Health

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When Alyson Hannan, 44, decided she was done having children, she chose Essure, a non-surgical permanent birth control option approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The day the tiny metal coils were inserted into her fallopian tubes in her doctor’s office is one that she can’t forget, said Hannan, regional sales director for Met Life who underwent the procedure on September 11, 2014. “I will never forget that date. None of us will.”

Keoni Cabral / Creative Commons

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission announced it will hold hearings to see whether discrimination played a role in the handling of Flint’s water crisis. The decision came early last week, amid allegations of environmental racism against the city’s largely black community.

This hour -- from Flint, Michigan to New Haven, Connecticut -- we learn about the environmental justice issues affecting America's low-income communities of color. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

The New London area saw five more heroin overdose cases at the weekend; that brings the number in recent days to 14, including one death. 

One month down, two to go.

For unemployed adults in 22 states, that's how long they can count on help with the grocery bills: Starting this January, they have three months to find a job or lose their food assistance.

SNAP benefits — formerly known as food stamps — have been tied to employment for two decades. Unless they are caring for children or unable to work, adults need to have a job to receive more than three months of benefits.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

With rising concern about the spread of the Zika virus, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling for more federal funding for research into a vaccine, and said avoiding travel to affected regions isn't enough.

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New London saw an unprecedented number of heroin overdoses Thursday, leading health officials to warn of a potentially lethal type of the drug being sold in the city.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

With another legislative session about to begin, Governor Dannel Malloy has announced new proposals under his Second Chance Society initiative. One of his ideas will change how the state defines a juvenile delinquent.

A human study of Zika virus vaccine could begin as early as this year, U.S. health officials told reporters Thursday.

But the officials cautioned that it could be years before the vaccine is available for wide use.

The news came as the Zika virus continues to spread through the Americas. Still, a large outbreak is seen as unlikely in the U.S.

Susi (daveandsusi) / Creative Commons

We once did a show about beer jingles, which is a great example of how a product becomes a culture. Cereal as a culture, is off the charts. There's the box, there's the prize, there's the character, there's the jingles, there's the commercials. Most of us can probably sing some jingles and discuss favorite cereal personae from our childhoods, which makes it kind of weird when marketing experts tell us that cereal consumption is in decline.

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President Obama called for urgent action against the Zika virus this week. Meanwhile, one Brazilian virologist at the University of Connecticut has been hard at work in the development of a vaccine. 

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On any day, thousands of Connecticut children need to be given medication while in child care centers, but many providers don’t know how to properly administer the medications, studies show.

The outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil and other countries has raised concern that the pathogen could start spreading widely in the United States, as well. But federal health officials and other infectious disease specialists say so far that seems unlikely.

Thomas Hawk /thomashawk / Flickr

Connecticut state police and the Department of Correction said they are investigating the death of an inmate at the York Correctional Institution in Niantic as a possible suicide.

Versageek / Creative Commons

Oil and natural gas prices have gone down, but the need for energy assistance in Connecticut has gone up, according to a recent report released by Operation Fuel. The report revealed that 313,000 Connecticut households can't afford their energy bills. 

The World Health Organization says it expects the Zika virus to spread to every country in the Western Hemisphere except Canada.

It says the virus has already "spread to 21 countries and territories of the Americas."

"Canada is off the list simply because it's too cold for the type of mosquito that transmits the Zika virus," NPR's Jason Beaubien reports to our Newscast unit.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A court monitor said the state is failing to meet critical measurements because of a lack of funding.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

In August, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy announced that the state had effectively ended chronic homelessness among Connecticut veterans. 

Through an initiative known as Zero: 2016, the state is aiming to end all chronic homelessness – the most persistent kind -- by the end of this year

iStock / Thinkstock

Speaking in his final State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama announced an ambitious challenge last week -- a call to cure cancer, as he put it, "once and for all."

CDC/Amanda Mills / Public Health Image Library

Connecticut saw a decline in drunk-driving fatalities in 2014, but the state still ranks among the highest in the country in the percentage of traffic deaths involving alcohol-impaired drivers, new federal data show.

Combating Sexual Assault and Child Abuse

Jan 15, 2016
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What happens when you change "no means no" to "yes means yes"? Connecticut joins a handful of states that are pushing for new legislation in an effort to combat the epidemic of sexual violence plaguing our college campuses. But do affirmative consent laws go far enough?

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Federal efforts to make U.S. health research more diverse aren't going far enough, according to a new study examining nearly 30 years of data from the National Institutes of Health. 

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One person has died and three others were injured when their car fell through the ice on a pond at a Connecticut state park.

For people whose income changes shift them above or below the Medicaid threshold during the year, navigating their health insurance coverage can be confusing. Ditto for lower income people who live in states that may expand Medicaid this year.

Bed Bugs: Our Creepy, Pervasive, and Expensive Problem

Jan 11, 2016
Gilles San Martin / Creative Commons

A Norwalk-based exterminator was called to an apartment building in the New Haven area and, entering one unit, he found the walls “dripping with bed bugs.”

Police in three western Massachusetts cities have seized thousands of bags of heroin and arrested more than a dozen people for heroin trafficking and distribution as they investigate recent overdose deaths. 

Police believe an exceptionally pure batch of heroin has caused the deaths of at least eight people in western Massachusetts in the last week.

Connecticut VA Healthcare System

The federal Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is investigating the death of a patient who was found in a public bathroom at the West Haven VA hospital last month. 

Valentin Ottone / Creative Commons

People who are uninsured or on Medicaid are more than twice as likely to smoke tobacco compared to those covered by other insurance, according to a national study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Seventeen miners at a salt mine in western New York were freed early this morning after they were trapped hundreds of feet underground when the elevator they were in stopped working late Wednesday night.

Homelessness is hard enough, but being a young adult and homeless brings its own set of challenges. No longer eligible for family shelters, 18- to 24-year-olds can be targets of theft and assault by older homeless adults, experts say. In Boston, a new homeless shelter just opened — for young adults only.

The night before the shelter opens, there is a celebratory dinner in the basement of the First Parish church in Harvard Square. The space has been through a $1.3 million renovation, with funds coming from foundations, grants and donations.

Lori Mack / WNPR

Immigration activists held a rally on Wednesday in New Haven against plans by federal officials to round up Central Americans who have recently crossed the border illegally. 

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