Health

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Residents who need help paying for child care can apply for state assistance but homeless families often don't meet the guidelines to be eligible for the program.

Tom via Flickr / Creative Commons

Connecticut officials have prepared a plan to respond to the Zika virus that includes in-state testing for the virus, monitoring mosquitoes, and public education on how to avoid infection.

A federal bill that provides money for addiction treatment and drug prevention has passed its first hurdle. Senators Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen co-sponsored the legislation. 

The bill calls for additional dollars for a number of areas including treatment for people battling addiction while in prison, drug prevention efforts in schools, and expanding access to the overdose reversal drug Narcan.

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee passed the measure by a unanimous vote. But how much of the bill’s $70 million would go to New Hampshire is unknown.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Hartford school officials have decided to tear down Clark Elementary School because of extensive PCB contamination. The district had planned on renovating the school, but after discovering the extent of the problem, that option has been taken off the table.

Connor Tarter / Creative Commons

More than 116,000 people signed up for private insurance through Obamacare in the program's third year of open enrollment. 

CT Senate Democrats

A report by the Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund shows victims are staying longer at the state's domestic violence shelters, creating a strain on shelters' resources and available space.

Wikimedia Commons

Could King Henry VIII have suffered from the same brain injuries affecting some modern-day football players? That's the question at the center of a new study looking at traumatic brain injury. 

Until very recently it was thought that just one bacterium was to blame for causing Lyme disease in humans. But it turns out that a second, related bug can cause it too.

In 2013, during routine testing of bacterial DNA floating around in the blood samples of people suspected of having Lyme disease, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., realized they were looking at something different.

Paul Gionfriddo

For former state lawmaker Paul Gionfriddo, mental health isn’t just a matter of policy -- it's also personal. His son, now 30, has schizophrenia. 

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut said he’ll propose a bill that would pay to remove lead from homes and businesses.

Murphy says a tax credit would lower the chances of lead poisoning in Connecticut. In the northeast, lead was commonly used in for paint and pipes in houses built before 1950. The Connecticut Department of Public Health says about 15 percent of buildings in the state might still have lead in their paint or pipes.

Lori Mack / WNPR

Several people quarantined in Connecticut after returning from West Africa during the Ebola epidemic in 2014 have filed a class-action lawsuit against state health officials, saying they were essentially imprisoned based on politics and not any legal or scientific reason. 

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.

Novartis AG/flickr creative commons

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. 

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