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I recently wrote about the new National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network launched by the Centers for Disease Control. A fascinating resource for reporters, but molasses-slow at its debut.

I'm happy to report that after playing with the network again, the online database has recovered from its torpor, which might be explained by an estimated 10,000 hits upon its launch.

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Ask your doctors about the hardest period of their lives, and they likely will say their medical residency. The hours are long. The work is mentally and physically exhausting. There's little credit when you get something right. Getting something terribly wrong can send you packing.

Dr. Bruce Anthony Ames, Jr. (Oregon License No. 23261, California 97046) found a hobby, of sorts, to relieve his stress.

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The CDC today launched a Web-based environmental public health tracking network that could be a fantastic resource for journalists looking for stories in their state or county.

I say "could be" because right now, the system is frustratingly slow to use, even with a decent Internet connection.

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Gary Schwitzer is the professor that health reporters fear. With the creation of HealthNewsReview, he has brought back nightmares of having your work marked up in red and posted on a corkboard for everyone to see.

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In covering the current swine flu outbreak, the ethnic media in the United States has been ahead of the curve on some stories the mainstream media is just picking up, such as a growing backlash against Mexicans.

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The swine flu scare in the United States may have started with just two Southern California children, but it intensified with the discovery ofmore than two dozeninfected students at a New York City school. St. Francis Preparatory Schoolreported that 100 students had gone on a trip to Mexico recently and that, since the trip, 28 students at the school had come down with symptoms of swine flu.

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John Carey, a 20-year veteran at BusinessWeek, wrote a story that set the pharmaceutical world on its ear in January 2008. Titled "Do Cholesterol Drugs Do Any Good?," the article systematically broke down the many myths behind the so-called "miracle cure" for heart disease: statins. Carey's story won an award from the Association of Health Care Journalists at its conference in Seattle.

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Public hospitals have been closing at an alarming rate. Last month, the troubled Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center in Los Angeles announced it was preparing to reopen after years of quality concerns, but it has lived on the precipice for more than two decades.

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Dr. Lee is director of UC Berkeley's Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging, one of 11 centers established by the National Institute on Aging that form part of the national infrastructure for developing the emerging field of the demography of aging. Dr. Lee is the author of numerous articles, papers and publications.

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The nation’s overdose epidemic has entered a devastating new phase. Drugs laced with fentanyl and even more poisonous synthetics have flooded the streets, as the crisis spreads well beyond the rural, largely white communities that initially drew attention. The death rate is escalating twice as fast among Black people than among white people. This webinar will give journalists deep insights, fresh story ideas and practical tips for covering an epidemic that killed more than 107,000 people in the U.S. last year. Sign-up here!

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