The Africa I Know Isn't The Africa In The Headlines Today

In 1990, our commentator visited Africa and fell in love with the energy and dreams of its people. Today he sees a land full of promise. But Ebola has revived the image of Africa in chaos.

All Things Considered

CDC Head: Key Interventions Have Slowed Ebola's Spread

Melissa Block talks to Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, who is completing a tour of the West African nations most deeply affected by the Ebola outbreak.

At Last, I Meet My Microbes

At 31, a woman had the bacteria in her gut catalogued as part of scientific project that aims to characterize the creatures that live inside us and affect our health. Here's what she found out.

Some Early Childhood Experiences Shape Adult Life, But Which?

Nature and nurture both matter, and having love and support from parents early on makes make academic and social success as an adult more likely, a study finds. But a child's temperament matters too.

Teaching Hospitals Hit Hardest By Medicare Fines For Patient Safety

Medicare will cut payments to hospitals with high rates of patient infections and injuries. Half of the nation's academic medical centers will be docked for making too many medical mistakes.

Morning Edition

When Nonprofit Hospitals Sue Their Poorest Patients

In exchange for tax breaks, nonprofit hospitals provide assistance to poor patients. But some hospitals seize wages from poor patients with unpaid bills — even those who qualify for reduced-cost care.

And The Award For Most Offensive Fundraising Video Goes To ...

If you're a charity that wants to help the developing world, you really, really, really don't want to win a "Rusty Radiator."

NIH Allows Restart Of MERS Research That Had Been Questioned

The National Institutes of Health has approved requests for waivers from a moratorium on experiments that aim to make the virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome more infectious in mice.

Death Comes In Many Different Ways. And Some Are A Bit Surprising

A new report looks at the top causes of death in 188 countries. Infectious diseases are less of a threat than in 1990 — but please, look both ways before you cross the street.

California Whooping Cough Infections Run High Among Latino Babies

Public health officials in California are trying to understand why Latino babies are contracting whooping cough at much higher rates than other babies.

Home Confinement Ordered For Ex-Pharmacy Officials

December 19, 2014
Barry Cadden, co-founder of the now-shuttered New England Compounding Center, declined to testify before a congressional committee in 2012. (AP)

Barry Cadden and Glenn Chin face 25 counts each of second-degree murder in a deadly nationwide meningitis outbreak blamed on a defunct Massachusetts compounding pharmacy.

Health Care Signups Increasing, But Many Unpaid

December 19, 2014

New numbers show that more than 18,000 people have selected, signed up and paid for coverage through the connector beginning Jan. 1. Officials say that’s more than double the number from a week ago.

Slow Food, Meet Slow Medicine

December 18, 2014
Across the country, new online insurance marketplaces are open for business as part of the new federal health overhaul. (Rick Bowmer/AP)

Slow medicine means really knowing your patients instead of just treating them, slow observation instead of quick intervention. If slow is good for food, why not for medicine?

Pharmaceutical Fraud: 14 Accused Of Causing Meningitis Deaths

December 17, 2014
Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey speaks at a news conference outside the New England Compounding Center in Framingham on Nov. 1, 2012 soon after the nationwide meningitis outbreak began. (AP / Elise Amendola)

An investigation on the 14 arrests of founders and NECC employees who knowingly compounded, mislabeled, and distributed contaminated medication that killed 64 people in 20 states.

Diagnosing Ear Infections With Your Smartphone

December 17, 2014
The Cellscope Oto is a clip-on gadget that turns a smartphone into an otoscope -- the tool that doctors use to peer into an ear and check out a patient’s eardrum. (

The CellScope Oto is a clip-on gadget that turns a smartphone into an otoscope — the tool doctors use to check out a patient’s eardrum.

Insurers, Some States Extend Deadlines For Health Coverage

December 16, 2014
Jose Ramirez (left) and Mariana Silva speak with Yosmay Valdivia, an agent from Sunshine Life and Health Advisors, as they discuss plans available from the Affordable Care Act at a store setup in the Mall of the Americas on December 15, 2014 in Miami, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Health insurers say they will give people more time to pay their premiums for health plans, and still have coverage start January 1st.

Nantucket Coping With Rash Of Suicides

December 15, 2014

Mental health providers, police and community advocates are holding a forum Monday night on Nantucket to address what some are calling a crisis for the small island town — a rash of suicides in recent weeks.

Canadians Head South Of Their Border For Medical Procedures

December 15, 2014
CNA Taylor Jasper makes up the bed in a patient room at Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls, Idaho.

A hospital in north Idaho is marketing itself to Canadian tourists — medical tourists, that is.

For Some Alzheimer’s Patients Musical Memories Still Stir While Others Fade

December 15, 2014
Margaret Simon, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, plays songs she learned as a child, in her apartment in Cherry Creek, Colo. (John Daley/CPR)

Colorado Public Radio’s John Daley tells us how elder care providers are using music to help those who suffer memory loss.

Can Medical Diagnoses Be Crowd-Sourced? For Over 500, The Answer Is ‘Yes!’

December 15, 2014
A new venture company,, is testing out if crowd-sourcing can be used to better solve rare complicated medical conditions. (jfcherry/Flickr)

Patients submit medical history and medical records online and then wait for medical detectives from around the globe to weigh in.

Initiative Aimed At Preventing Sudden Infant Deaths

December 13, 2014

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has begun a campaign that will include outreach to OB/GYN and pediatric offices, free regional community workshops on infant sleep safety, and a smartphone app that promotes safe sleep tips.

Ebola Loosens Its Grip On Liberia

December 12, 2014
Nurses wearing personal protective equipment treat Ebola patients at the Kenama treatment center run by the Red Cross Society on November 15, 2014. (Francisco Leong/AFP/Getty Images)

New cases of Ebola have been decreasing in Liberia, but officials are urging Liberians to stay committed to eradicating the virus.

Doctors Consider What They Can Do About Gun Violence

December 12, 2014
The artwork "Non-Violence" (a.k.a. "The Knotted Gun") by Fredrik Reuterswärd was a gift from the government of Luxembourg to the United Nations in 1988. (jcapaldi/Flickr)

More than 100 physicians and crime prevention advocates gathered recently for an educational course on preventing gun violence.

Let's Talk Chicken

December 12, 2014
This Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014 photo made available by the City of Dover Police Department shows chickens standing next to a truck which fell on its side in Dover, Del.  (AP)

Why are there more chickens than people in the world? The remarkable story of what happened when the chicken crossed the road and the world.

What Would A Tufts-Boston Medical Center Merger Mean?

December 11, 2014
Deying Sun, 71, of Boston, smiles  after radiology technician Jennifer Brodeur performed a mammogram at Tufts Medical Center. (Gretchen Ertl / AP)

Two major Boston hospitals want to merge, Tufts Medical Center in Chinatown and Boston Medical Center in the South End.

California’s Whooping Cough Epidemic

December 11, 2014
Pharmacist Kristy Hennessee administers a vaccination against whooping cough (pertussis), at a Walgreen's Pharmacy in Pasadena, California on September 17, 2010. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Nearly 10,000 people in the state have been diagnosed with the disease this year, making it the worst outbreak in 70 years.

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