Health+Harvest

NPR Illinois Community Advisory Board identified the subject of food and health as important subjects for coverage in 2012. Health+Harvest provides for community engagement on health and food issues along with reporting on farm, field and fuel.  From seed to plate, from farmer's markets to GMOs, central Illinoisans need to know how to stay healthy and what they are eating.  In 2013, NPR Illinois joined a consortium of public media in the Harvest Public Media network.  The network provides broader coverage to Midwest food issues.

By examining these local, regional and national issues and their implications with in-depth and unbiased reporting, Health+Harvest fills a critical information void.

Support for Health+Harvest coverage comes from Central Illinois Farm Bureaus and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  If you'd like to support this initiative, please contact Nice Bogdanovich at 217-206-9847.

India's drug regulators gave the country a gift on New Year's Day: a vaccine against the coronavirus.

An Indian minister confirmed reports that an expert panel had authorized the AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use in India on Friday, making it the first coronavirus vaccine to be authorized in India.

"Last year began with corona, but this year is beginning with a vaccine," Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters Saturday.

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A new federal health care rule will require hospitals to publicly post prices for every service they offer and break down those prices by component and procedure. The idea behind the Transparency in Coverage rule is to let patients choose where to go, taking price into consideration.

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As stores are about to open on Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan, a man sits on a stool at the front of a line of people waiting for COVID-19 tests. The time "5:38 a.m." is scrawled on the pavement in front of him in eye-catching yellow.

"I let my chalk do the talking," says Robert Samuel, explaining that he wants people to see how early he showed up for his client, and that he could do the same for them.

Dr. Nikhila Juvvadi, the chief clinical officer at Chicago's Loretto Hospital, administered the first coronavirus vaccine doses in the city, inoculating frontline medical workers.

But while they have priority around the country, not every eligible health care worker actually wants to get the vaccine. A recent survey by Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly a third probably or definitely would refuse vaccination.

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Updated at 6:41 p.m. ET

The United States has reached a sobering milestone while marking the new year.

On Friday, the first day of 2021, the U.S. recorded its 20 millionth confirmed coronavirus case since the beginning of the pandemic.

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When lockdown went into effect earlier this year, many people turned to TikTok to pass the time.

Like, a lot of people: the short-video platform has now hit over 2.6 billion downloads globally and was the most downloaded app of 2020, according to mobile app analytics firm App Annie.

The pandemic is part of the reason for surging TikTok popularity.

Georgia Sen. David Perdue is quarantining with his wife after coming into close contact with someone that tested positive for the coronavirus, his campaign said Thursday.

News of his possible exposure to the virus comes with just days to go until his state's runoff election for his Senate seat.

His campaign said Perdue was notified of the exposure Thursday morning. The campaign said in a statement that, "Both Senator Perdue and his wife tested negative today, but following his doctor's recommendations and in accordance with CDC guidelines, they will quarantine."

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The campaign to vaccinate Americans against COVID-19 is getting off to a slower start than officials had hoped - much slower.

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South Korea, one of the most successful countries in fighting the pandemic, is doing worse. Case numbers are growing during a third wave of infections. NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports on the debate over how to respond.

Just two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, the Trump administration is trying to lock-in oil and gas drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with a hastily scheduled and controversial lease sale.

The event, January 6, marks a major moment in a 40-year fight over whether to develop the northernmost slice of the refuge's coastal plain, home to migrating caribou, birds and polar bears.

With COVID-19 cases still soaring across the U.S., it can be tempting to just ride the winter out on the couch, binging on Netflix. But psychologists say it's important in 2021 for us all to keep up human contact.

Florida is the third U.S. state to announce it has a case of the more contagious coronavirus strain that first emerged in the United Kingdom.

A man in his 20s, with no history of travel, tested positive for the mutated coronavirus. The state Department of Health said he is in Martin County.

Carl was in his early 70s. A Vietnam vet, he suffered from PTSD along with his diabetes, high blood pressure, and smoking-induced COPD. He'd survived a bout of kidney cancer, too, along his medical journey.

Updated at 2:05 a.m. ET

A Milwaukee pharmacist was arrested Thursday and accused of "tampering with and causing the destruction" of more than 550 doses of the Moderna vaccine against the coronavirus last week, Grafton, Wis., police confirmed.

In a statement, Grafton Police Department officials said the pharmacist — now fired from the Advocate Aurora Health hospital system — was arrested on recommended charges of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, adulterating a prescription drug and criminal damage to property.

As surging coronavirus cases push intensive care units across Los Angeles to the breaking point, Mayor Eric Garcetti says what's needed more than hospital space and safety equipment right now is trained health workers and more vaccine doses.

"The toughest thing right now isn't just space — though it's pinched — it's really personnel and getting enough people to be there for the shifts to save lives," Garcetti tells All Things Considered. "That's increasingly where we are feeling the crunch."

Israel has vaccinated a larger share of its population against COVID-19 than any other country, and is aiming to achieve "herd immunity" from the virus by the end of spring or midsummer, the Israeli Health Ministry told NPR.

More than 800,000 of Israel's population of about 9 million have received COVID-19 vaccination shots. The country aims to vaccinate 25% of Israelis by the end of January.

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Exactly one year ago today, the World Health Organization first learned of a cluster of a few dozen pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China of "unknown" origin. The cause, of course, would turn out to be the coronavirus behind the current pandemic. Here's a by-the-numbers summary of the toll the virus has taken on countries across the globe since that fateful day.

On Hawaii's Big Island, Kilauea volcano erupted Dec. 20 for the first time in more than two years.

Lava spewed from a fissure in the northwest wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater and cascaded into the deepest part of the crater, boiling away a water lake. There's now a growing lava lake, nearly 600 feet deep.

The U.S. Geological Survey has been documenting the eruption. Here, in photos and video, is how Kilauea's newest eruption is continuing — and changing the landscape.

This past year was like no other. The world suffered deeply from the novel coronavirus and many endured difficult sacrifices. But other news never stopped in 2020.

Tensions escalated with Iran after the U.S. killed a top Iranian general. Britain made an arduous exit from the European Union. China enacted tough new authority over Hong Kong. The racial justice movement in the United States set off solidarity protests in many other countries. And that was just in the first half of the year.

China's medical products agency has given market approval to the country's first COVID-19 vaccine, made by state-owned Sinopharm. The conglomerate says its vaccine has a 79% efficacy rate — surpassing the widely accepted standard of 50% efficacy.

When Dana Tamim made the difficult decision to cancel her wedding in August, she was crushed.

"Honestly, I don't think that I'm ever going to get over it," she says.

The 24-year-old lives in Montreal and is Muslim. In her religion, she says, "you can't really live with someone unless you're married."

But Tamim and her fiancé had already signed the lease for a new apartment. They ended up having a quick ceremony to make things legal, so they could move in together.

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