Health

Infectious Disease
5:37 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Flu Season Brings Stronger Vaccines And Revised Advice

Which flu vaccine should you get? That may depend on your age and your general health.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 6:33 pm

The symptoms of the flu are familiar: fever, chills, cough, congestion, feeling very, very tired. If you're a healthy adult under 65, you'll most likely recover in a week or two.

But for those older than 65, things can get worse fast, says Dr. H. Keipp Talbot, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University.

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Homelessness
1:12 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Florida Activists Arrested For Serving Food To Homeless

Homeless advocate Arnold Abbott, 90, director of the nonprofit group Love Thy Neighbor Inc., prepares a salad Wednesday in the kitchen of The Sanctuary Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Abbott was recently arrested, along with two pastors, for feeding the homeless in a Fort Lauderdale park.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 3:12 pm

Cities are increasingly getting tough on food distribution programs for the homeless. According to the Sun Sentinel, a 90-year-old activist and two pastors from two churches in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., were arrested at a park on Sunday and then again on Wednesday for doing what they've been doing there for years: serving meals to the homeless.

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Higher Education
2:43 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

From Blue Bleach To Hazmat Hacks, Students Take On Ebola Challenges

Students taking part in Columbia University's Ebola design challenge demonstrated for judges how to use a special chamber for decontaminating small items.
Courtesy of Columbia Engineering

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 12:24 pm

If there's one thing college kids do best, it's thinking creatively. Often operating with limited resources and tight deadlines, they're used to coming up with ingenious solutions to life's everyday problems (usually on little sleep). So it's no surprise that experts are turning to students for help in battling one of this year's most pressing global health issues: the Ebola outbreak.

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Medical Plans
12:38 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Employers Can't Skip Insurance Coverage For Hospitalization

Some employers said that leaving out hospital coverage helped protect low-wage workers from big deductibles.
Amriphoto iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 12:44 pm

Closing what many see as a loophole that could trap millions of people in sub-standard insurance, the Obama administration said Tuesday that large-employer medical plans lacking hospital coverage will not qualify under the Affordable Care Act's toughest standard. It also offered relief to workers who may be enrolled in those plans next year.

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Ebola Outbreak
12:55 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Maine Judge Rejects State's Bid To Restrict Nurse's Movements

Nurse Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, take delivery of a pizza at their home in Fort Kent, Maine, on Thursday. A judge has ruled that the state cannot compel Hickox to remain in isolation if she's not showing signs of Ebola infection.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 2:40 pm

Updated at 12:55 p.m. ET

A judge in Maine has turned down a request by state officials seeking authority to compel nurse Kaci Hickox to remain in her home for the duration of a 21-day incubation for Ebola. Since returning from West Africa, where she treated Ebola patients, Hickox has refused to accept a voluntary quarantine.

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Sweet Tooth
9:06 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Cash For Halloween Candy? Dentists' Buyback Program Is Booming

Dr. Curtis Chan, a dentist in Del Mar, Calif., loads up a truck with 5,456 pounds of candy to deliver to Operation Gratitude during the Halloween Candy Buyback on Nov. 8 last year. Chan personally collected 3,542 pounds of candy from patients.
Courtesy of Curtis Chan

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 11:04 am

If your little ghosts and goblins dump their candy on the living room floor tonight, go ahead: Let them at it. They can sort, then trade, and gorge on their favorites.

But if you're like many parents, by tomorrow morning you may want to get rid of some of this candy glut.

One possible solution? Check out the Halloween Candy Buyback program, which was founded by dentist Chris Kammer in Wisconsin. Kammer's office offers $1 a pound to buy back candy collected by the young trick-or-treaters in his practice.

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Immune System
3:57 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Unlikely Marriage Of Diseases: TB And Diabetes Form A 'Co-Epidemic'

Domitilia, 57, is a diabetic patient in the Dominican Republic who contracted tuberculosis. She's now cured of TB after two years of treatment.
Javier Galeano The Union

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 3:04 pm

The world is facing a double-barreled pandemic reminiscent of the dual epidemic of tuberculosis and HIV that emerged in the 1980s – only potentially much bigger.

It's a "co-epidemic" of TB and diabetes that's beginning to affect many countries around the globe — poor, middle-income and even rich nations.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:10 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Achieving Immortality: How Science Seeks To End Aging

Wendell Wallach is a consultant, ethicist, and scholar at Yale’s Center for Bioethics where he chairs the working research group on Technology and Ethics. His upcoming book, A Dangerous Master: How To Keep Technology From Slipping Beyond Our Control, will
Chion Wolf

 The dream to live forever has captivated mankind since the beginning. We see this in religion, literature, art, and present day pop-culture in a myriad of ways. But all along, the possibility that we'd actually achieve such a thing never quite seemed real. Now science, through a variety of medical and technological advances the likes of which seem as far fetched as immortality itself, is close to turning that dream into a reality. This hour we talk with experts who are on the cutting edge of this research about the science and implications of ending aging.

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Ebola Outbreak
1:45 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Maine's Gov. Threatens Legal Action To Force Nurse Into Quarantine

Nurse Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, are followed by a Maine state trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, on Thursday.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 3:25 pm

Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

Hours after Kaci Hickox defiantly breached a voluntary quarantine for possible Ebola by going on a bike ride, Gov. Paul LePage threatened to use "the full extent" of his authority to compel the nurse to remain in isolation.

"I was ready and willing — and remain ready and willing — to reasonably address the needs of healthcare workers meeting guidelines to assure the public health is protected," LePage said in a statement.

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Ebola Outbreak
12:02 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Connecticut Family Sues Over School's Ebola Fears

The father of a Connecticut third-grader has filed a federal lawsuit saying his daughter has been unfairly barred from school amid fears she may have been exposed to the Ebola virus while in Africa. 

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Election 2014
7:29 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Tom Foley Fears Push Towards State Health Insurance; Nancy Wyman Says He's Wrong

Tom Foley.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has made implementing the Affordable Care Act a priority, something not all governors across the nation have done. With the election just a few days away, we spoke with Republican Tom Foley to get his view on the nation's new health care law. 

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Ebola Outbreak
2:03 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

American Volunteers In Liberia Are Anti-Quarantine

An Ebola health alert is displayed at the entrance to Bellevue Hospital in New York City, where Dr. Craig Spencer was quarantined after showing symptoms consistent with the virus.
Bryan Thomas Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 5:03 pm

At the Ebola treatment center in Foya, Liberia, there's one thought on every American volunteer's mind: 21 days of isolation.

The threat of quarantines for health care workers coming back from West Africa cropped up in nearly every conversation I had on Saturday with doctors and nurses at the clinic run by Doctors Without Borders.

Everyone was worried, especially a nurse from New York City. Some states, like New York, New Jersey and Illinois, are already requiring 21-day quarantines, possibly in hospitals, for all medical staff coming home. Others might follow.

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Ebola Outbreak
8:02 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Connecticut Details Ebola Quarantine Policies

Gov. Malloy with state agency heads at the Emergency Operations Center in Hartford earlier this month.
Credit Office of Gov. Malloy

Connecticut officials are joining counterparts in other states in defending and detailing quarantine powers they've enacted as a precaution against Ebola.

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Ebola Outbreak
4:27 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

New York's Disease Detectives Hit The Street In Search Of Ebola

A woman on the L train in New York City last week covers her face, fearful because a doctor with Ebola rode the train days earlier. Epidemiologists say people on the subway were not at risk.
Stephen Nessen WNYC

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 6:25 pm

A little-seen force has fanned out across New York City intent on stopping the spread of Ebola virus – disease detectives go looking for contacts who might be infected.

"They're just really good at finding people," says Denis Nash. He worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York City Health Department, tracing the spread of HIV and West Nile virus. He says these trained applied epidemiologists are experts at finding almost anybody, with only a vague description.

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Language
4:36 am
Mon October 27, 2014

In The Hospital, A Bad Translation Can Destroy A Life

Dr. Angela Alday talks with Isidro Hernandes, via a Spanish-speaking interpreter, Armando Jimenez. Both patient and doctor say they much prefer an in-person interpreter to one on the phone.
Jeff Schilling Courtesy of Tuality Healthcare

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 8:58 am

Translating from one language to another is a tricky business, and when it comes to interpreting between a doctor and patient, the stakes are even higher.

Consider the story of 18-year-old baseball player Willie Ramirez.

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Ebola Outbreak
8:51 am
Sat October 25, 2014

New York, New Jersey Will Quarantine All Travelers With Ebola Contact

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, listens Friday as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks at a news conference in New York. The governors announced a mandatory quarantine for people returning to the United States through airports in New York and New Jersey who are deemed to be at "high risk" for Ebola.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 6:51 pm

Travelers returning to New York and New Jersey from West African nations will be put under mandatory quarantine orders if they may have had contact with Ebola patients, Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie announced Friday, The Associated Press reports.

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New York
10:30 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Recently Returned From Africa, Doctor Tests Positive For Ebola At NYC Hospital

Police officers stand outside the home of Craig Spencer, a Doctors Without Borders physician who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa, on Thursday in New York. Spencer tested positive for the virus, according to preliminary test results, city officials said.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 10:29 am

A patient at a New York City hospital has tested positive for Ebola, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Thursday.

According to a statement from Doctors Without Borders, a doctor returned to the United States Oct. 12 after working with Ebola patients in Guinea.

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Ebola Outbreak
9:49 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Poll: Broad Support In U.S. For Ebola Travel Ban

A passenger wearing a face mask arrives at Los Angeles International Airport Friday. Federal officials now require people traveling from West Africa to enter the U.S. at one of five airports equipped to screen them for signs of Ebola.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 4:45 pm

How do Americans feel about Ebola and the U.S. response to the outbreak so far?

NPR and our partners at Truven Health Analytics asked more than 3,000 adults in a poll conducted online and by phone (mobile and landline) Oct. 1-15.

Nearly everyone — 97 percent — knew about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and a slim majority of those people, or 53 percent, believe the U.S. government has taken a leadership role in response.

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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 Thu October 23, 2014 5:54 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 6:28 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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