Health

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Listen live on Thursday at 1:00 pm. 

For most of time, microbes ruled the planet alone. Microbes have been around for billions of years - long before people ever began to inhabit the earth.  Am I giving you a good picture of how small humans are in this grander view of life? 

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Doctors in Connecticut are working together to reduce the amount of prescription opioids prescribed after surgery. 

As expected, the Zika outbreak in Florida is growing — though how fast is still difficult to say.

State and federal health officials say mosquitoes are spreading Zika in two neighborhoods of Miami, including Miami Beach. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told pregnant women Friday not to go into these neighborhoods — and to consider postponing travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County.

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Why are some people more susceptible to addiction than others? How does genetic makeup influence a person’s chances of becoming an addict? This hour, we find out how researchers at Yale University and The Jackson Laboratory are working to better understand the science of addiction. 

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You've probably heard of M.D.s, medical doctors, but what about another type of physician: N.D.s? Now, naturopathic doctors want to be allowed prescribing rights in Connecticut.

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Five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease -- the sixth leading cause of death in this country. There are many caregivers who provide unpaid care for their relatives with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementias -- but it’s not an easy role to fill.

This hour, we explore caregiving and how it can impact a person’s physical and emotional health -- and their finances. 

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Investigators say a short in the lighting of a ride at New London's Ocean Beach Park caused six kids to receive an electric shock Tuesday afternoon.

It's not often in the midst of an antitrust fight that the public gets a look at the gamesmanship that's happening behind the scenes.

But thanks to the Huffington Post's Jonathan Cohn and Jeff Young, we got a glimpse at how health insurer Aetna is making its case to acquire rival Humana — and new insight into Aetna's decision announced Tuesday to pull out of Obamcare exchanges in 11 states.

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The baby was born full-term and healthy, but now, just a few weeks later, lay limp and unresponsive, barely breathing.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is taking on the National Hockey League for what he calls "apathy and indifference" to concussions among its players.

Hebrew HealthCare

Hebrew HealthCare, which runs a nursing home, hospital and a wide range of care services in the greater Hartford area, announced it will lease out its flagship facility and restructure the rest of its operations under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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Dozens of Connecticut doctors accepted six-figure payments from drug and medical device manufacturers in 2015 for consulting, speaking, meals and travel, with six of the ten highest-paid physicians affiliated with academic institutions, new federal data show.

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U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal met with members of the CaroGen Corporation in Farmington on Wednesday to discuss what can be done to help develop vaccines for the Zika virus.

The Obama administration has denied a bid by two Democratic governors to reconsider how it treats marijuana under federal drug control laws, keeping the drug for now, at least, in the most restrictive category for U.S. law enforcement purposes.

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Cumberland, Rhode Island popped up on a list of cities and towns that have unsafe levels of the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. It’s used to make Teflon. It turns out those levels have dropped significantly in the town over the past year.

Rhode Island Keeps Tabs on Zika

Aug 9, 2016

The Rhode Island Health Department has confirmed 18 cases of Zika virus -- a disease linked to a severe birth defect called microcephaly. 

The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report all of the Rhode Island cases were contracted outside of state lines. 

The mosquito known to carry Zika in Florida is not established in Rhode Island. However, the state may be at risk for another mosquito which also carries the virus. 

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Connecticut is one of several states that’s in the process of upgrading its emergency system. It will replace the outdated operation, which was built to respond to landline calls, and bring the system into the 21st century using new technology called Next Generation 911.

Some arrive on their own, worried about what was really in that bag of heroin. Some are carried in, slumped between two friends. Others are lifted off the sidewalk or asphalt of a nearby alley and rolled in a wheelchair to what's known as SPOT, or the Supportive Place for Observation and Treatment, at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

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Last month, several of Connecticut's 911 dispatch centers experienced temporary system outages. The blackouts occurred amid a multi-million-dollar upgrade to the state's legacy infrastructure -- an effort that has since been put on hold. This hour, we take a closer look at what happened and consider what's being done to bring 911 technology into the 21st century

The federal government announced plans Thursday to lift a moratorium on funding of certain controversial experiments that use human stem cells to create animal embryos that are partly human.

The National Institutes of Health is proposing a new policy to permit scientists to get federal money to make embryos, known as chimeras, under certain carefully monitored conditions.

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The U.S. Justice Department recently filed two lawsuits to block mega-mergers that would reduce the number of the nation’s largest health insurance companies from five to three.

The larger of the two multi-billion dollar mergers is a takeover of Connecticut-based Cigna by Indiana-based Anthem.

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Tens of thousands of Connecticut residents could see their health insurance rates go up starting January 1. Anthem is seeking an increase of nearly 27 percent for individual health plans sold on and off the state’s health exchange.

It's official. The Zika virus has established a toehold in Florida.

Fourteen people likely caught Zika in a neighborhood north of downtown Miami, health officials said Monday. That means mosquitoes in that area have picked up the virus and are spreading it.

Zika can cause severe birth defects if a woman is infected at anytime during pregnancy.

So the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is doing something it has never done before: issuing a travel advisory to a part of the continental U.S. because of an outbreak of an infectious disease.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut officials have responded to the state’s opioid epidemic with solutions like expanded access to overdose prevention kits at pharmacies, and limitations on pain killer prescriptions. But much of the fight to save lives is taking place after business hours, and in the most directly affected communities.

Many More People Seek Medical Help For Opioid Abuse

Aug 1, 2016

Health care claims for people with opioid dependence diagnoses rose more than 3,000 percent between 2007 and 2014, according to an analysis of insurance records.

The findings illustrate that the opioid problem is "in the general mainstream," says Robin Gelburd, president of Fair Health, a nonprofit that analyzes health care costs and conducted the study.

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A growing number of adults -- about 52 million -- suffer from arthritis, and data show women are more likely than men to develop it.

In 2014, 26.5 percent of women reported having doctor-diagnosed arthritis, compared with 20.5 percent of men, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention behavioral risk survey.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration / Public Domain

Connecticut had the highest total number of foodborne illness outbreaks in New England from 2005 to 2014, according to federal data -- a distinction that experts say is fueled by better reporting, while higher rates of certain pathogens also may contribute.

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Self-identified gay men in Connecticut make up a growing percentage of new HIV infection cases, an alarming trend over the last decade that's forcing AIDS activists to get creative. 

'Clone Sisters' Of Dolly The Sheep Are Alive And Kicking

Jul 26, 2016

About four years ago, Kevin Sinclair inherited an army of clones. Very fluffy clones.

"Daisy, Debbie, Denise and Diana," says Sinclair, a developmental biologist at the University of Nottingham in England.

The sheep are just four of 13 clones Sinclair shepherds, but they're the most famous because of their relation to Dolly, the sheep that made headlines two decades ago as the first successfully cloned mammal.

President Obama is expected to sign a federal GMO labeling bill into law soon. This would nullify Vermont's labeling law, as well as laws passed by Connecticut and Maine that have not been enacted yet — effective immediately.

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