Health

Prescription drugs at a pharmacy.
Aunti P via Flickr, Creative Commons

North Carolina residents have turned in millions of unused pills this year as part of a effort to fight substance abuse.  State Attorney General Roy Cooper says more than 9,500,000 prescription and over-the-counter drugs were collected during the fall months by police agencies statewide. 

Two Ob/GYN doctors review test results.
Mercy Health

Health workers who target low-income communities across the state are working to make sure their clients know they can receive health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Rebecca Whitaker is with the North Carolina Community Health Center Association. Community Health Centers are neighborhood practices in what are known as medically underserved areas. She says health care workers have been pairing up with organizations from utilities to elder care agencies who employ uninsured caregivers to get the word out.

The Human papillomavirus (HPV) found in a Pap smear
Ed Uthman / Flickr Creative Commons

A study out of Duke University suggests the HPV vaccine might not be as effective for African-American women. 

The vaccine protects against two subtypes of the Human papillomavirus that cause 70 percent of cases that develop into cervical cancer, but researchers found black women are half as likely as white women to be infected with those strains. 

The findings could help explain racial discrepancies in the rates of cancer.

Prescription drugs at a pharmacy.
Aunti P via Flickr, Creative Commons

Orange County health officials say they will soon begin distributing kits that will help to prevent certain drug overdoses. 

State legislators passed a law that allows the drug Naloxone to be prescribed to patients.  Naloxone can reverse overdoses caused by painkillers like Oxycontin and hydrocodone.  

Orange County health director Colleen Bridger says making the kits available can help reduce what was a high number of deaths in the state since 1999 from abuse of these powerful pain medications.

Two local residents, Ivin Scurlock, 41,  and Alexandra Simou, 40, lost their lives in a hit-and-run incident near Southern Village last month.  North Carolina has one of the worst rates for bicycle and pedestrian fatalities in the country.  

Cone Health

Cone Health in Greensboro will add more specially-trained nurses to a program that can  assist in getting domestic violence convictions. 

The system's forensic nursing program provides training in getting visual proof and logging other evidence that can be used in court cases.  

Program coordinator Catherine Rossi runs the forensic nursing program.  She says techniques nurses learn are similar to those crime scene investigators and medical examiners use to analyze injuries.

Wikimedia Commons

    

Schizophrenia is a frightening disease, characterized by audio and visual hallucinations.

A researcher at Duke University thinks he may have a clue as to how the auditory hallucinations occur.

Duke neurobiologist Richard Mooney said there is a long history of research that indicates that the way we hear is influenced by what we see happening around us.

HIV microscope image, virus, disease
Duke University

Duke researchers say a protein in breast milk may be a key in preventing babies from contracting HIV from their infected mothers. 

The protein Tenascin-C is produced by the body to aid in helping wounds heal.  Doctors found after isolating the breast milk component that it neutralizes HIV transfer even as breast-fed babies are exposed multiple times daily.  

Sallie Permar is a professor of pediatrics at Duke.  She says their questions now center on moms with HIV.

Zero to Eighty Over Unpaved Roads: A Memoir
Evelyn McNeill / evelynmcneill.com/

  

A Duke University study found a link between poverty and smoking in adolescents.
Valentin Ottone via Flickr, Creative Commons

The federal Food and Drug Administration has tapped UNC-Chapel Hill researchers to compile data that  may lead to stronger tobacco regulations. 

One study will focus on effects of tobacco products on the lungs.  The other will examine what people know about the dangers of tobacco and how warnings can be improved.  

Kurt Ribisl is a professor of health behavior at UNC-Chapel Hill's Gillings School of Global Public Health.  He says most people are unaware of all the negative effects of tobacco.

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