Department of Health

Elmore State Park, seen here in 2015.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR/file

The Vermont Department of Health is teaming up with Vermont State Parks and skin cancer prevention organization IMPACT Melanoma to install free sunscreen dispensers at state parks.

A water fountain mounted on a wall.
gerenme / iStock

The Vermont Department of Health is adding three new polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, to its drinking water advisory, and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation says it will be testing the drinking water in 10 schools that have used cleaning supplies that contain the chemicals.

courtesy of Vermont Department of Health

The number of people getting diseases from ticks and mosquitoes in the United States has more than tripled from 2004 to 2016 according to the latest report from The Centers for Disease Control.

PIlls on a tabletop.
Tomas Nevesely / i-stock

Several dozen Vermont towns are taking part Saturday in a national project to collect unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs. 

A bill proposing new regulations on toxic substances was vetoed by Gov. Phil Scott, but lawmakers are voting again and could override the veto.
Antoine2K / iStock

A bill that could change how Vermont regulates toxic substances was vetoed by Gov. Scott. Now lawmakers are working on a possible veto override. We're looking at what the bill could mean for Vermont, the reasons behind the governor's veto and the prospect of a possible override. 

A nurse's hand holds a flu shot and prepares it with a vaccine vial.
David Goldman / Associated Press

This flu season has been a tough one for Vermont and the rest of the country, in part, due to the predominant presence of the strain influenza A H3N2. But even though it's April, the flu is still on state health officials' radar.

A graph from the Drug Poisoning (Overdose) Fatalities Report released Thursday shows accidental deaths involving heroin and fetanyl in Vermont. The report notes that 2016 and 2017 data are preliminary. Find the report here: http://bit.ly/2CQH9Pm
Vermont Department of Health, Courtesy

The number of accidental overdose deaths in Vermont involving the synthetic drug fentanyl increased significantly last year, according to a new report.

A sign at Southern Vermont Medical Center explaining the visitor policy in light of the flu outbreak.
Ashley Jowett / SVMC

Hospitals are working to limit the spread of the flu as more cases are reported across Vermont.

Taps like this one at Academy School in Brattleboro were replaced after state tests discovered lead was leaching into the water.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

In November, the Department of Health announced that it was going to test 16 of the older schools around Vermont that get water from municipal sources to see if the pipes and fixtures in those buildings were leaching lead into the water. So far, they have detected unsafe levels of lead in some of the school buildings' water.

In addition to “widespread” flu outbreaks across the country this winter, the flu vaccine is only about 30 percent effective this year, according to Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine.
Toby Talbot / AP

Vermont and nearly every other state in the U.S. is experiencing "widespread" flu outbreaks this winter, and the state health commissioner says the peak of flu season is still to come.

The national state average of overdose deaths is 19.8 per 100,000, which puts Vermont nearly the same as the national rate, at 22.2.  All five other New England states have rates above the national average.
NCHS data, VPR illustration

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control says Vermont had the lowest rate of drug overdose deaths in New England.

Twenty-nine people have used a lethal dose of medication prescribed by their doctors under Vermont's law that allows the terminally ill to end their own lives.

No one is happy when the Vermont Department of Health sends out a press release that opens with: "we may be in for a rough flu season."

The health department will test drinking water in 16 schools for lead, and the results could lead to a statewide testing program.

New Jersey last week set its safe drinking water standard for the chemical PFOA at 14 parts per trillion, which is lower than Vermont's standard.

A smartphone screen with a variety of travel app icons, including Airbnb in the center of the screen.
Wachiwit / iStock

A newly issued legislative report says online home sharing services like Airbnb should be regulated locally. But one of the lawmakers who requested the study says oversight should happen on a statewide level.

A screenshot of the Airbnb website, taken Sept. 20, shows some available rentals in Vermont. A Vermont working group is studying short-term rentals, prompting Airbnb to reach out to Vermont hosts registered on the site to share their experiences.
Screenshot from Airbnb.com

Airbnb says more than 3,600 people across the state use the online service to rent out their homes. Now the company is asking those homeowners to get involved with a statewide study that could impact the future of home sharing in Vermont.

mark wragg / Thinkstock

As the country and the state struggle with the opiate crisis, Vermont is taking action by zeroing in on one way that people can initially get hooked: narcotics that are legitimately prescribed by physicians for pain.

Amy Forliti / Associated Press

This weekend a seminar is being held in Stowe that critics say will spread misinformation about the risks of vaccines. It's topic in which science and emotion collide for parents and communities.

Prescription Drug Takeback Day
Fuse / Thinkstock

The continuing opioid crisis across the nation is prompting calls for action and change. In Vermont, new rules outlining how doctors prescribe opioids to patients in need of pain relief are set to take effect on July 1.

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