STD Rates in Philadelphia

As the city has stepped up its screening efforts, it has documented more new cases, said Dr. Lenore Asbel, a medical specialist with the department.

“I don’t know if there is a substantial increase as much as there is an increase in our being able to find people who are infected,” she said.

https://whyy.org/segments/stds-are-up-in-philadelphia-across-the-country/

By Darryl C. Murphy

A Day in the Life Story

Over in North Philly, Emily Kehoe tramples through an overgrown back alley as a fierce-sounding dog locked up nearby barks like mad. Kehoe ignores the mutt and presses on, stepping over brambles and trash to a trap set the day before.

“There are leaves, buckets, tires, everything mosquitos like,” says the mosquito surveillance and control technician for the city’s Health Department. “I just saw this area yesterday, thought it’d be a good place for a trap, set one up, and we’ll see if we caught anything.”

She did – dozens upon dozens of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which like to breed in the small puddles that form inside old tires, discarded buckets, or broken bottles.

“It is an interesting job, that’s for sure – like nothing I’ve had,” says Kehoe, who has a master’s degree in public health. “I’m crawling through alleys, looking in people’s yards for standing water. I do get some strange looks, but once I explain that I’m here to help them get rid of mosquitos, they are fully on board… most of the time.”

Kehoe is on the lookout for Zika, West Nile, and other nasty viruses spread by the bloodsucking bugs. Every day, the city readies itself for a dreadful tomorrow. Officials monitor the outbreaks of diseases and the predicted paths of distant hurricanes. If there is an emergency on this day, the city has 15,552 water bottles on hand, just in case. It’s work that goes unnoticed. And everyone, including those who do it, hope that’s the way things stay.

http://planphilly.com/articles/2018/08/28/a-day-in-the-life-of-philadelphia-and-the-people-who-make-it-go

By Jim Saksa

Fentanyl Crack Overdoses 3

Viner said the department’s harm reduction coordinator was doing street outreach in West Philadelphia on Wednesday to encourage crack-cocaine users to take precautions against an overdose, such as not using alone; taking a small “test dose” first; and having naloxone on hand. She said the department was distributing the opioid overdose-reversal medication to those drug users, as well as testing strips they can use to see if their drugs are tainted with fentanyl.

https://whyy.org/articles/health-officials-warn-of-fentanyl-contamination-after-ods-kill-2-crack-cocaine-users/

By Joel Wolfram

Fentanyl Crack Overdoses 2

Health Department officials advised healthcare providers to remain vigilant for signs of opioid overdose “even if the drug consumed is reported to be a non-opioid.” Officials are also encouraging clinical toxicology testing to test reported cocaine users for fentanyl as well. So far, clinical toxicology tests for two patients confirmed that fentanyl was the only substance detected, health department officials said, while further tests are pending.

http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news/what-we-know-about-the-crack-fentanyl-outbreak-in-philly/article_f3dbf71c-7ad5-11e8-b6c0-3373982f1dda.html

By Max Marin and Christopher Moraff

Fentanyl Crack Overdoses

“Everyone sort of knows, if they read the paper and follow the news, that fentanyl is in all of the heroin now,” said Caroline Johnson, the city’s deputy health commissioner. “Some of the cautions that people are told when they’re using heroin is to take it very slowly, to do a test dose, have naloxone present in case of an overdose. We don’t say those things to cocaine users or crack users.

http://www.philly.com/philly/health/addiction/fentanyl-crack-cocaine-overdoses-west-philadelphia-20180626.html

By Aubrey Whelan

Tobacco Retailer Siting Hearings

Philadelphia has twice as many cigarette retailers per capita as any other city, making teenagers far more likely to be lured to smoke, according to Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.
“The major way big tobacco markets cigarettes these days is point-of-sale marketing in stores, and it works,” Farley said. “It gets more kids smoking and more kids addicted.”
Farley said reducing that number is crucial to curbing smoking since most ads for cigarettes are in stores that sell them.
“The rules allow stores to continue to have the permits for as long as they want to, they just simply prevent new stores from opening up in those neighborhoods that have too many stores already,” he explained. 

https://kywnewsradio.radio.com/articles/news/proposed-bill-aims-dismantle-anti-smoking-regulations

By Pat Loeb