monitor for fever and other symptoms of the disease and work closely with health officials, according to a Thurston County news release. The man, a physician, has agreed to limit social activity. He has a child attending Capital High School and one attending Marshall Middle School; on Friday afternoon, the Olympia School District contacted families in those schools to let them know about precautions being taken.

CDC: Protocol breach in treating Ebola patient

WASHINGTON — Top federal health officials said today that the Ebola diagnosis in a health care worker who treated Thomas Eric Duncan at a Texas hospital clearly indicates a breach in safety protocol.

White House orders plan for antibiotic resistance

WASHINGTON — Signaling the seriousness of the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant germs, President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered the government to create a national plan to fight them by early 2015.

FDA investigation showed sprout farm had sanitation issues

Federal inspectors found numerous sanitation problems at a North Idaho sprouts grower linked to a recent E. coli outbreak. U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspections in the past three weeks found rusty and corroded watering systems and corroded implements used in growing and harvesting sprouts at Evergreen Fresh Sprouts LLC of Moyie Springs, according to a report released this week.

Feds will expand Spokane mining research laboratory

Federal officials plan to double the number of employees at Spokane’s mine research laboratory, adding more than 40 positions and creating a new Western district office for worker-safety programs. The new jobs will come in two phases. This year 15 jobs will be added to the office and lab at 315 E. Montgomery Ave. The lab will be renamed the Spokane Mining Research Division.

Golden years shorter, sicker in Southern states

ATLANTA — If you’re 65 and living in Hawaii, here’s some good news: Odds are you’ll live another two decades. And for a good chunk of those years, you’ll likely be in pretty good health.

Regional federal mining lab restaffing

The only federal laboratory devoted to mining safety in the West, Spokane’s Mine Research Laboratory, is regaining 12 jobs stripped away in recent years. Two of the jobs have already been filled, and the rest are likely to be filled by fall, said Diane Porter, deputy director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the agency that took over former operations of Spokane’s Bureau of Mines office in 1996.

Blood-lead testing crucial for Silver Valley children

When Shane Stancik grew up near the old Bunker Hill Mine and Smelter complex, it was a magnet for neighborhood kids. He and his friends poked around the rusting equipment and rode their bikes down the slag piles. “I was playing in the middle of a Superfund site,” said Stancik, a fifth-generation Silver Valley resident. “I didn’t know any better.”

No end to obesity epidemic, forecast shows

WASHINGTON — The obesity epidemic may be slowing, but don’t take in those pants yet. Today, just over a third of U.S. adults are obese. By 2030, 42 percent will be, says a forecast released today.

Ex-smoker hopes his loss will be others’ gain

Shawn Wright was a smoker. Nothing could stop him: not the death of his father; not the scolding of doctors; not the high taxes; not the banishment from bars and restaurants; not his girlfriend’s disapproval.

Measles has biggest year in U.S. since 1996

ATLANTA — Last year was the worst year for measles in the U.S. in 15 years, health officials said today. There were 222 cases of measles, a large jump from the 60 or so seen in a typical year. Most of the cases last year were imported — either by foreign visitors or by U.S. residents who picked up the virus overseas.