Recent Stories

  1. Sexually transmitted diseases

    STD infections rising statewide, but even higher in Kern

    BY COURTENAY EDELHART The Bakersfield Californian
    Thursday, Nov 27 2014 06:00 PM

    Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise statewide, but the rate of infection in Kern County is particularly alarming. Kern led the state in chlamydia cases last year, was second only to San Francisco County in gonorrhea cases, and came in third for primary and secondary stage syphilis cases. Only San Francisco and Fresno counties had more.

    Kern ranked 12th of 58 counties for most HIV cases. "Our numbers have been high like this for years," said Denise Smith, director of disease control for the Kern County Department of Public Health. "It's a very difficult issue.

    "We're doing what we can to get the prevention message out about abstinance or, if you choose to engage in sexual activity, protecting yourself with condoms."

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    ASK EMILY: New to Medicare? Drop Covered California fast

    It's open-enrollment season again, and I'm not just talking about Covered California. Among those making important health care decisions right now are more than 50 million Americans -- including more than 5 million Californians -- who...

  3. Free meeting Wednesday on Medicare changes

    A free community meeting Wednesday will offer options and direction about 2015 Medicare changes and choices. Bill Anderson, a licensed insurance agent, will explain Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements and Part D drug plans at the...

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    Bakersfield preemie a 'miracle child'

    The first miracle was the twins. After a four-year battle with infertility that included a heart-breaking ectopic pregnancy, in-vitro fertilization had helped Stephanie Crisostomo become pregnant with a boy and a girl. The fifth-grade...

  5. Premature births costly, beg ethical questions

    The state of California has reduced its pre-term births to below the national average, but Kern County's rate remains stubbornly high. That's a public health concern. Nationally, premature babies cost society at least $26.2 billion a...

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    City residents finally get break from awful air

    Breathe deep, Bakersfield. The air quality in the southern San Joaquin Valley saw dramatic and welcome improvement late Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing relief to residents who had been living through one of the worst concentrations of...


    ASK EMILY: Open enrollment II: Tips for Obamacare's second year

    I'm a notorious penny-pincher, though I much prefer the term "thrifty." So I have some counterintuitive advice when it comes to picking a Covered California plan: Cheaper isn't always better. I'll explain why below and provide other advice...


    Childhood trauma affects more than 60 percent of adults in Kern, California

    Between 60 percent and 62 percent of Kern County adults surveyed have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience traumatic enough to affect their lives years later. That's according to the report, "A Hidden Crisis: Findings on...


    Nonprofit provides surgery for uninsured

    When Aurora Martinez needed gastrointestinal surgery last month, the Mexican native's first thought was to get it done in Mexico. Without health insurance, the cost of the procedure here was beyond her reach. Then she found out about...


    Health roundup: Free immunizations, mammography lecture coming up

    San Joaquin Community Hospital is offering free childhood immunizations to children who have no health insurance, have Medi-Cal, or are American Indian or Native Alaskan. A mobile unit is moving to various locations all over town this...

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    No Ebola in Kern, but local health officials preach preparedness

    Officials at the Kern County Department of Public Health sought Tuesday to ease the public's fears regarding Ebola, while at the same time assure area residents they are actively reviewing care and containment procedures should an active...

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    Family stops in Bakersfield on cross-country trip to help the needy

    Vicki Jameson was a little overwhelmed by the activity in her mobile home as a small army of volunteers cleaned and packed. She didn't know any of the folks who had driven all the way from Phoenix to help ease her transition to an assisted...

  13. APTOPIX United States Ebola.JPEG-0a429.JPG

    Is Kern County ready for ebola? Maybe, maybe not

    The death of an ebola patient in Dallas Wednesday has raised questions about the American health care system's ability to handle a domestic outbreak. Thomas Eric Duncan had been sent home from an emergency room last month only to return...

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