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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Shots - Health Blog
12:32 am
Wed October 3, 2012

When New Diseases Emerge, Experts Are Faster On The Uptake

A railway worker wearing protective clothing to ward off the SARS virus controls a line of travelers as they wait to enter Beijing's West Railway Station Tuesday in 2003.
Greg Baker AP

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 9:37 am

Scientists have recently discovered three new human viruses.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:35 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Vitamin D No Help For Colds

Sorry the vitamin D didn't help.
Michael Kemter iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:53 am

Should you take Vitamin D supplements to prevent colds and shorten the misery?

Like other theories about the benefits of vitamin D, it seems like a reasonably good idea. After all, some lab studies suggest vitamin D might enhance immunity. And as everybody knows, people are more prone to respiratory infections during winter, when they cover up and get less vitamin D-generating sunlight.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:56 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Disease Detectives Catch Deadly African Virus Just As It Emerges

New viruses are popping up all over these days – Heartland virus in Missouri last month, a new virus in the same family as SARS in Saudi Arabia this month. And now, a never-before-seen hemorrhagic fever virus in central Africa.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:43 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Mini-Counseling Sessions Can Curb Problem Drinking

Just 10 to 15 minutes of counseling from primary care doctors can reduce the risk of "risky" drinking, a federal task force says.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:10 pm

Brief counseling from primary care doctors reduces "risky" drinking, defined as having more than four drinks a day for men, three for women, a federal task force says.

About one in three Americans misuse alcohol, the panel says, with the vast majority falling in the "risky" category.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:00 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Scientists Parse Genes Of Breast Cancer's Four Major Types

Scientists say a new report in the journal Nature provides a big leap in the understanding of how different types of breast cancer differ.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 8:46 am

Scientists have known for a while that breast cancer is really four different diseases, with subtypes among them, an insight that has helped improve treatment for some women.

But experts haven't understood much about how these four types differ. A new report, published online in the journal Nature, provides a big leap in that understanding.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:36 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Swedes Perform Pioneering Uterine Transplants; Americans Not Far Behind

A surgical team with Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, performs the first mother-to-daughter uterine transplant.
Johan Wingborg University of Gothenburg

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 6:39 am

A Swedish medical team has transplanted uteruses from two women in their 50s to their daughters. Meanwhile, Shots has learned that an Indiana group is recruiting women willing to undergo womb transplants in this country.

"We could go ahead tomorrow if we found the perfect candidate," Dr. Giuseppe Del Priore told Shots.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:12 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Tiny Bubbles: Injectable Oxygen Foam Tested For Emergency Care

Bubbles of oxygen injected as a foam might someday help patients live long enough to get treatment for oxygen deprivation.
iStockphoto.com

A lot of medicine's direst emergencies come down to one problem: lack of oxygen.

Cardiologist John Kheir started thinking about that when a little girl in his care, drowning from lung hemorrhages, died before she could be hooked up to a heart-lung machine that would have kept her blood oxygenated while the damage was repaired.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:04 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Ebola's Other Victims: Health Care Workers

A medical worker from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention works at the laboratory where Ebola specimens from the Congo were tested at the start of the latest outbreak.
Stephen Wandera AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 5:51 am

The Ebola virus continues to strike people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since May, the World Health Organization has counted 72 confirmed, probable or suspected cases and 32 deaths.

As usual, a disproportionate share of those cases are health care workers — 23 of them, almost a third.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:30 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Worst Of West Nile Epidemic Appears To Be Over

Technicians with the Contra Costa County Mosquito and Vector Control District spray insecticide in Brentwood, Calif., last month. Workers fogged areas of the county that had an increase in the numbers of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The numbers for West Nile virus cases continue to rise, up 35 percent in the last week. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is confident the nation has turned the corner on its worst-ever epidemic of West Nile virus disease.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:24 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Two Mutations Can Transform A Swine Flu Virus

A hog gets a closeup at the Illinois State Fair in August. Officials took special precautions to make sure no livestock sick with a new strain of swine were part of the fair.
Seth Perlman AP

Flu pandemics don't happen very often. So many people might feel the relative fizzle of a flu pandemic three years ago somehow immunizes the globe against another one for awhile.

But don't relax, say the authors of a report published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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