Esther Shittu / WNPR

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.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

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. 

Jason Pack / Public Domain

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 It will replace the outdated operation, which was built to respond to landline calls, and bring the system into the 21st century using new technology called Next Generation 911.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.

milindri/iStock / Thinkstock

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.

Alex Prolmos / Flickr Creative Commons


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.

jfcherry/flickr creative commons

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.

handarmdoc / Creative Commons

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.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

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.

Connecticut is stepping up efforts to prevent the spread of the Zika virus. State officials met Thursday to announce additional prevention measures. Meanwhile, it’s West Nile season.

Michael Greenberg / Creative Commons

Sepsis is always an emergency. But I bet many of you reading this don't know what it is. 

The CDC says there are over one million cases of sepsis in America annually -- many more globally -- and about 258,000 of those people die from it. It's the ninth leading cause of disease-related deaths and more people are hospitalized for sepsis every year than for heart disease and stroke combined. It's a major driver behind higher health costs.

Tony Bacewicz / C-HIT

Bianca Cruz’s Navy career started with a job she loved on a ship in Japan, but after she was sexually assaulted by a sailor, her military life spiraled downward, ending with a “bad paper” discharge after serving 20 months.

Karen Brown / NEPR

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates up to 30 percent of former service members — from the Vietnam War to Iraq and Afghanistan — have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Mabel Lu / flickr creative commons

Last fall, Colin saw The Bloodstained Men and Their Friends demonstrating in New Haven.

They wear white coveralls with red stains on the crotches.

ep_jhu, flickr creative commons

Governor Dannel Malloy recently signed legislation that would expand Connecticut’s effort to combat the opioid epidemic. At the same time, he announced a partnership with a team of doctors from Yale University to help develop a strategic plan.

The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

The bill, which had previously passed the House, will now be sent to President Obama. He has indicated that he will sign it, despite concerns that it doesn't provide enough funding.