Health News Florida

Since 2006, Health News Florida has provided in-depth journalism on health policy issues in our state.

Health News Florida is a project of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and is heard on public radio stations throughout Florida. It also is available online at http://health.wusf.usf.edu

Arnetta Gordon is a Miami-Dade public school teacher.  After leaving Miami to escape Hurricane Irma with her husband and four children, she returned to her Liberty City home which like thousands of others had no electricity.  Gordon has a 9-month old infant who she breastfeeds.

She wrote WLRN about the challenges of breastfeeding with no power:

With restoration continuing this week after Hurricane Irma, Florida Department of Health officials are warning residents about standing water left by the storm as a thriving environment for mosquitoes.

Containers like garden pots, birdbaths, tires and cans, when filled with standing water, can host mosquitoes laying up to 200 eggs.

The first 911 call from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills didn't sound ominous: A nursing home patient had an abnormal heartbeat.

Florida’s nursing home industry will hold a summit Friday in Tallahassee to discuss Gov. Rick Scott’s emergency rule requiring increased generator capacity to help nursing homes in a disaster, according to the Miami Herald.

The nursing home where residents died following a hurricane-induced air conditioning outage was not on the priority list for power restoration, according to the facility's utility provider and Broward County officials.

Emergency responders confirmed eight deaths last Wednesday at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, three days after Hurricane Irma knocked out power to the facility's air conditioning system.

When the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills submitted its 43-page emergency management plan to county administrators in July, it included details on how the home would maintain clean linen, distribute canned food and ensure residents had access to hand sanitizers.

It made no mention of how residents would be kept cool if the home’s power was lost.

That was a tragic oversight: On Wednesday, health regulators said, eight residents of the rehabilitation center succumbed to cardiac and respiratory failure after a portable air cooling system malfunctioned.

Carbon monoxide poisoning from generators has reportedly killed five Floridians in the wake of Irma. Here are some ways to prevent exposure to the potentially deadly gas.

Dozens Of Nursing Homes Still Lack Power

Sep 15, 2017

Dozens of nursing homes continued Thursday to lack electricity or had been evacuated because of Hurricane Irma, as the state grappled with the deaths of eight residents of a Broward County facility that did not have air conditioning.

It’s the middle of the day in Deland, a city between Orlando and Daytona Beach. Temperatures today are in the 90s.

For the millions of people who are still without power across Florida, heat illness can be a concern.  

A 7-year-old Polk County girl died Wednesday from carbon-monoxide poisoning at a home with a generator running inside after Hurricane Irma, authorities said.

Eight patients at a sweltering nursing home died after Hurricane Irma knocked out the air conditioning, raising fears Wednesday about the safety of Florida's 4 million senior citizens amid power outages that could last for days.

The Internal Revenue Service is extending deadlines for taxpayers in 21 Florida counties affected by Hurricane Irma, including Palm Beach County.

Taxpayers now have until Jan. 31 to file some individual and business tax returns and to make certain payments, the IRS said.

 

For instance, the IRS is giving taxpayers extra time to make quarterly estimated payments for 2017 normally due Sept. 15 and Jan. 16.  

Meanwhile, taxpayers who filed extensions until Sept. 15 or Oct. 16 have until Jan. 31 to file their 2016 returns.

Days after Hurricane Irma battered South Florida, Rufus James walked through his Liberty City neighborhood in Miami looking for paid work to chop down trees and clean up yards.

Like many Floridians, James, 57, was going on day four with no electricity. At home, he had three grandchildren to feed. They’re eating “cornflakes and whatever we can come up with. I’m looking for some food,” he said.

Before the storm, James said he worked odd jobs — helping elderly neighbors mow their lawns or move heavy items. Post storm, no one was paying for help yet.

Rain and power outages from Hurricane Irma led to sewage spills across Florida, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

The Mental Health Impact Of Major Disasters Like Harvey And Irma

Sep 12, 2017

When major disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit, the first priority is to keep people safe. This process can involve dramatic evacuations, rescues and searches.

Updated at 2:23 a.m. ET on Sunday

After battering Cuba on Saturday morning, the eye of Hurricane Irma has its sights set on Florida as a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center early Sunday. The NHC's latest forecast shows the storm's center shifting west from Miami, and even Tampa, to target St. Petersburg.

Florida braces for direct hit

A public health emergency was declared for Florida on Thursday ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Patrick Kennedy has gone from lawmaker with an active addiction to mental health advocate.

OneBlood is calling for blood donations ahead of Hurricane Irma.


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