This week, New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services identified the season’s first case of influenza. Beth Daly, chief of infectious disease surveillance at DHHS, is encouraging Granite Staters to get vaccinated.
"It’s not too early to be vaccinated," Daly says, "and the flu vaccine this year does contain different strains of the virus, so it’s important that people be vaccinated this year even if they were vaccinated last year as well."
Recently, we learned on this program about the other tick-borne pathogens we should be worrying about beyond Lyme Disease. In the meantime, more and more people in New Hampshire are contracting Lyme. It’s a trend we’ve noticed even on Facebook, where many of our friends are posting about their positive test results, including Word of Mouth contributor Adam McCune…so we asked him to share his story.
A day after the primary elections, lawmakers were back at the statehouse discussing health insurance. At issue is what insurance companies will have to cover under the Affordable Care Act.
The ACA calls for states to select something called a private insurance Essential Health Benefit benchmark by September 30th. Simply put, lawmakers in Concord need to pick an insurance plan that will serve as a model for most other insurance plans offered in the state.
In 1995, Dr. Madan Kataria began an article he titled “Laughter – The Best Medicine.” He found decades of research on the therapeutic effects of laughter and wanted to investigate further. He managed to convince four people at a public park in Mumbai, India, to start a laughter club. At first they used jokes, but when the jokes ran out, they began to laugh at nothing.
Mosquitoes get West Nile Virus from birds, and then they give it to us. It’s Ryan Naujoks's job to stop that. He works for Dragon Mosquito Control, a private company that municipalities like Derry hire to spray insecticides.
"I’m at Rider Field right now, and everything is locked up," Naujoks says over the phone. "Rider Field…"
Eventually, someone from the Town of Derry comes and unlocks the gates. Naujoks fires up the sprayer.
The truck makes a lap around the field emitting a small puff of white smoke.
State health officials say they’ve confirmed another case of hepatitis C related to the outbreak at Exeter Hospital, bringing the total number of infected patients to 32.
In a statement today, the Department of Health and Human Services says the patient in question was admitted to Exeter Hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab before suspect David Kwiatkowski began working there. But they say the patient was released after Kwiatkowski started his job as a technician.
The story of a medical technician charged with infecting at least thirty people at Exeter Hospital has turned into a national concern, with news he’d worked in a half-dozen other states, where hospitals are now checking their records and contacting patients. We’ll get an update and look at what we’ve learned from this crisis so far.
The investigation continues into the Hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital is moving to several other states. This week officials at a hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York, are testing about 25 patients who underwent procedures at the time technician David Kwiatowski worked there.
Maggie Koerth-Baker is a science journalist, author, and blogger for Boing-Boing, where she usually writes about the convergence of science and technology with culture. But it was a blog she posted recently, which diverged from her typical subject matter, which prompted us to ask her to return as a guest to the program.
Public health officials say six more Exeter Hospital patients have tested positive for Hepatitis C. That brings the total number of infections to 27.
Local, state and federal law enforcement are still investigating the cause of the outbreak. An Exeter Hospital employee is suspected of exposing patients to the liver-destroying virus by mishandling needles.
June 27 is National HIV Testing Day and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is leading a statewide effort to help residents get tested.
Seventeen New Hampshire testing sites are offering a rapid-response oral HIV test. The screening requires only a saliva swab and produces results in 20 minutes. If the test comes back positive, then the next step is a blood test.
While the future of the Affordable Care Act is unclear, some of the changes may be here to stay. President of Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center Jim Weinstein is focusing on the improvement of patient care over providing more care. NHPR's Dan Gorenstein reporting for Marketplace has more.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock President Jim Weinstein shows me the painting; it's a glass of orange juice, about half full. I've missed the point, says Weinstein. "It isn't half full or half empty. It's the wrong glass. And right now we have the wrong glass for health care." That's Weinstein's way of saying the $3 trillion health care system is broken. That the system is set up to reward more care rather than better care.
This most ubiquitous and irresistible of foods has also been called addictive and toxic and has been linked with obesity, diabetes, and, recently, memory loss. Some are calling for regulating sugar as if it were tobacco. But others say it is intrinsic to our very survival as a species, found even in breast milk and that demonizing or shunning sugar is the wrong course.