(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) — Texas, where the first people in the United States were diagnosed with the deadly Ebola virus, faces the biggest percentage loss of any state in federal funds for fighting public health threats.   The second-largest state will see aid decline 8.1 percent in 2015 from this year to $34 million under funding awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness program, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.   Florida and North Carolina would have a 7.1 percent drop, while New York and New Jersey would lose more than 5 percent, the data show. Rhode Island, the second-most densely populated state after New Jersey, would see the smallest state reduction, 1.9 percent.   “Based on the recent confirmed Ebola cases, funding should be a priority,” Zachary Thompson, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, said in a telephone interview. “We’re looking to Congress to increase funding.”   Texas became the U.S. epicenter for Ebola cases after Thomas Eric Duncan died from the disease at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on Oct. 8. Two nurses involved in his care subsequently tested positive for Ebola.   Federal, state and local officials have stepped up their response to people reporting Ebola-type symptoms. A woman who vomited in a Pentagon parking lot on Oct. 17 was taken to a hospital and isolated from other patients until officials determined she didn’t have Ebola.   Several lawmakers have called for hearings on the funding levels for programs dealing with public health hazards.   “CDC’s program that supports our state and local public health professionals who are working on the front lines to contain this current Ebola epidemic has been cut by 16 percent over the last four years after adjusting for inflation,” according to an Oct. 17 letter signed by U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat, and four other Democratic representatives.

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