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Sharing our stories on preparing for and responding to public health events

Selected Category: Disease Investigation

Mapping for Ebola: A Collaborative Effort

Categories: Disease Investigation, Disease Outbreak, General, Preparedness, Public Health, Response

Map of AfricaOne of the difficulties faced by teams responding to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is identifying individuals and communities residing in remote areas. Existing maps of these regions either do not exist or are inadequate or outdated. This means that basic data like location of houses, buildings, villages, and roads are not easily accessible, and case finding and contact tracing can be extremely difficult.

To help aid the outbreak response effort, volunteers from around the world are using an open-source online mapping platform called OpenStreetMap (OSM) to create detailed maps and map data of  Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and parts of Mali.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Categories: Disease Investigation, Disease Outbreak, General, Preparedness, Prevention/Vaccination, Response

Busy Gym Testing for TB

When the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) in Virginia put out a call for volunteers to help conduct a tuberculosis (TB) contact investigation, Rosalia Parada, a long time Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteer, jumped at the chance to serve her community.  The investigation was sparked when news of three students from Robert E. Lee High School acquired TB around the same time.

MERS 101: What You Need to Know About this Novel Disease

Categories: Disease Investigation, General, Response

MERS

You’re flipping through the channels on your car radio and you hear the tail end of story about something called MERS.  You think you’ve heard the phrase before – it’s got something to do with the Middle East, right?  You’re correct – but there is more you need to know.

Rabies Scare Leads to Quick Public Health Action

Categories: Disease Investigation, Disease Outbreak, Vectorborne, Zoonotic Disease

Bats

By Jacquelyn Lickness

When a hospital in South Carolina spotted bats flying through its facility, officials sprang into action launching an investigation to prevent a possible rabies outbreak. Because bats are commonly infected with the virus, any contact with the flying mammals is taken very seriously. The hospital quickly involved state public health officials, who then reached out to CDC to help investigate any possible exposure to the rabies virus.

Giving Students First Hand Experience

Categories: Disease Investigation, Disease Outbreak, General, Response

Emory students holding up sheets of paper

By Annum Shaikh

We often hear about CDC professionals who are preparing the nation and responding to various public health emergencies. But what about the students who are contributing to these initiatives?

 Close to the CDC campus in Atlanta resides a group that provides students with practical experience in public health emergency preparedness and the opportunity to serve the greater Atlanta community and beyond. The group is Emory University’s Student Outbreak and Response Team, also known as SORT.

Keeping Tabs on Deadly Diseases

Categories: Anthrax, General, Preparedness

Microscopic view of Ebola virusCDC 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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