Pinellas County

Pinellas and Pasco counties are starting to see significant declines in the number of hepatitis A cases that are being diagnosed each month, the state’s surgeon general told a panel of senators on Tuesday.

Hepatitis A Cases Near 2,800 This Year

Oct 16, 2019
Hepatitis A vaccine
Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

Florida had 53 newly reported hepatitis A cases last week, bringing the total number of cases this year to 2,791 as of Saturday, numbers from the state Department of Health show. 

Hepatitis A Cases Soar Past 1,000

May 7, 2019
WMFE

Florida has had a reported 1,037 cases of the liver disease hepatitis A this year, nearly double the amount reported for all of 2018, according to numbers posted on the state Department of Health website. 

Florida is seeing a surge in hepatitis A infections and a majority of the cases are turning up in the Tampa Bay area.

Doctors say young children who have experienced trauma from neglect, abuse or violence may cry excessively or have problems sleeping or eating.

While the fish kills have stopped washing up on Pinellas County beaches, red tide is still an ongoing problem in the area. The Board of Commissioners voted recently on an agreement with the state that would give the county an additional three million dollars for red tide cleanup.

Pinellas County is publishing regular respiratory forecasts for its beaches online, as toxic red tide blooms still linger.

It's been about a month since red tide first made its way to Pinellas County, but not much has been seen in the last few weeks. That was until Hurricane Michael passed through earlier this week and pushed the algae bloom closer to shore.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and local law enforcement and community service groups are encouraging people to speak out about the problem.

Amy Green / WMFE

It was a rough week for Florida's beaches, with a resurgence of red tide on the Gulf Coast and returning feces-related problems in South Florida.

Red tide arrived in Pinellas County over the weekend with numerous reports of dead fish along beaches from Fort DeSoto to Clearwater. 

Amy Green/WMFE

It appears that a noxious red tide algal bloom has reached one of Florida's main metropolitan areas. 

Pinellas County is in the middle of their first measles outbreak in 20 years, and the number of cases keeps building. Since August 13, there have been seven reported cases in the county, and as of Wednesday, there are nine in the state.

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Health officials are urging parents to make sure their children are vaccinated against measles after three cases of the disease were reported in Pinellas County, among more than 100 cases throughout the U.S. this year.

iStock

Florida health officials are investigating a case of measles from a child they say was not vaccinated.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Tourists weren't scattered on beaches in southwest Florida on Thursday, but hundreds of dead fish were.

The Herald-Tribune reports that visitors piled into the parking lot of Venice Beach, got out of their cars, started hacking, coughing and sneezing and then quickly left.

The Pinellas County Department of Health is helping students start the new school year with a smile thanks to their no cost dental clinic.

The democratic frontrunner for Florida Attorney General is calling for an end to the state’s “stand your ground” law following a Pinellas County shooting.

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The flu has forced one school in Pinellas County to close and others in the Tampa Bay area to send warnings home to parents.

Julio Ochoa/WUSF

Hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage spilled onto Pinellas County streets and into waterways after last year's tropical storms. A task force set up to address the issue provided an update on their progress on Thursday in Seminole.

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Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg filed a letter of intent with the state to open Pinellas County’s second trauma center.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

  With the first locally-transmitted case of Zika in Tampa Bay the question on everyone’s minds is where?

Rep.  David Jolly, who represents Pinellas County, is pushing for an answer.

Oxitec

State officials are investigating Pinellas County’s first non-travel-related case of Zika virus, according to a release from Gov. Rick Scott’s office.

  

  Pinellas County has its first reported case of Zika virus, the Florida Department of Health said on Monday.

HCA Healthcare is sending postcards to Pinellas County residents telling them to ask emergency medical services to take them to HCA if they’re having a heart attack, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The hospital chain is the largest for-profit group in the nation and is known for its bold marketing campaigns, including billboards on major highways advertising ER wait times.

Florida Department of Health

Floridians who use county health departments for primary care are mostly too poor to qualify for enrollment in a health plan through the online Marketplace to open Oct. 1, the Department of Health says.

So it makes more sense for “navigators” -- enrollment advisors for the uninsured who seek health coverage on the online Marketplace beginning Oct. 1 --  to go to other locations such as hospital emergency rooms, or county libraries, the memo says.

The Tampa Bay Times' lead editorial on Friday says Gov. Rick Scott is hurting Florida families by pretending to be on their side but actually undermining their access to health insurance -- and information about where to get it.

Employees of the Pinellas Sheriff's Office and Pinellas County government will get some help to pay for out-of-network costs if they want to keep going to BayCare facilities, which no longer contract with UnitedHealthcare.

Two Pinellas County Commission members lost their seats in this week's election after their opponents criticized their vote to remove fluoride from the water supply. A third member may be wavering.

Two incumbents who voted to abandon fluoride in Pinellas' drinking water lost their seats to former state lawmakers Janet Long and Charlie Justice, who campaigned on the issue.