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Changes to School Immunization Requirements Effective 2014-15 School Year

Changes to School Immunization Requirements Effective 2014-15 School Year

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (ADH) – Children who will be 11 years of age or older on or before September 1 of each school year will be required to receive a Tdap shot in order to attend public or private school in Arkansas. This new requirement is anticipated to be effective September 1, 2014. Previously a Tdap shot was required for students entering Grade 7. Only one Tdap is required, so children who have already received the shot will not need another. Students who will be 11 years old on or before September 1 will have until October 1 to meet this new shot requirement.

Whooping cough a growing concern in Arkansas

Whooping cough a growing concern in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Colds and coughs aren't typically what parents think of in the summertime. But keeping the kids safe this summer also means looking out for lingering diseases. The state has already seen 112 cases of whooping cough or pertussis this year.

"Pertussis is a very contagious respiratory disease caused by a bacterium called Bordetella Pertussis," said Dr. Dirk Haselow, Arkansas State Epidemiologist.

Symptoms like sneezing and a runny nose can mimic allergies and the common cold, making it harder to diagnose. Severe cases cause a cough so bad, you could break a rib or vomit blood.

Watch full report: http://on.kthv.com/1oUcast

ADH: Baby boomers should get tested for Hepatitis C

ADH: Baby boomers should get tested for Hepatitis C

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - If you were born between 1945 and 1965, you could have Hepatitis C; the Arkansas Department of Health urges this demographic to get tested.

The department calls it a "silent killer" because the virus could infect someone and not show symptoms for more than 20 years. Early detection and treatment of Hepatitis C are the only ways to avoid permanent liver damage and possible death.

Doctors say if you have symptoms like nausea, abdominal pain and jaundice, you should get tested. Hepatitis C contributed to more than 1,500 deaths in Arkansas between 1999 and 2012. There are currently no vaccinations for the virus.

My Town Hero: 7-year-old raising funds to help ease friend's pain

My Town Hero: 7-year-old raising funds to help ease friend's pain

Bethany and Anne Marie are two little girls with bubbly personalities and a bond like none other.

Anne Marie is a 9-year-old who suffers from a rare skin disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa or ED, which causes her skin to blister in response to heat, movement, or friction. Bethany, 7, is trying to raise funds for a saltwater pool in an effort to ease Anne Marie’s pain.

Bethany has been making and selling rainbow loom bracelets to raise the $25,000 needed for the pool to be installed in Anne Marie’s back yard. So far, she has already brought in $14,000 in just nine weeks, with donations coming in from as far away as California.

"I felt a little sad, I was trying to figure out what to do for her,” explained Bethany. "I get happier and happier because we're getting closer to the pool."

Study: Percent of uninsured kids in Arkansas declines

Study: Percent of uninsured kids in Arkansas declines

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A new study shows that the percentage of children without health insurance in Arkansas declined from 2008 to 2012.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report shows that the percentage of kids who were uninsured in the state dropped from 8.8 percent in 2008 to 5.9 percent in 2012 - the most recent year that data was available.

Mobility van could give woman independence for first time in 16 years

Mobility van could give woman independence for first time in 16 years

CABOT, Ark. (KTHV) - The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is giving local heroes from across the country a chance to win a custom Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. One of the local heroes nominated for the competition is from right here in central Arkansas.

Becky Justice, a 38-year-old from Cabot, has been proving people wrong most of her life. Affected with Spina Bifida*, Justice said she fought her school in the early 1990s to make the campus wheelchair accessible rather than giving in and finding a different school. Now, she’s trying to once again to gain her independence through a contest made possible by NMEDA.

 “I was told that I helped to start the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) because of my part in helping to make the school wheelchair accessible,” Justice wrote on her NMEDA entry.

Affordable Care Act enrollment down

Affordable Care Act enrollment down

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - As of February, more than 4.2 million people have signed up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

With less than a month to hit enrollment targets, federal data released on Tuesday shows that signups slowed last month, with fewer than 950,000 people choosing a plan.

And, less than 50 percent of eligible Arkansans have selected a plan.

The state health department believes the low numbers may be because of confusion.

The most common misconception comes from eligible people thinking they're automatically covered, but you must enroll in order to get coverage.

Here's the four things you need to sign up: