Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

State health officials have released warnings about two lakes in south central Kansas because of high levels of toxic blue-green algae. Blooms have been found in Cheney Lake and in Marion Reservoir.

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, both lakes are still open, but contact with the water is strongly discouraged for people, pets and livestock. Ashton Rucker with the KDHE says blue-green algae can take on a variety of different appearances.

cdc.gov

Health officials are planning a public information session in Salina later this month in response to the discovery that 30 children in Saline County have elevated levels of lead in their blood.

Saline County Health Department Director Jason Tiller says the problem surfaced after several families had their children tested for lead. Anyone with more than five micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood is considered at risk.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Update from the AP:

The Obama administration is telling public schools that they must allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.

The directive is in formal guidance being sent to school districts Friday by the departments of Education and Justice.

The letter does not impose any new legal requirements, but federal officials say the guidance is meant to clarify school districts’ obligations to provide students with nondiscriminatory environments.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

The Sedgwick County Health Department will continue to receive state and federal money to support its local health programs and services.

Sedgwick County Commissioners voted 5-to-0 Wednesday to accept a $1.9 million grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The grant is a longstanding funding source for county health department to carry out its mission to prevent disease and promote wellness in the community.

Health Department Director Adrienne Byrne-Lutz says the grant provides the foundation for several public health programs.

NIAID, flickr Creative Commons

A Johnson County resident is the latest person to fall ill with an E. coli infection that may be linked to Chipotle Mexican Grill.

The resident reported having eaten at a Chipotle on Shawnee Mission Parkway in Shawnee, Kansas, in the week before becoming ill.

“The big thing for people to know is this was around Nov. 23 that they ate at that location,” said Sara Belfry, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Trust for America's Health

Kansas is one of seven states that rank in the bottom tier in a newly released report measuring states’ readiness to deal with infectious disease outbreaks.

Andy Marso / KHI News

A new computer system is causing long delays in processing Medicaid applications in Kansas.

The Kansas Eligibility Enforcement System finally went live this summer after almost two years of delays and nearly $50 million in projected cost overruns.

It was supposed to streamline enrollment in Medicaid and other social service programs. But a recent audit found that the software needed many more modifications than expected.

Groups that serve Kansans with disabilities say applications that took days under the old system are now taking months.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

A number of meetings will be held locally over the next two weeks to hear from citizens whose private drinking wells were contaminated by a dangerous chemical.

kdhe.gov

A statistical summary published every year by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment shows a glimmer of progress last year on a long-standing health disparity between black and white Kansans—the death rate for babies in their first year of life. Heartland Health Monitor’s Bryan Thompson has details.

Katelyn Kenderdine, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has agreed to issue birth certificates for two same-sex couples.

In both cases, the women had children through artificial insemination.

Kansas law says a married couple can both be listed on the birth certificate for a child born through artificial insemination, but KDHE initially declined to list two women as the parents.

KDHE spokesperson Sara Belfry says they issued the certificates after reviewing applicable laws and court orders. She says they will issue birth certificates in the future to same-sex couples.

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