disease

As expected, the Zika outbreak in Florida is growing — though how fast is still difficult to say.

State and federal health officials say mosquitoes are spreading Zika in two neighborhoods of Miami, including Miami Beach. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told pregnant women Friday not to go into these neighborhoods — and to consider postponing travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County.

Travelers

Jay Fishman, the chairman and former chief executive officer of the Travelers Companies, has died.

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The baby was born full-term and healthy, but now, just a few weeks later, lay limp and unresponsive, barely breathing.

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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.

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We've all seen this happen in summer. Your phlox, roses, bee balm, squash, and pumpkins are growing well, producing flowers and fruit.

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. 

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The Olympics get underway on Friday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It will be a first for rower Austin Hack of Old Lyme, Connecticut. 

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.

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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. 

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.

Six Things to Know About Ticks and Lyme Disease

Jun 20, 2016
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This year, 97 percent of blacklegged ticks -- commonly known as deer ticks -- survived the Connecticut winter, and are hungry for blood as temperatures warm.

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An antibiotic-resistant "superbug" gene was discovered in the United States recently, triggering a media frenzy. Across the world, newspaper and television headlines warned of "nightmare bacteria," "deadly" infections, and a looming "global health crisis." But was the response warranted? 

With his wife expecting a baby in October, American road racer Tejay van Garderen has withdrawn from consideration for the Rio Summer Olympics, citing the Zika virus that's been linked to birth defects.

From a statement released by USA Cycling on van Garderen's behalf today:

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A group of Connecticut investors is helping to fund the first human clinical trial of a new Alzheimer's treatment that its inventors believe could revolutionize the way we see the disease.

Since it came onto the scene in 1943, penicillin has made syphilis a thing of the past — almost. Now, the sexually transmitted disease is making a comeback in the U.S. and there's a shortage of the medication used to treat it.

Pfizer, the company that supplies it, says it's experiencing "an unanticipated manufacturing delay," and in a letter to consumers wrote that it would be providing just one-third of the usual monthly demand until July.

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New data show a surge in drug overdose deaths in Connecticut during the first three months of this year involving the opioid fentanyl.  The information was released on Friday by the State’'s Chief Medical Examiner Dr. James Gill.

Heather Brandon illustration / WNPR

As heroin and opiate addictions continue to spread among middle class communities, families who never thought they’d face this problem are finding out one simple truth: treating someone for an addiction can be really, really costly. 

Scientists and doctors say the case is clear: The best way to tackle the country's opioid epidemic is to get more people on medications that have been proven in studies to reduce relapses and, ultimately, overdoses.

Yet, only a fraction of the more than 4 million people believed to abuse prescription painkillers or heroin in the U.S. are being given what's called medication-assisted treatment.

A few weeks ago, Dr. James Bale saw a series of MRI images in a medical journal of MRI scans of babies infected with Zika in the womb.

They scans showed something Bale had seen only a few times in his 30-year career: a phenomenon called fetal brain disruption sequence.

As the fetus's brain starts to grow, it creates pressure, which pushes on the skull and causes it to grow. But if something stops brain growth — such as a virus — pressure on the skull drops. And the skull can collapse down onto the brain.

Amir Attaran, a professor in the School of Public Health and the School of Law at the University of Ottawa, isn't afraid to take a bold stand.

He has written a commentary for the Harvard Public Health Review, published this week, with the headline, "Why Public Health Concerns for Global Spread of Zika Virus Means that Rio de Janeiro's 2016 Olympic Games Must Not Proceed."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Dr. Gail Christopher has been a crusader for better health outcomes in America, championing an idea that “place matters,” finding that the way people live in some communities puts them at a much higher risk for disease. 

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Governor Dannel Malloy joined state officials in Hartford on Friday to discuss the Zika virus.

Teen Forced to Undergo Cancer Treatment Suffers Setback

Apr 18, 2016
Jackie Fortin

A Connecticut teenager who was forced by the courts to undergo chemotherapy for her cancer says a new mass has been found in her lungs.

Connecticut public health and law enforcement departments this week are testing how the state responds to situations such as an infectious disease outbreak that require extensive coordination between local, state and federal agencies. Run by the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the exercise includes the Centers for Disease Control, hospitals and volunteers.

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Discovery in the biomedical sciences is running at a pace that challenges our ability to keep up, financially, ethically, and legally. And thinkers in the field are calling on policy makers to reconsider our response.

Monkey malaria is just a few steps away from becoming a major human disease. The big question is whether it will take those steps.

New research shows that Plasmodium knowlesi, a form of malaria common in monkeys in South East Asia, is capable of flourishing in people even though so far it rarely does.

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With an opioid crisis still underway across the country, pain and how it’s treated is under scrutiny. The Centers for Disease Control in March came out with national standards for prescribing opioid painkillers, notably that clinicians should consider other options first.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Radiologists and advocates are trying to persuade Connecticut lawmakers to reverse a cut made last year to the state Medicaid reimbursement rate for radiology services. 

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