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Goats and Soda
12:41 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

If You're Too Sick To Fly, Airlines Might Not Offer A Refund

Kenyan health officials take the temperatures of passengers arriving at Nairobi's airport.
Simon Maina AFP/Getty Images

Airport health screeners in hazmat suits and armed with gun thermometers are becoming a familiar sight in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where the Ebola epidemic continues to spiral out of control. Passengers boarding aircraft are checked for fever. If cleared, they receive a stamped leaflet declaring them fit for travel.

The precautions are similar to steps taken during previous outbreaks of contagious diseases, including Middle East respiratory syndrome and deadly bird flus.

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Goats and Soda
10:12 am
Fri August 22, 2014

In Riots Sparked By An Ebola Quarantine, A Teen Is Shot And Dies

Shakie Kamara lies on the ground with a bullet wound in his leg and cries for help.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 12:56 pm

A teenage boy should not die from gunshot wounds to his legs.

But that was the fate of 15-year-old Shakie Kamara.

This week, people in the neighborhood of West Point were angry that they'd been quarantined — a government step to prevent the spread of Ebola to other parts of Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia. On Wednesday, crowds of protesters tried to get past the checkpoints.

Soldiers opened fire. Kamara was wounded.

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Shots - Health News
9:45 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Insurers Refuse To Cover Some Contraceptives, Despite Health Law

The NuvaRing contraceptive ring can be used monthly to prevent pregnancy.
Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 11:15 am

How much leeway do employers and insurers have in deciding whether they'll cover contraceptives without charge and in determining which methods make the cut?

Not much, as it turns out, but that hasn't stopped some from trying.

People still write in regularly describing battles they're waging to get birth control coverage they're entitled to under the Affordable Care Act.

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Global Health
6:25 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Blood From Ebola Survivors May Help Treat Patients

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 7:53 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Consumer
3:31 am
Fri August 22, 2014

The Dread Factor: Why Ebola And 'Contagion' Scare Us So Much

Jude Law prepares for the looming pandemic in the 2011 movie Contagion. There are huge differences between viruses in movies and Ebola in real life.
Warner Bros/The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 10:09 am

The Ebola outbreak has set off an alarm around the world. Public health leaders say the intense concern is appropriate, given the unprecedented size of the outbreak and the deadliness of the virus.

But experts say the outbreak has also produced a lot of unfounded fears. Even just the word Ebola is kind of terrifying.

Why? Well, Hollywood has a lot to do with it.

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The Salt
4:30 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Can Quinoa Take Root On The 'Roof Of The World'?

Grown for thousands of years in South America, quinoa crossed the Atlantic for the first time in the 21st century, according to the United Nations.
iStockphoto.com

For thousands of years, quinoa barely budged from its home in the Andes. Other crops — corn, potatoes, rice, wheat and sorghum — traveled and colonized the world. But quinoa stayed home.

All of a sudden, quinoa is a trendy, jet-setting "superfood." And as we've reported, some American farmers are trying to cash in on its new-found popularity.

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Shots - Health News
4:27 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Vision Problems Increase The Risk Of Early Death In Older People

Seeing better can mean living longer because it helps people remain independent.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 7:32 pm

An eye exam may be the ticket to a longer life, researchers say, because good vision is essential for being able to shop, manage money and live independently. And maintaining independence in turn leads to a longer life.

Researchers have known for years that people who have vision problems as they get older are more likely to die sooner than those who still see well. But they weren't sure why that was so.

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Health
4:10 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

American Ebola Patients Leave Atlanta Hospital Healthy

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 6:24 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Africa
4:10 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Why Ebola Is Making It Harder To Provide Good Health Care

Protective equipment is in short supply. Here, a Liberian burial team carefully disinfects its gloves before disposing of them.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 11:28 pm

The Ebola virus has killed more than 1,300 people in West Africa, but the indirect deaths caused by this epidemic are likely to be far worse. Right now, it's the rainy season. And that means it's high season for malaria.

"Probably 85 percent of the fevers right now are malaria," says Laura Miller, health coordinator in Sierra Leone for the International Rescue Committee. "But more of those cases will go untreated than usual."

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Shots - Health News
3:34 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Would A Prize Help Speed Development Of Ebola Treatments?

Dr. Bruce Ribner, medical director of Emory University Hospital's infectious disease unit, embraces Dr. Kent Brantly (left) who was treated with an experimental Ebola medicine and released from the Atlanta hospital Thursday.
John Bazemore AP

The human toll of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is becoming clearer by the day. The virus has killed at least 1,350 people, making this the largest outbreak of the disease ever.

There's no Ebola cure, and only a few experimental treatments are in the works.

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Goats and Soda
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 August 22, 2014 11:38 am

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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The Two-Way
2:54 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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Goats and Soda
1:33 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Sea Lions And Seals Likely Spread Tuberculosis To Ancient Peruvians

The ancient people of Peru have a spiritual connection to sea lions (shown here at Peru's Paracas national park). They may have had a bacterial connection as well.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 7:50 pm

When Europeans came to the Americas, they brought some nasty diseases — smallpox, cholera and typhus, to name a few.

But one pathogen was already there. And it likely traveled to the shores of South America in a surprising vessel.

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Shots - Health News
12:07 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Mental Health Meets 'Moneyball' In San Antonio

Leon Evans, director of the community mental health system for Bexar County and San Antonio, broke through barriers that had hindered care.
Jenny Gold Kaiser Health News

The jails aren't overflowing in San Antonio anymore. People with serious mental illnesses have a place to go for treatment and the city has saved $10 million a year on. How did it happen?

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Extras: TED Radio Hour
9:29 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Mistakes In Medicine: Dr. Brian Goldman Answers Your Questions

Dr. Brian Goldman speaking at TEDxToronto.
TED

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 9:45 am

Brian Goldman is an emergency room physician who has worked at Mount Sinai Hospital in downtown Toronto for more than 20 years. He's also a prominent medical journalist and the host of CBC Radio's White Coat, Black Art. He says every doctor makes mistakes but medicine's culture of denial keeps doctors from talking about and learning from those mistakes.

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Health
7:09 am
Thu August 21, 2014

An Unstoppable Killer: New Research Suggests Cancer Can't Be Eradicated

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 9:44 am

Since Richard Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971, the National Cancer Institute has poured some $90 billion into research and treatments. Yet a cure remains elusive.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Thu August 21, 2014

'I Am Thrilled To Be Alive': American Ebola Patients Released From Hospital

Ebola virus survivor Dr. Kent Brantly (center) and his wife, Amber (left), walk at a news conference at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta Thursday. Brantly and aid worker Nancy Writebol were discharged from the hospital less than a month after they contracted Ebola while treating patients in Liberia.
Erik S. Lesser EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 2:31 pm

The two U.S. patients who were treated for Ebola have been discharged from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where they had been in an isolation ward since returning from Liberia early this month. They are the first patients treated for Ebola on American soil.

Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol have been released after "a rigorous course of treatment and thorough testing," Emory's Dr. Bruce Ribner said. He added that he's confident that their release from care "poses no public health threat."

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Goats and Soda
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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Consumer
5:20 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

The Momentum Of The Ice Bucket Challenge — And What It Means For ALS

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 8:30 pm

A recent fundraising challenge has gone viral on social media, calling attention to research into Lou Gehrig's disease. Audie Cornish talks with Forbes contributor Dan Diamond about the state of that research and where it goes from here after the fundraising success.

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Africa
4:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

In Liberia, An Ebola Quarantine Descends Into Riots

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 8:30 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
12:53 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Riot Erupts Over Ebola Quarantine In Liberia

A soldier hits a protester with a baton.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 5:28 pm

People were screaming and throwing rocks. The police were firing shots and hitting protesters with their batons. A riot had started in the slum neighborhood of West Point, in the Liberian capital of Monrovia.

"A riot is tough enough without knowing that you're in an Ebola-infected neighborhood," says NPR photographer David Gilkey, who was in West Point when it began.

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Africa
11:30 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Liberia Blocks Off Neighborhood In Ebola Quarantine, Sparking Riot

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 11:52 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
9:23 am
Wed August 20, 2014

What Kids' Drawings Say About Their Future Thinking Skills

Researchers asked 4-year-olds to draw a child. Here's a sample of their artwork.
Twins Early Development Study/King's College in London

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 12:07 pm

At age 4, many young children are just beginning to explore their artistic style.

The kid I used to babysit in high school preferred self-portraits, undoubtedly inspired by the later works of Joan Miro. My cousin, a prolific young artist, worked almost exclusively on still lifes of 18-wheelers.

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Goats and Soda
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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Goats and Soda
5:28 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Doctors Without Borders: What We Need To Contain Ebola

Dr. Joanne Liu (left), international president of Doctors Without Borders poses with a member of the MSF medical team at the organization's Ebola treatment center in Kailahun, Sierra Leone.
P.K. Lee Courtesy of Doctors Without Border

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 8:51 pm

With the continuous uptick in the number of cases and deaths in the current Ebola outbreak, the few agencies that are on ground are stretched thin.

That includes Doctors Without Borders, also known as MSF. It's one of the main health care providers in West Africa, where there are more than 2,000 cases of Ebola and 1,200 deaths. Even with roughly 1,000 volunteers spread among the three Ebola-stricken countries, the agency says that still isn't enough.

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Goats and Soda
5:14 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Ebola In The Skies? How The Virus Made It To West Africa

Leif Parsons for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 8:37 pm

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the most explosive in history. One reason the virus spread so fast is that West Africa was blindsided. Ebola had never erupted in people anywhere close to West Africa before.

The type of Ebola causing the outbreak — called Zaire — is the deadliest strain. Until this year, it had been seen only in Central Africa, about 2,500 miles away. That's about the distance between Boston and San Francisco.

So how did it spread across this giant swath of land without anybody noticing?

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Consumer
5:12 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

As Kids Head To Campus, Parents Broach The Subject Of Sexual Assault

Onaja Waki (left) is about to start college in California, but she and her mother, Oneida Cordova, have been talking openly for years about the dangers of sexual assault.
Teresa Chin Youth Radio

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 7:38 pm

Rachel Swinehart has commandeered her family's living room in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It's filled with large plastic tubs containing stuff like pink bedding and a coffee maker.

Rachel, 18, is about to head off to Shenandoah College, a small arts school in Virginia, where she'll study harp performance. In many ways, organizing her stuff is the easy part. Talking about the risks of college life — that's a bit harder.

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Health
4:05 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

What's Behind The Stark Rise In Children's Disabilities

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 7:38 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
3:25 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Cardiologist Speaks From The Heart About America's Medical System

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 7:47 pm

As a young doctor working at a teaching hospital, Sandeep Jauhar was having trouble making ends meet. So, like other academic physicians, he took a job moonlighting at a private practice, the offices of a cardiologist. He noticed that the offices were quick to order expensive tests for their patients — even when they seemed unnecessary.

It was "made very clear from the beginning" that seeing patients alone was not financially rewarding for the business, he says.

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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Brita Recalls Kids' Water Bottles Over Risk Of Cutting

Brita has announced a recall of 15-ounce bottles that feature children's cartoon characters such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Consumer Product Safety Commission

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 6:38 pm

Some Brita water bottles made for children pose a possible danger due to lids that can break apart into pieces with sharp edges, says Brita, which has announced a safety recall. The bottles have white lids with fold-up straws and filters that sit inside the bottle.

"Brita has received 35 reports of lids breaking or cracking," the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports. "No injuries have been reported."

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