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Centers for Disease Control

Madison Waldron has an app on her phone that, on the surface, looks and acts a lot like a fitness tracker. But then there are the survey questions it pushes out to her:

"Questions in regards to what I do for a living, education and things like that," she says as she thumbs through her phone, showing her scheduled doctor visits. "And I get questions as far as my sexual history and my practices."

For the fourth year in a row, federal health officials report that there has been a sharp increase in sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tallied nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis in 2017 — an increase of 200,000 cases over the previous year, and a record high.

Health officials are urging parents to make sure their children are vaccinated against measles after three cases of the disease were reported in Pinellas County, among more than 100 cases throughout the U.S. this year.

One out of every seven babies born to U.S. mothers who were infected with Zika during pregnancy developed some kind of health problem, according to the first long-term look at those children.

While South Florida continues to have the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses in the country, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Latino men have the highest rates of HIV infection among different demographic groups. 

The head of the nation's top public health agency says the opioid epidemic will be one of his priorities, and he revealed a personal reason for it: His son almost died from taking cocaine contaminated with the powerful painkiller fentanyl.

In a new study from the University of Florida, Florida Hospital and the Obesity Action Coalition, researchers looked at the health data of 9 million Floridians and found that 37 percent of Floridians are considered obese. That is 10 percent higher than the national average, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

South Florida continues to have the highest rate of new HIV diagnoses in the country, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention.

On average, for every hundred thousand Americans, about 15 people were diagnosed with HIV in 2016, the most recent year of data analyzed by the CDC.

A recently published study suggests medicine used to kill fleas and ticks in household pets might be effective at stopping mosquito-borne outbreaks in humans. 

Critics Take Aim At Medicaid Change

Jun 21, 2018

A move by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration to eliminate a long-standing policy that gives poor, disabled and elderly Floridians 90 days to qualify for the Medicaid program isn’t getting support from people who care for patients or from patients’ family members.

Most Floridians knew about the Zika virus and how it spread—but that wasn't enough to get them to protect themselves, according to a new study in the journal Risk Analysis.

Suicides Increase In Florida, Country

Jun 8, 2018

Florida’s suicide rate increased 10.6 percent from 1999 to 2016, though most states saw larger increases, according to a new report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The U.S. clung to its health insurance gains last year, an unexpected outcome after President Donald Trump's repeated tries to take apart the Obama-era coverage expansion, according to a major government survey released Tuesday.

The growing momentum for tighter gun control after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla., is highlighting the National Rifle Association's history of aggressively confronting challenges to what it regards as Second Amendment rights.

Federal limits on both research into gun violence and the release of data about guns used in crimes are powerful reminders of the lobbying group's advantages over gun control activists. For decades, the NRA pushed legislation that stifled the study and spread of information about the causes of gun violence.

  Though congress is still battling over Zika funding, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is handing out $25 million to states to fight the mosquito-borne illness.

CDC Guidelines Aim To Curb Painkiller Prescribing

Mar 16, 2016

Prescription painkillers should not be a first choice for treating common ailments like back pain and arthritis, according to new federal guidelines designed to reshape how doctors prescribe drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin.

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading causes of injury and death in the United States. And while wrong-way crashes account for a small percentage of the accidents, more than a dozen people have died in an outbreak of wrong-way driving on Tampa-area roads.

The state Department of Health has confirmed the first Florida case of a severe respiratory illness affecting children around the country.

Officials said a 10-year-old girl from Polk County was recovering Tuesday from enterovirus 68. She was treated in Hillsborough County.

The virus causes cold and flu-like symptoms and is considered highly contagious. In infants and young children, the virus can cause difficulty breathing.

Gov. Rick Scott says Florida officials continue to work with health care providers and the Center for Disease Control in an effort to prepare Florida for any possible Ebola cases.

And hospitals across Florida on alert already are responding to suspicious cases.

 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a new ally in its graphic anti-smoking campaign.

Even though the CDC's “Tips from Former Smokers” ads are aimed at adults, Felicita Soto of Orlando says she hopes kids will get the message.  She started smoking when she was in the sixth grade. 

Lottie Watts / WUSF

For the first time in a long time, Florida's children aren't getting heavier.   

Mark Lennihan / AP

According to the latest "F as in Fat" report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Florida still has a serious obesity problem. 

Although the rate decreased slightly from 26.6 percent in 2011 to 25.2 percent in 2012, researchers say the lower numbers aren't statistically significant. They call the changes a "leveling off," not a decrease.

Across the country, every state except for Arkansas had a slightly lower adult obesity rate. Researchers caution there's still a long way to go, and note people who are obese are at risk for much worse health outcomes and higher health costs. 

"The numbers were essentially flat from last year," said Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for America's Health. "That's the first time  in the 10 years we've been doing this report, and in the many years the CDC has been following theses trends, that we've seen that kind of leveling off, so that's a very hopeful sign."

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Most kids are heading back to school in Florida next week.  But before they can sit down in a classroom, many will have to sit down in the doctor's office for required vaccinations or a physical. 

 

That presents a dilemma for kids from families who are uninsured or underinsured. Lindsey Hernandez and her children have insurance through Medicaid. But that doesn't mean it's easy or convenient to get health care. At a back-to-school health fair last weekend at St. Petersburg College, four of her children got free physicals.