McLean County Health Department | WGLT

McLean County Health Department

McLean County Health Department

The McLean County Health Department on Tuesday cautioned residents to avoid mosquito bites after the first positive test for West Nile virus.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

An organization working to halt the spread of HIV in Illinois wants to have the difficult conversations behind treating the disease.

Madison Kirkman / AP Images for National Council on Aging and Sanofi Pasteur

'Tis the season for family get-togethers and office Christmas parties—and that means lots of germs spreading around right in the middle of cold and flu season.

Staff / WGLT

A public health professional with more than 20 years of local and state experience was hired Wednesday as the next director of the McLean County Health Department.

Courtesy / McLean County Health Department

Friday is World AIDS Day, and the McLean County Health Department is working to spread awareness.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A pilot program to improve wellness among people with developmental disabilities in Bloomington-Normal is showing significant benefits.

McLean County Health Department

The McLean County Health Department has named a woman dedicated to suicide prevention as the Public Health Award honoree for the community.

Patrick Sison / AP

As Netflix is debuting a new documentary this week called "Heroin(e)" about three women battling the opioid epidemic in West Virginia, McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis is waging her own one-woman crusade to help educate the community.

Toby Talbot / The Associated Press

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed an executive order Wednesday assembling a task force to fight the state’s opioid crisis.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

For many new parents, the most precious commodity on Earth isn't diapers or even a good night's sleep. It's milk from mom.

McLean County Health Department

West Nile season has arrived in McLean County.

McLean County Health Department Senior Sanitarian Angie Crawford says a mosquito pool east of Bloomington collected Aug. 1 from the 61705 area code has tested positive for the virus.

A Chenoa retirement community faces a $25,000 fine after someone allegedly posted unauthorized photos and videos of residents on social media.

Graham Beard / Wikimedia Commons

The McLean County Health Department says there are five new confirmed cases of mumps in the area.

Those are cases the health department believes do not connect to a cluster of cases at Illinois State University in March.

Staff

At least three confirmed cases of mumps have been reported in the past few days at Illinois State University, triggering outbreak status for the communicable disease at ISU.

Staff / WGLT

The Town of Normal is saying five to seven million gallons of water spilled in that overnight water main break.

"About a two-day supply, it looks like," said Dan Irvin, spokesman for the town.

Staff / WGLT

The Assistant Administrator at the McLean County Health Department will take the top job on an interim basis.

Cathy Coverston-Anderson has been at the agency for more than seven years. Anderson has a graduate degree in public health from Harvard.

Human Milk Depot Begins In McLean County

Feb 10, 2017
Mothers' Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes

A new group is issuing a call for human milk donors in McLean County.

The first milk depot is opening at the health department in Bloomington next week.

Pre-screened lactating women can donate excess breast milk to help medically fragile babies.

Emma Shores / WGLT

The McLean County Health Department is asking the public to voluntarily limit hospital visits due a recent increase in influenza.

Sue Grant is a registered nurse with the department. She said February is often a peak month for flu activity.

"People bring the disease with them when they travel at the holidays, and people are in parties and bigger events and this time of year, everyone is inside and cooped up together. So you have close contact with more people  and it's an easier spread for the flu that way," said Grant.

McLean County Health Department

McLean County's top health official is announcing his retirement after eight years leading the department.

Walt Howe joined the health department in 1991 as an assistant administrator, and succeeded Bob Keller as director in 2009. During Howe's tenure, the department conducted a mass vaccination of 20,640 residents when the H1N1 threat appeared.

Howe's term was marked by controversy in late 2015 when he recommended a nearly 50% cut in funding for the county's drug court. Much of those funds were restored by the county administrator.

Man using an e-cigarette with vapor swirling around his face.
Courtesy of patrisyu/Shutterstock

The city of Bloomington has banned the use of e-cigarettes in public buildings and two organizations want other governments to do the same. E-cigarettes have been around for almost a decade, but in the past few years their popularity has soared, making them the-most used tobacco product among middle-school and high-school aged young people.

Smart Phone screen shot showing location of AED at a building location
Photo courtesy of Pulse Point website

The holidays are stressful but nothing is apparently more stressful than Christmas day. That's the day when researchers in the American Heart Association's publication Circulation say there are more deadly heart attacks than any other day of the year, followed by Dec. 26 and Jan. 1.  With that in mind, the Illinois Heart and Lung Foundation is pushing area residents to download the free smart phone app Pulse Point.

Illinois Department of Public Health

The McLean County Health Department reports two more birds have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The birds which carried the mosquito-borne disease were reported from LeRoy and the 61701 zip code of Bloomington.

Health Department Director Walt Howe says, even with recent cooler daytime and evening temperatures, the risk for being infected with West Nile continues through mid-October.

The best way to prevent infection is to reduce exposure to mosquitos and wear insect repellant that contains DEET or other effective substances.

Mike Mozart / Flickr

A third mosquito pool in McLean County has tested positive for West Nile Virus. County health department senior sanitarian Angie Crawford said, with a probable human case and an expanded geographic area, there's heightened awareness needed with the mostly-cool holiday weekend approaching.

Illinois Department of Public Health

For the second time in a week, the McLean County Health Department reports positive detection for the presence of West Nile Virus in the 61705 area code outside of Bloomington.

Last Friday, the department reported three indicators for the mosquito-borne disease west of Bloomington in a bird, mosquito and a probable human case. The latest notification is for a mosquito pool that tested positive. Department officials say a second positive test in the same area code indicates an increased risk of possible human infection.

Scott Blanner / USDA

McLean County has hit all three indicators of West Nile virus for the year in one day.

The Health Department says there is a probable human case of West Nile in the county.

OSF Healthcare

For the first time hospitals in Bloomington Normal, the McLean County Health Department, and other stakeholders are working together on a community health needs assessment.

GLT's Charlie Schlenker talks with Meredith Nelson of OSF Saint Joseph Medical Center and Health Department Assistant Director Cathy Coverston-Anderson about the plan and why hasn't this happened years ago?

McLean County Health Department

The last several weeks have involved a great deal of public turmoil involving a strained relationship between the County Health Department and its Board of Health and the County Board. Investigative efforts by the Bloomington Pantagraph turned up thousands of e-mails among health board members, and Health Department Director Walt Howe with some members of the board scheming to elect their slate of officers friendly to Howe's position.

McLean County Health Dept. Seeks Resident Data

Apr 8, 2016
Mark Wolfe / FEMA

The McLean County Health Department wants to know who you are. The department is sending out questionnaires, and going door-to-door collecting data on residents.

U.S. Dept of Agriculture / Flickr via Creative Commons

A man who traveled to South America has developed the third case of Zika virus in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public Health previously reported two pregnant women tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus after traveling in Honduras and Haiti. The department announced the third Illinois case on its website Thursday. Most people exposed to the virus suffer only mild symptoms, but the risk is far greater for pregnant women because of a possible link to a birth defect.

The McLean County Health Department says the mumps virus has returned to the Bloomington Normal area. Spokeswoman Lisa Slater says there are so far four cases reported ranging in age from six to 37. There are no obvious links among the cases. Slater says to be labeled an outbreak, there must be three related cases.

Some months ago, most major schools in the Bloomington Normal community had outbreaks with dozens of cases reported overall. Since then the cluster subsided. But, the virus is quite contagious and Slater says more could be reported.

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