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Cancer Answers is hosted by Dr. Anees Chagpar, Associate Professor of Surgical Oncology and Director of The Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and Dr. Francine Foss, Professor of Medical Oncology. The show features a guest cancer specialist who will share the most recent advances in cancer therapy and respond to listeners questions. Myths, facts and advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment are discussed, with a different focus eachweek. Nationally acclaimed specialists in various types of cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment discuss common misconceptions about the disease and respond to questions from the community.Listeners can submit questions to be answered on the program at canceranswers@yale.edu or by leaving a message at (888) 234-4YCC. As a resource, archived programs from 2006 through the present are available in both audio and written versions on the Yale Cancer Center website.

With EEE Warnings, Some Massachusetts Schools Adjust Sports Schedules

Some schools in western Massachusetts are changing up their schedules to help protect students from a mosquito-borne virus. 

Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE, is a rare but potentially fatal illness that's been detected in hundreds of mosquito samples around the state.

Alvin Morton, assistant superintendent at Chicopee Public Schools, said the school's first football game is scheduled for Friday, but will either be bumped to earlier in the day or Saturday. The district is following the state's recommendation that people stay indoors from dusk until dawn.

"We're ...concerned about the dusk time, and it constantly moving back from week to week and making it harder and harder for us to modify the schedule," Morton said. "So we're hoping that frost comes sooner than later."

A hard frost would kill off the mosquitos.

The school nurse leader at Belchertown Public Schools, Phyllis DuComb, said they're adjusting the timing of their football games as well, and have made sure cross country routes do not go through wooded areas.

Rowe Elementary School is taking a different approach. Parents can sign a permission slip requesting their children stay indoors at recess. Principal Bill Knittle said out of 74 kids, 12 are staying inside so far.

"We're finding some fun things to do inside, keeping them active," Knittle said Wednesday. "Yesterday, we played 'Human Battleship' in the gym, and today, we played basketball."

Knittle said those students can return to outdoor play after that first hard frost.

Symptoms of EEE include a high fever, stiff neck and lack of energy. It can progress to encephalitis — or swelling of the brain — which causes severe brain damage or death.

Communities like Granby, Colrain and Heath are currently at critical risk of EEE, with surrounding areas at high risk, according to the state. One person has died from the virus in Massachusetts this year. Three others have been infected. 

No human cases of EEE have been detected in Vermont or Connecticut.

Public health officials are advising people across Massachusetts to wear bug repellant when outside, especially after dusk.
Mike Mozart / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/39160147@N03
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Public health officials are advising people across Massachusetts to wear bug repellant when outside, especially after dusk.

Copyright 2019 New England Public Media

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