CNN – Patients trapped in shelters in Puerto Rico can’t get to hospitals
“Nobody is taking care of us,” said Josefina Alvarez, 62, who had been stuck in a shelter outside of San Juan for nearly two weeks.
She is one of many Puerto Ricans who have been displaced — and put in grave danger — in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Alvarez is sick and bedridden. A diabetic with breathing issues, she’s getting worse by the day. Now, she might have a life-threatening infection — and no one can get her to a hospital.

Reuters – WHO tells governments to reject Philip Morris-funded smoking foundation
The World Health Organization told governments on Thursday not to get involved in a foundation funded by tobacco firm Philip Morris International to look at ways of reducing the harm from smoking.
The U.N. health body said there was a conflict of interest in a tobacco firm funding such research – drawing a sharp rebuke from the Foundation’s head who said his work was independent.

STAT – Deadly West Nile virus cases are spiking in LA. The first line of defense: chickens
More than six dozen sentinel chickens, living in coops dotted around Los Angeles, make up one of the first lines of defense in this sprawling county’s fight against West Nile virus. The disease has been a background threat for years here, but cases have spiked this fall to worrisome levels. Six deaths have been reported by Los Angeles County this year — including three just last week.

The New York Times – The Zika virus grew deadlier with a small mutation, study suggests
Why did the Zika virus cause thousands of babies to be born with microcephaly, unusually small and damaged brains, when previous outbreaks in Africa and Asia seemed to cause much less harm?
An intriguing study in mice, which has prompted some skepticism among experts, suggests that a single genetic mutation helped transform the Zika virus into a devastating force in Latin America. The report was published on Thursday in the journal Science.