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Stories by Susan Murphy

A man waits to use a portable toilet located on...

Access To Bathrooms Harder To Find For Downtown Homeless

June 12
By Susan Murphy

“You know, most of us don’t want to use outside, but sometimes we have to. We have to go to the bathroom somewhere,” said Ramona Garcia, who has lived on San Diego's streets on and off for four years.

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$35 Million Project Led By San Diego Researcher Will Target Deadly Viruses

May 29
By Susan Murphy

La Jolla Institute for Immunology professor Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D., is leading a $35 million global effort to find treatments for viral threats, including Ebola, Lassa and mosquito-borne diseases.

Two women sit on their bunks combing their hair...

More Flu Cases Reported At San Diego Migrant Shelter

May 28
By City News Service, Susan Murphy

An outbreak of influenza among migrants flown into San Diego last week from a Texas federal detention center appears to be dwindling, albeit with six new cases in the past two days.

An asylum-seeking boy from Central America runs...

Flu Outbreak Hits San Diego Migrant Shelter

May 23
By Associated Press, Susan Murphy

At least 16 people at a downtown San Diego family migrant shelter are suffering flu-like symptoms.

Abortion rights supporters rally in front of th...

Abortion Rights Supporters Rally In San Diego To Protest States' Restrictive Bans

May 22
By Susan Murphy

Around 300 people attended a rally Tuesday outside the federal courthouse in downtown San Diego as part of a nationwide #StoptheBans demonstration to oppose several conservative states’ recent restrictive abortion laws.

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Calfresh Food Aid To Be Extended To Some Disabled Adults

May 16
By Susan Murphy

CalFresh food assistance will be expanded in June to 95,000 people in San Diego County who are on Supplemental Security Income, but thousands of others who already receive the monthly benefit could see cuts.

Erica Ollmann Saphire (center) sits with a grou...

San Diego Researchers Help With Urgent Effort To Stop Ebola In Africa

May 8
By Susan Murphy

As health workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo work to stop the spread of another highly contagious Ebola outbreak, researchers in San Diego are working on a cure.

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Researcher: Kawasaki Disease Spike In San Diego Likely Tied To Aerosol Particles

April 22
By Susan Murphy

"The current paradigm is that if you were born with the genetic susceptibility, you will get Kawasaki disease. It’s just a question of when you’ll come across the trigger," said Jane Burns, M.D., professor of pediatrics at UC San Diego and director of the Kawasaki Disease Research Center.

A red rash, as shown on this child's back in th...

Surge Of Kawasaki Disease Continues In San Diego County

April 10
By Susan Murphy

“So far this year we’ve had 45 cases, which is a very unusual uptick in the number that we would typically see at this time of year,” said Jane Burns, M.D., a professor of pediatrics at UC San Diego and director of the Kawasaki Disease Research Center.

Fentanyl pills pictured from a seizure in San D...

Opioid Class Trains Workers To Protect Themselves From Deadly Fentanyl Exposure

April 8
By Susan Murphy

The training comes as opioid overdose death rates continue to soar. More than 250 people in San Diego County died in 2018 of opioid-related causes, and 90 of those were a direct result of fentanyl, according to preliminary numbers from the Medical Examiner’s office.

Bunk beds line a communal sleep area at a new, ...

Homeless Families Move Into Golden Hall, Next Door To San Diego's Elected Leaders

April 2
By Susan Murphy

Dozens of homeless families moved into the second floor of Golden Hall in downtown San Diego on Monday as the large, gray, industrial tent they’ve been living in on a back lot of Father Joe’s Villages is being removed to make way for a 14-story permanent housing facility.

Measles, mumps and rubella vaccines are seen in...

San Diego Doctors On High Alert For Measles

April 1
By Susan Murphy

A single cough or sneeze from an infected person can spread the virus to everyone around them who is not vaccinated or who has never had the measles.

Multidrug-resistant bacteria Pseudomonas aerugi...

3 People In San Diego Fighting Superbug Infections After Surgeries In Tijuana

March 25
By Susan Murphy

“Right now these patients are treatable, but we want to make sure no one else gets that infection,” said Eric McDonald, M.D., medical director of epidemiology for the county of San Diego.

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San Diego Hospital To Offer Newly-Approved Nasal Spray For Severe Depression

March 21
By Susan Murphy

Five years before the FDA approved a novel antidepressant nasal spray called Esketamine, doctors in San Diego were testing it on patients as part of the drug’s clinical trials.

Mosquitos are sorted at the Dallas County mosqu...

Mosquito-Borne West Nile Virus Cases Expected To Increase With Spring's Arrival

March 18
By Susan Murphy

San Diego County's cool winter temperatures have kept mosquitoes at bay, but as the weather warms up, mosquito growth will accelerate, said Chris Conlan, supervising vector ecologist for the county’s Vector Control Program.

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Pediatric Surgeons Use 3D Printing To Help With Complex Operations

March 13
By Susan Murphy

Before Lincoln Matthews, 7, underwent his most recent complicated heart surgery, his doctor held a 3D-printed replica of the small boy’s heart in his hands to practice the procedure.

A bottle of influenza vaccine sits on a table a...

Aggressive New Flu Strain On The Rise In San Diego County

March 6
By Susan Murphy

“As more H3N2 is seen, that means it’s more likely that we’ll see older people in our community getting affected by the flu. We can expect more outbreaks," said Eric McDonald, M.D., medical director of epidemiology for the county of San Diego.

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Biomedical Nonprofit In San Diego Using Robots To Speed Drug Discovery

March 5
By Susan Murphy

Inside a biomedical lab in San Diego, robots are working around the clock to discover medicines to potentially treat diseases like cancer and brain disorders.

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Health Officials Warn Parents, Doctors Of Potentially Deadly Kawasaki Disease

Feb. 18
By Susan Murphy

“If it’s not treated, eventually it will go away for a period of weeks, but one in four children will be left with permanent, potentially devastating, fatal damage to their heart," said Jane Burns, M.D., director of the Kawasaki Disease Research Center in San Diego.

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Heart Disease Remains Top Killer, But Many Cases Are Preventable

Feb. 13
By Susan Murphy

Nearly half of all adults in the U.S. live with heart disease or high blood pressure, and every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a heart attack, according to the American Heart Association.

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San Diego Neurologist: New Alzheimer's Drug Could Slow Or Halt Disease Progression

Feb. 11
By Susan Murphy

There is no effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease yet, but researchers at UC San Diego say there is reason to be optimistic.

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San Diego Researchers Discover Why Some Children Are Prone To Strep Throat

Feb. 6
By Susan Murphy

Every year, thousands of children in the U.S. are infected with strep throat, but some children are hit with the painful bacterial infection over and over again. Now, a study provides details on why repeat infections occur.

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Education Leader Urges Opioid Overdose Training In San Diego County Schools

Feb. 4
By Susan Murphy

San Diego County teachers are already trained on school shooting drills and identifying sex trafficking victims. Now, they may be tasked with learning to revive students who overdose on opioids.

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Drug-Resistant Bacteria At Tijuana Hospital Reignites Urgency To Find Superbug Treatments

Jan. 30
By Susan Murphy

UC San Diego and the region's top research institutes have launched a collaborative program to help combat drug-resistant bacteria, which are projected to kill as many as 10 million people per year by 2050.

Harris Niazi, M.D., treats a patient at Family ...

Health Center Trains, Recruits Doctors To Serve Poor Amid Growing Shortage

Jan. 24
By Susan Murphy

A clinic in San Diego's Logan Heights neighborhood provides numerous health and support services with a commitment to serving uninsured and low-income residents.

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Senior Emergency Unit Opens In UCSD La Jolla Hospital

Jan. 11
By Susan Murphy

Crowded and chaotic emergency rooms can be overwhelming and sometimes dangerous for seniors. A new emergency unit specially designed for patients 65 and older at UC San Diego Health in La Jolla is working to provide a higher level of care and a more dignified experience.

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Advocates Say San Diego County Leaders Neglecting Migrant Children

Jan. 7
By Susan Murphy

A group of migrant advocates wants San Diego County leaders held accountable for asylum-seeking children who suffer abuse during immigration detention.

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San Diego Migrant Shelter Nurse Says 'System Is Overwhelmed'

Dec. 27, 2018
By Susan Murphy

In the wake of the second death of a migrant child within three weeks along the Southern U.S. border, a registered nurse who coordinates medical care for child migrants and their parents at a San Diego shelter said more staff and resources are desperately needed.

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Parents Forgo Children's Health Care As Trump's 'Public Charge' Proposal Looms

Dec. 26, 2018
By Susan Murphy

A looming Trump Administration proposal for tough new rules targeting legal immigrants who use public benefits is being felt across San Diego County.

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Kaiser Mental Health Workers Hold Five-Day Strike

Dec. 10, 2018
By Susan Murphy

Thousands of Kaiser Permanente mental health care workers began a five-day strike on Monday in San Diego and across the state.

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'Big Risk' Dropping Health Coverage After Obamacare Penalty Removal, Official Warns

Dec. 6, 2018
By Susan Murphy

With Obamacare tax penalties going away in 2019, tens of thousands of people in California are expected to drop their health coverage. But health officials warn that's taking a big risk.

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New Alzheimer's Response Team Helps San Diego Seniors In Crisis

Dec. 6, 2018
By Susan Murphy

A new San Diego County-led Alzheimer’s Response Team is stepping in to steer people to appropriate services, instead of emergency rooms or jails.

Tents are lined up in sports complex turned she...

San Diego Doctors Volunteer To Treat Migrants In Crowded Tijuana Shelters

Nov. 29, 2018
By Susan Murphy

Some San Diego doctors are volunteering their time to care of migrants at Tijuana’s overflowing shelters, where as many as 6,000 people are living side-by-side in tents and under blankets surrounded by trash and soiled clothing.

Migrant children rest at the Tijuana sports fac...

San Diego Advocates Seek Clothing, Blankets For Caravan Migrants

Nov. 27, 2018
By Susan Murphy

As caravan migrants continue to pour into Tijuana’s overcrowded shelters, some San Diegans are responding with an outpouring of donations.

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Parkinson's Patients Preparing For 'Breakthrough' Clinical Trial To Reverse Symptoms

Nov. 2, 2018
By Susan Murphy

Ten Parkinson’s patients in San Diego are preparing to undergo a potential breakthrough clinical trial to reverse their debilitating symptoms.

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Following Deadly Flu Season, San Diego Health Officials Urge Vaccination

Sept. 28, 2018
By Susan Murphy

“We need to take this disease very seriously,” said Dr. Robert Schooley, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “The more people who get vaccinated, the less likely it is for this influenza strain to break out and cause deaths.”

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Soaring Fentanyl-Related Overdoses Prompt New San Diego Response Team

Sept. 24, 2018
By Susan Murphy

“People don’t know what they’re getting when they ingest these drugs (cocaine and heroin), and it leads to overdoses, and sometimes those overdoses result in death," said Colin Ruane, DEA assistant special agent in charge.

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San Diego County Adding Psychiatric Beds To Serve Growing Mentally Ill Population

Sept. 24, 2018
By Susan Murphy

A new psychiatric unit is set to open in San Diego this week as part of the county’s plan to boost services for a growing number of people suffering from mental illness. The 67-bed long-term care unit will serve people who are too ill to live on their own.

A reporter holds up an example of the amount of...

County Officials Warn Of Fentanyl Deaths In Ocean Beach And Pacific Beach

Sept. 14, 2018
By City News Service, Susan Murphy

County law enforcement and health officials are warning residents of three deaths this past weekend caused by fentanyl-laced cocaine in Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach. Two others overdosed but survived.

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Suicides In San Diego County Rise 5 Percent

Sept. 13, 2018
By City News Service, Susan Murphy

County officials said calls to the county's crisis hotline and visits to its suicide-prevention website have also been on the rise, reducing emergency room visits for self-inflicted wounds.

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Former SDSU Basketball Star Launches Cancer Fund For Students In Crisis

Sept. 12, 2018
By Susan Murphy

Cameron McCullough, 19, is carrying a heavier load than most of his 33,000 fellow students at San Diego State University. His mom, his only family member, is fighting for her life.

Liangfang Zhang, a nano engineering professor a...

UCSD Engineer Invents Microscopic Sponge To Combat Arthritis, Other Diseases

Sept. 3, 2018
By Susan Murphy

Researchers at UC San Diego have developed a microscopic sponge that can soak up proteins that trigger rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes chronic joint pain and inflammation.

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San Diego Councilman Ward: Discharged Homeless Patients Need More Places To Recover

Aug. 31, 2018
By Susan Murphy

Recuperative care facilities offer sick or injured homeless people a safe and healing place to go after they are discharged from the hospital. But in San Diego County, the facilities are almost nonexistent.

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San Diego Health Officials, Police Warn Of Dangers Of Driving High

Aug. 22, 2018
By Susan Murphy

“Today’s marijuana is between five and 30 times stronger than the marijuana of 20 years ago," said Kevin Sabet, founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

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San Diego Alzheimer's Day Care Center Recreates 1950s To Stimulate Brains

Aug. 17, 2018
By Susan Murphy

Dozens of Alzheimer’s patients from all walks of life, journeyed together down memory lane on Wednesday at Glenner Town Square, a miniature village replicating the 1950s.

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Rady Children's Hospital Opens Pediatric Outpatient Campus In Murrieta

Aug. 13, 2018
By Susan Murphy

“It’s the first time we’ve ever put up a building outside of San Diego County," said Donald Kearns, M.D., president and CEO of Rady Children’s Hospital. “We are really excited about being in Riverside County.”

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As Temperatures Hit Triple Digits, ER Doctors Brace For Surge In Patients

Aug. 10, 2018
By Susan Murphy

Temperatures in El Cajon in 30 of the last 40 days have reached 90 degrees or hotter, according to data from the National Weather Service, with nearly 10 of those days hitting triple digits.

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Easing Unhealthy Homeless People Off San Diego Streets Can Be A Daunting Process

Aug. 3, 2018
By Susan Murphy

Hundreds of unhealthy homeless people who have recently racked up $20,000 or more in Medi-Cal costs are the target of a new San Diego County pilot program.

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California Doctors Who Treat Poor Get Reimbursement Boost

July 11, 2018
By Susan Murphy

Under the new state budget, doctors are receiving a pay hike for several services, including preventative care and regular office visits. The $2 billion program is funded in part by Proposition 56, a state tobacco tax that took effect last year.

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San Diego Health Officials Warn Of Contagious Bacterial Infection

July 6, 2018
By Susan Murphy

The Health and Human Services Agency is warning gay men, homeless people and those with a weakened immune system that they could be at an increased risk for shigellosis, an intestinal bacterial infection.

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