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This Week In Public Health News: Before Trump, Transgender People Push For Name Change ... New Mumps

Karen Shakerdge/WXXI
Preparations at one of three legal clinics in Rochester, NY to facilitate legal name and gender change applications for transgender people.

This week - Like most Americans, transgender people are wondering what a Trump administration means for them. Unlike most, however, they are worried about what it means for their identity -- even on paper. ... Thought we got rid of mumps? Think again. ... Why one Flint, Mich., woman perms her hair with bottled water.  ... These and more ...

Transgender Americans Change Names, Passports Ahead Of Trump Administration

Many of us take for granted that the federal government will recognize who we are -- and take us at our word, But, around the country, many transgender people worry that policy changes under a President Trump will harm their ability to legally change their names and gender, and hundreds of attorneys across the country have volunteered to help people file applications. For Side Effects, Karen Shakerdge reports that many aren't waiting to assert their identities.

How Disease Rates Vary By State — And What States Can Do About It

Michael Ollove of Stateline reports: "By many measures, Hawaii is one of the healthiest states in the union. Yet only Mississippi has a higher rate of flu or pneumonia deaths than the Aloha State." More and more around the U.S., public health officials are paying closer attention to how where you live affects your health. And that means that everything near where you live, from public transportation availability to literacy to prison rate, could affect how long you're likely to live.

Big Questions Spread After Spike In Mumps Cases

Nationwide more than 4,000 cases of mumps have been reported to the CDC this year, nearly triple the cases in 2015 and the largest spike in 10 years. The new contractions have some public health officials questioning how we use vaccines -- and how often. While it's not a particularly common illness, Rebecca Smith reports for Side Effects, its spread is still worrying officials trying to fight the disease.

Quick Hits

Mistrust of tap water in Flint, Mich., runs deep, and for one woman there, there are only three things she uses tap water for — dishes, laundry and "to take a really, really quick shower." Heck, she even perms her hair with bottled water.

About 6% of fetuses or infants are showing Zika-related birth defects in Zika-associated pregnancies, according to the U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry.

Those new, hard-to-abuse opioid alternatives? They may stop some people from abusing them. Another pro for the pharmacuetical companies that make them? New money.

President Obama has barred states from keeping federal money out of Planned Parenthood's hands.

Finally, too much anesthesia could harm brain development in children under 3, the FDA is warning.