disease

Treating Cancer
11:20 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Doctors Are Slow To Adopt Changes In Breast Cancer Treatment

New evidence on the effectiveness of medical treatments can take a long time to influence medical practice.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 4:58 pm

Cancer doctors want the best, most effective treatment for their patients. But it turns out many aren't paying attention to evidence that older women with early stage breast cancer may be enduring the pain, fatigue and cost of radiation treatment although it doesn't increase life expectancy.

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World AIDS Day
2:13 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Syringe Exchange Program in Connecticut Must Operate With Fewer State Funds

Shawn Lang is the Director of Public Policy for the Connecticut AIDS Coalition
Chion Wolf WNPR - Connecticut Public Radio

Earlier this week, countries marked World AIDS Day. In the U.S., 1.2 million people are estimated to be HIV-positive.

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Disease
12:50 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

CDC Warns That The Flu Season May Be A Bad One

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, got his flu shot in September.
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 7:21 pm

We may be in for a nasty flu season. That's the warning out today from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC is worried because the most common strain of flu virus circulating in the United States is one called H3N2. In previous years, H3N2 strains have tended to send more people to the hospital than other strains — and cause more deaths, especially among the elderly, children and people with other health problems.

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Topline
1:28 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

How Ebola Impacted National Confidence in Hospitals and Health Agencies

Army Medicine Creative Commons

WNPR's Where We Live is kicking off a new, biweekly series in partnership with the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at UConn. The series, called Topline, aims to explore new topics using data pulled from the center's opinion polling archives. 

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Public Health
1:06 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Connecticut Legislative Hearing Focuses on Ebola Response

State Rep. Susan Johnson, center, co-chairs the state legislature's Public Health Committee. Pictured is a discussion of hospitals and health care discussion last month.
Connecticut House Democrats

Connecticut lawmakers held a hearing on Monday to learn more about the state's protocols for handling any future Ebola cases. 

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Wildlife Research
11:29 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Will Some Bats in Vermont Survive the Mysterious White-Nose Syndrome?

A little brown bat found in New York in 2008 with white-nose syndrome.
Ryan von Linden New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Researchers in New York and Vermont are still scrambling to understand the disease known as white-nose syndrome, a deadly fungus that has killed millions of bats since it was first identified near Albany, New York in 2006.

Caves in the Adirondacks, the Black River Valley, the Champlain Valley, and Vermont have been especially hard-hit.

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New Haven
2:14 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

As Ebola Spreads in Sierra Leone, New Haven Launches Campaign to Help

Sierra Leone ambassador Ibrahim Conteh in New Haven last week.
Aliyya Swaby New Haven Independent

Amid news of an alarming increase in new Ebola cases in Sierra Leone, the city of New Haven has announced plans to try and help its sister city there.

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Screening for Cancer
1:03 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Medicare Costs for Breast Cancer Screenings Soar, but Benefits Remain Unclear

Dr. David Gruen, director of Women's Imaging at Stamford Hospital, reviews 3D images.
Stamford Hospital

Medicare-funded breast cancer screenings jumped 44 percent from $666 million to $962 million from 2001 to 2009, yet those added costs did not improve early detection rates among the 65 and older Medicare population, according to a Yale School of Medicine study published recently in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Disease
8:36 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Ebola Panic Brings Back Memories of Early Days of AIDS for Yale Researcher

Gregg Gonsalves.
Yale University

A Yale researcher says the current panic over Ebola in the U.S. brings back some bad memories.

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Genetics
3:03 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Combining The DNA Of Three People Raises Ethical Questions

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 5:03 pm

In a darkened lab in the north of England, a research associate is intensely focused on the microscope in front of her. She carefully maneuvers a long glass tube that she uses to manipulate early human embryos.

"It's like microsurgery," says Laura Irving of Newcastle University.

Irving is part of a team of scientists trying to replace defective DNA with healthy DNA. They hope this procedure could one day help women who are carrying genetic disorders have healthy children.

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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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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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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
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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Ebola Outbreak
12:45 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

U.N. Ambassador Goes To Sierra Leone For Closer Look At Ebola Crisis

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power has her temperature taken as she arrives in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on Monday. Power is on a visit to West Africa to get a first-hand look at the global response to the epidemic.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 12:23 pm

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations has arrived in Sierra Leone on her multi-nation swing through Ebola-stricken West Africa

Samantha Power, who arrived in the capital Freetown after visiting neighboring Guinea, has said Washington wants to help the region fight the deadly virus.

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Ebola Outbreak
1:31 pm
Sun October 26, 2014

Christie Defends Quarantine And Jabs At CDC Over Ebola

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, (right) announced a new mandatory 21-day quarantine Friday, alongside New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Sun October 26, 2014 3:02 pm

Gov. Chris Christie says that a new rule requiring a 21-day quarantine for people who've been in contact with Ebola patients is necessary to protect the public in New Jersey and other states — and that the CDC "eventually will come around to our point of view on this."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, leader of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, disagrees, saying the quarantine could hamper efforts to combat the deadly outbreak in West Africa.

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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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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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Ebola Outbreak
11:04 am
Fri October 17, 2014

White House Appoints An Ebola 'Czar'

Ron Klain (left), then chief of staff for Vice President Joe Biden, talks with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on Capitol Hill in December 2009.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 1:59 pm

Ron Klain, a former White House adviser, has been appointed to head U.S. efforts to combat Ebola.

A White House official says Klain "will report directly to the president's Homeland Security Adviser Lisa Monaco and ... National Security Adviser Susan Rice as he ensures that efforts to protect the American people by detecting, isolating and treating Ebola patients in this country are properly integrated but don't distract from the aggressive commitment to stopping Ebola at the source in West Africa."

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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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Ebola Outbreak
2:04 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Poll: Majority Of Americans Worried About U.S. Ebola Outbreak

An ambulance carrying Amber Vinson, the second health care worker to be diagnosed with Ebola in Texas, arrives at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Wednesday.
David Tulis AP

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 8:24 am

How are Americans sizing up the threat from Ebola?

A Harvard School of Public Health poll finds that more than a third of Americans (38 percent) are worried that Ebola will infect them or a family member over the next year.

Most (81 percent) believe Ebola can spread from someone who is sick and has symptoms. And that's correct.

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