Health

An image of chickens on farm
Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press

 

North Carolina officials are closely monitoring an outbreak of the avian bird flu spreading in the Midwest and Western United States. Thirty million birds have either died from the disease, or have been killed as a preventive measure to control the flu from spreading, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A picture of the UNC and GSK press conference.
WUNC

UNC-Chapel Hill has teamed up with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to find a cure for HIV/AIDS.

Chancellor Carol Folt announced the creation of Qura Therapeutics, which will oversee the new HIV Cure center. The center will bring together researchers from UNC and GSK.

GSK will contribute $20 million for the first five years.

GSK CEO Andrew Witty says research on the virus has come a long way since the 1980s, when a cure for AIDS was thought to be impossible.

A picture of a baby held by a mother.
ODHD / Flickr

The WakeMed system opens its new Women's Hospital today. The system's fifth hospital adjoins two other main buildings on WakeMed's Raleigh campus.

The 61-bed women's hospital offers private delivery and bed rooms, lactation specialists, and postpartum care, says spokeswoman Debbie Laughery.

"And we know that comfort in a calming environment leads to healing. So, if we can bring the quality care together in a tranquil environment, we believe the outcomes will be better."

The women's hospital also offers general surgery, urology, gynecology and mammography services.

A picture of a baby near a puff of smoke.
US Food and Drug Administration

 

The United States is one of the few developed countries that has a decades-old, text-only warning label on cigarette packages.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has tried for years  to add warnings with graphic images, but lawsuits from tobacco companies have halted the process.

A picture of a stethoscope.
jasleen_kaur / Flickr/Creative Commons

Duke University settled a lawsuit with eight cancer patients and their families after a former researcher conducted phony genetic trials.

Disgraced former Duke oncologist Anil Potti conducted genetic research for personalized cancer treatments until 2010.

Potti and his team were accused of falsifying data. Soon after, The Cancer Letter reported that Potti lied about scientific honors he received.

Born To Run And Natural Born Heroes

Apr 28, 2015
Author Christopher McDougall
chrismcdougall.com

The myth of the modern hero is someone with exceptional abilities and extraordinary strength.

But author Christopher McDougall says becoming a hero is just a matter of tapping into the body's capability for natural movement. 

  Rather than hitting the gym, McDougall told Frank Stasio of WUNC's The State of Things, people should be exercising outdoors through activities that echo the movements humans evolved to do as hunter-gatherers.

A picture of beer bottles
Pixabay

Psychiatrists at Duke University have found that administering high doses of alcohol to adolescent rats could limit their learning and memory into adulthood.

Their research shows binge drinking by adolescents can cause lasting changes in the hippocampus.

Juni Asiyo wearing traditional Kenyan clothing.
Juni Asiyo

Sub-Saharan Africa has the most serious HIV and AIDS epidemic in the world. In 2012, roughly 25 million people were living with HIV, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the global total. 

The battle is ongoing, as researchers, educators, and doctors continue to work to stop AIDS once and for all.

Dr. Richard Bock, a vascular surgeon, listens on speaker phone to another surgeon who is asking for advice before starting bypass surgery.
William Woody / wwoody@citizen-times.com

Mission Health System dominates the healthcare field in Western North Carolina, owning or partnering with six hospitals and controlling more than 40 percent of hospital beds in Western North Carolina. The nonprofit company began its expansion in the 1990s. It absorbed small rural hospitals struggling to foot the bill for an aging, low-income and underinsured population in Western North Carolina. 

Meet TROSA Founder Kevin McDonald

Apr 20, 2015
Kevin McDonald is the founder of TROSA.
trosainc.org

Throughout his youth, Kevin McDonald was searching for a sense of belonging.

His father was in the U.S. Air Force, which meant his family moved a lot during McDonald’s childhood. Wherever they moved, McDonald felt severe anxiety in his constantly changing social situation. 

His life in the home came with another set of challenges.

"My mother was very, very abusive. Physically and emotionally," he told host Frank Stasio on WUNC’s The State of Things.

Illustration: Cadeceus
Flickr user takomabibelot

North Carolina lawmakers got the first granular look at the state’s Medicaid program in 20 years, showing the program’s improving financial condition but continuing major debts to medical providers.

The audit found the Medicaid fund balance was $350 million in the red for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014—almost $59 million better than a year earlier.
 

Cynthia Bulik

Cynthia Bulik grew up as a lover of international language and culture. She was the first in her family to leave the dry cleaning business and go to college, and she was determined to study diplomacy and international relations. But when she was required to take a psychology class her freshman year at The University of Notre Dame, it changed the course of her life.

Fact-Checking Ebola

Apr 1, 2015
Julian Rademeyer

When the Ebola outbreak began last year in Africa, many questioned whether it was actually true.  Outspoken officials and professors claimed the outbreak was a rumor and their initial comments had devastating effects. 

Orange County is North Carolina's Healthiest County according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin. The study evaluates every county in America based on factors like premature death, child poverty and crime. The report listed Wake County as the state's second healthiest.

Image of a nurse checking vitals.
Flickr/Londa Dudley

Campbell University plans to open a new School of Nursing in rural Harnett County in 2016. Graduates will earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

Director Nancy Duffy says that's becoming the new standard for nursing jobs, especially with the population growing and Baby Boomers aging, dealing with more chronic illnesses.

“Really, healthcare needs an entirely different kind of nurse in the future. And I hope we're able to start changing that education to meet that healthcare need.”

Photo: Flu vaccine
Flickr user Daniel Paquet

A bipartisan group of North Carolina senators are worried about a rise in contagious diseases, and they want to eliminate the state’s exemption of childhood vaccination requirements for parents who object for religious reasons.

The senators, under a bill they filed on Thursday, are proposing to change the vaccination schedule for children who attend public schools.

Today's segment is a rebroadcast of Death Rides The Rails.

  

Railroads across America carry hundreds of billions of dollars of toxic materials every year. 

The body charged with regulating the industry, the Federal Railroad Administration, admits it inspects less than one percent of railroad activity. What risks does shipping hazardous materials on the railroads create? 

Host Frank Stasio talks with reporter Marcus Stern. His work, Boom: North America’s Explosive Oil-By-Rail Problem, examines regulatory responses to oil train explosions and the nation's aging railroad infrastructure. The work is a collaborative effort of Inside Climate NewsThe Weather Channel and The Investigative Fund.

Flickr user Josh Mazgelis

A bipartisan group of North Carolina lawmakers is proposing a measure to get more fruits and vegetables to urban and rural areas devoid of grocery stores or healthful food options.

The plan, filed in separate bills in the House and Senate on Tuesday, would set aside $1 million for produce refrigerators and training for store owners in areas known as food deserts. There are more than 340 food deserts across 80 counties in the state, advocacy groups say.

A picture of a boy receiving a shot.
Kaiser Permanente

A mathematical model from Duke University mathematicians suggests more can be done to protect people from the human papilloma virus.  

Hands being held.
flickr.com/photos/mabeljuillet/

How do we die?

For some death comes suddenly, and there is no time for preparation, but for others death slowly creeps up on us. Though it is inevitable, we often avoid the opportunity to prepare for it.

A picture of a child's height being measured.
Alec Couros, NC-SA / Creative Commons

More children living in North Carolina are now covered by health insurance. That's one of the positive findings in the annual health report card issued today by NC Child.

The group says teen pregnancy rates are falling, which is also good news.

But NC Child’s Director of Policy Rob Thompson says the emergence of e-cigarettes is a growing problem. 

Ken Dodge's research has been following the same group of children for more than 20 years.
Ken Dodge

    

There is a common metaphor in the scientific community that uses flowers to describe children’s sensitivity to their environments.

A child like a dandelion will turn out fine despite the circumstances she is raised in, while a child like an orchid will flounder without a nourishing environment, but blossom with care and support.

Photo from the first U.S. nuclear field exercise on land on Nov. 1, 1951.
Federal Government of the United States / Wikimedia Commons

    

It has been nearly 50 years since the U.S. and the Soviet Union first sat down to talk about limiting their arsenals of nuclear weapons. 

Today, Russia and the U.S. have reduced their stockpiles, but they still have nearly 2,000 warheads each and several other countries have shown interest in creating or expanding their nuclear arsenal. 

So how do we gauge the threat of a nuclear conflict? What would nuclear war look like if it were limited to one region of the world?

HealthServe is closing in Greensboro this week and 20,000 people will have to find a medical provider elsewhere.
Flickr.com

Health outcomes are tied to income and education, according to many studies, but little work has been done to examine the connections between long-term wealth and levels of well-being. 

Researchers will explore that idea and other ways economic mobility relates to health in minority populations on Friday at UNC-Chapel Hill's annual Minority Health Conference. 

The case of Terry Cawthorn and Mission Hospital, in Asheville, N.C., gives a glimpse of how some hospital officials around the country have shrugged off an epidemic.

Cawthorn was a nurse at Mission for more than 20 years. Her supervisor testified under oath that she was "one of my most reliable employees."

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