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Intricate modern instruments revolutionized surgery, but they have proven difficult to clean, posing serious risks to patients. Read more»

The female American dog tick is known to carry the bacteria responsible for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Reported Arizona cases of a Rocky Mountain spotted fever have increased steadily over the past decade and spiked within the last two years. State and federal officials say those heading into the outdoors should be aware of the danger. Read more»

A growing number of hospitals have implemented the pay-first policy in an effort to divert patients with routine illnesses from the ER after they undergo a federally required screening. Read more»

A graphic shows drug overdose rates by state and prescription painkillers sold by state.

Prescription painkillers such as oxycodone or methadone have increasingly been involved in overdose deaths in Arizona in recent years amid a national trend of skyrocketing numbers of drug overdose deaths in the past decade. Read more»

With Arizona among 25 states that received cantaloupe from Colorado that has been linked with a listeria outbreak, it is “probable to possible” that some people will get sick during the next few weeks, a state health official said Thursday. Read more»

Health officials blame tainted cantaloupes for causing 13 deaths and 72 illnesses in the United States in what may be one of the deadliest outbreaks in recent history. Read more»

Arizona Department of Health Services Director Will Humble, shown in November 2010, said he was satisfied with Arizona’s performance in the report.

Arizona is prepared to respond to public health emergencies and to identify biological and chemical threats, but it needs to report test results for foodborne bacteria faster, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more»

The GOP presidential candidates debated Monday for the second time in six days — tossing out a variety of false and misleading claims on everything from Social Security to vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases. Read more»

This flier from the Arizona Partnership for Immunization urges parents to have children vaccinated against various diseases.

Arizona, which requires all children entering middle school to be vaccinated against meningitis, is now urging parents to get kids a booster dose five years later. Read more»

Efforts to reduce unnecessary ER visits by patients in Medicaid are proliferating as states search for ways to control the soaring costs of the program. But state officials complain their efforts are hampered by hospitals' aggressive marketing of ERs. Read more»

Scientists are warning of a new, untreatable strain of gonorrhea, discovered in a sex trade worker in Japan. Read more» 1

Wayne Tormala, bureau chief of the Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease at the Arizona Department of Health Services, says the CDC's recommendations are considered the 'gold standard,' but most states can't achieve them.

Though Arizona consistently earns high marks for its smoke-free air, the state's ratings for coverage of smokers trying to quit slid to an F in the American Lung Association's 2010 report card. Read more» 2

Some estimates put the annual number of humans bit by venomous snakes at 5.4 million, resulting in perhaps 125,000 deaths. The CDC reports that in the United States alone, 440,000 annual deaths are smoking-associated. It is unclear at this time how many of the snakebite-related fatalities are caused by smoking serpents. Read more»

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