Any parent can tell you that sweet foods are an easier sell to kids than, say, sprouts or salad. But with more than a quarter of New Hampshire struggling with obesity, researchers at Keene State College are working on innovative ways to get children as young as three years old hooked on vegetables.

No patients in New Hampshire have tested positive for fungal meningitis as the national outbreak continues to grow.

<a href="">SSkennel</a> / Flickr

In a press conference at Exeter Hospital today, lawyers called the state’s request for broad access to medical records a government overreach. The state continues to investigate the Hepatitis C outbreak.

In August, Exeter Hospital filed a protective order in Merrimack Superior Court. It’s seeking to block the state’s request for broad access to patient medical records.

State officials investigating the outbreak of Hepatitis C at Exeter Hospital continue pressing for access to patient medical records.

In August, the hospital went to court seeking a protective order, arguing that the Division of Public Health Services’ broad request for records violates both state and federal privacy laws.

Today, the state filed its response in Merrimack Superior Court. It says that healthcare providers are required to share information during a public health investigation.

<a href="">whiskey and tears</a> / flickr

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."  

Living with Lyme

Sep 17, 2012
fairfaxcounty via flickr creative commons

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.

Deadlines Loom in Health Plan Decision

Sep 12, 2012

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.

And they have less than three weeks to do it.

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 Become Latest Public Health Battle

Aug 29, 2012
Todd Bookman / NHPR

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.

First Case of West Nile Virus Reported in State

Aug 22, 2012
Gamma Man / Flickr/Creative Commons

Health officials announced today that a Manchester resident has been infected with West Nile Virus.

It’s the first confirmed infection since September, 2010 in New Hampshire.

West Nile Virus first appeared in the state in 2000. Since then, four other humans have contracted the mosquito-borne virus.

National data from the CDC shows that the number of confirmed cases has risen dramatically in recent weeks.

There have also been 41 deaths; more than half in the state of Texas, where over 500 cases have been reported.

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.

Image of running track and field
Stewart Cutler / Flikr Creative Commons

A list of the top-ten most-read stories on and StateImpact- NH website.

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.


<a href="">SSkennel</a> / Flickr

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.

Photo Credit sxyblkmn, Via Flickr Creative Commons

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.

More Confirmed Cases in Hepatitis C Outbreak

Jul 2, 2012

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.

<a href="">Wheeler Copperthwaite</a> / Flickr

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.

Getting Sour on Sugar

Jun 5, 2012

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. 


<a href=""></a> / Flickr

Although Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) undergo virtually the same training as medical doctors, their services have hitherto not been covered by insurance companies in the state of New Hampshire. Two and a half years ago ND Bert Mathieson, frustrated by what struck him as “discrimination flat out,” got a sponsor for a bill that would change N.H. law. HB351 would require insurers in the state to reimburse naturopathic doctors, who emphasize illness prevention and lifestyle guidance rather than pharmaceutical or surgical procedures in their practice.

The Supreme Court will rule in the coming weeks on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — the health care law that has been a flashpoint of partisan acrimony and debate since its beginning.

Much of that debate has been philosophical. But now that the law is under review by the country's highest court, politicians have to plan for the real implications of the court's decision. That's proving particularly difficult for congressional Republicans.

The expansion of forensic databases by US federal agencies. DNA collection of convicted felons is a well- publicized procedure. Recently released documents reveal that the department of homeland security and other federal agencies will be required to collect DNA from any person over the age of fourteen who has been detained -- regardless of criminal activity -- and that plans to include children under 14 are being explored.  

The Women of Wine

May 21, 2012

Sip a glass of Italian wine tonight with dinner.  Savor its full-bodied flavor, or its delicate notes of plum or cherries.    If you really concentrate, you might detect another subtle but important flavor - equality.  Italian women are revolutionizing the way vino is made, promoted and sold.  And women in corporate boardrooms might not be a new phenomenon; their entrance in the world’s male-dominated cantinas and vineyards is, especially as   they’re making changes that are nothing to sniff at.  Nancy Greenleese reports.


Karlton Hill was only 12 years old when when he found out he had diabetes. Even though he was only in seventh grade, Karlton knew what diabetes was; he had watched the disease destroy his great-grandmother's life.

"I was really upset. I cried," he says. "I didn't want any of this to happen to me. I was like, 'Why is this happening to me?' "

Public health experts have been worrying for years that the obesity epidemic would lead to an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes among kids.

Photo: Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Today is bike-to-work day, an annual event across the country to promote the healthy and environmentally-friendly option of riding a bicycle to work. NPR wants to see your photos and so do we!

Post a photo of you and your bicycle to twitter and instagram using the hashtag #NHPRbike and #NPRbike. NHPR will retweet your photo and post it to this slideshow.

NHPR's resident bike expert and environment reporter Sam Evans-Brown took a shot this morning of his bike on his daily commute, where he also stopped to get fresh milk and eggs on his way to work.

Widespread obesity among Native Americans has led to spiking diabetes rates among young people in the current generation. The phenomenon partially blamed on the lack of access to healthy food on reservations. Edible Idaho’s Guy Hand recently looked at what a food coalition on the coeur d'alene reservation of North Idaho is doing to connect the people there to better eating, starting with their nutrient-rich roots. 

Today’s report from the USDA’s economic research service upends the notion that healthy food options are more expensive for consumers than sweet and fatty junk-foods. The report points out that price depends on how you measure it. When factored by calorie, a chocolate doughnut will often cost more than a tomato.

Price is the chief concern of Hank Cardello

A Soviet news reel shows teary mourners shuffling past the body of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.  The Bolshevik leader and chair of the soviet state in its early years died of a he died of an apparent massive stroke in 1924 at age 54. His embalmed corpse still throngs of visitors to his tomb in Moscow’s Red Square, and was the topic of an annual clinicopathological conference held at the University of Maryland.

Roxboroughsports / Flickr/Creative Commons

New research finds that younger athletes are more susceptible to head injury than once thought, take longer to recover, and are more at risk for suffering second concussions. Now, New Hampshire may join a growing list of states asking coaches and trainers to monitor these injuries more closely.  We talk with experts on head trauma in youth sports. 


There have been hints that the obesity epidemic's rise has slowed a bit among certain populations, but for the most part, it continues to dominate American health. One third of children and teenagers are now overweight or obese. And researchers forecast as many as half of our nation's population could be obese — not overweight but obese — by 2030.