public health


Washoe County has seen an alarming emergence of congenital syphilis. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray explains.

Congenital syphilis is a bacterial STD passed from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy.

Angela Penny is a public health nurse with the Washoe County Health District and says there has been four cases of congenital syphilis since the end of 2014. Infections while treatable, can also be life-threatening.


Sacramento County Health and Human Services

In the last month, there have been more than 50 opioid overdoses in Sacramento and Yolo Counties, including 13 deaths, according to the Sacramento Bee. They’re all tied to counterfeit prescription pills sold on the street that contain a powerful drug called fentanyl.


In Washoe County, 911 calls and transports to care facilities, like the emergency room, usually peak in the summer during special events. But for some reason, there was a surge of requests for help on Monday, April 4 and emergency responders made more medical transports in one day than ever before. It seemed like a fluke at first, but then it happened again on April 7 with even more transports in one day, 178 to be exact.

Visitors See US Healthcare Through Global Lens

Mar 8, 2016
Julia Ritchey

The University of Nevada, Reno, and the nonprofit group Immunize Nevada held a vaccine clinic for students on Tuesday with the help of several volunteers from other countries, like Adishetu Adams, a nutritional officer with Ghana's Ministry of Health.

Adams works to reduce malnutrition in pregnant women and children, which in turn helps decrease the infant mortality rate.

Byung Kyu Park / CC BY-SA 2.0

The American Lung Association released its 2016 State of Tobacco Control Report. Among the four categories that were measured, nationwide scores were poor, and Nevada received an F for three of them. Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

Let’s start with the negatives. Nevada got an F in tobacco taxes, cessation services and prevention funding.

Lottritz Family /

Hanna Lottritz is a journalism student at the University of Nevada, Reno and she recently wrote an essay that has gone viral. It’s called “Why I won’t be taking shots on my 21st birthday" and it candidly shares the story of how Hanna ended up in a coma after a night of drinking in Yerington.

Hanna stopped by KUNR to talk with our news director Michelle Billman about what happened.

While out with a group of friends at the Night In The Country Music Festival in Yerington last summer, Hanna joined in on a drinking contest. 

Alexa Ard

Gun deaths have topped motor vehicle deaths in more than twenty states, including Nevada. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman has the details.

In 2014, there were 429 people in Nevada who died from firearms compared to 319 people who were killed by motor vehicle incidents. That's according to a new report released from the Violence Policy Center, or VPC, which advocates for more gun control.

Tobacco-Free UNR Still A Work In Progress

Nov 4, 2015
Marcus Lavergne

This semester, the University of Nevada, Reno officially became known as a “tobacco-free campus”. But, take a walk around the school, and you’re likely to still find students lighting up. Reno Public Radio’s Marcus Lavergne explores why.

Over the summer, UNR President Marc Johnson made headlines as the school prepared for its transition into the only tobacco- free campus in Nevada. Now that the policy's in effect, some students remain skeptical and confused:

Doors To Recovery

Artown is drawing to a close this week, but Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss reports that the community impacts of one project, the Doors To Recovery exhibit, will extend far beyond the month-long festival.  

UNR Health Watch: Where Does The Flu Come From?

May 12, 2015

Did you know that the majority of flu viruses originate in birds? On this UNR Health Watch, we talk about infectious diseases that are transmitted through animals with Dr. Daniel Shapiro, professor and H. Edward Manville, Jr. endowed chair of internal medicine at the University Of Nevada School Of Medicine.  Leading this discussion is Richelle O’Driscoll, director of public affairs at the School of Medicine and Division of Health Sciences.