The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is facing a funding cut of close to nine percent as a result of the budget cuts known as sequestration. The cuts total $350 million from its $6 billion budget over seven months.
These reduction could means that diseases would be detected more slowly and spread more widely before public health officials could begin efforts to contain them. This is even more relevant coming off of a flu season in which NAHAM News tracked it spread using CDC reports. According to a CQ HealthBeat article, CDC Director Thomas Frieden said that a new outbreak of influenza, such as the H1N1 epidemic that spread a few years ago from Mexico to the U.S. and other nations, wouldn’t be detected as quickly and countermeasures wouldn’t be started as promptly.
There would also be 2,000 fewer disease control specialists, which Director Frieden defined as “disease detectives and others in state and local governments — finding and stopping food-borne disease outbreaks, meningitis, pneumonia, flu, HIV, other critical health problems.” Additionally, recent progress in helping hospitals lessen the degree of infection acquired in their facilities would be slowed at a time when “superbugs” are in the news.