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Health

9 out of 10 problem drinkers aren’t alcoholics, study says

Friday, November 21, 2014

You might think that people who throw back five or more drinks in a single outing or who down 15 or more drinks in a week are likely to be alcoholics. But a new study finds that the overwhelming majority of them are not. Only one out of 10 Americans who drank enough to qualify as a binge drinker or an excessive drinker met the clinical definition for alcohol dependence, …

Key players in medical marijuana industry air implications in community forum

Thursday, November 20, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Panelists at a forum on medical marijuana Wednesday discussed the various complexities of using pot medically, from the legality of growing it to finding the right dosage and knowing when it is and isn’t safe to drive. Panelist Bob Gunther of Holyoke, previously of New York City, said he did have …

Town ends bid to ban tobacco sales

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WESTMINSTER — A proposal that would have made the town the first in the nation to ban all tobacco sales has gone up in smoke. Westminster’s board of health voted 2-1 to drop the proposal at its regular meeting on Wednesday, a week after rowdy opposition led board members to end a public …

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA
Members of the First Church prepare to bake apple pies for the Bag Day fundraising event at the First Church in Northampton, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014.

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA Members of the First Church prepare to bake apple pies for the Bag Day fundraising event at the First Church in Northampton, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA
Mary Webber, of Southampton, front, and Diane Drohan, of Leeds, back, prepare to open the center for clients to pick the food at the Northampton Survival Center, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA Mary Webber, of Southampton, front, and Diane Drohan, of Leeds, back, prepare to open the center for clients to pick the food at the Northampton Survival Center, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Purchase photo reprints »

  • CAROL LOLLIS
Crime scene on North Main street in Northampton Thursday afternoon.

    CAROL LOLLIS Crime scene on North Main street in Northampton Thursday afternoon. Purchase photo reprints »

Health Advice

Report: US child poverty at 20-year peak

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Child poverty in America is at its highest point in 20 years, putting millions of children at increased risk of injuries, infant mortality, and premature death, according to a policy analysis published this week in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. As the U.S. emerges from the worst recession since …

Fast flu shots at drive-through clinic for residents of Deerfield, Conway, Sunderland and Whately

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

DEERFIELD — Deerfield, Conway, Sunderland and Whately will offer their residents fast flu shots Sunday during a free drive-through clinic in the parking lot of the Yankee Candle headquarters on Yankee Candle Way in Deerfield. This year’s clinic from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. is the ninth annual, …

CDC plans new Ebola protocol; Pentagon to form rapid-response team

Sunday, October 19, 2014

ATLANTA — Revised guidance for health care workers treating Ebola patients will include using protective gear “with no skin showing,” a top federal health official said Sunday, and the Pentagon announced it was forming a team to assist …

Most health experts say travel ban from West Africa bad idea that could prevent aid from reaching affected countries

Saturday, October 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — A ban on travel from West Africa might seem like a simple and smart response to the frightening Ebola outbreak there. It’s become a central demand of Republicans on Capitol Hill and some Democrats, and is …

Ebola lapses persisted for days at Dallas hospital where Thomas Eric Duncan died

Saturday, October 18, 2014

DALLAS — Just minutes after Thomas Eric Duncan arrived for a second time at the emergency room, the word is on his chart: “Ebola.” But despite all the warnings that the deadly virus could arrive unannounced at an …

Cooley Dickinson Hospital prepares for Ebola, but won't treat patients

Friday, October 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Though Cooley Dickinson Hospital won’t be treating Ebola patients, hospital officials are still preparing for the possibility that someone could walk through its emergency room doors with symptoms of the virus. Officials who specialize in infectious …

Hospitals grapple with possibility of Ebola

Friday, October 17, 2014

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Step inside All Children’s Hospital and you’re greeted with three things: hand sanitizer, tissues and masks decorated with little cartoon Band-Aids with legs, feet and smiles. “Dirt Squirt Alert!” a sign says. “Stop the …

Ebola travel rules vary for countries

Friday, October 17, 2014

Demands are rising in Washington for the U.S. to ban travelers from countries in West Africa, but the Obama administration is resisting and says the screening measures already in place for travelers are more effective. There are no …

Massachusetts Nurses Association raises concerns about preparedness of hospitals to handle Ebola cases

Friday, October 17, 2014

GREENFIELD — As state and local hospital officials tried to quell mounting public panic over the Ebola crisis, the state and national nurses union raised the alarm about preparedness of hospitals. “Nurses across the state have said they are absolutely not prepared. They don’t feel ready to do …

Northampton, Amherst authorities describe training to protect first responders from Ebola

Thursday, October 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Paramedics and EMTs are often the first to see very sick people. If the Ebola virus reaches the Valley, these workers need to be protected. Northampton Fire Chief Brian Duggan said his department has been working …