Richard Knox

Since he joined NPR in 2000, Knox has covered a broad range of issues and events in public health, medicine, and science. His reports can be heard on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Talk of the Nation, and newscasts.

Among other things, Knox's NPR reports have examined the impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa, North America, and the Caribbean; anthrax terrorism; smallpox and other bioterrorism preparedness issues; the rising cost of medical care; early detection of lung cancer; community caregiving; music and the brain; and the SARS epidemic.

Before joining NPR, Knox covered medicine and health for The Boston Globe. His award-winning 1995 articles on medical errors are considered landmarks in the national movement to prevent medical mistakes. Knox is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Columbia University. He has held yearlong fellowships at Stanford and Harvard Universities, and is the author of a 1993 book on Germany's health care system.

He and his wife Jean, an editor, live in Boston. They have two daughters.

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3:01am

Tue November 12, 2013
Shots - Health News

WHO Rates Typhoon's Medical Challenges "Monumental"

A woman comforts a pregnant relative suffering labor pains at a makeshift birthing clinic in typhoon-battered city of Tacloban, Philippines on Nov. 11.
Erik de Castro Reuters /Landov

Images of the swath of devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the central Philippines are reminiscent of the tsunami's aftermath in Banda Aceh, Indonesia nearly a decade ago.

And indeed, the World Health Organization grades the great typhoon of 2013 as a Category 3 disaster โ€“ its most severe category.

"The scale [of the typhoon's damage] is huge," Dr. Richard Brennan of the World Health Organization tells Shots. "It's monumental. This is one of the biggest emergencies we've dealt with in some time."

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10:32am

Tue November 5, 2013
Shots - Health News

Insurance Cancellations: The Price Of Mending A Broken System?

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 12:36 pm

iStockphoto.com

Lisa Dieckman, a retired psychologist in Los Angeles, likes the Affordable Care Act's promise that everybody can get health insurance. But she's not happy about being told she can't keep her own coverage and will have to pay considerably more for a policy she doesn't consider any better.

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4:02am

Tue November 5, 2013
Health Care

Insurance Firms Forced To Cancel Many Individual Policies

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 5:08 am

More than 12 million Americans buy health insurance on their own, and many are getting cancellation notices because their individual coverage does not meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act. This is causing anxiety and anger โ€” especially since most of these people can't get onto the healthcare.gov website to figure out their options for 2014.

11:47am

Thu October 31, 2013
Shots - Health News

AIDS Scientists Encouraged By Antibodies That Hit Monkey Virus

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:15 pm

These HIV viruses even look a little like bull's-eyes.
A. Harrison and P. Feorino CDC

Scientists have a new idea for beating HIV: Target the virus with guided missiles called monoclonal antibodies.

At least in monkeys infected with an experimental virus similar to the human AIDS virus, the approach produced what researchers call "profound therapeutic efficacy."

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5:21pm

Wed October 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

A Toddler Remains HIV-Free, Raising Hope For Babies Worldwide

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:31 pm

HIV-positive babies rest in an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. Treatment right after birth may make it possible for HIV-positive newborns to fight off the virus.
Brent Stirton Getty Images

A 3-year-old girl born in Mississippi with HIV acquired from her mother during pregnancy remains free of detectable virus at least 18 months after she stopped taking antiviral pills.

New results on this child, published online by the New England Journal of Medicine, appear to green-light a study in the advanced planning stages in which researchers around the world will try to replicate her successful treatment in other infected newborns.

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3:12am

Wed October 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

Haitian Cholera Strain Spreads To Mexico

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 1:21 pm

A nurse treats a cholera patient at the Juan Pablo Pina Hospital in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, in August. Health officials say that the strain of cholera circulating in the countryโ€” the same one that first appeared in Haiti three years ago โ€” has also caused outbreaks in Cuba and now Mexico.
Erika Santelices AFP/Getty Images

A South Asian strain of cholera that was introduced into Haiti three years ago this month has now spread to this continent's mainland.

Mexico is the fourth Western Hemisphere country to experience the cholera outbreak. It's a disease that's very hard to stamp out once it gets into an area with poor water and sanitation.

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12:01pm

Fri October 18, 2013
Shots - Health News

To Prevent HIV Infection, Couples Try Testing Together

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 12:56 pm

David Lozano (left) and Kevin Kreinbring stand in front of a painting created by Lozano. The couple says they get tested for HIV together every six months.
Courtesy of David Lozano

Getting tested for HIV in the U.S. is almost always private, sometimes even secretive. Ditto for disclosing the results.

But some say the approach is outmoded at a time when many at risk for HIV โ€” gay men โ€” are in committed relationships.

Research shows as many as two-thirds of new HIV infections among gay men these days are within committed couples. That's very different from the days when promiscuity fueled the epidemic.

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4:08pm

Wed October 9, 2013
Shots - Health News

Activists Sue U.N. Over Cholera That Killed Thousands In Haiti

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:32 am

Haitians protest against United Nations peacekeepers in Port-au-Prince in 2010.
Hector Retamal AFP/Getty Images

Human rights activists are suing the United Nations on behalf of five Haitian families afflicted by cholera โ€” a disease many believe U.N. peacekeeping troops brought to Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake there.

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6:37pm

Thu October 3, 2013
Shots - Health News

Some Online Journals Will Publish Fake Science, For A Fee

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 10:34 am

You could do all that brain work. Or you could make it up.
iStockphoto.com

Many online journals are ready to publish bad research in exchange for a credit card number.

That's the conclusion of an elaborate sting carried out by Science, a leading mainline journal. The result should trouble doctors, patients, policymakers and anyone who has a stake in the integrity of science (and who doesn't?).

The business model of these "predatory publishers" is a scientific version of those phishes from Nigerians who want help transferring a few million dollars into your bank account.

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3:23am

Tue October 1, 2013
Shots - Health News

Lessons For The Obamacare Rollout, Courtesy Of Massachusetts

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 9:23 am

Then-Gov. Mitt Romney signs the Massachusetts health care bill in Boston on April 12, 2006.
Brian Snyder Reuters/Landov

Today marks a milestone on the nation's long march toward universal health coverage: the launch of online marketplaces, called exchanges, designed to help people find insurance they can afford.

It's an idea pioneered by Massachusetts seven years ago. People here call their program a success, and say the state's exchange was an indispensable factor.

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