Indiana State Department of Health

Craig Zirpolo

More than 500 pharmacies and treatment centers across the state can now distribute naloxone without a prescription under a new standing order from the Indiana state department of health.

The barriers to obtaining the overdose intervention drug have been falling throughout the last decade as the number of drug overdoses related to heroin and other opioids has increased statewide.

HCC Public Information Office /

Indiana health officials are endorsing a new set of guidelines for emergency departments prescribing opioids for acute pain.

The Governor’s Task Force on Drug Enforcement, Treatment and Prevention voted Tuesday to help the Indiana State Medical Association and the Indiana Hospital Association — which wrote the guidelines — distribute the information to the state’s emergency rooms.

Guidance includes when an emergency room doctor should prescribe a painkiller, to whom a doctor should give the medicine and how large a prescription is appropriate.

What Can Indiana Do To Prevent Sexual Assault?

Jun 7, 2016
Daniel Horacio Agostini /

The Indiana State Department of Health is looking to broaden its scope when it comes to preventing sexual violence.

The state has released an updated version of its Sexual Violence Primary Prevention Plan, which focuses on stopping rape before it happens.

Indiana’s last plan, released in 2010, focused on creating connections between state and local agencies, identifying priority populations to target, and finding data-based strategies to help prevent rape.

The new plan maintains similar goals, but opens the door to connecting more people, not just larger agencies.

FrankieLeon /

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the range of the mosquito primarily responsible for carrying the Zika virus was more widespread than originally expected. Even though the new map contains Indiana, public health experts say the likelihood for native Hoosier infections is slim.

The primary vector for the Zika virus, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is found in tropical and semi-tropical climates, but the CDC has warned it could be present in the southern part of Indiana, too.

TheoJunior /

Purdue University announced Wednesday the school is investigating five probable cases of the mumps virus on its West Lafayette campus.

The school joins three other schools playing host to mumps outbreaks so far this year.

State health department data says the largest mumps outbreaks have occurred at Indiana University and Butler University, who have reported 17 and 24 confirmed cases, respectively.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

More than 3 million people in United States are infected with Hepatitis C, a virus that can destroy the liver and cause liver cancer. 

The number of cases is increasing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and most new cases are attributed to injection drug abuse.

In the last few years, new drugs have come on the market that can cure hepatitis C with a more than 90 percent success rate.

Naika Lieva /

The Indiana State Department of Health and Hear Indiana are working to get more Indiana children who are deaf or hard of hearing access to hearing aids, covering a gap in health insurance coverage.

The new Hearing Aid Assistance Program of Indiana, or HAAPI, expects to help about 600 Indiana children in the next two years. Executive director of the state’s Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education Christine Moody says hearing aids can cost up to $6,000, and they aren’t always covered by insurance.       

Sleepy Flu Season Picking Up Steam In Indiana

Mar 11, 2016
National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases /

The state has reported fewer than 20 influenza-related deaths so far this winter. That’s less than one-sixth of fatality rate from this time last year, when 132 had died by the end of February.

State respiratory epidemiologist Reema Patel says the low numbers are due to luck of the draw…this year, the state is seeing more of the milder H1N1 flu strain, instead of another common strain, H3N2

Oren Darling / Purdue Research Foundation

Editor's note (3-1-2016) : The German company that licensed the product in this story has changed its name from BARDOT to BEAM. 

A Purdue-created pathogen-screening device, which forgoes traditional microscopes and stains in favor of laser scanning, has been licensed by a German biomedical tech company

The device has a glamorous name—scientists call it BARDOT—short for Bacteria Rapid Detection Using Optical Scattering Technology.

Wheeler Cowperthwaite /

Across multiple age categories, the rate of HIV infection in Indiana has remained relatively stable for the last five years of data available. However, an increasing number of Hoosiers in their twenties are contracting the virus.

The number of newly-diagnosed, HIV-positive Hoosiers in their twenties saw a nearly 40-percent increase between the years 2010 and 2014, the year in which the most recent data was available. That’s even as the second-most diagnosed group – 30-something Hoosiers – saw an 11-percent decline in the number of new HIV cases in the same period.