Health

8:10am

Fri June 14, 2013
Shots - Health News

Scientists Go Medieval To Solve Ancient Leprosy Puzzle

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 12:51 pm

A woodcut from the 1800s, Healing the Lepers, depicts the common tableau of Jesus healing a leper as his disciples look on.
Images from the History of Medicine

Look through a series of 15th-century woodcuts, and you'll find that the leper is as much an icon of medieval art as the crown or the cross.

Leprosy was so common in Europe during the Middle Ages that it's estimated 1 in 30 people was infected with the bacteria. But by the turn of the 16th century, after the Crusades had swept across Europe, the disease mysteriously disappeared. And it never returned.

This left scientists puzzled. Did the bacteria mutate to become less harmful, or did Europeans become resistant to the germs?

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5:00am

Fri June 14, 2013
Health

Despite Economic Recovery, Hunger Remains

Jessica Reeder Creative Commons/Flickr

In Larimer County, one in ten residents has received assistance from the food bank in the past year. That may seem counter-intuitive, given that --by most measures -- the economy appears to be improving.

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1:16pm

Thu June 13, 2013
Shots - Health News

Haiti Moves A Step Closer Toward Eradicating Elephantiasis

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 5:13 pm

Boys at the L'Ecole Les Freres Clement elementary school in Jacmel, Haiti, line up to take deworming pills that protect against elephantiasis.
Maggie Steber for The Washington Post Getty Images

Haiti has finally carried out a nationwide campaign to get rid of the parasitic worms that cause elephantiasis.

Haiti has waged other campaigns against the condition, characterized by severe disfiguration of the legs and arms. But until now, it has never managed to adequately reach residents of the chaotic capital Port-au-Prince.

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11:38am

Thu June 13, 2013
Shots - Health News

Judge Reluctantly Approves Government Plan For Morning-After Pill

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 2:11 pm

This brand may have a near-monopoly in emergency contraception.
AP

An obviously unhappy Judge Edward Korman has approved the Obama administration's proposal to make just one formulation of the morning-after birth control pill available over the counter without age restrictions.

But in a testily worded six-page memorandum, the federal district judge made it clear he is not particularly pleased with the outcome. He has been overseeing the case in one way or another for more than eight years.

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10:53am

Thu June 13, 2013
Shots - Health News

Prevention Pill Cuts HIV Risk For Injecting Drug Users

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says doctors should prescribe Truvada, a once-a-day pill for HIV, to help prevent infections in IV drug users.
Jeff Chiu AP

A once-a-day pill has been proven to lower the risk of getting HIV among needle-using drug addicts, just as it does among heterosexual couples and men who have sex with men.

Among 2,400 injecting drug users in Bangkok, those assigned to take a daily dose of an antiviral drug Viread, or tenofovir generically, had half the risk of getting HIV over a four-year period as those who took a placebo pill. Among those who took tenofovir faithfully, there were 74 percent fewer infections.

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