Health

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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Ebola Outbreak
9:14 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Hospital: Condition Of Spanish Nurse With Ebola Is Deteriorating

A vehicle that picks up hospital waste arrives at Teresa Romero Ramos' house in Alcorcon, outside Madrid, on Wednesday. The Spanish nurse was the first case of human-to-human Ebola contagion in Europe.
Borja Garcia EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 1:08 pm

Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET

Hospital officials in Spain are saying that the condition of a nurse quarantined with Ebola has worsened.

Yolanda Fuentes, an official at the Carlos III hospital in Madrid, says of Ebola patient Teresa Romero Ramos: "Her clinical situation has deteriorated but I can't give any more information due to the express wishes of the patient."

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Homelessness
8:41 am
Thu October 9, 2014

New Britain Seeks Emergency Shelter This Winter

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart.
Credit stewartfornb.com

New Britain's mayor is looking for space to serve as an emergency homeless shelter this winter. 

The Herald of New Britain reports that Mayor Erin Stewart is asking that a local property owner step forward and donate a building. 

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Ebola
3:02 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Texas Officials Say They Will Cremate Ebola Patient's Remains

Thomas Eric Duncan died at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas Wednesday morning. He is the first person to have been diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.
LM Otero AP

Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, died Wednesday morning at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. As relatives and friends grieve and plan an evening service for the 42-year-old man, public health officials are putting in action plans to safely manage his remains.

This is critical, given that people who die of Ebola virus infection can harbor the virus after death.

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Texas
12:15 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Dallas Ebola Patient Thomas Eric Duncan Has Died

This 2011 photo provided by Wilmot Chayee shows Thomas Eric Duncan at a wedding in Ghana. Duncan, who became the first patient diagnosed in the U.S. with Ebola, has died, the hospital where he was being treated said.
Wilmot Chayee AP

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 2:24 pm

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET

Thomas Eric Duncan, the 42-year-old man who contracted Ebola in Liberia and later traveled to Dallas, where he was being treated, has died, hospital officials say.

A statement from the company that runs Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where Duncan was in isolation, read:

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Europe
10:10 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Spanish Nurse Says She Reported Her Ebola Symptoms Several Times

Spanish police block animal rights activists protesting Wednesday outside the apartment building of the Spanish nurse who contracted Ebola in the city of Alcorcon, outside Madrid.
Susana Vera Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 11:16 am

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

Here's a roundup of the latest developments on Ebola. We'll update this post as news happens.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed that the U.S. will conduct additional screenings of passengers arriving from the Ebola-infected region of West Africa. JFK, Newark, Chicago O'Hare, Dulles and Atlanta's Hartsfield airports will implement measures that would affect about 150 passengers a day.

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WAMC News
9:06 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Coast Guard Sector Issues New Ebola Protocol

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 6:56 pm

One U.S. Coast Guard sector says it will contact ships that have recently been to Ebola-affected countries to ask whether passengers have symptoms of the virus before they're allowed into port.

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Ebola Outbreak
7:45 am
Wed October 8, 2014

One U.S. Hospital's Strategy For Stopping Ebola's Advance

Ideally, the best place to care for someone ill with Ebola is at the end of a hall in a room with its own bathroom, anteroom and entrance, says Dr. Jack Ross of Hartford Hospital.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 12:22 pm

Dr. Jack Ross is used to seeing potentially lethal viruses, and he is used to putting patients into isolation. Still, Ebola is different.

"I think, for any hospital today, Ebola represents one step higher than anything else, if we had to do it," says Ross, who directs infection control for Hartford Healthcare's five hospitals in Connecticut.

On a tour of Hartford Hospital, Ross explains how his Ebola control plan would affect various parts of the facility — from the emergency room, to the intensive care unit, to the floors of rooms where patients stay.

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Ebola Emergency
11:03 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Meriden Company Developing Ebola Vaccine

Jackie Filson WNPR

A Connecticut bioscience company said it’s developing an Ebola vaccine and it plans to have samples ready for testing by the end of this year. 

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Medicine
8:48 am
Tue October 7, 2014

UConn Professor Wins Award for Work in Regenerative Engineering

UConn Health's Dr. Cato Laurencin says regenerative engineering will soon revolutionize how musculoskeletal tissue injuries are treated.
Lanny Nagler UConn Health Center

A UConn Professor has won a lucrative award from the National Institutes of Health for his work in regenerative engineering.

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Child Welfare
4:23 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

DCF Commissioner Defends Her Agency Against Criticism From Judge

DCF Commissioner Joette Katz at WNPR.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state Department of Children and Families is refuting a judge's criticism that it did not turn over documents in a timely manner for a recent child abuse trial. 

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Ebola
11:58 am
Mon October 6, 2014

U.S. Journalist With Ebola Flown To Nebraska For Treatment

An ambulance transports Ashoka Mukpo, who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia, to The Nebraska Medical Center's specialized isolation unit on Monday in Omaha.
Dave Weaver AP

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 4:53 pm

Updated at 10:20 a.m. ET

The condition of a man infected with the Ebola virus who is undergoing treatment in Dallas is "fighting for his life," doctors say, as another patient with the disease has arrived in Nebraska to receive care.

Thomas Eric Duncan, in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, became ill after arriving from the West African country of Liberia two weeks ago.

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Domestic Violence
8:56 am
Fri October 3, 2014

For Domestic Violence Victims, a New Spanish Language Hotline

Credit Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte / Thinkstock

There's a new statewide hotline for Spanish-speaking victims of domestic violence.

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Disease
12:05 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

No, Seriously, How Contagious Is Ebola?

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 8:22 pm

Update on Oct. 8: The Ebola patient in Dallas, the first diagnosed with the virus in the U.S., has died.

Holy moly! There's a case of Ebola in the U.S.!

That first reaction was understandable. There's no question the disease is scary. The World Health Organization now estimates that the virus has killed about 70 percent of people infected in West Africa.

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