Health

California is battling the worst whooping cough epidemic in 70 years.

Nearly 10,000 cases have been reported in the state so far this year, and babies are especially prone to hospitalization or even death.

Six of 10 infants who have become ill during the current outbreak are Latino. There's no conclusive explanation, but there are a few theories that range from Latino cultural factors to a lack of health insurance.

Ebola may have slid off the nation's worry list, but that doesn't mean the United States is ready to handle an outbreak of Ebola or another infectious disease, an analysis says. That includes naturally occurring outbreaks like dengue fever, tuberculosis and measles, as well as the use of bioterrorism agents like anthrax.

It’s that time of the year when kids can come down with all manner of ailments. Of all the illnesses kids pick up, ear infections are the most common. About 80 percent of all children get one before the age of 3, and some susceptible children have recurring infections throughout their early years. From our tech partner IEEE Spectrum, Eliza Strickland has the story of a new smartphone tool that will soon help parents cope.

Northwest potato farmers are cheering a small provision tucked into the newly passed federal spending package.

A new documentary out earlier this year, Alive Inside, explores the mysterious link between music and memory.

It got us wondering how music is being used to help people with Alzheimer’s disease.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Colorado Public Radio’s John Daley discovered elder care providers are using music to help those who suffer memory loss.

The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked enforcement of an Arizona law aimed at limiting use of the increasingly popular abortion pill. In 2012 nearly half of the abortions in the state were via the pill, known as RU-486.

The pill was approved by the FDA in 2000 for the first seven weeks of pregnancy. Since then, scientists have developed safer and smaller doses that allow the drug to be used through the ninth week.

Checking into a hospital can boost your chances of infection. That's a disturbing paradox of modern medical care.

This week, school districts in Los Angles, New York, Chicago and several other big cities announced they would ban the purchase of chickens that have been raised on antibiotics to use in school lunches. The districts are part of the Urban School Alliance, which feeds about 3 million students every day.

The University of New Hampshire Wildcats are heading into a do-or-die quarterfinal football game this week against the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.

And whether they win or not, there's one thing you can say about the Wildcats: They are likely the only football team in America trying to reduce concussions by practicing without helmets.

Football has a concussion problem, from the National Football League down to Pee-Wee teams. And there are lots of efforts out there to fix it.

Remember back in October when I debunked 32 myths about the flu vaccine here?

Research published since then suggests my efforts might have been in vain, at least in part.

The post might have changed some minds, but it seems unlikely to have led legions of people to race to get vaccinated.

Oregon has implemented a number of ways to measure the success of the health care changes its implemented — from cancer screenings to how well patients are controlling diabetes.

Next year, the metrics will include things like how many sealants dentists put on kids’ teeth to prevent cavities; patient smoking rates; and the rate of contraceptive use among women who don’t want to get pregnant.

Ebola has killed thousands, caused hundreds of millions of dollars in economic devastation and set off a global panic. But aid officials are hoping it also may help to address long-festering shortcomings in West Africa's health care systems.

Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea all suffer a dearth of doctors, a lack of supplies and training, and a concentration of clinics in cities rather than in the rural areas where many people still live. Those same problems have thwarted global attempts to eliminate quieter killers, like malaria and tuberculosis, in poor countries.

Marcie Sillman talks with registered nurse Heather Barr about a King County initiative to provide flu shots to homeless people.  Barr is a nurse with King County's Healthcare for the Homeless Network.

Courtesy Tony Trinh

Dr. Tony Trinh was doing research in Kenya as an infectious diseases fellow from the University of Washington when he applied for a driver’s license. First though, he had to take a driver's education course. He chronicled that experience on his Facebook page, republished here.

Aug. 17, 2013: Signing Up

Marcie Sillman talks to Dr. Leroy Hood, president of the Institute for Systems Biology, about the the 100k Wellness Project. The project, which started a year ago, hopes to track what happens at the cellular level when a person goes from well to diseased. 

This segment originally aired August 12, 2014

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