Ebola Efforts Tax Strapped Public Health Agencies

Thursday, November 6, 2014
By Paul Martin

Dwindling resources may make it difficult for health departments across the country to carry out intensive airport screenings, patient monitoring and other preparations for a potential Ebola outbreak in the U.S.

by Christine Vestal
GovTech.com
November 5, 2014

Dwindling resources may make it difficult for public health departments across the country to carry out intensive airport screenings, patient monitoring, public education and other preparations for a potential Ebola outbreak in the U.S.

Since 2008, diminishing federal funding for public health preparedness has meant the loss of 51,000 state and local public health jobs – more than one in five, according to a new survey by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Congressional hearings to consider additional funding to prepare for an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. are scheduled for next week.

“It’s critically important to have a sustainable infrastructure, tools and the necessary resources to effectively address all potential health threats to the public, not just Ebola,” said James Blumenstock, emergency preparedness officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. “Public health threats don’t come one at a time, especially this time of year.”

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