Categories: Disease Detectives, Public Health Partners, U.S. Disease Outbreaks
March 20th, 2014 11:49 am ET -
Yellow-green fluorescence of Clostridium difficile (or C.diff)
Antibiotics save lives, but poor prescribing practices are putting patients at unnecessary risk for preventable allergic reactions, super-resistant infections, and deadly diarrhea. Errors in prescribing practices also contribute to antibiotic resistance, making these drugs less likely to work in the future. Because we’ve used antibiotics so widely and for so long, the infectious organisms antibiotics are designed to kill have adapted to them and made the drugs less effective. Over time, if we don’t use antibiotics correctly, we’ll lose them.
“Part of [CDC’s] role is to sound the alarm about health threats and do whatever we can to address those threats,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., “As an infectious disease doctor myself, I recall running out of antibiotic options for my patients, and I don’t want to see that kind of situation spread in this country.”
Antibiotic resistance is already a serious problem in U.S. healthcare. Each year in the United States, more than 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and 23,000 people die as a result.
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Categories: Disease Detectives, Emergency Preparedness & Response, Innovative Labs
February 20th, 2014 5:53 pm ET -
Ali S. Khan
(Above photo: Created by CDC microbiologist Cynthia Goldsmith, this colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion.)
This post originally appeared in CDC’s blog Public Health Matters.
CDC is responsible for protecting the public from a host of health threats, including some pretty scary pathogens, like Ebola virus or anthrax for example. One way we do this is through our Select Agents Program which is responsible for governing and regulating the use of certain pathogens by research facilities and labs around the world. In the beginning of December I had the remarkable opportunity to accompany the inspection team who helps regulate the Select Agents Program on one of their routine lab inspections. I was invited to an inspection of a laboratory in the Southeast region of the U.S. that handles rare and dangerous pathogens to get a glimpse of how the Inspection team operates, what they look for, and what they do to protect us.
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Categories: Disease Detectives, Global Health Threats, Public Health Partners, U.S. Disease Outbreaks
December 17th, 2013 2:03 pm ET -
As the year comes to a close, CDC, America’s health protection agency, looks back at top five health concerns in 2013 and previews the five health threats that loom for 2014.
CDC works 24/7 saving lives and protecting people from health threats. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC increases the health security of our nation year in and year out.
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Categories: Disease Detectives, Global Health Threats, Innovative Labs, Public Health Partners
May 30th, 2013 5:11 pm ET -
Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC Director
This post originally appeared in The Huffington Post. For other posts by CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, visit his blog on The Huffington Post.
The SARS epidemic a decade ago showed the world’s continued vulnerability to infectious disease outbreaks. SARS started in China but spread worldwide quickly. In just weeks, it killed hundreds, sickened thousands, and cost over $30 billion to global business and travel.
At the time, China was slow to recognize, respond to, and report the new disease. Ineffective global tracking and cooperation dramatically slowed our international response. Eventually, SARS was stopped because we were able to identify the virus and apply infection control measures. We were also lucky — the virus helped by fading away before things got worse.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the world have made progress since SARS. We continue to hunt 24/7 for disease threats, and global collaboration to stop diseases from spreading has improved. In the decade since SARS, CDC and China have worked together closely. China is now better prepared to track, test for, sequence the genome of, and respond to the new H7N9 influenza strain.
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Categories: Disease Detectives, Emergency Preparedness & Response, Global Health Threats, Public Health Partners
April 22nd, 2013 12:38 pm ET -
Dr. Michael Jhung, Influenza Division, CDC
Image of the H7N9 virus courtesy of Cynthia S. Goldsmith and Thomas Rowe
Not long after a newsworthy 2012-2013 influenza season, flu is in the headlines again. On April 1, the World Health Organization (WHO) first reported 3 human infections with a new influenza A (H7N9) virus in China. Since then, additional cases have been reported. Most of the people reportedly infected have had severe respiratory illness and, in some cases, have died.
Fortunately, there are currently no reported cases of H7N9 in the U.S. or anywhere outside of China. At CDC, we are following this situation closely, coordinating with domestic and international partners, taking routine preparedness steps, and sharing frequent updates.
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