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Selected Category: U.S. Disease Outbreaks

How Poor Antibiotic Prescribing Puts Patients at Risk for Deadly Infections

Categories: Disease Detectives, Public Health Partners, U.S. Disease Outbreaks

 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.

5 Fast Facts about this Year’s Flu Season

Categories: Public Health Partners, U.S. Disease Outbreaks

 

Image above: Digitally-colorized image of a collection of influenza A virions. The predominant influenza A virus this year is H1N1.

Every season, flu causes on average 200,000 Americans to go to the hospital and kills thousands to tens of thousands of people depending on the severity of the season. Because flu is unpredictable, each season is different. That’s why CDC works hard to protect people by tracking flu every season. CDC  identifies where flu viruses are circulating, those that are most affected by this season’s viruses, and communicates that information to the public.  

Here are some things to know about the 2013-2014 flu season so far and steps you can take to protect yourself from flu. 

CDC’s Top Ten: 5 Health Achievements in 2013 and 5 Health Threats in 2014

Categories: Disease Detectives, Global Health Threats, Public Health Partners, U.S. Disease Outbreaks

 

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.

We Can Dramatically Decrease Deadly Infections in America’s Hospital Patients

Categories: Innovative Labs, Public Health Partners, U.S. Disease Outbreaks

MRSA

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.

Recently we announced a major new finding - a simple way to save tens of thousands of lives.

Around 100,000 people die every year because of infections they catch in hospitals. This is particularly tragic because many of those deaths are preventable.

We can cut healthcare-associated bloodstream infections by nearly half if hospitals do just two things differently – first, wash patients with a particular soap, and second, use an antibiotic ointment.

CDC’s Public Health Associate Program: A Win for Young People, A Win for America’s Health Security

Categories: Emergency Preparedness & Response, Public Health Partners, State & Local Success, U.S. Disease Outbreaks

Laura Cianciolo and Cleopatra Adedeji  of CDC's Public Health Associate Program

Left to Right: Laura Cianciolo and Cleopatra Adedeji  of CDC’s Public Health Associate Program

A tuberculosis (TB) case manager. A quarantine public health officer. A district liaison for a state’s Strategic National Stockpile. Not typical job opportunities for recent college graduates, but three of many frontline public health work experiences young people have had across the country thanks to CDC’s Public Health Associate Program. With National Public Health Week 2013 upon us (April 1-7), CDC is working with its partners in state, tribal, local, and territorial public health departments to highlight the need for and value of developing America’s modern public health workforce to continue to save lives and protect people.

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