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5:12 am
Fri May 29, 2015

Texas Loses Billions To Treat The Poor By Not Expanding Medicaid, Advocates Say

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Goats and Soda
3:46 am
Fri May 29, 2015

New Jersey Lassa Fever Death Reveals Holes In Ebola Monitoring System

The man who died of Lassa fever flew from West Africa to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 6:02 am

This week a man died in New Jersey of a hemorrhagic fever. This by itself is fairly unusual in the Garden State. Making the case even more odd was that the man was being monitored for Ebola by New Jersey health officials and the case should have been caught earlier.

The events expose a hole in a public health system meant to track potential Ebola cases.

The 55-year-old New Jersey resident worked in the mining industry and traveled frequently to West Africa. Two weeks ago he landed at JFK International Airport after a flight from Liberia.

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Goats and Soda
6:41 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Cholera Surges In Haiti As Rain Arrives Early

Health workers collect the body of a cholera victim in Petionville, Haiti, February 2011. The cholera outbreak in Haiti began in October 2010. Nearly 9,000 people have died.
David Gilkey/NPR

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:01 pm

At a government-run clinic in Diquini, near Port-au-Prince, doctors are treating a handful of cholera patients.

One of them is Givenchi Predelus. For five days, the high school sophomore has been lying on a cot with a towel over his midsection and an IV in his arm, listening to tinny music on his bare-bones cellphone.

Predelus speaks in a whisper, a sign of what cholera has done to his strength. "Only one other person in my area has cholera," he says, through an interrupter. "She sells patties on the side of the road. I'm the second victim."

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Shots - Health News
6:15 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

CDC Investigates Live Anthrax Shipments

A security fence surrounds the main part of the U.S. Army's Dugway Proving Ground, a testing laboratory in the Utah desert. The Army says it mistakenly shipped live anthrax from Dugway to several labs in the U.S. and Korea.
George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:01 pm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still trying to figure out how the military managed to ship anthrax spores that were apparently live from one of its facilities to more than a dozen labs across the United States.

"We have a team at the [military] lab to determine what may have led to this incident," says CDC spokesman Jason McDonald. In addition, he says, the agency is working with health officials in nine states to make sure the potentially live samples are safely disposed of and the labs affected are decontaminated.

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The Salt
5:15 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Why A Journalist Scammed The Media Into Spreading Bad Chocolate Science

Eating a chocolate bar daily can help you lose weight? Sorry, that study was a sweet lie β€” part of an elaborate hoax to school the news media about proper nutrition science journalism.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 6:17 pm

Earlier this spring, headlines around the world trumpeted an exciting bit of news that seemed too good to be true: "Eating that bar of chocolate can HELP you lose weight," as Britain's Daily Mail put it.

From India to Australia and Texas to Germany, news organizations shared findings published in the International Archives of Medicine in late March.

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It's All Politics
5:07 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Drug Overdose, On The Rise, Cropping Up As Campaign Issue

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie participated in a roundtable discussion at the Farnum Center in Manchester, N.H. earlier this month.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:01 pm

As presidential candidates visit the early caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, they're hearing about heroin and meth. Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than traffic accidents. And, in many places, there's a growing acceptance that this isn't just a problem for other people.

New Hampshire is in the throes of a crisis. Last year more than 300 people in the small state died of drug overdoses. Mostly opiods like oxycontin and heroin.

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Health
4:47 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Through Making House Calls, Doctor Sees 'Underbelly Of Medicine'

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:01 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel. You've heard stories on this program about innovations in health care. Well, this is not one of them.

ERNEST BROWN: Hi, Dr. Brown. I want to just check on Pam.

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Shots - Health News
4:24 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

What We Know About Tattoo Reactions Only Goes Skin-Deep

A tattoo that starts as a personal statement can sometimes have medical consequences.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

For about as long as there have been humans, it seems there have been tattoos.

Γ–tzi the Iceman, the 5,000-year-old mummy discovered in the Alps in 1991, had 61 tattoos covering his body. And a quick look around the local coffee shop reveals they're just about as popular today. By one estimate, about a quarter of U.S. adults have at least one tattoo.

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Goats and Soda
3:35 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Smartphones Are So Smart They Can Now Test Your Vision

A new smartphone app gives a close-up view of a patient's eye.
Screengrab from video by Peek Vision, produced in collaboration with Sony Mobile.

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 4:07 pm

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Shots - Health News
11:29 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Depression Treatments Inspired By Club Drug Move Ahead In Tests

Experimental medicines related to ketamine, an anesthetic and club drug, are making progress in clinical tests.
Wikipedia

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 2:35 pm

Antidepressant drugs that work in hours instead of weeks could be on the market within three years, researchers say.

"We're getting closer and closer to having really, truly next-generation treatments that are better and quicker than existing ones," says Dr. Carlos Zarate, a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health.

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Shots - Health News
9:22 am
Thu May 28, 2015

How Much Does A Colonoscopy Cost In California? Help Find Out

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 2:28 pm

The colonoscopy: It may be the most dreaded screening test out there, and it's the next step in KQED's PriceCheck project.

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The Salt
5:34 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Bugs: Not What's For Dinner β€” Until They're Tastier, Maybe

Matt Schnarr bites into a mealworm lollipop at the Pestaurant event in Washington, D.C., in 2014.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 8:43 am

In the last couple of years, we've detected a faint buzz about crispy crickets and crunchy mealworms. Companies pedaling scorpion lollipops and peanut butter-and-jelly protein bars made with cricket flour have thrust their wares into our hands and mailboxes.

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Shots - Health News
4:33 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

A Top Medical School Revamps Requirements To Lure English Majors

Dr. David Muller, dean of medical education at Mount Sinai, believes that including in each medical school class some students who have a strong background in the humanities makes traditional science students better doctors, too.
Cindy Carpien for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 12:04 pm

You can't tell by looking which students at Mount Sinai's school of medicine in New York City were traditional pre-meds as undergraduates and which weren't. And that's exactly the point.

Most of the class majored in biology or chemistry, crammed for the medical college admission test and got flawless grades and scores.

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Shots - Health News
1:43 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Supreme Court Says Locals Can Make Pill-Makers Pay For Drug Disposal

Tuesday's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to not review an ordinance passed by Alameda County, California, means that drug makers will now need to pay for collection and disposal of unused drugs in the county.
iStockphoto

Many of us have old prescription drugs sitting around in medicine cabinets β€” so what's the best way to get rid of them?

Some folks simply toss old pills in the garbage, or down the toilet.

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Shots - Health News
11:36 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Paralyzed By Doubt? Here's A Guide For The Worrier In Us All

A Worrier's Guide To Life
Courtesy of Andrews McMeel Publishing

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 3:03 pm

Feeling anxious? A bit panicky? Fear not β€” cartoonist and self-proclaimed World Champion Overthinker Gemma Correll is here to help you laugh about it.

In A Worrier's Guide to Life, Correll dishes out her dubious and droll advice on everything from health and hypochondria to attaboy stickers for grownups. (Sample: "I did the laundry.")

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Federal Appeals Court Blocks Arkansas Ban On Abortion After 12 Weeks

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 4:43 pm

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit has blocked an Arkansas law that bans abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The case was filed by two doctors on their own and their patients' behalf.

The court's ruling notes:

"By banning abortions after 12 weeks' gestation, the Act prohibits women from making the ultimate decision to terminate a pregnancy at a point before viability. Because the State made no attempt to refute the plaintiffs' assertions of fact, the district court's summary judgment order must be affirmed."

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Shots - Health News
9:32 am
Wed May 27, 2015

How A Claim That A Childhood Vaccine Prevents Leukemia Went Too Far

Controversy over childhood vaccines may make it too easy to embrace what appear to be new vaccine benefits.
Dmitry Naumov iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 4:58 pm

Sometimes a story takes odd turns as you report it. Every once in while it goes off the rails. That's what happened as I reported on a new study purporting to explain how a childhood vaccine helps prevent leukemia. The experience reaffirmed the lessons I've learned in my years of reporting on vaccines and other scientific research: Be wary of grand claims, get outside perspectives on new research and never, ever rely only on the press release.

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News
8:56 am
Wed May 27, 2015

Attempt To Get More People On Board With Organ Donation Backfires

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
6:11 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

How Worried Should We Be About Lassa Fever?

A single Lassa fever virus particle, stained to show surface spikes β€” they're yellow β€” that help the virus infect its host cells.
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 6:31 pm

An unidentified New Jersey man died after returning home from West Africa, where he had contracted Lassa fever, a virus that has symptoms similar to those of Ebola. Federal health officials are treating the case with caution because the virus, which commonly is spread by rodents, can occasionally spread from person to person.

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Health
4:22 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Injection Drug Use Fuels Rise In Hepatitis C Cases

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 7:32 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
2:54 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

A Neurosurgeon Reflects On The 'Awe And Mystery' Of The Brain

Thomas Dunne Books

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 4:59 pm

Neurosurgeon Henry Marsh has opened heads, cut into brains and performed the most delicate and risky surgeries on the part of the body that controls everything β€” including breathing, movement, memory and consciousness.

"What is, I think, peculiar about brain surgery is it's so dangerous," Marsh tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "A very small area of damage to the brain can cause catastrophic disability for the patient."

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Shots - Health News
12:06 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping May Benefit Children Years Later

The World Health Organization has endorsed waiting to clamp the umbilical cord for at least one minute after a baby is born.
Sebastien Desarmaux/Godong Science Source

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 11:24 am

A couple of extra minutes attached to the umbilical cord at birth may translate into a small boost in neurodevelopment several years later, a study suggests.

Children whose cords were cut more than three minutes after birth had slightly higher social skills and fine motor skills than those whose cords were cut within 10 seconds. The results showed no differences in IQ.

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Shots - Health News
10:24 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Second Opinions Are Often Sought, But Their Value Isn't Clear

Actress Rita Wilson arrives at the premiere of the documentary Fed Up in West Hollywood, Calif., in May 2014.
Gus Ruelas Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 11:24 am

Actress Rita Wilson, who was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy, told People magazine in April that she expects to make a full recovery "because I caught this early, have excellent doctors and because I got a second opinion."

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Goats and Soda
9:58 am
Tue May 26, 2015

New Mothers Get A New Kind Of Care In Rural Nigeria

How can women in rural Nigeria get the care they need? That's what Columbia University graduate students in public health asked residents of Kadawawa, Nigeria.
Courtesy of Alastair Ager and Alissa Pires

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 3:56 pm

How do you help a country struggling to provide quality health care, particularly to its rural citizens?

More doctors would be great. New and better clinics would help. But in some places, community health workers are an important part of the solution.

Community health workers live where they work. They're not trained medical professionals, but they do have "training that is recognized by the health services and national certification authority," according to the World Health Organization.

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The Salt
7:03 am
Tue May 26, 2015

Game For Ancient Grain: Palestinians Find Freekeh Again

In a village outside of Jenin, in the West Bank, Palestinian farmers harvest wheat early and burn the husks to yield the smoky, nutty grain known as freekeh.
Daniella Cheslow for NPR

In early May, Nasser Abufarha drove through the rural farmlands around Jenin in the northern West Bank and noticed the timeless features of village life. Young boys harvested cauliflower bigger than their heads, a sun-beaten old man passed on foot with a hoe propped against his shoulder and middle-aged women strolled to their modest homes on a path between waving wheat fields.

But there was one new element, says Abufarha, a Palestinian-American businessman and the founder of the largest fair trade exporter for Palestinian produce.

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U.S.
5:01 pm
Mon May 25, 2015

Left Turns Cause A Quarter Of All Pedestrian Crashes In U.S.

Originally published on Mon May 25, 2015 6:45 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Global Health
4:34 pm
Mon May 25, 2015

World Health Organization Considers Measures To Quicken Outbreak Response

Originally published on Mon May 25, 2015 6:45 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
3:37 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Multiple Sclerosis Patients Stressed Out By Soaring Drug Costs

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 3:20 pm

American medicine is heading into new terrain, a place where a year's supply of drugs can come with a price tag that exceeds what an average family earns.

Pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts says last year more than half a million Americans racked up prescription drug bills exceeding $50,000.

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Environment
6:54 pm
Sun May 24, 2015

A Home Air Quality Monitor That Can Be Checked Out From The Library

The Speck air quality monitor costs $200, but is available to all through Pittsburgh's public library system.
Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab

Air pollution comes from many sources β€” power plants, industrial production and fires, to name a few. In Pittsburgh, the most polluted city east of California, according the American Lung Association, avoiding dirty air while outdoors can be difficult, if not impossible. But a new device, available through the public library system, helps people identify and reduce bad air quality inside their homes.

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Food
5:18 pm
Sun May 24, 2015

How Dangerous Is Powdered Alcohol?

Originally published on Sun May 24, 2015 6:54 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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