Health

As children get ready to head back to the classroom, many school nurses are preparing for lice. But some of these small parasites – more of a nuisance than they are harmful – have been mutating and are now resistant to many over-the-counter medications.

That’s raising concerns and creating an unexpected hurdle to fighting the outbreak. Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins speaks with lice researcher John Clark about what he believes is behind the new breed of “super lice” and what it means for the future of treatment.

A recent outbreak of Salmonella in frozen tuna might have sushi lovers wondering if it's safe to eat that raw fish.

The outbreak in question began in California in March. All told, it sickened 65 people in 11 states. There were 35 cases in California, with another 18 in Arizona and New Mexico. The rest of the cases were scattered across the country, including four in Minnesota.

More adults across the country are strapping on helmets and hopping on bikes to get to work. That's good news for people's hearts and waistlines, but it also means more visits to the emergency room.

Hospital admissions because of bike injuries more than doubled between 1998 and 2013, doctors reported Tuesday in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association. And the rise was the biggest with bikers ages 45 and over.

Neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks at the 2009 Brooklyn Book Festival. Sacks died this weekend. He was 82.
Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons

Oliver Sacks didn’t just look at the brain. He looked at the whole person, he told KUOW in a 1987 interview. 

"One should never just look at diseases or disorders, but how it is for the whole person,” he said. “The person is always struggling to survive and to manage some way or another.”

Myriam Marquez at her apartment with her cocker spaniel, Joe Cocker.
KUOW Photo/Jeannie Yandel

Jeannie Yandel talks with Myriam Marquez, former Skagit County public defender and Alzheimer's Association of Washington board member, about how being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease changed her life. 

Efforts to ban “personal exemptions” to vaccine requirements failed in Northwest states this past session. But under a new Oregon law, parents who want to keep their kids vaccine-free will have a tougher time.

Marcie Sillman speaks with Jeffrey Duchin, health officer at Public Health – Seattle & King County, who offers some reassurance to parents about possible contamination of surgical gear at Seattle Children's Bellevue campus.  The satellite surgery center discovered a pattern of improper equipment cleaning, which could have exposed as many as 12,000 people to diseases like hepatitis or HIV.

Polio is almost gone from the face of the earth. The virus is actively circulating in only two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan. But now there's a worrisome new development in the polio end-game.

In Thursday's edition of the journal PLoS Pathogens, scientists report on a man in the United Kingdom who was immunized with oral polio vaccine as a child and whose stool samples continued to contain live polio virus for 28 years.

The incident command for Washington’s biggest wildfire requested a mental health team to help people in Okanogan County. A national nonprofit called Green Cross has responded to the call.

It's time for consumers to wake up to the risks of sleep disorders, scientists say.

Imagine a town crier walking down the street outside shouting through his bullhorn: "All of the young people should go get the new meningitis A vaccine." And adding that it's free.

That's one of the ways that health practitioners are combating what they call "vaccine hesitancy" — refusing a vaccine when it is offered or available.

It's a topic that has made headlines this year, when an outbreak of measles focused attention on U.S. parents who'd not vaccinated their kids, fearing unproven side effects.

Jimmy Carter told a press conference he called on the morning of the day he would have the first radiation treatment on the cancer in his brain, "I'd like for the last guinea worm to die before I do."

Mr. Carter was frank, funny and graceful speaking this week about his health, and his faith. But his remark about the guinea worm may have puzzled a few people.

Soon after their wedding, Dr. Mimi Lee and Stephen Findley decided to create five embryos. Lee had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and she worried that treatment would leave her infertile. Now that they're divorced, Lee wants to use them; Findley, however, does not.

Those embryos are at the heart of a court case that will soon decide a very modern problem: Which member of a divorced couple gets control of their frozen embryos?

The infant room at Learning Way School & Daycare in White Center, where director Jeri Finch says she does her best to make sure parents update their children's immunization records regularly.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Under Washington state law, children are supposed to be fully immunized to attend daycare or preschool.

But no one knows how many kids in child care centers are actually vaccinated, because the state’s not keeping track.

One of the most prestigious names in health care is taking a stand on food.

This week, Cleveland Clinic announced it would sever ties with McDonald's. As of Sept. 18, the McDonald's branch located in the Cleveland Clinic cafeteria will turn off its fryers and close its doors for good. Its lease will not be renewed.

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