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Health

Prepackaged caramel apples linked to four deaths

Friday, December 19, 2014

WASHINGTON — Health officials are warning consumers to avoid prepackaged caramel apples because they are linked to four deaths and more than two dozen illnesses in 10 states. Caramel apples are most popular around Halloween, and the outbreak started just before then, in mid-October. But the commercially produced variety can have a shelf life of a month or more, and some may still be on store shelves. The Centers for …

Saint Francis to merge with Trinity Health

Thursday, December 18, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Hartford-based Saint Francis Care has announced plans to merge with Trinity Health and form a nonprofit regional health system in New England. Trinity is a national system of Roman Catholic health care institutions that already includes the Sisters of Providence Health System in Springfield, Massachusetts. The new regional system would include Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford, Mercy Medical Center …

Sierra Leone bans Christmas celebrations in effort to stop Ebola virus

Friday, December 12, 2014

Authorities in Sierra Leone have banned public Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in a bid to halt the spread of Ebola, according to local news reports. Paolo Conteh, who heads the country’s Ebola response, said troops would be deployed to prevent any street parties, and residents should spend the holidays at home, Sierra Leone’s Awoko newspaper reported Friday. “He sternly warned that there …

  • JERREY ROBERTS
Tim Brennan stands near Union Station in Northampton Thursday where a train platform is being built.

    JERREY ROBERTS Tim Brennan stands near Union Station in Northampton Thursday where a train platform is being built. Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA
the signage of the Wanczyk Evergreen Nursery and Christmas trees are seen in Hadley, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014.

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA the signage of the Wanczyk Evergreen Nursery and Christmas trees are seen in Hadley, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA
(L-R) Gerard Peters, of Easthampton, Tricia Dandrea and Matthew Watkins, of Leeds, laugh as they have a conversation during a holiday luncheon hosted by National Honor Society at the Oliver Smith Restaurant at the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA (L-R) Gerard Peters, of Easthampton, Tricia Dandrea and Matthew Watkins, of Leeds, laugh as they have a conversation during a holiday luncheon hosted by National Honor Society at the Oliver Smith Restaurant at the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Purchase photo reprints »

Health Advice

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 …

AIDS lessons: Experience with 'universal precaution' in response to AIDS benefits Ebola preparedness, but practices under scrutiny

Thursday, October 16, 2014

AMHERST — The AIDS crisis taught the medical profession how to protect health workers from contagion. That experience, and the use of “universal precautions,” now guides the response to Ebola. Protective gowns, gloves, masks and eyewear are now …

Calls for travel ban resisted

Thursday, October 16, 2014

WASHINGTON — Warning that Americans are losing faith in their government’s ability to stop Ebola, Republican lawmakers on Thursday pressed for a ban on travel to the U.S. from the West African outbreak zone. The White House said …

2nd Texas nurse tests positive for Ebola

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DALLAS — The Ebola crisis in the U.S. took another alarming turn Wednesday with word that a second Dallas nurse caught the disease from a patient and flew across the Midwest on an airliner the day before she …

Officials: No Ebola in state

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts authorities offered reassurances on Tuesday that there were no confirmed cases of Ebola in the state, and said the region’s public health system was well-prepared if a case were detected. On Monday, emergency personnel wearing infectious disease protection suits boarded an Emirates flight from Dubai …