The Associated Press – Worst TB outbreak in 5 years hits Alabama prisons
Alabama’s prison system, badly overcrowded and facing a lawsuit over medical treatment of inmates, is facing its worst outbreak of tuberculosis in five years, a health official said Thursday.
Pam Barrett, director of tuberculosis control for the Alabama Department of Public Health, said medical officials have diagnosed nine active cases of the infectious respiratory disease in state prisons so far this year.

Bangor Daily News – NH governor declares state of emergency as drug overdoses spiral
Gov. Maggie Hassan on Thursday declared a state of emergency after recent overdoses in Manchester and Concord from a type of synthetic marijuana.
The declaration empowers the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services to investigate, isolate or quarantine and require the destruction of the substance. The agency will work closely with local police departments to quarantine the “bubblegum flavor” of “Smacked!” in all 10 Granite State counties, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

CNN – WHO: Evidence shows Ebola crisis ‘vastly’ underestimated
The magnitude of the Ebola crisis in West Africa is “vastly” underestimated, the World Health Organization warned this week, as the death toll steadily climbed.
Ebola has infected at least 1,975 people in Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since the outbreak began this year.
Of the victims, 1,069 have died, according to the WHO. It said the number reflects the count as of Monday.

Reuters – Experimental chikungunya vaccine shows promise in human trial
An experimental vaccine being developed by U.S. government scientists to prevent the painful mosquito-borne viral disease chikungunya has shown promise in its first human trials but remains years away from approval for widespread use.
In a study published on Thursday in the Lancet medical journal, National Institutes of Health scientists said the vaccine elicited an impressive immune response in all 25 adult volunteers who took part and caused no worrisome side effects.

NPR – Heads Still Dry, Scientists Try New Approach With ALS
While your Facebook friends douse themselves with buckets of ice-cold water to raise money to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an international team of scientists said they’d taken a small step toward drowning out the deadly disease.
Researchers from the Scripps Research Institute and the Mayo Clinic developed a new drug that combats molecular contributors to ALS, which currently afflicts more than 30,000 Americans.