health

Kimberley Enyart was never interested in doing recreational drugs. But then she was in a car accident — and her doctor prescribed a powerful opiate for the pain.

"It just would put me off in la-la land, and make me feel better," she says. "I loved it. I loved that high."

When Enyart's prescription ran out, she did whatever she could to convince other doctors that she needed more. Eventually, she moved on to dentists.

"I even had two back teeth pulled over it," she says.

Imagine that you're a judge, and you're asked to decide the case brought by Mary and Dave Wildman.

Back in 1997, Mary took the couple's 1-year-old son, Nicholas, to the doctor for the combination vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella. Right after the MMR shot, Mary says, Nicholas started crying uncontrollably.

"This was unbelievable screaming," she says.

Mary and her mom started driving Nicholas back to their home in Evans City, Pa.

A photomicrograph of Bacillus anthracis bacteria using Gram-stain technique.
CDC

The list of locations with labs that may have mistakenly been sent potentially live anthrax samples keeps growing.

Last week the Pentagon announced that labs in California, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin received the samples. The Pentagon has now added labs in Washington state and Canada to the list. 

Sleeping man
Flickr Photo/Tony Alter (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with University of Washington's Sleep Disorders Center co-director Dr. Nathaniel Watson about his new research into the importance of sleep. 

So what does it mean to be hungry?

That's a question that occurred to us as we read some encouraging news: The world isn't as hungry as it used to be.

A U.N. report has noted that 795 million people were hungry in the year 2014. That's a mind-boggling number. But in fact it's 200 million lower than the estimated 1 billion hungry people in 1990.

The improvement is especially impressive because the world population has gone up by around 2 billion since the '90s.

You get a voicemail message from a friend. Her voice sounds a little ... weird. Like a chipmunk who had too much to drink.

After her message, you're told you can push a button on the phone and hear another kind of message: say, job listings in your neighborhood or tips on how to stop the spread of Ebola.

That's how a new game called Polly works. It was designed by computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University to help get useful information to people with little or no reading skills.

Nurses Fatima Guillen, left, and Fran Wendt, right, give Kimberly Magdeleno, 4, a Tdap whooping cough booster shot.
AP File Photo/Ted S. Warren

Doctors on tight schedules often have a hard time answering questions about vaccines.

It’s especially challenging when the questions are not straightforward, says Group Health researcher Nora Henrikson.

'Week in Review' kicked off its summer tour in the lovely Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

How will Seattle's new City Council districts change the way neighborhood interests are represented at City Hall? What do you learn when your run for office comes up short (by just a few signatures)? What's keeping state lawmakers from packing up and going home? And will a new ban on smoking in parks make Seattle a happier or more stressed-out place?

Bill Radke debates these stories and more of the week's news with former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, Seattle Channel host Joni Balter and Q13 political analyst C.R. Douglas.

This show was broadcast in front of a live audience from the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle as part of WIR's summer tour. 

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

The Department of Defense says an attempt to ship inactive anthrax samples resulted in live samples being sent to labs in nine U.S. states and to a U.S. Air Force base in South Korea.

Fears of exposure to the potentially deadly disease prompted officials to advise four civilian workers to get preventive care; more than 20 military personnel are also being monitored. The samples were sent via commercial shipping companies, but the Pentagon says there is "no known risk to the general public."

Seattle's proposed ban would apply to people lighting up tobacco products. Washington state law prohibits marijuana smoking in public places.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle officials want to ban smoking in all public parks, but some opponents say the crackdown would unfairly target homeless people.

A park advisory board will take up the issue for a possible vote Thursday night.

As KUOW's Liz Jones reports, public opinion is mixed.

Seattle Doctor Takes Cancer Treatment To Developing World

May 27, 2015
Mother and son in the children's ward at Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala.
KUOW Photo/Joanne Silberner

Forty-two-year-old Corey Casper is tall, thin, and a bit hollow-eyed from all his responsibilities. He’s a cancer doctor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He performs research and trains young doctors in Seattle and Uganda. And in his own quiet way, he wants to make a difference in the world.

Lee Townsend with the Metroplitan Improvement District checks his "hotspots" in Belltown for litter...and worse.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Over the past year, street sweepers in downtown Seattle saw a dramatic increase in the number of syringes on the ground. But those numbers have declined since March. They’re a data point in the larger debate over policing and drug use downtown.

Col. Kenneth Trzepkowski, chief of palliative care at Madigan Army Medical Center, unfolds one of the handmade quilts donated to the hospital for the palliative care patients.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Caring for the nation's veterans at the end of their lives can be a complex task. Service members — especially combat veterans — can struggle with guilt, abandonment and regret.

The Army and the Department of Veterans Affairs are working to help them. At one Army hospital in Tacoma, its mission is to make those last days meaningful.

Officials from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare are asking people to take precautions around ground squirrels after a squirrel south of Boise tested positive for plague.

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