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Strengthening Global Health Security Protects Americans

Categories: HIV/AIDS, flu, global health security, infectious disease, malaria, parasitic diseases

 

This blog was originally posted on CNN.com on February 13, 2014.

 

The 5 Ways Diseases in Other Countries Can Kill You

The world is smaller and people are more mobile than at any time in history. This makes it easier than ever for what’s happening anywhere on the globe to harm Americans’ health. 
 
Here are five ways diseases in other countries pose a threat:

1) The flu could threaten millions. Even in a mild year for flu, in the United States alone, there are thousands of deaths, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and billions of dollars in productivity losses.
 
In a pandemic, millions of people worldwide could be killed. H7N9 influenza, also known as bird flu, is spreading in China, though fortunately it has not mutated to become an infectious disease outbreak that could threaten the health of people around the world.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden

2) Antibiotic resistance is on the rise. Antibiotic resistance just might be the most urgent health threat facing us now.

The nightmare strain of bacteria known as CRE, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, arose abroad and was introduced to one state in the United States. Now it’s in at least 44 states. It can resist all or almost all antibiotics, kills many of the people who get it in their blood, and spreads its resistance capabilities to other bacteria.

The World Health Organization estimates multidrug-resistant tuberculosis already has infected a half a. million people across the globe.

Fresh Voices From the Field: Building Partnerships for Global Health Security in Vietnam

Categories: flu, global health security

Lauren Anderson (right) and Wayne Lowe (Department of Defense/Defense Threat Reduction Agency) are behind the scenes observing emergency response activities during a joint project exercise involving the U.S. CDC and Vietnam’s Ministry of Health.

Lauren Anderson (right) and Wayne Lowe (Department of Defense/Defense Threat Reduction Agency) are behind the scenes observing emergency response activities during a joint project exercise involving the U.S. CDC and Vietnam’s Ministry of Health.

This is the sixth in our ongoing “Fresh Voices From the Field” series, where we hear from ASPPH (Association of School and Programs of Public Health) Global Health Fellows working throughout the world. Global Health Fellows are recent Master of Public Health or Doctoral graduates placed in CDC global health offices in Atlanta and abroad. They work on a range of priority public health issues and bring a fresh perspective to CDC’s efforts in the field. (See other “Fresh Voices” blogs.) 

  

Lauren Anderson, ASPPH Program Management Fellow

Lauren Anderson, ASPPH Program Management Fellow

As part of a joint project exercise, the U.S. CDC and Vietnam’s Ministry of Health pretended there were suspect cases of avian influenza A (H7N9) and coronaviruses that surfaced in Vietnam. Then CDC and Vietnamese experts convened to observe Vietnam’s public health machinery spring to life. 

Calls were made; emails were sent; samples were collected and laboratories began testing. The Ministry of Health was notified of the pending emergency. They performed several different types of analyses, compared the results to seasonal trends, and practiced reporting out to decision-making bodies. A strategically organized effort to contain and prevent additional cases was in full swing. 

Flu Fighting Facts: How to Stay Healthy This Flu Season

Categories: flu, infectious disease

 

This blog is adapted from a blog originally posted on Public Health Matters November 20, 2013, by Dr. Michael Jhung, Medical Officer with CDC’s Influenza Division.

 

Seasonal influenza vaccine

Seasonal influenza vaccine

Dr. Michael Jhung, Medical Officer with CDC's Influenza Division

Dr. Michael Jhung, Medical Officer with CDC's Influenza Division

Flu activity is currently low in the United States, but is expected to increase in the coming weeks, making now a great time to prepare. Flu infects millions of people every flu season and causes an estimated 200,000-plus people in the U.S. to be hospitalized each year.

CDC wants you to be prepared to fight the flu this season—and if you do get the flu, we want you to know when to seek medical care.  

How do flu viruses spread?

Flu is typically spread by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose.

 
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