Side Effects

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Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

This story is part of the series "Shortage in Rich Land" on Missouri's Bootheel region. Click here to see all of the stories.

It’s early morning. The sun is shining brightly on the corrugated metal siding of the Otto Bean Medical Center in Kennett, Mo., and inside the building, Judith Haggard is pricking the soles of her patient’s feet with a pin.

Kevin Moore and Bailey Jacobs
Andrea Muraskin

The scene of a heroin overdose is familiar to Michelle Hodge, a patrol officer on the Near Westside of Indianapolis: someone lying blue and unconscious on the floor, a very faint heartbeat, long pauses between breaths, and the family in a panic, begging her help. Until last spring, all she could do when she arrived was monitor the pulse and wait for an ambulance to arrive.

HIV public health brochure
Jake Harper/WFYI

A couple of weeks ago, Scott County public health nurse Brittany Combs started getting a lot more calls asking about STD testing.

CDC/ Debora Cartagena

Every month, Cynthia Edwards breathes through a machine that can tell if she’s been smoking. If the machine registers a low enough number, she takes home a $25 voucher to help her pay for diapers for her five-month old son, Justus.

New numbers released by the federal government reveal a continuing upward trend in drug overdose deaths, with 43,982 deaths in 2013 from both prescription medications and illegal drugs combined. Deaths involving prescription opioids increased 1 percent from 2012, while heroin-related deaths rose a staggering 39 percent.  However, almost twice as many people died from prescription opioid overdoses (16,235) as from heroin (8,257).

In Banjol, Liberia, neighbors of an Ebola victim watch medical workers carry away his body.
Dominique Faget / AFP/Getty Images

Since March of 2014, Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 8,600 people and sickened more than 21,000. Fortunately, according to the latest World Health Organization data, new transmissions are on the decline in Guniea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

woman jogging

If you’re already wavering on your resolution to shed those fifteen pounds, cut down on your drinking, or eat more kale, here’s another reason to stick with it.

From ALS to Egg Freezing: Top 10 Health Headlines of 2014

Dec 31, 2014
man with ice bucket
Kim Quintano |

In the year just past the world saw tragic epidemics (and we don't just mean Ebola), millions of Americans gaining health insurance, a silly campaign for a serious cause, groundbreaking, and sometimes weird, advances in medicine (poop pills, anyone?), and more. Here's a look back at the top health stories of 2014.  

1. West Africa Experiences Deadliest Ebola Epidemic on Record