Health

Homelessness
2:38 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

More Cities Are Making It Illegal To Hand Out Food To The Homeless

The homeless and others in need enjoy lunch at the Los Angeles Mission on Nov. 23, 2011, in celebration of Thanksgiving. Legislation to ban organizations from serving food to homeless people in public places has been proposed in Los Angeles.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 4:30 pm

If you don't have a place to live, getting enough to eat clearly may be a struggle. And since homelessness in the U.S. isn't going away and is even rising in some cities, more charitable groups and individuals have been stepping up the past few years to share food with these vulnerable folks in their communities.

But just as more people reach out to help, cities are biting back at those hands feeding the homeless.

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Disease
6:19 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Ebola Vaccine Could Start Testing In Africa By January

Patients in a clinic line up to get a smallpox shot on Feb. 24, 1962, in Leopoldville, Congo. Health workers used vaccination campaigns to finally eradicate smallpox by 1980.
AP

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 10:22 am

The World Health Organization says that efforts are on track to distribute an experimental Ebola vaccine in West Africa in January.

Two potential vaccines are now being tested for safety in people, and Russia is developing another one. While quantities will be limited, scientists say even a relatively small supply of vaccine can help bring the epidemic under control.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Reporting or Sensationalizing? How We Talk About Ebola

Ebola ward in Lagos, Nigeria.
CDC Global Creative Commons

Last week, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Michel du Cille’s plans to speak at Syracuse University were unexpectedly halted when university officials “uninvited” du Cille -- citing concern over his recent trip to Liberia, where he’d been covering the Ebola outbreak. 

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Travel
3:03 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Plane Of Good Samaritans: Why Fly To (And From) West Africa

Yes, visitors are still coming — and they want to help fight the virus.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 1:03 pm

Flying into the epicenter of the Ebola epidemic is actually anti-climactic.

We landed on Friday night. And by Saturday morning, we realized that people around Monrovia, Liberia, are generally going about their business as usual — they're just washing their hands a lot more and trying not to touch each other.

The city of a million people is now reporting about 30 Ebola cases each day. On the surface, you really wouldn't know there was an epidemic of the world's scariest disease going on, except that every now and then an Ebola ambulance zooms past with its sirens on.

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Medical Research
2:44 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Federal Funding for Cancer Research Plummets in Connecticut

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute.
NCI

Connecticut’s share of funding from the National Cancer Institute has dropped 19 percent since 2010 – a steeper decline than many other states, an analysis of National Institutes of Health data shows.

Federal cancer institute funding to Connecticut fell to $33.4 million in 2014 – down from $41.1 million in 2010. The biggest grantee, Yale University, is receiving $7 million less from the National Cancer Institute, one of the NIH’s most prominent centers.

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Ebola Outbreak
11:20 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Latest Developments In The Ebola Story

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders (center) speaks with Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn (second from left) and British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond (right) during a round table meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday. The ministers hope to raise 1 billion euros to fight Ebola.
Virginia Mayo AP

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 5:33 pm

Updated at 5:31 p.m. ET

It's Monday, and Ebola still dominates the headlines. Here's a roundup of some of the latest developments:

Duncan's Family Completes 21-Day Quarantine:

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Sierra Leone
4:08 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

3-Year-Old Ebola Survivor Proposes To Nurse

After beating Ebola, young Ibrahim celebrated by proposing to his nurse.
Anders Kelto NPR

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 4:49 pm

Isata Kallon, a nurse at Kenema Hospital in eastern Sierra Leone, remembers the day 3-year-old Ibrahim showed up at the Ebola treatment center. He was with his mother and two older brothers, ages 5 and 8. They all had Ebola. Ibrahim was especially sick, vomiting constantly.

"The chance of survival was very low for him," says Kallon, who's in her 30s. She sits at a picnic table outside the Ebola ward, her hair pulled back with a hairband and her blue nursing scrubs tinged with sweat around the neck.

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Gun Policy
10:42 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Gabrielle Giffords Convenes Panel Discussion on Gun Violence Against Women

Gabrielle Giffords in West Hartford on Thursday.
Credit Nia Tyler / WNPR

Former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords made a stop in West Hartford Thursday as part of her "Protect All Women" tour.

The tour was launched as a way to raise awareness about gun violence against women, and to empower women to help shape public policy on the issue. 

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New York
9:22 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Syracuse University Cancels Photographer's Visit Over Ebola Concern

Michel duCille.
Credit kalishworkshop.org

Syracuse University has "uninvited" a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer to a journalism workshop because he had covered the Ebola crisis in Liberia. 

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Ebola Outbreak
5:27 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

New Haven Patient Tests Negative in Preliminary Result After Isolation for Ebola-Like Symptoms

Dr. Thomas Balcezak of Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Credit NBC Connecticut

Yale-New Haven Hospital confirmed Thursday that a patient hospitalized with Ebola-like symptoms tested negative for the virus, according to a preliminary notification.

The hospital admitted and isolated the patient, a doctoral student who recently returned from an Ebola research trip in Liberia, late Wednesday night pending an evaluation.

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Ebola Outbreak
3:19 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Gov. Malloy Directs Connecticut Hospitals to Test Preparedness for Ebola Virus

Governor Malloy with state agency heads at the Emergency Operations Center in Hartford.
Office of Gov. Malloy

On Thursday, Governor Dannel Malloy directed all hospitals in Connecticut to perform a drill in the next week to be sure they are prepared to handle potential Ebola virus cases.

The announcement came while a patient at Yale-New Haven Hospital remained in isolation, awaiting Ebola test results, which could come as soon as Thursday afternoon.

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The Faith Middleton Show
3:02 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Healthy Joints for Life

Credit akunamatata/flickr creative commons

No surgery. No medication. No drastic measures. Just healthy jointsfor life!

In Healthy Joints for Life, leading orthopedic surgeon and former NFL player Richard Diana, M.D., applies his unique experience and training to tackle joint pain. Based on cutting-edge research that has clarified the crucial role of a molecule known as NFkB in regulating inflammation, Dr. Diana's proven eight-week program teaches you to harness the power of this research to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and rejuvenate your joints.

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Ebola Outbreak
2:04 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Poll: Majority Of Americans Worried About U.S. Ebola Outbreak

An ambulance carrying Amber Vinson, the second health care worker to be diagnosed with Ebola in Texas, arrives at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Wednesday.
David Tulis AP

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 8:24 am

How are Americans sizing up the threat from Ebola?

A Harvard School of Public Health poll finds that more than a third of Americans (38 percent) are worried that Ebola will infect them or a family member over the next year.

Most (81 percent) believe Ebola can spread from someone who is sick and has symptoms. And that's correct.

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Ebola Outbreak
12:45 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Nurse Nina Pham To Be Transferred To NIH For Ebola Treatment

During a news conference on Sunday, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Daniel Varga answers questions about a health care worker who now has Ebola after providing care for Thomas Eric Duncan. Varga is expected to testify before a House panel looking into Ebola response.
Brandon Wade AP

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 7:23 am

Updated at 7:53 p.m. ET

Nina Pham, the 26-year-old nurse who became infected with Ebola after treating a patient with the disease at a Dallas hospital, will be transferred to a high-level containment facility at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in testimony before a House committee that Pham will be admitted to the NIH tonight.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:04 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Pssst...We Need To Talk About Sanitation

Sarah Albee is the author of "Poop Happened: A History of the World From the Bottom Up" and more recently, “Bugged: How Insects Changed History” and her newest book, "Why'd They Wear That?" will be published in February
Chion Wolf WNPR

Our show today is a long-planned look at human waste. In other words... Poop. It has taken on a slightly more somber cast now that Connecticut is monitoring the possibility of its first case of Ebola.

But, in some ways, we've got the perfect guests, especially Rose George, whose book about sanitation begins in a small town in Ivory Coast "filled with refugees from next door Liberia." Rose is looking for a toilet and eventually succumbs to the reality that there is no such place. There's a building where people do their business on the floor.

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Public Health
10:54 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Lessons From Ebola School: How To Draw Blood, Wipe Up Vomit

At a CDC training session for clinicians headed to West Africa, a medical worker practices sanitizing hands after drawing blood from a mannequin portraying an Ebola patient.
Brynn Anderson AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 3:16 pm

How can health workers stay safe while treating an Ebola patient?

The CDC is embroiled in a controversy over that very question. After the infection of two nurses at a Dallas hospital, the agency is facing criticism about whether initial guidelines provided to U.S. facilities were stringent enough.

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Ebola Outbreak
8:45 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

CDC: Second Dallas Nurse 'Should Not Have Traveled'

The entrance to the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where Thomas Eric Duncan was treated before he died from Ebola a week ago. Two health care workers who treated Duncan have tested positive for the disease.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 5:35 am

Updated at 8:43 p.m. ET

A second health care worker who has tested positive for the Ebola virus was airlifted from a Dallas hospital, where she became infected, to Emory University hospital in Atlanta for continued treatment on Wednesday.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says Amber Vinson, whom public records indicate is a nurse in Dallas, is "clinically stable" and that she was "quickly isolated" after her first test for Ebola came back positive on Tuesday.

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Science Research
6:33 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Embryonic Stem Cells Restore Vision In Preliminary Human Test

Isabella Beukes, of Santa Rosa, Calif., has been legally blind for more than 40 years. An experimental treatment derived from embryonic stem cells seems to have enabled her now to see not just color but also some shapes.
Tim Hussin for NPR

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 11:39 am

Scientists are reporting the first strong evidence that human embryonic stem cells may be helping patients.

The cells appear to have improved the vision in more than half of the 18 patients who had become legally blind because of two progressive, currently incurable eye diseases.

The researchers stress that the findings must be considered preliminary because the number of patients treated was relatively small and they have only been followed for an average of less than two years.

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Ebola Outbreak
6:03 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Ebola Volunteers Are Needed — But Signing On Isn't Easy

A licensed clinician is decontaminated before disrobing at the end of a simulated training session by CDC in Anniston, Ala. Training can take a several weeks, making some employers reluctant to encourage their medical workers to volunteer in the Ebola outbreak.
Brynn Anderson AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 7:28 pm

As soon as the Ebola outbreak started to spiral out of control in West Africa, Kwan Kew Lai felt obligated to help.

She's a physician who specializes in infectious disease. And for the last decade, she's dedicated herself to volunteering for international health emergencies. She works part-time at one of Harvard's teaching hospital just to have that flexibility.

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Fast Food
5:15 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

What's Really In A Big Mac? McDonald's Says It's Ready To Tell All

McDonald's still won't reveal the recipe for its secret sauce, but it will show you how that Big Mac patty gets made.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 10:59 am

Did you hear the one about the McDonald's hamburger that still hadn't decomposed after 14 years?

And "pink slime" — how much goes into McDonald's beef?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:04 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

The Threat of a Post-Antibiotic Era

Stewart (Chip) Beckett is the senior veterinarian of Beckett & Associates Veterinary Practices in Glastonbury, Connecticut.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The notion of drug-resistant bacteria has gone from an exotic problem to a common one. If you have even a medium-sized circle of acquaintances you probably know somebody - or an older parent of somebody -battling an infection that ignores standard antibiotics. It's a big problem and today we're going to focus on one chunk of it, the connection between antibiotics given to farm animals and the rise of these diseases.

If we treat ourselves the way we treat pigs, cattle and chickens, we'd be put on antibiotics at birth and pretty much never go off them until we die.

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Ebola Outbreak
1:47 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Ebola Screening At JFK Airport Flagged 91 Travelers; None Had Virus

A plane arrives at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. Since Ebola screenings began Saturday, none of the 91 passengers identified as having an increased risk of an Ebola infection was found to be sick, the CDC says.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 3:15 pm

Newly instituted screening procedures at New York's JFK International Airport identified 91 arriving passengers as having a higher risk of being infected with Ebola based on their recent travel, CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said Monday. None of the airline passengers had a fever, Frieden said, noting that of five people who were sent for further evaluation, none were determined to have Ebola.

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Medicinal Research
10:46 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Exploring Black Cohosh, Hot Peppers, in Breast Cancer Treatment

Dr. Erin Hofstatter.
Jenifer Frank C-HIT

Dr. Erin Hofstatter, a young research scientist and breast cancer specialist at Yale’s Smilow Cancer Hospital, often prescribes tamoxifen, raloxifene and similar drugs to her patients. The drugs “reduce your risk (of cancer recurring) by half … but they come with baggage,” she tells her patients, “hot flashes, night sweats, leg cramps, small risk of uterine cancer, small risk of blood clots, small risk of stroke, you have to get your liver tested.”

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:30 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Breakfast the Paleo Way

Credit Ivan Jovanovic/flickr creative commons

Good Morning Paleo is a cookbook that features breakfasts the paleo way. Plus, they're gluten-free and grain-free… breakfast burritos, Portobello bacon mushroom scramble… how about lime salmon cakes with paleo sour cream?

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Ebola Outbreak
3:25 am
Mon October 13, 2014

On Front Lines Against Ebola, Training A Matter Of Life Or Death

Dr. Patrick Kamara adjusts his googles on the final day of training and the first "dress rehearsal" before being sent out to Ebola treatment units. The World Health Organization is ramping up to train up to 500 new health workers a week as part of the effort to stem the spread of Ebola.
John W. Poole/NPR

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 7:20 pm

One of the biggest roadblocks in West Africa to containing the Ebola outbreak is the lack of isolation wards for people who are infected.

President Obama has announced plans to build 17 new Ebola Treatment Units in Liberia. Those new medical facilities will require thousands of additional workers who are trained and willing to work in them.

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Veterans
3:21 am
Mon October 13, 2014

A Benefit For Rural Vets: Getting Health Care Close To Home

For some rural vets who live far from a VA hospital, getting medical care has meant driving a day or two from home, and missing work.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 7:12 pm

Army veteran Randy Michaud had to make a 200-mile trip to the Veterans Affairs hospital in Aroostook County, Maine, near the Canadian border, every time he had a medical appointment.

Michaud, who was medically retired after a jeep accident in Germany 25 years ago, moved home to Maine in 1991. He was eligible for VA medical care, but the long drive was a problem.

He's one of millions of veterans living in rural America who must travel hundreds of miles round-trip for care.

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Ebola
6:01 am
Sun October 12, 2014

CDC Cites 'Breach' In Ebola Protocol As Second Texas Case Emerges

Police stand guard outside the apartment of a hospital worker who has tested positive for Ebola in Dallas Sunday. In the background is a yellow barrel used to dispose of hazardous materials.
Roger Steinman AP

Originally published on Sun October 12, 2014 7:33 pm

A health care worker in Texas who cared for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan has been confirmed to have the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The head of the CDC says the infection stems from a breach in protocol that officials are working to identify.

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Disease
12:40 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Ebola Joke Triggers Passenger's Removal From US Airways Flight

Hazmat team removes passenger from US Airways flight after joke about Ebola.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 12:57 pm

Updated at 12:40 p.m. ET

Call it a sign of the times: An airline passenger sneezes, makes a joke about Ebola and is quickly escorted from the plane by hazmat-suited personnel.

That's what reportedly happened aboard a US Airways flight that had landed in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, shortly after arriving from Philadelphia on Wednesday.

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The Faith Middleton Show
3:05 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Dr. Raphael Kellman's Microbiome Diet

Credit Sonny Abesamis/flickr creative commons

Repair and boost the bacteria in the gut with the right food, prebiotics and probiotics, and you'll feel better and lose weight. That's the theory of Dr. Raphael Kellman of New York, author of The Microbiome Diet.

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Disease
12:33 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

4 Things We've Learned About Enterovirus D68, And 1 Mystery

Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., was the first to report a surge of children with serious respiratory illness in August.
Andy Pollard Children's Mercy Kansas City

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 8:15 am

On Aug. 15, doctors and nurses at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., realized they had a problem.

Children were coming into the emergency room with an illness that caused wheezing and breathing problems so severe that some children ended up in the ICU on ventilators. And it was spreading fast.

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