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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.

The Longest Day 2014: Helping those with Alzheimer's

The Longest Day 2014: Helping those with Alzheimer's

On The Longest Day, teams around the world come together to honor the strenght, passion, and endurance of those facing Alzheimer's with a day of activity.

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."

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:

Upcoming blood donation opportunities for Hot Spring County in January

Upcoming blood donation opportunities for Hot Spring County in January

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (ARC) — With a new year come many resolutions to form good habits and achieve personal goals. The American Red Cross encourages those who are eligible to resolve to help patients in need through regular blood donations.

Donated blood can give patients in need more time with loved ones. Blood can be used to treat cancer patients, trauma victims, organ transplant recipients, premature babies, sickle cell disease patients and more. In fact, about every two seconds a patient in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion.

As winter continues, donations are especially needed, with many donors unable to give due to inclement weather and seasonal illnesses. Make an appointment to donate blood and partake in a lifesaving resolution by visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities for Hot Spring County:

Protect yourself during tick season

Protect yourself during tick season

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas has some of the highest levels of tick-related illnesses of any state in the nation and we are expecting another big year. In 2012, over 900 cases of tick-related illness were reported to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). Five of these cases resulted in death. Cases were found in 63 counties, with illnesses occurring every month of the year but peaking in June. Because many of these illnesses go unreported, the actual number of persons sick from tick-related illness is much higher.

According to Susan Weinstein, DVM, MPH, Zoonotic Disease Section Chief at ADH, “Tick-related illnesses are serious and can be deadly if not treated properly. It is very important that people realize the seriousness of the infections that some ticks can carry, and to see their doctor if ill. Thankfully, we can prevent many of these infections if we become aware of the risks and take some simple precautions.”