Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 8:54 am
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.
Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 12:08 pm
It's almost 4 p.m., and police officers Ernest Stevens and Ned Bandoske have been driving around town in their unmarked black SUV since early this morning. The officers are part of San Antonio's mental health squad â€” a six-person unit that answers the frequent emergency calls where mental illness may be an issue.
The officers spot a call for help on their laptop from a group home across town.
"A male individual put a blanket on fire this morning," Stevens reads from the blotter. "He's arguing ... and is a danger to himself and others. He's off his medications."
Scientists have taken the first steps to developing a vaccine for chikungunya â€” an emerging mosquito-borne virus that has infected more than a half million people in the Western Hemisphere this year. About 600 Americans have brought the virus to 43 states.
Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 12:15 pm
When it comes to deadly, contagious disease outbreaks like Ebola, the terms "quarantine" and "isolation" take on fresh relevance and urgency. Each has a distinct meaning in the public health context, though the words are often used interchangeably and both refer to protecting the public from communicable illnesses.
Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 9:35 am
Emily Veltus, a health educator working in Sierra Leone, says her organization, Doctors Without Borders, is "maxed out" in dealing with Ebola and that more help is needed to control an outbreak that is still raging.
Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 11:25 am
When you sign up for a reporting fellowship to learn about the health of newborns in Ethiopia, you expect things to be a little different from what you're used to in the U.S. To be perfectly honest, a little worse. But Ethiopia actually surprised me, even before I took off.
I did my research, and it turns out that Ethiopia's health care system is getting better â€” significantly better. It's meeting international goals, winning awards from the United States and, more important, babies are living longer and fewer mothers are dying in childbirth.
Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 9:21 am
Vicki Hornbuckle used to play the piano at her church. But that was before her liver started failing.
"I had to give it up because I couldn't keep up," says Hornbuckle, 54, of Snellville, Georgia. "I didn't have the energy to do three services on Sunday. You're just too tired to deal with anything. And so, it's not a life that you want to live."
But Hornbuckle hasn't given up. She's fighting to stay alive long enough to get a liver transplant.
Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 8:24 pm
The campaign is called "Kick Back Ebola." But the posters pack a punch.
Sierra Leone has reported over 700 suspected Ebola cases, more than any other country this year. To help stop the outbreak, health workers have put up Ebola awareness signs all over Sierra Leone's seaside capital of Freetown.
Posters are pasted on hospital walls and outside clinics. Banners flutter along main streets. The goal of the campaign is to keep the reality of Ebola â€” and how to detect it â€” very much alive in people's minds.
Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 10:02 am
The question of why the Ebola virus seems to so badly frighten so many people seems, at first, to have an obvious answer.
Ebola, after all, is an incurable hemorrhagic virus with a mortality rate that soars in some outbreaks to 90 percent of those infected. Symptoms in sufferers with advanced disease go beyond high fever and gastrointestinal misery to bleeding from the mouth, nose, ears and eyes.
Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 2:58 pm
When it comes to reining in medical costs, delivering more health care and bringing it right to the patient's home can, for a select group of patients, save money.
These particular patients are elders struggling with multiple chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, stroke, diabetes or dementia. They make up just 5 percent of the people on Medicare, but they account for about half of all Medicare spending.
Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 12:20 pm
Medicare spent more than $30 million in 2012 on questionable HIV medication costs, the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in an investigation published Wednesday.
The possible fraud schemes were all paid for by Medicare's prescription drug program known as Part D. Among the most egregious:
In Detroit, a 77-year-old woman purportedly filled $33,500 worth of prescriptions for 10 different HIV medications. But there's no record she had HIV or that she had visited the doctors who wrote the scripts.
Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 9:47 am
A Gallup poll released Tuesday suggests the Affordable Care Act is significantly increasing the number of Americans with health insurance, especially in states that are embracing it. It echoes previous Gallup surveys, and similar findings by the Urban Institute and Rand Corp.
Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 5:29 pm
Amelia Togba-Addy lives in Atlanta, but Ebola is always on her mind.
Like many Liberian Americans, she has family and friends in West Africa, where Ebola has killed nearly 900 people. In Liberia alone, the World Health Organization has reported almost 500 cases and more than 250 deaths so far.
So when Togba-Addy's aunt called early one morning last week, she panicked.
"The first thing I thought about was, 'Oh! A family member has come down with the virus,' " she says. "So I started crying."
Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 11:58 am
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
If you watched any TV news today, you probably saw images of an ambulance making its way to the streets of Atlanta. The ambulance pulls up to hospital carrying an American infected with the Ebola virus. The whole trip was narrated by CNN.
Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 12:21 pm
Sometimes nature comes up with elegant solutions to difficult problems, like how to gain weight and not get diabetes.
Take, for instance, the grizzly bear. How does this 750-pound mammal survive long, lean winters? Well, it just gets really fat beforehand and then sleeps the hungry season away.
Grizzly bears can easily double their body fat in the months leading up to hibernation. For us humans, this kind of weight gain could result in some pretty serious health consequences â€” one of the most common being Type 2 diabetes.