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Health and Medicine

Early Childhood Programs May See Funding

Sep 18, 2015

Families with babies, from birth until they're three years old, are eligible for state assistance to help their children learn and grow. It's called early intervention. But without a budget ... Illinois stopped paying the therapists who provide these services. Now, the comptroller and the governor's administration says they've come up with a way to pay again ... even though Illinois still has no budget in place. IPR's Amanda Vinicky reports.

The latest cluster of mumps cases in Mclean County is at Heartland Community College in Normal. Cathy Coverston-Anderson is Assistant Director at the Heath Department.  She says four cases have been confirmed, and there will likely be more.

There is a 12 to 25 day incubation period. So, the cases we see now were infected two weeks ago. Because of that long incubation period we expect to see some more."

"With mumps you are infectious two days before you start to show symptoms."

Home Medicaid Providers Win In Court

Sep 16, 2015

A federal judge has ordered the State of Illinois to fund Medicaid services for seniors living at home rather than at a nursing facility during the budget impasse. Cindy Cunningham is with two providers who asked the court to force payments. She says the order will help caretakers who have taken out personal loans to keep their companies afloat.

"We have been without payments since July. Our houses are on the line. Our businesses are on the line."

New Foster Care Program Begins

Sep 16, 2015

Illinois' child welfare agency wants to do a better job taking care of its most troubled kids. The idea is kids who have suffered abuse or witnessed violence would be placed with families with no more than two wards per home. Parents in these foster homes would get special training and at least one would stay home full time. Bruce Boyer Directs the ChildLaw Clinic at Loyola University. He says the idea is good, but the question is could the program be implemented in any meaningful way?

More Legionnaire's Cases In Quincy

Sep 9, 2015

Ten people in western Illinois now have died from Legionnaires' disease after a state veterans home in Quincy reported two new fatalities among its residents. An outbreak first identified in late August has sickened 53 residents at the home. State and local public health officials have not disclosed how the 10th victim contracted the disease, a severe form of pneumonia. The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs says it plans to treat the home's water systems with a chemical disinfectant. An agency spokesman could not immediately answer why that step had not been taken sooner.

The McLean County Health Department is looking into cases of mumps in the area. Department Director Walt Howe says the ages of the sick people range from 19 years old down to less than a year.

Howe says they cannot yet label it an outbreak because investigators have not linked the cases. He also says workers will be looking at possible connections to the University of Illinois which has had more than 100 cases of mumps this year, the bulk of the reports in the state.

Phantom Vibrations Being Felt

Sep 2, 2015

While it's no "Phantom of the Toll Booth," phantom vibrations are being felt in the twin cities. The vibrations are echoes of those signaling incoming communication on pocket phones. Lori Osborne is a mental health clinician at Advocate-BroMenn Medical Center. She says if you're expecting an incoming message, and wear clothes, you may be subject to phantom vibrations:

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