The Olympian – Critical public health services are at risk
When public health does its job, we don’t notice it.
We often take for granted the fact that our state and local health departments protect us in hundreds of ways – big and small – every single day.
Public health ensures the safety of our drinking water, food, and the air we breathe. Advancements in public health, such as vaccines and tobacco prevention, are credited with added 25 years to our life expectancy. Every day, thousands of public health employees go to work in order to keep us all healthy.

Modern Healthcare – Ebola puts spotlight on emergency-preparedness cuts
Congress enacted major legislation after Sept. 11 and subsequent anthrax attacks that was designed to help local officials better prepare for health emergencies such as bioterrorism or infectious disease outbreaks. In 2003, HHS distributed more than $1.5 billion through a pair of grant programs to bolster responses on the ground by local health officials.
But in the ensuing years, funding for the programs has steadily eroded. Funding for NIH’s Hospital Preparedness Program in fiscal 2014 was $255 million—or roughly half of what it was a decade earlier. Funding for the CDC’s State and Local Preparedness and Response Capability program has dropped to just over $655 million, more than one-third below peak appropriations.

Reuters – CDC makes faster test for enterovirus strain behind outbreak
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created a faster test for detecting a strain of enterovirus behind an outbreak of respiratory illnesses affecting hundreds of children in recent months, the agency announced on Tuesday.
CDC said the new test for enterovirus 68 produces a result within a few days, rather than the several weeks needed under the old test.
The faster test will help it track where and when the outbreak of the virus is ending. CDC expects the rate of new infections to decline as the weather turns colder, and is already seeing evidence of this at some hospitals.

The Associated Press – Group Launches Effort to End AIDS Epidemic
A group of doctors, public-health experts and community advocates on Tuesday launched an effort that aims to end New York’s three-decade AIDS epidemic.
The ambitious initiative seeks to reduce the number of new HIV infections to 750 a year by 2020—about the same number of cases of tuberculosis seen in New York City each year. By comparison, 3,000 new HIV cases are expected this year, and 14,000 new cases were reported in 1993.

USA Today –  Second Texas health-care worker tests positive for Ebola
A second hospital worker who helped care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan has tested positive for the disease, the Texas Department of State Health Services said in a statement early Wednesday.
The unidentified health-care worker, who was described as a woman who lived alone, reported a fever Tuesday and was immediately isolated at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

The New York Times – Supreme Court Allows Texas Abortion Clinics to Stay Open
The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed more than a dozen Texas abortion clinics to reopen, blocking a state law that had imposed strict requirements on abortion providers. Had the law been allowed to stand, it would have caused all but eight of the state’s abortion clinics to close and would have required many women to travel more than 150 miles to the nearest abortion provider.
The Supreme Court’s order — five sentences long and with no explanation of the justices’ reasoning — represents an interim step in a legal fight that is far from over. But abortion rights advocates welcomed what they said was the enormous practical impact of the move. Had the clinics been forced to remain closed while appeals went forward, they said, they might never have reopened.