Joe Neel

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed the amount of time it takes for someone to be considered a "close contact" of a person with COVID-19.

Previous language defined a close contact as someone who spent at least 15 minutes within 6 feet of a person with a confirmed case.

The CDC now defines a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

People considered close contacts are supposed to quarantine and get tested for the virus.

Months into the coronavirus pandemic, the devastating economic impact on Americans is beginning to be measured. A poll out this month by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, finds that in some of America's largest cities, more than half of the households say they have lost a job, been furloughed, or had wages and hours reduced since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

In America's four largest cities, at least half of people say they have experienced the loss of a job or a reduction in wages or work hours in their household since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. That's the finding of a new poll published Wednesday by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

The Food and Drug Administration has removed a top communications official at the agency in the wake of misleading claims the agency made about a treatment for COVID-19.

Updated at 11:16 p.m. ET

The Food and Drug Administration is cautioning the public about the reliability of a widely used rapid test for the coronavirus. The test, made by Abbott Laboratories, has been linked with inaccurate results that could falsely reassure patients that they are not infected with the virus.

The Trump administration has promoted the test as a key factor in controlling the epidemic in the U.S., and it's used for daily testing at the White House.

President Trump has spiritedly backed hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, both in his regular news briefings and on his Twitter account. He has said the two drugs, when taken together to treat the coronavirus, could become "one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine."

That may well be, eventually — but not right now.

Updated 9:31 p.m. ET Thursday

The U.S. now has more coronavirus cases than any other country in the world, surpassing China's total and highlighting how rapidly the virus can move through a population.

The U.S. logged more than 83,000 cases as of 8 p.m. ET Thursday, while China reported more than 81,00 infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

One of the members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force said she had a "little low-grade fever" over the weekend and stayed home from work that day.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the task force response coordinator, said she went to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center late Saturday night and got tested. The test came back was negative.

"So actually [it was] probably a [gastrointestinal] thing," she said at a task force briefing with President Trump looking on. "But, you know, I'm meticulous. I'm a physician. I looked it up."

Income inequality in the U.S. is at an all-time high, according to the Census Bureau. And a recent poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows that regardless of their income, Americans generally view this as a serious problem.

Income inequality in the U.S. is at an all-time high, according to the Census Bureau. But do Americans care?

A new poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows that less than half of Americans, regardless of income, view it as very serious problem.

Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that the number of possible cases of severe respiratory illnesses among people who vaped nicotine or cannabis-related products has more than doubled, to 450 in 33 states.

Trump administration health officials are spelling out their ambitious plan to stop the spread of HIV in the U.S. within the next 10 years.

The plan would target 48 counties where the rate of HIV spread is the highest, along with Washington, D.C., and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Seven states with high rates of HIV in rural areas would also be targeted, including Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi.

What do rural Americans say are the biggest problems in their communities? A new poll finds that the top challenges are drug and opioid abuse and economic concerns.

Updated 3:55 p.m. ET

A rare condition causing weakness in the arms or legs — and sometimes paralysis — has been confirmed in 62 children so far this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

One child has died of the condition, called acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM.

Rural Americans are preoccupied with the problems of opioid and drug addiction in their communities, citing it as a worry on par with concerns about local jobs and the economy, according to a new poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Editor's note: This story was updated at 2:45 p.m. to include more information.

James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo will be awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries which led to the development of a revolution in cancer treatment — therapies that work by harnessing the body's own immune system.

James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo have won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of cancer therapy that works by harnessing the body's own immune system.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, resigned Wednesday following reports that she bought shares in a tobacco company, among other financial dealings that presented a conflict of interest.

Updated at 5:22 p.m. ET Dec. 14

How do Native Americans experience discrimination in daily life?

Discrimination in the form of sexual harassment has been in the headlines for weeks now, but new poll results being released by NPR show that other forms of discrimination against women are also pervasive in American society. The poll is a collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

For example, a majority (56 percent) of women believe that where they live, women are paid less than men for equal work. And roughly a third (31 percent) say they've been discriminated against when applying for jobs because they are women.

New results from an NPR survey show that large numbers of Asian-Americans experience and perceive discrimination in many areas of their daily lives. This happens despite their having average incomes that outpace other racial, ethnic and identity groups.

More than half of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans say they have experienced violence, threats or harassment because of their sexuality or gender identity, according to new poll results being released Tuesday by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

More than half of Native Americans living on tribal lands or other majority-Native areas say they have experienced racial or ethnic discrimination when interacting with police (55 percent) and applying for jobs (54 percent). That's according to new poll results being released Tuesday by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

About a third of Latinos in America say they've been personally discriminated against when it comes to applying for jobs, being paid equally or considered for promotions — and when trying to rent a room or apartment or buy a house. Slightly more (37 percent) say they've personally experienced racial or ethnic slurs because of their race or ethnicity.

A new poll out this week from NPR finds that 60 percent of black Americans say they or a family member have been stopped or treated unfairly by police because they are black. In addition, 45 percent say they or a family member have been treated unfairly by the courts because they are black. The poll is a collaboration between NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

How do African-Americans experience discrimination in daily life?

Majorities in many ethnic, identity and racial groups in America believe that discrimination exists against their own group, across many areas of people's daily lives, according to a poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The poll asked a wide range of questions about where Americans experience discrimination — from the workplace to the doctor's office — and people's perception of it. The groups polled include whites, blacks, Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans and LGBTQ adults.

For years, doctors have focused on detecting breast cancer at the earliest possible moment after a tumor develops so treatment can start right away. But more and more studies are showing many small, early tumors don't present a danger.

So, when is it safe to remove a tumor but skip additional treatments like tamoxifen, chemotherapy and radiation?

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