The Health Beat Blog

Recent Blogs

  1. County ranks high in tobacco sales to minors

    Friday, Dec 19 2014 05:51 PM

    The rate of illegal sales of tobacco products to minors in Kern County is almost twice higher than that of the state, according to a report the Kern County Public Health Services Department released Friday.

    In an effort to evaluate the willingness of local retailers to sell tobacco to children, 13 high school students volunteered to participate in the 2014 Kern County Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey, organized by the Environmental Health Division Tobacco Education Program and a coalition of law enforcement agencies.

    In all, 562 tobacco retail stores were surveyed throughout Kern County. Clerks at 17.1 percent of them sold tobacco products to students age 14 to 16 years old in violation of the law, up 3.6 percent from the 2013 survey. The...

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    Threshold Choir caters to the sick

    At Mercy Hospital downtown Friday, a woman lay scowling in a bed in the intensive care unit. A group of people dressed in cheerful holiday colors had gathered in the common area outside her room, and the patient was clearly annoyed by the...

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    Report finds high child abuse, neglect in Kern

    Kern County children ages 5 and younger are twice as likely as their statewide peers to be victims of abuse and neglect, according to a new report. The findings were part of the Children's Data Network project at the University of...

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    Local woman grateful after surviving flesh eating bacteria

    The first sign of a life-threatening bacterial infection was exhaustion. Not the kind that comes with the territory of being a working mother of four. Jennifer Sutherland had never felt anything like what slammed her two years ago as she...

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    Health reform proves a mixed bag in Kern

    Margaret Pendley has had chronic pain since the double whammy of a car accident in February and a fall a month later. The restaurant server has been on disability since the accident, and has spent much of this year trying to find a pain...

  6. Sexually transmitted diseases

    STD infections rising statewide, but even higher in Kern

    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...

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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...

  8. 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...


    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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    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...

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    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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