Life happens. So if you’ve experienced any changes lately — like you got married or celebrated your 26th birthday — you may not have to wait until the next Obamacare enrollment period to get health insurance. Check out this flowchart from Families USA and see where you stand.
Diseases that were largely eradicated in the United States a generation ago—whooping cough, measles, mumps—are returning, in part because nervous parents are skipping their children’s shots. NOVA’s “Vaccines—Calling the Shots” takes viewers around the world to track epidemics, explore the science behind vaccinations, hear from parents wrestling with vaccine-related questions, and shed light on the risks of opting out.
Aired on Wed. Sep. 10th. You can watch it here
Here are three words you don’t often see in close proximity: Good. Death. Ebola.
Yet there they stand, united in the headline for an essay in The New England Journal of Medicine this month: "A Good Death: Ebola and Sacrifice."
The essay was written by Dr. Josh Mugele, assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine at Indiana University’s School of Medicine, and Chad Priest, an assistant dean at the Indiana University School of Nursing. They pay tribute to a Liberian colleague, Dr. Samuel Brisbane, director of the emergency department at Monrovia’s John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center.
They’d worked closely with Sam Brisbane on a disaster-medicine program. He was a memorable character, they write: “at once caring and profane … his laugh was best described as a giggle, and he swore frequently.”
And he was terrified by Ebola. “Dr. Brisbane was a wreck,” they recall. When they asked how they could protect themselves, he told the authors: “Leave Monrovia.”
his summer, Dr. Brisbane treated a patient with “suspected Ebola.” A few days later, the 74-year-old doctor came down with symptoms of the virus. He died on July 26.
"With apologies to his wife and family, who saw him dire horribly and unjustly," Mugele and Priest conclude, "we believe our friend died a good death – as did all the nurses and doctors who have sacrificed themselves caring for patients with this awful disease."
We spoke with Mugele and Priest about the idea of a “good death.”
You believe Dr. Brisbane died a good death because of his self-sacrifice?
Mugele: Dr. Brisbane was an older gentleman, he had a coffee plantation, he had a wife and children. He didn’t have to treat these patients. He didn’t have to be a doctor at that stage of his life. And he kept doing it even though he knew [Ebola] was very contagious and he had a high likelihood of getting it. Dying was a selfless act on his part.
Illustration by Maria Fabrizio for NPR
What is meningitis (also known as invasive meningococcal disease)?
Meningitis is a severe bacterial infection that has a high fatality rate. A previous outbreak of meningitis among men who have sex with men in NYC ended in February 2013 after 22 cases were reported, including 7 fatal cases. Twelve of the 22 cases were HIV-infected.
How is meningitis spread?
This disease is spread by prolonged close contact with nose or throat discharges from an infected person. Examples of prolonged contact include living in the same household, sharing cigarettes, or intimate activities, including kissing and sexual contact.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms include fever, chill, severe muscle or abdominal pain, headache, vomiting, stiff neck and a rash, and usually occur within five days of exposure. If you think you may have been exposed and develop any of these symptoms, seek medical care immediately.
How can I protect myself?
The Health Department recommends meningococcal vaccination for all men who have sex with men, regardless of HIV status, who regularly have intimate contact with other men met through a website, hookup/dating apps, or at a bar or party.
Where to get vaccinated?
Ask your provider about the meningococcal vaccine. The vaccine is also available at many pharmacies, including all NYC Duane Reade and Walgreens locations. These locations accept most insurance, including Medicaid.
No insurance? Vaccinations are also available at Health Dept. clinics. Clinics locations below:
DOHMH Clinic - Manhattanville Renaissance 21 Old Broadway (at 126th St.) 10027. Hours are Mon-Fri 8:30A-3:30P.
DOHMH Clinic - Central Harlem 2238 5th Ave (at 137th St.) 10037. Hours are Tue-Sat 8:30A-3:30P.
DOHMH Clinic - Morrisania 1309 Fulton Ave (at E 169th St.) 10456. Hours are Mon-Fri 8:30A-3P.
DOHMH Clinic - Fort Greene 295 Flatbush Ave, 2nd Fl. 11201. Hours are Tue-Sat 8:30A-3P.
DOHMH Clinic - Crown Heights 1218 1218 Prospect Pl 11213. Hours are Mon-Fri 8:30A-3:30P.
DOHMH Clinic - Corona 34-33 Junction Blvd 11372. Hours are Tue & Fri 8:30A-3P.
DOHMH Clinic - Jamaica 90-37 Parsons Blvd 11432. Hours are Tue-Sat 8:30A-3P.
You can also text VAXALERT to 877877 to search for vaccine locations near you.
Learn more about meningitis in our FAQ.
HPV Vaccine Is Cancer Prevention
Check Your Risk is campaign to try and get youth who are sexually active to get themselves tested for STD’s.
School Based Testing Program in DC Public and Charter High Schools.
Working on the outreach campaign.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Zebiba, 28, sits in her purple headscarf in the small clinic room, the cramping already beginning. She took the tablets early this morning. She is three months pregnant.
By 2 p.m., her abortion should be complete. She will return to her two children, now at school. She is divorcing their father, who has taken a second wife.
Thus far, she has refused pain medications. Her relief at the ease of this termination is palpable. “She was nervous coming here,” says the nurse.
A generation ago, botched abortions were the single biggest contributor to Ethiopia’s sky-high maternal mortality rate. Doctors in the largest public hospital in Addis Ababa, where Zebiba lives, still remember the time when three-quarters of the beds in the maternal ward were reserved purely for complications from such procedures.
Then, in 2005, the country liberalized its abortion law.
Today, it’s hard to find a health provider who’s seen more than one abortion-related death in the past five years. Although access to safe procedures and high quality care could still be expanded, doctors say that, increasingly, those who need an abortion can get one safely.
Read the full piece here: How Ethiopia solved its abortion problem
Photos by Heather Horn/GlobalPost
September 7-12, 2014 is Suicide Prevention Week [U.S. resources]
Suicides occur in all regions of the world and throughout the lifespan. Notably, among young people 15-29 years of age, suicide is the second leading cause of death globally. Suicide impacts on the most vulnerable of the world’s populations and is highly prevalent in already marginalized and discriminated groups of society. It is not just a serious public health problem in developed countries; in fact, most suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries where resources and services, if they do exist, are often scarce and limited for early identification, treatment and support of people in need.
These striking facts and the lack of implemented timely interventions make suicide a global public health problem that needs to be tackled imperatively. This report is the first WHO publication of its kind and brings together what is known in a convenient form so that immediate actions can be taken.
The report aims to increase the awareness of the public health significance of suicide and suicide attempts and to make suicide prevention a higher priority on the global public health agenda… It proposes practical guidance on strategic actions that governments can take on the basis of their resources and existing suicide prevention activities. In particular, there are evidence-based and low-cost interventions that are effective, even in resource-poor settings.
September 10 is Suicide Prevention Day [resources]
Suicide Lifeguard is a FREE app intended for anyone concerned that someone they know may be thinking of suicide. It provides information on:
• How to recognize warning signs of suicide
• How to ask about suicidal thoughts and/or intentions
• How to respond and
• Where to refer
• Immediate connection to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
• Specific resources for:
o Those who identify as LGBTQ
o Spanish speaking individuals
o Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing
• Direct access to national and Missouri resource websites