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After Japan Quake, Concern for Safety of California's Hospitals

After Japan Quake, Concern for Safety of California's Hospitals

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Here's the latest in health and health journalism news from Reporting on Health.

Radiation: Despite reassurances from public health officials that radioactive fallout from Japan's nuclear crisis won't reach the United States, Americans, particularly in California, are worriedly snapping up cancer-preventive potassium iodide pills and calling local public health hotlines to voice their fears, Rob Stein reports for the Washington Post. In Japan, the health risks are real but uncertain: Gautam Naik and Robert Lee Hotz outline the possible scenarios in The Wall St. Journal.

Seismic Safety:

California hospitals most at risk for collapsing in a major earthquake are likely to meet 2013 or 2015 deadlines for retrofitting their buildings, Christina Jewett reports for CaliforniaWatch.

Health Insurance: About 9 million adult Americans lost health insurance in the past two years, according to a new report from the Commonwealth Fund, which supports health reform, Jason Millman reports for The Hill's Healthwatch blog.

Water Safety: In California's agricultural Central Valley, more than 1 million people face drinking water sometimes tainted by fertilizers, sewage or animal waste, and cleaning up that water could cost $150 million, according to a new study examined by the Fresno Bee's Mark Grossi.

Cholera: The cholera epidemic affecting Haiti appears to be far worse than originally anticipated, with the preventable but sometimes-fatal disease now expected to strike as many as 800,000 people, Michelle Roberts reports for the BBC News.  

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Photo credit: U.S. Geological Survey

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