Health & Science

Health and Science news

Missouri’s Health Exchange: A Story Of Unrequited Love

Feb 14, 2013
David DeHoey / Flickr

For more than a year, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and others at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have been courting states to take part in setting up and running a health insurance exchange. But Missouri, home of an enthusiastic governor and opposing legislature, keeps sending mixed messages. Now, with Friday’s deadline looming for states to commit to joining the feds in setting up an exchange, it appears as though HHS will be flying solo in the Show-Me state.

HHS to states: Won’t you be my Valentine?

Great American Shakeout Teaches Earthquake Safety

Feb 6, 2013

The third annual Great American Shakeout is to be held this week, with the goal of raising awareness about earthquakes and earthquake safety.

There are hundreds of small earthquakes in this region every year, most of which are too slight to be noticed by the general populace. However, there is a distinct possibility of a larger quake that could cause large amounts of damage.

Brian Blake is the program coordinator for the Central US Earthquake Consortium. He says that such an earthquake would affect millions of people, so everyone should be aware of the danger.

White Nose Syndrome Spreads To Missouri

Feb 2, 2013
Marvin Moriarty / Missouri Department of Conservation

A bat-killing fungus first found in New York is now in Missouri.

A bat with White Nose Syndrome was confirmed in Crawford County on January 25.

White Nose Syndrome was first found in 2006 and has exploded across the east. Missouri is the westernmost of the nineteen states where scientists have found the disease.

Ann Froschauer is a spokesperson for White Nose Syndrome in bats for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She says the fungus attacks bats during hibernation.

Drought Could Slow Japanese Beetle Spread

Jan 30, 2013

Local plants might find a silver lining with the recent drought.

The Japanese beetle, an invasive species with no natural predators and no simple way to kill off, can be affected by the recent dry weather. This could be a boon for gardeners who otherwise have no good way to fight off this growing pest. Without a natural predator, a species like this will continue to grow and thrive.

Missouri Department of Conservation’s Forest Entomologist Rob Lawrence says the dry weather affects their larval stages the most.

Why Missouri Is Falling Short On Children's Dental Health

Jan 27, 2013
Dave Buchwald / Wikimedia Commons

The Pew Charitable Trust’s Center on the States recently released a report or oral health that didn’t speak too highly of Missouri. On an A through F scale, it gave the state a D for its efforts to provide access to dental sealants for high-need kids. Dental sealants are plastic coatings put on children’s molars after they first come in that help prevent decay.