Health

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Hundreds of people gathered in downtown New London Thursday night in a vigil aimed at drawing attention to the recent epidemic of heroin overdoses. 

New advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aimed at preventing fetal alcohol syndrome has created quite a stir.

The CDC estimates that about 3 million women "are at risk of exposing their developing baby to alcohol because they are drinking, sexually active and not using birth control to prevent pregnancy."

Paul Gionfriddo

Paul Gionfriddo leads Mental Health America but he has deep roots in Connecticut. He’s a former state representative and mayor of Middletown who now advocates for people with mental illness. During his time in the legislature, he worked on laws and policies that contributed to the nation's current mental health crisis. His book Losing Tim explores his own son’s struggle with schizophrenia and the mental health system that failed him.

unWillington.com

The legislature's Public Health Committee heard from state officials about the various proposals on the table for a new state police firing range.

Lori Mack

The race is on to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus, which has been linked to severe birth defects. Because the World Health Organization declared the virus a global health emergency it will open the door to more resources and funding. 

Thomas Hawk / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Department of Correction is changing the way it rewards prison inmates for good behavior.

In Flint, Mich., families are using bottled water to do everything — from cooking to bathing.

The tap water is still unsafe to drink after government officials allowed corroded lead pipes to poison the water.

People in Flint have lots of questions for those officials. Perhaps the biggest is the one Hattie Collins has.

"When are you gonna fix it? And I mean fix it right," she says.

The World Health Organization has declared the cluster of microcephaly associated with the spread of the Zika virus to be a public health emergency of international concern — a designation reserved for an"extraordinary event" that is "serious, unusual or unexpected."

Dr. Margaret Chan, the WHO's director-general, said during a press briefing Monday that an international coordinated response was needed to improve mosquito control as well as to expedite the development of tests that detect the Zika virus.

Bayer HealthCare

When Alyson Hannan, 44, decided she was done having children, she chose Essure, a non-surgical permanent birth control option approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The day the tiny metal coils were inserted into her fallopian tubes in her doctor’s office is one that she can’t forget, said Hannan, regional sales director for Met Life who underwent the procedure on September 11, 2014. “I will never forget that date. None of us will.”

Keoni Cabral / Creative Commons

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission announced it will hold hearings to see whether discrimination played a role in the handling of Flint’s water crisis. The decision came early last week, amid allegations of environmental racism against the city’s largely black community.

This hour -- from Flint, Michigan to New Haven, Connecticut -- we learn about the environmental justice issues affecting America's low-income communities of color. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

The New London area saw five more heroin overdose cases at the weekend; that brings the number in recent days to 14, including one death. 

One month down, two to go.

For unemployed adults in 22 states, that's how long they can count on help with the grocery bills: Starting this January, they have three months to find a job or lose their food assistance.

SNAP benefits — formerly known as food stamps — have been tied to employment for two decades. Unless they are caring for children or unable to work, adults need to have a job to receive more than three months of benefits.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

With rising concern about the spread of the Zika virus, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling for more federal funding for research into a vaccine, and said avoiding travel to affected regions isn't enough.

Eric Molina/Creative Commons

New London saw an unprecedented number of heroin overdoses Thursday, leading health officials to warn of a potentially lethal type of the drug being sold in the city.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

With another legislative session about to begin, Governor Dannel Malloy has announced new proposals under his Second Chance Society initiative. One of his ideas will change how the state defines a juvenile delinquent.

A human study of Zika virus vaccine could begin as early as this year, U.S. health officials told reporters Thursday.

But the officials cautioned that it could be years before the vaccine is available for wide use.

The news came as the Zika virus continues to spread through the Americas. Still, a large outbreak is seen as unlikely in the U.S.

Susi (daveandsusi) / Creative Commons

We once did a show about beer jingles, which is a great example of how a product becomes a culture. Cereal as a culture, is off the charts. There's the box, there's the prize, there's the character, there's the jingles, there's the commercials. Most of us can probably sing some jingles and discuss favorite cereal personae from our childhoods, which makes it kind of weird when marketing experts tell us that cereal consumption is in decline.

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President Obama called for urgent action against the Zika virus this week. Meanwhile, one Brazilian virologist at the University of Connecticut has been hard at work in the development of a vaccine. 

Kitt Walker/Flickr Creative Commons

On any day, thousands of Connecticut children need to be given medication while in child care centers, but many providers don’t know how to properly administer the medications, studies show.

The outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil and other countries has raised concern that the pathogen could start spreading widely in the United States, as well. But federal health officials and other infectious disease specialists say so far that seems unlikely.

Thomas Hawk /thomashawk / Flickr

Connecticut state police and the Department of Correction said they are investigating the death of an inmate at the York Correctional Institution in Niantic as a possible suicide.

Versageek / Creative Commons

Oil and natural gas prices have gone down, but the need for energy assistance in Connecticut has gone up, according to a recent report released by Operation Fuel. The report revealed that 313,000 Connecticut households can't afford their energy bills. 

The World Health Organization says it expects the Zika virus to spread to every country in the Western Hemisphere except Canada.

It says the virus has already "spread to 21 countries and territories of the Americas."

"Canada is off the list simply because it's too cold for the type of mosquito that transmits the Zika virus," NPR's Jason Beaubien reports to our Newscast unit.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A court monitor said the state is failing to meet critical measurements because of a lack of funding.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

In August, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy announced that the state had effectively ended chronic homelessness among Connecticut veterans. 

Through an initiative known as Zero: 2016, the state is aiming to end all chronic homelessness – the most persistent kind -- by the end of this year

iStock / Thinkstock

Speaking in his final State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama announced an ambitious challenge last week -- a call to cure cancer, as he put it, "once and for all."

CDC/Amanda Mills / Public Health Image Library

Connecticut saw a decline in drunk-driving fatalities in 2014, but the state still ranks among the highest in the country in the percentage of traffic deaths involving alcohol-impaired drivers, new federal data show.

Combating Sexual Assault and Child Abuse

Jan 15, 2016
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What happens when you change "no means no" to "yes means yes"? Connecticut joins a handful of states that are pushing for new legislation in an effort to combat the epidemic of sexual violence plaguing our college campuses. But do affirmative consent laws go far enough?

Intel Free Press / Creative Commons

Federal efforts to make U.S. health research more diverse aren't going far enough, according to a new study examining nearly 30 years of data from the National Institutes of Health. 

Morrow Long / Creative Commons

One person has died and three others were injured when their car fell through the ice on a pond at a Connecticut state park.

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