Health Highlights: Feb. 7, 2017

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

West Virginia Distributing More Than 8,000 Opioid Antidote Kits

More than 8,000 opioid overdose antidote kits are being distributed in West Virginia, state health officials say.

West Virginia has the nation’s highest rate of overdose deaths. Federal data show the state had 725 overdose deaths in 2015 for a rate of 41.5 per 100,000 people, CBS News/Associated Press reported.

“Naloxone is a lifesaving antidote that, if administered in a timely manner, can effectively reverse respiratory depression caused by opioid and opiate overdose and revive victims,” Dr. Rahul Gupta, commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health said.

The state will buy the kits with a $1 million federal grant, CBS News/AP reported.

“This collaboration represents an essential step toward turning around West Virginia’s staggering overdose statistics,” Gupta said.

Last year, local emergency medical services agencies administered 4,186 doses of Naloxone, compared with 3,351 in 2015 and 2,165 in 2014. Those figures don’t include doses given by hospital emergency departments, urgent care centers, first responders and family members, CBS News/AP reported.

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