Health & Environment | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Health & Environment

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s pharmacists are getting involved in screening patients for potential opioid abuse or overdose.

NDSU’s Pharmacy School and the state Pharmacists Association have rolled out what is being called “One RX.” The “One” stands for Opioid and Nalaxone Education.

The new program will give pharmacists a screening tool – a form, for patients to fill out, that will allow them to assess a patient’s potential to misuse or overdose on prescription opioids.

Cases of West Nile Virus increasing in ND

Aug 9, 2018

The North Dakota Health Department is reporting a steep rise in the number of reported West Nile Virus cases over the past week.

"We're actually up to 18 human cases," said epidemiologist Jenny Galbraith. "That's a 14 case increase from the previous week."

Galbraith said three people have been hospitalized so far with the virus. She said the cases are spread across the state.

North Dakota’s Agriculture Department says it has already received 43 responses to a survey of North Dakota farmers who may have seen crop damage from the herbicide dicamba.

The herbicide is to be used only on resistant crops. But damage from drift has been reported.

The 43 responses involve 20,500 acres of cropland. There have been 41 formal complaints.

The North Dakota Game and Fish department is encouraging anglers to keep fish caught in depths over 25 feet, instead of practicing “catch-and-release.”

"When you catch fish from deeper water, as you bring them up, it's like when a diver gets the bends," said Fisheries Management section leader Scott Gangl. "The change in air pressure could really affect those fish."

Gangl said while some fish could survive, many fish won't.

"Anglers need to be aware of that," Gangl said.

The change in pressure will cause a fish’s swim bladder to expand.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

You can’t blame Lincoln Mayor Gerald Wise if he feels a little unlucky with the city’s water supply.

The recent “boil order” issued after E. coli was found in one home was the latest in a series of unfortunate incidents. One incident happened this past winter.

"We had a power outage up by our tanks, which caused a miscommunication between the tanks and the pump system," Wise said. "It basically told the pumps the tank was empty."

A quick check showed that was not the case.

North Dakota’s Game and Fish Department will participate in a national effort this upcoming weekend to make people aware of the dangers of boating under the influence.

It’s called “Operation Dry Water.”

"Because we don't have any additional manpower, per se, to add to the weekend, we just make sure that those officers that are working have their focus primarily on boat and water safety and getting the boat drivers that are impaired off the water," said Game and Fish enforcement operations supervisor Jackie Lundstrom.

A number of landowners near the west-end outlet of Devils Lake say the outlet is leaking.

And they may have to take the state Water Commission to court because of it.

The landowners say leaks were first detected shortly after the outlet became operational, in 2007.

The issue came up at the most recent Water Commission meeting.

"They (landowners) are suffering damage from the operation of the outlet," Cando attorney J. Bruce Gibbons represents some of the landowners. "There's been seepage from that outlet over onto their land, affecting their crops."

Cass County considering opioid lawsuit

Jun 21, 2018

At least two North Dakota counties are considering filing lawsuits against the manufacturers of opioids.

The state of North Dakota has already filed suit in state court. Private law firms have approached both the Cass County and Burleigh County Commissions to file suit in federal court, which would likely be combined in a suit now pending.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The city of Lincoln is under a “boil water order” from the state Health Department.

That’s because samples of E. coli were found in one of the city’s nearly 1,300 homes.

The boil order means residents have to boil it before they can drink it. But other uses – such as showers and hand-washings – are still okay.

The first sample was found earlier this month – and a second sample from the same house taken this week was also positive.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The US Army Corps of Engineers has some concerns about what might happen to the Snake Creek Embankment during times of severe drought.

That embankment separates Lake Sakakawea from Lake Audubon.