Health & Medicine

Lyme Disease in Winter: If You Can See Mud...

Mar 3, 2016

One of the nice things about winter? You can go for a walk in the woods and not be besieged by insects.  But not all bugs are dormant during the cold months.  As soon as the ground temperature gets above freezing, the tick that carries Lyme disease becomes active.  If you can see mud, there could be hungry deer ticks out looking for lunch. 

Anne Zajac is professor of parasitology at Virginia Tech.  Her specialty is studying earthworms, but a couple of strange discoveries soon had her doing a ground breaking scientific field study about a different species.

A fight to get access to lifesaving medication enters its second year at the state capitol.  It may be an uphill battle in this conservative state-- because the medication is derived from marijuana.

Last year, Virginia passed a law allowing Beth Collins to give her teenaged daughter, who suffers from severe epilepsy, the one substance that’s successfully treated her seizures -- an oil that comes from marijuana.

“I put it in a tiny dropper, put it under her tongue. Three times a day, she doesn’t like the taste, but it works,” said Collins.

Marc Edwards

The drinking water expert from Virginia Tech, who first uncovered the lead contamination in Flint Michigan’s water supply, will lead ongoing testing of the water there. 

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver has commissioned Marc Edwards, a professor of environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, to pick up where he left off and continue monitoring the water after he first detected the problem last year.

A line in this year’s Virginia state budget calls for the shuttering of two psychiatric hospitals in southwestern Virginia.  But some are calling for them to remain open at a time when recent events have spotlighted the urgent need for more mental health services, not fewer.

Governor Terry McAuliffe’s budget proposal would provide $1 million to cover the costs of shutting down two psychiatric hospitals in southern Virginia.  The plan raised an outcry at a time when it’s becoming clear that there’s already a lack of sufficient beds for people in psychological crises in the state.

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With all the gift-giving this time of year, it’s important to know you’re not giving a child a toy that might be dangerous.  Scientists at Virginia Tech have come up with a new way to flag potential toy hazards before they cause injuries. 

These days there’s no shortage of product reviews out there.  In fact there are too many for consumers to actually comb through. Now a technique for mining those product reviews, invented at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin School of Business to examine car safety, is now being applied to children’s toys.

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