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Video: Real Life Disease Detective Dr. Dan Jernigan

Categories: Disease Detectives

In our second video blog, Dr. Dan Jernigan describes his work at CDC.  (You can also view the video on our You-Tube channel: CDCStreamingHealth.)  Dr. Dan Jernigan is a senior medical officer in the CDC Influenza (Flu) Division.  He serves as a principle investigator for flu research.  Additionally, he has led disease investigation teams for national and international responses including bioterrorism-related anthrax, the emergence of West Nile virus, SARS, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza.

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Be sure to view the other videos as they are posted.  Also, please comment and let us know what you think of our blog, especially if you’d like to see other kinds of stories here.

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Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this blog is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

  1. September 13, 2011 at 1:16 pm ET  -   Michael

    How does someone end up working for the CDC? I would like to hear a story about how someone like Dr. Jernigan goes from his undergrad up to where he is now. Why did he feel pulled to go into Epidemiology/Public Health?

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  2. September 14, 2011 at 12:15 am ET  -   Dan Jernigan

    People from many different backgrounds come to CDC. The Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) selects from among a broad group of applicants which includes doctors, epidemiologists, veterinarians, nurses, dentists, anthropologists, and others (including lawyers!). While these people come from different backgrounds, all are driven by a desire to “dive in” and investigate in order to control and prevent disease. This was the case for me as well. When you talk to people who have come to CDC, many of them have been directed to CDC from teachers, mentors, or friends who have worked at or with the CDC. I learned about the EIS student elective when I was in medical school from one of the residents who had been accepted to EIS. In the spring of my fourth year of medical school, I completed a one month EIS elective rotation at CDC where I got to travel and assist on an infectious disease outbreak investigation. That experience showed me that CDC was the right place for me. There are many different opportunities for people to get experience at CDC, including high school, college, and professional school students, laboratorians, journalists, and others. The CDC web site has information on this at and at

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  3. September 15, 2011 at 8:59 am ET  -   Lesia

    Wonderful service and fascinating information. I love the work you are doing with students in High School, College through Grad…. I work in healthcare where I have contact with many young people. I will be directing them to this site. Great work and information.

    Thank you,

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