public health

Iowa State Fair 2021: Health department recommends widespread masking, vaccinations to combat delta variant

BY: - August 3, 2021

The Iowa State Fair begins next week, promising fried food, carnival games and crowds of over a million. But as COVID-19 cases rise in Iowa, public health experts are urging “smart decisions” during the festivities to prevent the spread of the virus. The primary concern is the delta variant of COVID-19, a more transmissible and […]

HIV/AIDS vaccine: Why don’t we have one after 37 years, when we have several for COVID-19 after a few months?

BY: - May 18, 2021

Smallpox has been eradicated from the face of the Earth following a highly effective, worldwide vaccination campaign. Paralytic poliomyelitis is no longer a problem in the U.S. because of development and use of effective vaccines against the poliovirus. In current times, millions of lives have been saved because of rapid deployment of effective vaccines against […]

Study: Animal-based foods connected to 15,900 deaths a year

BY: - May 11, 2021

Animal-based foods are connected to 15,900 annual deaths resulting from small-particle pollution from agriculture, a new study found. Reducing excess protein in livestock feed and using nitrogen inhibitors and other fertilizer amendments and other techniques in just the 10% of U.S. counties with the highest mitigation potential would save 22% of deaths associated with food […]


Declaring racism a public health crisis brings more attention to solving long-ignored racial gaps in health

BY: - April 25, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has joined hundreds of cities and counties across the country in declaring racism a public health threat. On April 8, 2021, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky called racism an epidemic that affects “the entire health of our nation.” Declaring racism a public health threat will create a […]


Why can’t we accept masks like we do other public health and safety rules?

BY: - August 13, 2020

Not that you asked, but the list of things I dislike goes well beyond liver and onions, “Rocky Mountain oysters,” drivers who tailgate, and people who chew with their mouths open. Until this year, the list did not include people who refuse to wear masks. But with coronavirus moving through hospitals, care centers, bars and […]

Bars, restaurants face fines, suspensions for social-distancing violations

BY: - July 30, 2020

Iowa restaurants and bars will face $1,000 fines and possible license suspensions for violating the state’s social-distancing and cleaning requirements, state officials announced Thursday. The Iowa Capital Dispatch reported last week that the Iowa Restaurant Association was pushing for stronger enforcement of rules intended to fight the spread of COVID-19. The organization, which represents 600 […]

Librarians, national guard recruited for states’ new contact tracing armies 

BY: - May 24, 2020

As states seek to loosen wide-ranging restrictions imposed to constrain the novel coronavirus, they’re also looking to deploy a huge new fleet of workers to keep cases under control. Enter the contact tracers. With interpersonal contact certain to increase as states lift COVID-19 restrictions, tracing the individuals with whom infected people had contact — and […]


Nurse, pregnant mom, caregiver, pilot’s wife still waiting for COVID test results

BY: - March 29, 2020

I’m a nurse, public health professional, soon-to-be nurse practitioner, wife of a pilot, caregiver to an elderly grandmother, pregnant mom of three, soon to be four, and best friend to a woman set to deliver her second baby any day. COVID-19 is all-consuming for me and I know I am not alone. On March 18, […]

Healthy Relationsips Iowa

Millions of your tax dollars at work: Charity stages dating seminars like ‘Avoid Falling for a Jerk’

BY: - February 10, 2020

A faith-based Iowa charity is spending $4.2 million of taxpayers’ money staging workshops on dating and marriage. The dating workshops offered by the nonprofit Iowa Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives are called “How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk (or Jerk-ette).” They are described by the center as “eight-hour, hands-on, interactive” workshops. In a […]

Two Iowans tested for novel coronavirus

BY: - February 5, 2020

The Iowa Department of Public Health has identified two Iowans who recently returned from China and are undergoing testing for the novel coronavirus. The two are currently under voluntary home confinement, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. Since December, 361 people have died and more than 17,000 people have been sickened by novel […]

A man uses an e-cigarette

Iowa health officials propose a ban on vaping in public 

BY: - January 14, 2020

Iowa may soon join 13 other states that prohibit vaping and the use of e-cigarettes in public. Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act, enacted in 2008, prohibits smoking in almost all public places – including offices, restaurants, bars, and outdoor entertainment venues. Under new legislation proposed by the Iowa Department of Public Health, the law would be […]