health

Marcie Sillman interviews KUOW health reporter Ruby de Luna about some of the changes the Washington state Health Exchange has made. Last year more than a million Washington state residents signed up for health insurance through the Washington Health Plan Finder website.  Saturday is the first day of open enrollment. People need to sign up or renew their health care plans by February 15, 2015. 

Courtesy Karin Huster

Marcie Sillman speaks with Seattle nurse Karin Huster, who is getting on a plane this weekend to fight Ebola in Sierra Leone. She previously was providing care in Liberia. As she prepared for this trip, Huster said the hardest part about leaving is not knowing what will happen. The Record will be following Huster's journey. She will be in Sierra Leone until December.

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle is one of five bases nationwide that will keep troops returning from West Africa in a controlled monitoring environment for 21 days after they return.

Woodland Park Zoo/Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

The veterinarians at the Woodland Park Zoo had grown increasingly alarmed.

Vip – known also as The Big Guy or Vippers – was an alpha male gorilla with a sinus infection. The vets had given him antibiotics for months, but he remained congested.

Ross Reynolds talks to Seattle biotech writer Luke Timmerman about the biotech company Dendreon, which filed for bankruptcy after their prostate cancer drug failed to make a sizable profit.

In a darkened lab in the north of England, a research associate is intensely focused on the microscope in front of her. She carefully maneuvers a long glass tube that she uses to manipulate early human embryos.

"It's like microsurgery," says Laura Irving of Newcastle University.

Irving is part of a team of scientists trying to replace defective DNA with healthy DNA. They hope this procedure could one day help women who are carrying genetic disorders have healthy children.

The symptoms of the flu are familiar: fever, chills, cough, congestion, feeling very, very tired. If you're a healthy adult under 65, you'll most likely recover in a week or two.

But for those older than 65, things can get worse fast, says Dr. H. Keipp Talbot, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University.

Jeannie Yandel talks with Natalie Snyder, who was wounded in the 1996 shooting at Frontier Middle School in Moses Lake, Wash., about the long process of healing after a trauma.

Shift work has been known to affect workers’ sleep patterns and has also been associated with increased health problems, including ulcers, cardiovascular disease and breast cancer.

And now, a new study published in the journal “Occupational & Environmental Medicine” shows that long-term shift work can cause cognitive deficiencies.

Each day now, travelers are arriving home to the Northwest who may have been exposed to Ebola. In Oregon, a woman who has come back from West Africa was just hospitalized Friday with a fever. 

Reality, if you think about it, is a kind of social contract. You and I might be strangers, but we agree, at least at a really basic level, on what is real.

So when you talk to someone who isn't signed onto that same contract, it's kind of unsettling.

"What do the gloves do?"

I'm asking a guy named George about the thin plastic hospital gloves he was wearing when we met. "It's so the cosmic dust doesn't get on my hands," is his reply.

More than one-third of Americans are obese, and one recent study showed that obese drivers are more likely to die in a car crash. So the world's largest maker of dummies is making one that is obese.

The hunt to find genes that cause autism has been a long slog, one hampered by a lack of technology and families willing to be tested.

But the effort is starting to pay off. On Tuesday, researchers at more than 50 laboratories said they had identified more than 100 genes that are mutated in children with autism, dozens more than were known before.

This is a week for reflecting on lessons learned from those who've survived Ebola.

Morning Edition aired a report on the experience of medical personnel at Emory Hospital, which has cared for four Ebola patients: three evacuees from West Africa (including Dr. Kent Brantly) and one of the Texas nurses.

Maine's Gov. Paul LePage says he will seek to legally force a nurse to undergo a 21-day quarantine after her return from West Africa, where she volunteered to treat Ebola patients.

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