disease

Ebola
8:11 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Connecticut Doctor Fighting Ebola Outbreak: "It's a Terrible Way to Die"

A 19 year old woman fully recovered from Ebola kisses her baby outside a Doctors Without Borders Clinic in Sierra Leone.
P.K. Lee Medecins Sans Frontieres

A doctor from Southern Connecticut State University is sharing what he saw while spending time in Africa fighting the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.

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Ebola Outbreak
3:56 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

U.S. Doctor Didn't Treat Ebola Patients Yet Still Caught The Virus

Dr. Rick Sacra, who had worked in Liberia in previous years, went back in August to tend to pregnant women and to children. The 51-year-old Massachusetts family physician is the third American to contract the Ebola virus.
Courtesy of SIM

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 3:49 pm

Christian aid group SIM has identified the third American to catch the disease as Dr. Rick Sacra.

The 51-year-old family physician from Massachusetts has been working on and off in Liberia with his wife, Debbie, since 1995. He joined SIM in the late '80s and between 2008 and 2010 was the acting medical director at the group's ELWA Hospital in Monrovia. He had previously served as the group's Liberia director for several years.

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Healthy Workplace
1:23 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Work-Related Illnesses Fall in Connecticut

Credit Fuse / Thinkstock

The number of workers sickened on the job in Connecticut has declined slightly, according to a new study by UConn. Occupational illnesses in the state, however, remain more prevalent than the national average. 

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Women's Health
8:57 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Researchers Take a Closer Look at Endometriosis, a Leading Cause of Infertility

Huntstock Thinkstock

Researchers in New York are taking a closer look at endometriosis. It's a disease that's not often talked about, but it affects one in ten women in the U.S., and 176 million women worldwide.

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Disease
3:29 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

The 10-Year-Old Boy Has Died, Probably Of Ebola

Saah Exco was found alone on a beach, naked and abandoned a few days ago. Neighbors were afraid to touch him; they were worried about Ebola. But someone did eventually take him to the Ebola ward at JFK hospital in Monrovia. NPR learned today that he died.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 4:05 pm

It was a photo that took the Ebola outbreak raging in West Africa and made it very personal. A little boy named Saah Exco, 10 years old, lies in a crumpled heap.

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Public Office
3:00 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

U.S. Diplomatic Cable Puts Chill On ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro accepted the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge." Soon after, the State Department warned that participation by high-profile diplomats was a violation of internal policy.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 3:30 pm

Don't expect Secretary of State John Kerry to accept the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" anytime soon: Lawyers at the State Department have banned high-profile U.S. diplomats from participating in the fundraising phenomenon that has swept social media in recent weeks.

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Ebola
3:42 am
Thu August 21, 2014

How Much Bigger Is The Ebola Outbreak Than Official Reports Show?

Workers with the aid group Doctors Without Borders prepare a new Ebola treatment center near Monrovia, Liberia, on Sunday. The facility has 120 beds, making it the largest Ebola isolation clinic in history.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 3:05 pm

The latest numbers on the Ebola outbreak are grim: 2,473 people infected and 1,350 deaths.

That's the World Health Organization's official tally of confirmed, probable and suspect cases across Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. But the WHO has previously warned that its official figures may "vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak."

So how bad is it really?

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Ebola
5:07 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Reporting On Ebola: An Abandoned 10-Year-Old, A Nervous Neighborhood

A 10-year-old boy suspected of being sick with Ebola was found naked on the beach by residents of West Point. They dressed him but couldn't find a clinic to take him in at first. Eventually he was was taken to JFK Hospital in Monrovia.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 11:49 am

Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, is under nighttime curfew as that country struggles to contain the Ebola epidemic. On Wednesday, an entire neighborhood in Monrovia was quarantined, sealed off from the rest of the city by the government. The neighborhood is called West Point and it's where a holding center for patients suspected of having Ebola was attacked over the weekend. Patients fled, and looters carried off bloody mattresses and other possibly infected supplies. The NPR team in Liberia visited West Point on Tuesday. We spoke to correspondent Nurith Aizenman about the experience.

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Ebola
10:35 am
Fri August 15, 2014

What The U.S. Health Care System Can Learn From Ebola Outbreak

Health workers at the district hospital in Biankouma, Ivory Coast, practice handling potential patients with Ebola.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 7:48 am

Jeanine Thomas is a well-known patient advocate and active member of ProPublica's Patient Harm Facebook Community. But this week, she contributed in another forum: the World Health Organization.

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Child Health
10:18 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Children as Young as Ten Battling Eating Disorders

Children younger than ever are struggling with eating disorders.
Wavebreakmedia Ltd. Thinkstock

Thousands of Connecticut adults and children – some as young as ten – struggle with eating disorders with many suffering secretly because the life-threatening psychiatric condition has gone undiagnosed and untreated, experts in the field report.

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Ebola
6:28 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Ebola Outbreak Is A Global Health Emergency, WHO Says

A nurse helps a health worker put on protective gear before treating Ebola patients at a clinic in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, in July.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 5:52 pm

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa won't be stopped until front-line health workers get more support, World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said Friday at a news conference in Geneva.

After a unanimous vote by a committee of public health and risk management experts, the WHO decided to declare the outbreak an international public health emergency.

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Ebola
11:00 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Cambridge Biotech Company Asks Feds For OK On New Ebola Drug

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 11:37 am

A Cambridge-based biotech company is seeking approval from federal regulators to use its experimental medication on patients brought to the United States for treatment after being infected in West Africa’s deadly Ebola outbreak.

Sarepta Therapeutics says if given approval, the firm will, within a few months, have enough of the injectible drug — AVI-75370 — for up to 125 patients.

The drug aims to stop the virus from replicating, allowing the body to fight it off.

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White House
9:21 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Obama: 'I Have No Green Light' To Act Without Congress

At a news conference Wednesday, President Obama spoke mostly about foreign policy but also answered questions about his actions in the U.S.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 8:16 pm

In a news conference Wednesday that was largely about international relations and trade, President Obama also addressed the limits of his own authority at home.

"I never have a green light," Obama said. "I'm bound by the Constitution; I'm bound by the separation of powers."

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Lyme Disease
1:30 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Blumenthal Announces Grant for Lyme Disease Testing

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, at right, reviews an intake questionnaire in 2011 at the Western Connecticut Health Network Lyme Disease Registry, alongside Amber Butler and Ramin Ahmadi (file photo).
Credit WCHN / Facebook

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal announced on Wednesday a $600,000 federal grant to improve testing for Lyme disease.

The Connecticut Democrat made the announcement in Danbury alongside researchers from Western Connecticut Biomedical Research Institute and the Seattle-based RareCyte, Inc. 

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Ebola
9:47 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Liberian Natives Are Working To Fight Ebola Outbreak From Boston

People working for a petroleum company take part in an Ebola awareness campaign in Liberia on Monday. (Abbas Dulleh/AP)

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 5:20 pm

In Boston, some natives of Liberia are working to improve sanitation conditions and train health workers on the ground in their homeland, as the country and two of its neighbors battle a deadly Ebola outbreak.

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Disease
11:30 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Why U.S. Hospitals Are Testing People For Ebola Virus

Television trucks converged on Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Monday after it announced that it was screening a patient for Ebola virus.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 12:21 pm

If you show up at a hospital emergency department with a high fever and you just happen to have been traveling in Africa, don't be surprised if you get a lot of attention.

Hospitals are on the lookout for people with symptoms such as a high fever, vomiting and diarrhea who had been traveling in parts of West Africa affected by Ebola, following instructions from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Monday, New York's Mount Sinai Hospital announced that it was evaluating a patient who had recently been in West Africa.

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Ebola
12:18 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Doctor With Ebola Is Improving, As Nigeria Reports Second Case

Dr. Kent Brantly, of Fort Worth, Texas, was treating Ebola patients in Monrovia, Liberia, when he himself became infected with the virus.
Courtesy of Samaritan's Purse

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 1:11 pm

He didn't need a stretcher — not even an arm around his shoulder.

Kent Brantly, of Fort Worth, Texas, is the first person to be treated for Ebola on American soil. The 33-year-old family doctor surprised everyone Saturday when he walked out of an ambulance and into an Atlanta hospital.

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Ebola
7:03 am
Sat August 2, 2014

Why Treating Ebola With An Experimental Serum Might Help

In 1995, amid an Ebola outbreak, Zairian Red Cross personnel picked up sick people and bodies left on the streets of Kikwit, 250 miles from the capital Kinshasa.
Jean-Marc Bouju AP

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:23 am

Last week we learned that two Americans working in Liberia for a medical charity, Samaritan's Purse, were among those who had contracted Ebola. When their symptoms took a turn for the worse, the organization announced that the two were going to get experimental treatments. One was going to get a blood transfusion from a 14-year-old boy who recovered from the disease, the organization said; the other was to get an "experimental serum." What's that?

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Disease
11:25 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Ebola Moving Faster Than Efforts To Control It, WHO Chief Says

Liberian men walk past an Ebola banner at the Monrovia City Hall in Liberia on Thursday.
Ahmed Jallanzo EPA /LANDOV

The head of the World Health Organization told leaders of the African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak that the deadly virus is "moving faster than our efforts to control it."

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Skeeters
9:49 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Staging a War Against West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis

The state announed mosquitoes trapped in East Haven on July 16, 2014 have tested positive for WNV.
Johnan J.Ingles-Le Nobel Flickr Creative Commons

Mosquitoes trapped in East Haven are the first this year to test positive for West Nile Virus.

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Vaccinations
11:27 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Vaccines Stored at Improper Temperatures Across Connecticut

The affected vaccines were stored in a malfunctioning refrigerator.
Credit Steven Depolo / Creative Commons

The Hartford HealthCare Medical Group is contacting patients who may have received vaccines that were not stored at the proper temperature.

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Disease
1:41 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Smallpox Virus Found In Unsecured NIH Lab

Not something you'd want to find: Smallpox viruses infect a cell.
Science Source

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 12:10 pm

Scientists cleaning out an old laboratory on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Md., last week came across a startling discovery: vials labeled "variola" — in other words, smallpox.

Under international convention, there are supposed to be only two stashes of this deadly virus: one at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and another at a similar facility in Russia.

The CDC swooped in to collect the vials and carted them off to a secure lab at its Atlanta headquarters.

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Cancer Prevention
2:54 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Low-Dose Aspirin May Reduce Risk of Some Cancers

Credit Photodisc / Thinkstock

What if an aspirin a day could keep cancer away? A growing body of scientific research suggests that aspirin can prevent some cancers of the digestive system, and maybe even breast and prostate, too.

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Alcohol
1:59 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Excessive Drinking Causes 10 Percent Of Deaths In Working-Age Adults

One in 6 adults binge drinks, and that plays a role in most alcohol-related deaths.
IntangibleArts/Flickr

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 7:47 am

Think about people dying from drinking too much, and you probably think of the classic disease of alcoholics, cirrhosis of the liver. Or perhaps an alcohol-fueled car crash. But there are many more ways to kill yourself with alcohol, unfortunately, and they account for 1 in 10 deaths in working-age adults, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Gaming
4:04 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

In War Against AIDS, a New Potential Weapon: Video Games

Designers are working to build a video game that helps educate men in Mexico City about treatment options for HIV.
Credit L.Bö / Flickr Creative Commons

It's not something you'd immediately associate with staying healthy: video games. A professor at Quinnipiac University is exploring whether or not digital avatars can encourage gay men in Mexico City to get tested regularly for HIV. 

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Lyme Disease
11:29 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Investigative Report Reveals Not All Lyme Disease Tests Are Accurate

An FDA loophole allows for-profit laboratories to sell Lyme disease tests without actually proving they work.
Credit Jerry Kirkhart / Creative Commons

A new investigative report calls into question thousands of diagnostic tests for Lyme disease.

Lyme is a problematic disease. It can be tough to treat, and even tougher to diagnose. The Food and Drug Administration recommends a test that works fairly well. It identifies about 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease a year, mostly in the northeast. 

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Connecticut First
5:37 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Governor Signs Revitalization Legislation; Foley Criticizes Gun Control Bill

Governor Dannel Malloy was joined today by Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary and other state and local officials for a bill signing ceremony. The legislation implements a series of improvements to the state’s brownfield programs.

Gubernatorial Candidate Critical of State Gun Legislation

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Men's Health
3:23 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

National Men's Health Week Turns 20

Men can avoid illnesses like diabetes and heart disease by eating right, regular exercise, and getting plenty of sleep.
Ozan Hatipoglu Creative Commons

This is National Men's Health Week, an awareness campaign to encourage men to take simple steps to improve their health.

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Antibiotic overuse
4:11 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Connecticut Doctors Urged to Be Prudent When Prescribing Antibiotics

The state Department of Health is urging health care providers to initiate an antimicrobial stewardship program to cut down on the unnecessary use of antibiotics.
Credit rltherichman / Creative Commons

Connecticut officials are urging hospitals and health care providers to curb the overuse of antibiotics. The proliferation of antibiotics has dramatically increased the number of infections resistant to the drug. 

In April, the World Health Organization announced that these strains of bacteria can be found in every part of the world, and pose a serious health threat. 

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Mental Health
11:13 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Mental Illness Can Shorten Lives More Than Chain-Smoking

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 10:58 am

Mental disorders can reduce life expectancy by 10 to 20 years, as much as or even more than smoking over 20 cigarettes a day, a study finds.

We know that smoking boosts the risk of cancer and heart disease, says Dr. Seena Fazel, a psychiatrist at Oxford University who led the study. But aside from the obvious fact that people with mental illnesses are more likely to commit suicide, it's not clear how mental disorders could be causing early deaths.

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