rhode island department of health

Health Care
1:19 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Flu Now Officially Widespread In RI

Flu vaccine-filled syringes ready for administering.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

It was only a matter of time…

The flu is now widespread in Rhode Island.

That means there are outbreaks of the flu in more than half the state. It also kicks into effect a state requirement that health care professionals who have NOT been vaccinated wear surgical masks whenever they’re in contact with patients. The health department reports that flu-related hospitalizations are up as well.

Read more
Health Care
11:38 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Flu Spreads In Rhode Island, Hospitalizations Increase

Flu vaccine-filled syringes
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

While the flu is now widespread in Massachusetts, it’s still sporadic in Rhode Island. But 16 Rhode Islanders have already been hospitalized, and officials expect the number of cases to spike.

Health department officials say so far there have been no flu deaths, but in past years flu has killed well over a hundred people in Rhode Island. They say one of this year’s dominant strains in Rhode Island and nationally is H1N1, but that’s also one of the strains this year’s vaccine protects against. 

Read more
Health Care
3:09 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

RI Smoking Rates Down, But Costs Still High

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Department of Health has a new report out on how many Rhode Islanders smoke. While the number of adult smokers has declined, nearly one in five Rhode Islanders still smokes.

Read more
Health Care
4:13 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Kilmartin, Fine Urge United Healthcare To Reinstate Doctors

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and Health Department director Michael Fine have sent a letter to the CEO of United Healthcare New England expressing their concern over the insurer’s dropping of dozens of doctors from its managed Medicare plan in the state. They want United to reinstate doctors until they submit a plan to handle the transition.

Read more
Health Care
5:00 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Landmark's New Owner Must Use Rx Monitoring Program, Invest In Primary Care

Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

California-based Prime Healthcare Services won approval earlier this week to buy Woonsocket’s Landmark Medical Center. But the approval came with conditions. One is that the company keep Rhode Island regulators abreast of a federal investigation it’s under for allegedly over-billing Medicare. Another is that Prime invest in primary care and in preventing hospital re-admissions. The Department of Health expressed some concern about Prime’s practices at other hospitals, but department head Michael Fine said the terms of the deal to acquire Landmark should allay those concerns.

Read more
The Pulse
3:04 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

The Doctor Is In...Central Falls

Central Falls City Hall
Credit Ryan T. Conaty

Last night I attended one of what could be the first of 39 more public forums, put on by the state's health department, around Rhode Island. And it wasn't what I thought it would be.

Read more
Health Care
4:57 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Block Island Asks State For Help Combatting Lyme

Female deer ticks, satiated after a blood meal, in test tubes in Yale University's tick lab.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Block Island Health Service officials say the state Department of Health has agreed to meet with them about the steep increase in Lyme disease on the island. Island officials want the state to take a more active role in fighting the disease.

Block Island Health Services officials say they’ve seen 68 cases of Lyme disease through August of this year. That’s up from 48 for all of the previous year. Health service head Barbara Baldwin says she decided it was time to ask for some help.

Read more
Health Care
2:12 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

First Human Case of West Nile Diagnosed in RI

An Exeter man has been treated for the first human case of West Nile in Rhode Island this year.

The Rhode Island Department of Health said the 33-year-old Exeter man first started developing symptoms on September 11.  Two days later he was at South County Hospital, diagnosed with viral meningitis caused by West Nile Virus. He was released a few days later and is recovering at home.

Read more
Environment
9:24 am
Wed August 7, 2013

UPDATE: West Nile Virus Found In Rhode Island

Mosquitoes in Seekonk have tested positive for West Nile Virus, none in Rhode Island have so far.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has announced the first finding of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes in the state this year.

The department routinely checks mosquitoes for both West Nile Virus, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis starting in the late spring.

Alan Getman of the DEM said West Nile Virus has been in Rhode Island for twelve years, and today’s reappearance was not unexpected.

Read more
Health Care
5:51 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Shigella Bacteria Sickens 92, Hospitalizes 16

Shigella bacteria in a lab sample
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Rhode Island Department of Health says a bacteria called shigella is responsible for sickening 92 people with bloody diarrhea, sending many to the emergency room and hospitalizing 16, including children. All had been swimming in a lake in Burrillville. 

Read more

Pages