Health

1:23am

Tue January 15, 2013
Shots - Health News

Flu Wave Stresses Out Hospitals

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 1:32 pm

Physician assistants Scott Fillman (left) and Andrew Hunadi get ready to see patients with flu symptoms, in a tent erected just outside the emergency entrance at the Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pa.
Matt Rourke AP

What does it feel like to be working in an emergency room during this nasty flu season? Monday. Every day feels like Monday, typically the busiest time of week in the ER.

"Now instead of having a Monday peak, it's seven days a week of a Monday," said Dr. Bill Frohna, who runs the emergency department at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.

It's still too soon to say whether this is a historically bad flu season. But it's already clear that emergency rooms around the country are filled with a feverish throng that is much larger than the last time around.

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3:29pm

Mon January 14, 2013
Shots - Health News

How Long Does It Take To Shake A Cough?

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 3:15 pm

A health poster from World War II carries a message that still rings true.
National Archives

Antibiotics only work against bacteria, but many people get the drugs to treat viral infections, too.

More than half of people coughing and wheezing from acute bronchitis are treated with antibiotics, even though less than 10 percent of the cases involve bacterial infections.

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3:07pm

Mon January 14, 2013
Health

47 States Report Widespread Influenza Outbreaks

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:21 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

The influenza virus is on a lot of minds today. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 47 states are reporting widespread outbreaks. The flu was even mentioned several times during last night's Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills. Here's comedian Amy Poehler joking about one star who stayed home.

AMY POEHLER: Meryl Streep is not here tonight. She has the flu. And I hear she's amazing in it.

(LAUGHTER)

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12:07pm

Mon January 14, 2013
Shots - Health News

After The Knee Is Fixed, How Long Before The Player Returns?

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 3:24 pm

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III lays on the field after injuring his knee during an NFL playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks on January 6. Griffin had knee surgery two days later.
Richard Lipski AP

One week after the brilliant young quarterback Robert Griffin III blew out his right knee in an NFL playoff game, fans' questions have morphed from "How could this have happened?" to "When do we get him back?"

But figuring out when an athlete with damaged knee ligaments can get back in action is an inexact art at best, because medicine has yet to come up with a solid way to fix a knee.

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1:18am

Mon January 14, 2013
Shots - Health News

As Hepatitis C Sneaks Up On Baby Boomers, Treatment Options Grow

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:27 pm

Hepatitis C patient Nancy Turner shows Kathleen Coleman, a nurse practitioner, where a forearm rash, a side effect of her treatment, has healed. Turner is one of many patients with hepatitis C experimenting with new drugs to beat back the virus.
Richard Knox NPR

A smoldering epidemic already affects an estimated 4 million Americans, most of whom don't know it.

It's hepatitis C, an insidious virus that can hide in the body for two or three decades without causing symptoms — and then wreak havoc with the liver, scarring it so extensively that it can fail. Half of all people waiting for liver transplants have hepatitis C.

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