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

After about two months in recess, Congress is back in Washington D.C., and people are hopeful there will be some agreement on what can be done to combat the Zika virus—which has already plagued more than 750 Floridians. That comes as the Senate failed to pass another Zika funding bill again this week and there may be even more issues surrounding the mosquito-borne disease on the table.

A Republican state lawmaker has come out in support of a medical marijuana ballot initiative.  Florida voters will decide on the measure this November.

A group of researchers and doctors convened in Miami this week to discuss how different specialists are responding to the Zika virus.

Organized by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, the conversation ranged from mosquito control to pediatric research—but one of the hottest topics at the discussion surrounded Zika virus testing.

Researchers at UM have applied for a grant to develop rapid Zika testing.

Latvala, Pinellas Delegation To Huddle About Tampa Bay Sewage Spill

Sep 12, 2016

Incoming Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala has called a special meeting of the Pinellas County legislative delegation for Sept. 20 to discuss the “catastrophic” release of millions of gallons of untreated sewage into Tampa Bay.

Gov. Scott Will Urge Congress To Fund Fight Against Zika

Sep 12, 2016

Florida Gov. Rick Scott will go to Washington, D.C., this week to urge Congress to fund the fight against the mosquito-borne Zika virus as the disease continues to be detected in Miami-Dade County.

Backlash over aerial spraying of the insecticide in South Beach is prompting other Florida residents to question how it's used.


The head of the government's fight against the Zika virus says that "we are now essentially out of money" and warns that the country is "about to see a bunch of kids born with microcephaly" in the coming months.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden addressed a handful of reporters as lawmakers start to sort out a stopgap government funding bill that is being targeted to also carry long-delayed money to battle Zika.

Florida has 744 reported cases of the Zika virus, with 12 new cases involving people who contracted the disease outside of the state, the Florida Department of Health reported Thursday.

Downpours from Hurricane Hermine forced wastewater facilities in at least 15 communities around the Tampa Bay area to release millions of gallons of sewage onto residential streets and into water bodies over a seven day period that ended Tuesday.

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a death sentence for an intellectually disabled murderer, following a seminal U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case.

The Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County will hold a Zika forum Friday in Tampa to address concerns about pregnancy.

Zika infection is linked to microcephaly, a birth defect that causes infants to be born with small heads.

Jane Murphy, the executive director of the Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County, said the forum will educate both the public and health care workers.

When Brenda Sokolowski turned 50, she followed national recommendations and made an appointment for her first screening colonoscopy.

House Members Support Modified Mosquitoes To Combat Zika

Sep 8, 2016

With the number of locally transmitted Zika cases continuing to climb, 61 members of the Florida House have signed a letter urging federal officials to allow the use of genetically engineered mosquitoes to help combat the virus.

Most people are trying to avoid Florida mosquitoes, blamed for dozens of cases of the Zika virus.

But Republican Congressman David Jolly decided to make a point today by bringing a container of them to the House floor.

Burmese pythons, lionfish, african land snails -- these are just a few of the invasive species considered threats to Florida ecosystems. And the fact that you really can't snuggle with serpent, a venomous fish or a disease-carrying mollusk perhaps makes them easier to eradicate.

But what does Florida do about a potential invader that's a little on the cute side?

The final shooting victim in the Pulse Night Club shooting has been released from the hospital after 86 days.

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday again rejected a Zika funding bill that the House passed in June.

Hospitals keep a list of what they charge for health care. But if you have insurance, that charge may have nothing to do with what your insurance company has negotiated and what your out-of-pocket expenses would be.

A Tampa firefighter who lives in Pinellas County is the first person with a locally-transmitted case of Zika in the Tampa Bay area.

University of Florida researchers are working to cure a sugarcane virus.

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