August 28, 2015

Abortions in Wisconsin were down 10 percent in 2014

The state Department of Health Services says abortions performed in Wisconsin dropped by 10 percent last year. The annual report shows 5,800 induced abortions were performed in the state in 2014, down from 6,462 the year before.

Data collected by the state also show that the women between the ages of 20 and 24 accounted for 34 percent of abortions to Wisconsin residents, the largest category by far. About 13 percent were for women 35 or older, while 196 minors received abortions.

The report also shows that 44 percent of the abortions performed in the state last year were done within the first eight weeks of a pregnancy and 77 percent were for women who had never been married.

‘Super lice’ and ‘social media lice’ on the rise

IMAGE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

IMAGE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Now more than ever, lice are not nice. A strain of head lice (Pediculosis) that’s immune to over-the-counter treatments is spreading across the country – including Wisconsin. Doctor Sharon Rink is a pediatrician at ThedaCare’s Darboy clinic in the Fox Valley.

“For the past few years we’ve had lot of parents call, very frustrated with the failure of the over the counter lice treatment,” Rink said. “If the over the counter treatment is not working, we use a prescription medication.” But doctors recommend using the over-the-counter methods first. If the prescription medication is over-used, lice could develop an immunity to it.

Teens have historically been a low risk group for getting head lice, but the condition is on the rise in that age group. “There’s a new term called ‘social media lice,'” said Rink. “We’re finding teenagers becoming infested with lice, which you didn’t see as much in the past.”

Rink said lice are spreading as teens touch heads while taking a group selfie. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve never seen this many teenagers with lice.”


Stevens Point lowers first-time marijuana fine

Marijuana plant (file photo)

Marijuana plant (file photo)

The Stevens Point city council has voted to drop the fine for first-time possession of small amounts of marijuana from $300 dollars to $100 dollars, or the equivalent of an underage drinking fine. Supporters and opponents spoke prior to the 7-4 vote at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

“Harmful drugs do exist in Stevens Point,” supprter Ben Kollock said. “There’s heroin, there’s cocaine, there’s things that take lives that do a gigantic detriment to our society. But, because someone uses marijuana, that does not put them in that same category of someone who’s going to steal things from you or commit a crime.”

Pete Shuda spoke against the change, arguing his neighborhood already has a drug problem and this would make it worse. “If the city approves this, I make a motion that the city change their logo from ‘Gateway to the Pineries’ to the ‘Gateway to hard drugs.'”

Alderperson Mary Kneebone supported the change, saying there is a bigger drug problem than marijuana in the city. “I think some of the biggest purveyors of illegal drugs in our community are Walgreens and the Copp’s Phamacy with kids abusing prescription pain killers and muscle relaxers and things like that, and I think education goes a whole lot farther than punitive fines that are, I think, not in line with the offense.”


Shawano County has confirmed case of tuberculosis



The health officer in Shawano County says one person is being treated and monitored for tuberculosis. Shawano-Menominee Counties Health Department officer Jamie Bodden confirmed on Monday that the department is addressing an active case of tuberculosis in the Tigerton area.

A meeting is being held on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Tigerton Community Center to educate the public about tuberculosis and provide further information as necessary. Bodden and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said steps are being taken to track down those who may have been exposed and possibly infected.

Health experts say cases are usually quarantined and treated at a person’s home. There are about 50 tuberculosis – or TB – cases each year in the state. Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease which, if left untreated, can be fatal. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says this active case is not believed to be associated with a previous case in Shawano County earlier this year.


Six Janesville kids being treated after encounter with rabid bat

rabies_reservoirsA bat found by a group of children in Janesville tested positive for rabies. Rock County Health Department Environmental Health Director Tim Banwell said the six children who were playing with the bat have already started undergoing treatment for rabies, although none of them tested positive.

Banwell said the incident serves are a reminder that rabies is present in wildlife It is contracted when a person, or another animal, is bitten by an infected animal. The county health department offers tips to avoid the disease, including never handling bats or other wild animals, and being wary of animals that act out of character—such as raccoons or other night animals that are out during the day. Thoroughly wash any wounds or scrapes from an animal bite with soap and water, and seek medical attention. Keep pets vaccinated.

Banwell said it’s the first confirmed case of rabies this summer in Rock County.