disease

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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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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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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White House
1:45 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Obama Postpones Connecticut Visit to Consult Cabinet on Ebola Outbreak

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the Oval Office in September.
Pete Souza White House

President Barack Obama is postponing a trip to Bridgeport, Connecticut on Wednesday night in order to meet with his cabinet on the Ebola outbreak. 

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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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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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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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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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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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