Bioscience-Medicine news from Texas Public Radio reporters.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Bioscience-Medicine News Desk including  Xenex Disinfection Services, the John and Rita Feik Foundation, the John and Susan Kerr Charitable Foundation, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Jean Cheever and San Antonio Technology Center.  Additional support comes from Cappy and Suzy Lawton and InCube Labs.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

Mosquito season is upon us, made more concerning this year by the spread of the Zika virus to the Rio Grande Valley. The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District is fighting the battle against mosquitoes on many fronts.

Trucks that send out fogs of insecticides at night. Backpack sprayers where chemicals are placed precisely where mosquitoes breed. These are some of the tactics employed by vector control.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

With serious injuries that involve bleeding, the wounded can die in a matter of minutes. Lessons learned in trauma hospitals and military conflicts have convinced many in the medical community that we all need to be trained to use tourniquets, just like everyone is encouraged to know CPR. 

You see automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in all sorts of public places these days: shopping malls, gyms, churches. The idea is to encourage people to jump in and help save someone having a heart attack.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

Clean surgical instruments are a top priority at Brooke Army Medical Center after a backlog in sterilization prompted a slowdown in elective procedures.

BAMC surgeons operate on more than 13-hundred people a month. Two weeks ago, however, some elective surgeries were postponed because of a lack of available sterilized tools for those operations.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

Skin cancer is extremely common, affecting more people than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. The majority of skin cancers are easily treatable. Now, some dermatologists are using radiation instead of surgery to get rid of the threat.

Your skin is your biggest organ. Many times, it’s also the most abused organ.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

The Zika virus continues to make headlines after it crept into the U.S., first in Florida and then here in Texas in the city of Brownsville. The mosquito-borne virus can cause devastating birth defects. Now the March of Dimes is making a big push to educate people as the spring mosquito season approaches.

Texas Public Radio's Bioscience-Medicine reporter, Wendy Rigby, talked to San Antonio pediatrician Dr. Lawrence O’Brien. Here is a transcript of the interview.