If the mosquitoes in Dallas County are able to transmit the Zika virus, we won't know it until a patient is diagnosed. The main surveillance for the disease will have to involve a human case, said Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Zachary Thompson.
“While the insecticide is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for treatment, residents … should avoid contact with the spray by staying indoors. Persons inside a vehicle while trucks are actively spraying should remain in their vehicles with the windows up and the air conditioner on until the trucks pass and the spray is no longer visible. Persons out during the scheduled spraying time should be alert for trucks and should not follow them. Residents who come in contact with the spray are advised to wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water. The spray breaks down quickly in the presence of sunlight and has no residual effect.”
As the cases of Zika and West Nile Virus continue to rise in Dallas County (20 Zika cases and ten West Nile as of today) more pesticides will be sprayed from trucks in more neighborhoods, insect repellent will be applied to ourselves and our children more thoroughly, and aerial spraying will be considered by cities across the county. All of these products have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and encouraged by our local Health and Human Services division.
One day in November 2014, Anga Sanders had a revelation when she walked into an Albertson's at Mckinney and Lemmon Avenues. She stopped in her tracks, staring at the salad bar just a few yards within the entrance of the store - the fresh greens, the tomatoes, bell peppers, bacon bits, even pineapple toppings - and realized that there was absolutely nothing like this south of the Trinity River.
When in 2011 the Texas Legislature cut funding to any women's health care facilities providing abortion care, Planned Parenthood clinics across the state had to make a choice. Soon, the state enacted another law that not only cut funding to those who provided abortions, but cut funding to those who referred to or even provided education about abortion. "If you had devised a way to shut down small, rural health care that was providing family planning that was it," said Carla Holeva, former CEO of Planned Parenthood of West Texas.
In 2011, the Texas Legislature severely cut funding to groups that provided education about abortion and/or provided abortion service. By far, the organization most impacted by this law was Planned Parenthood, whose primary funding source was from the state, even if its centers did not perform surgical or medical abortions.
Summer is often a child's favorite season -- no school, no homework, only fun. But for many Permian Basin children, summer means hunger.
Alzheimer's disease doesn't afflict only those who are elderly. Of the more than 5 million Americans diagnosed with the disease, as much as 5 percent have younger or early onset, according to the Alzheimer's Association.
Erica Ary, practice director of Midland's Allison Cancer Center, a branch of Texas Oncology, started her career as a nurse on the oncology floor at Odessa Medical Center. She's worked in surgery and hospice as well, but she always came back to oncology. "So many people have said to me over the years, why do you do oncology? How depressing," Ary said. "And I'm like, 'No, I get strength from our patients. They come in here scared, and I can help them not be scared. They come in during one of the weakest moments of their life, but they show enormous strength."
Fifty-nine surgeries later, Asante’s health issues have only gotten worse. When Asante learned of the Choice Program, however, she immediately became an advocate for it, seeing the value in a program that would allow veterans to see health care providers outside of the VA, especially since she needs specialized doctors. The Choice Program was enacted in fall of 2014, giving veterans expanded access to private providers, all paid for through Tri-West and the VA. If an eligible veteran contacts Tri-West, the management company must make an appointment within five days and the appointment must occur within 30 days. At least on paper, this is how it’s supposed to work.
Steve Rossler sees the path ahead of him quite clearly. His mother, 88, was diagnosed with dementia two years ago. Though she's currently responding well to medication, he knows this won't continue, especially if her dementia turns out to be Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia. "Later life is hard and all that," Rossler said. "After you quit making money, your money goes pretty quick. I know the Medicare won't kick in until you have nothing. Sooner or later ... she'll be completely out of money."
Midland food pantries and other organizations have seen a large increase in clientele as the holidays quickly approach. There is always an increase during the holiday season, but this year the number of residents is exceptionally high and there are more children than they have seen before, said some agency directors.
A study finalized this year by Midland Memorial Hospital identified lack of insurance and underinsured access to health services as the No. 1 barrier to health care in Midland.