Florida Department of Health

Photo via Flickr// Mike Mozart / https://flic.kr/p/uhaGZN

   A new survey by the Florida Department of Health shows teens aren’t smoking as much as they used to, but they are still finding a way to get nicotine.

Just under seven percent of high school students in Florida smoked cigarettes last year, according to the state Department of Health’s 18th annual Youth Tobacco Survey. That represents a 1.7% drop from 2013.

Danielle Freeman

Throughout the spring and summer, the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County keeps a close watch on the quality of saltwater beaches. That includes weekly testing at more than a dozen locations, as part of the Healthy Beaches Monitoring Program.  

I’m holding a bailer, attached with a role pack that will contain the water that I’m sampling I’m going to dip it into the water about 18 inches below the surface to avoid the contaminants like gas, oils, debris, stuff like that.”

Florida Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong joined community leaders in Okaloosa County as a part of his “Health In All Places Tour.” Wuwf’s Danielle Freeman reports the stop highlighted veterans and the importance of working together to move health forward in Florida.

Josh Morton

An public meeting is set for Friday afternoon from 3:00 - 7:30 pm at the Marie K. Young-Wedgewood Community Center at 6405 Wagner Road in Pensacola. The meeting is to answer questions and take comments on a preliminary health report on the Rolling Hills Landfill’s hydrogen sulfide gas emissions. 


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports influenza is now an epidemic, with varying amounts of activity in 36 states. Flu season normally peaks in January or February.

Twenty-two states and Puerto Rico are reporting moderate to high levels of flu activity, according to the CDC. Fifteen children in nine states – including Florida – have died. Escambia County Health Director Dr. John Lanza says seniors and children are the most vulnerable.

Photo via Flickr//Matteo Bagnoli

The Florida Department of Health has established that flu season has a head start this year. As a result, school districts are reminding parents to keep infected kids at homed.

Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas says we can expect to see an ebb and flow of influenza over the next few months. To that end, letters are being sent home after the state Health Department announced the early season, especially when it comes to children. The key, says Thomas, is fever.

Photo via Flickr//peasap

  AIM - "Attack Infant Mortality", is a collaboration between the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County, the University of West Florida and other are agencies dedicated to infant health. They say the health of newborns begins long before a woman decides to have a baby.

Let's Go Northwest Florida

Health officials in Santa Rosa County have announced a plan to improve the overall health of county residents. The plan was first announced last year and has been reviewed and revised. Joann Vanfleteren, Operations Review Specialist for the Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County says the state DOH created an initiative for for community health improvement planning. All 67 Florida counties are required to create the Community Health Improvement Plan.

In light of reports of the handful of Ebola cases elsewhere in the US, healthcare workers in Florida and Pensacola are making their own preparations just in case. However, there have been no Ebola cases here, or in the rest of Florida.

Suspected Ebola cases reported in Miami and Jacksonville this week turned out to be something else. Governor Rick Scott last week asked hospitals across Florida – large and small -- to require that their healthcare professionals undergo safety training to guard against Ebola measure.

Okaloosa Expands Rabies Alert & Santa Rosa Holds Rabies Drive-Through Clinic For Pets

Sep 25, 2014

The rabies alert, first issued last week, lasts for 60 days and is designed to notify the public of a concentration of animals testing positive for rabies in the area.  

Dr. Karen Chapman, Director of the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County, says this is a relatively unusual occurrence but residents should be aware that rabies can be found in all kinds of wild animals, "In this case it happened to be bats, that is we had three rabid bats associated with contact with humans or domestic animals in a 30 day period."