NPR Health

Shots - Health News
3:19 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Experimental Malaria Vaccine Disappoints, But Work Continues

A mother dresses her baby after doctors examined him during the malaria vaccine trial at the Walter Reed Project Research Center in Kombewa in Western Kenya in October 2009.
Karel Prinsloo AP

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:59 pm

The public health world has waited for the results for more than a year. After a half-billion dollars in R&D, would the front-runner malaria vaccine protect the top-priority targets: young infants?

The results are disappointing. The vaccine — called RTS,S for its various molecular components — reduced infants' risk of malaria by about a third.

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Shots - Health News
3:18 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Stakes Rise In Malaria Battle As Cracks Appear In Drug's Armor

This 5-year-old boy was carried to a Thai malaria clinic by his mother from deep inside Myanmar. If the mother had waited even a day longer, doctors say, the child probably would have died.
Ben de la Cruz NPR

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 3:25 pm

Malaria remains a huge problem in much of the world, but over the past decade the number of people getting sick and dying from the disease has gone down dramatically.

Health workers attribute much of this progress to the widespread use of artemisinin-based drugs. The problem now is that resistance to these drugs is starting to develop in Southeast Asia.

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Shots - Health News
5:33 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Why Energy Drinks May Not Be The Answer For Sleepy Soldiers

U.S. Army Pvt. Freymond Tyler sleeps on a laptop next to his gun at combat outpost Makuan in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, in 2011.
Romeo Gacad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 11:12 am

The promise of a quick boost has made caffeine-rich energy drinks all the rage among soldiers in combat zones.

The troops endure long hours under difficult conditions. But those convenient pick-me-ups could come with a steep price: difficulty sleeping.

Soldiers in Afghanistan who consumed three or more energy drinks daily were more likely to sleep fewer hours and have their sleep disrupted because of stress or illness, researchers found.

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Shots - Health News
4:02 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

What Health-Minded Smartphone Users Have In Common With Obama Voters

Elizabeth Ball checks her phone while waiting to vote Monday in Bowling Green, Ohio.
J.D. Pooley AP

Maybe I've got too many election results on my brain.

But the Pew Research Center's report about how people are using their mobile phones to get health information sent me to the data from the exit polls. Really.

Why?

The bottom line of the Pew report is that cellphone "owners who are Latino, African American, between the ages of 18-49, or hold a college degree are also more likely to gather health information" than other people on their mobile phones.

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Shots - Health News
2:46 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Polio Hides Out In A Few 'Sanctuaries' In Nigeria

Ado Ibrahim carries his son Aminu through a village in northern Nigeria. Aminu, 4, was paralyzed by polio in August.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 4:05 pm

Nigeria is the world's epicenter for polio. It's the only place where cases are ticking up, and it's been the source of outbreaks in other countries since 2003.

There was a disappointing update from public health officials Thursday about the polio situation in Nigeria. Despite beefed-up efforts to vaccinate kids and a flood of new resources, Nigeria still hasn't turned the corner on polio.

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