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Selected Category: Prevention/Vaccination

l’heure du spectacle: Film-based monkeypox outreach in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Categories: General, Prevention/Vaccination, Zoonotic Disease

Teacher speaking with students in the Democratic Republic of CongoBy Benjamin Monroe

The glow of the dell projector was the only source of light for miles except the blanket of stars in the African sky.  In a life without lights, the chance to watch a movie can be a really big deal.  So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when an entire village shows up to an educational film screening.  What was amazing was the audience frozen in rapt attention, the simultaneous gasps and laughter from the audience as if on cue, and the hour-long discussion that occurred afterwards.   This was no ordinary PSA, but something meticulously developed by a group with vast working knowledge of conservation, health, and behavioral education.

Coming (Back) to America? What 2013 Can Teach Us About Dengue in the United States

Categories: Disease Investigation, Disease Outbreak, Prevention/Vaccination, Response, Vectorborne

jumbled picture of words related to dengue feverBy Tyler Sharp

2013 was a banner year for dengue in the United States: an outbreak with 22 associated cases was identified in Florida; another outbreak was detected in south Texas along the U.S./Mexico border;  Aedes aegypti, the most efficient mosquito vector of dengue, was detected in central-California; a locally acquired dengue case was detected outside of NYC; and Puerto Rico experienced a sizeable dengue epidemic that had been ongoing  since late 2012.  So, what’s next?  Is this par for the course, or was 2013 an anomaly?  In this blog, I’ll discuss the history of dengue in the U.S., what the future might hold, and what you can do to reduce your risk of getting infected while at home or abroad.

Outbreak of Meningitis Causing Health Officials to Look Overseas for Help

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

male student walking to university buildingBy Thomas Clark, MD, MPH

This time last year public health officials were grappling with a meningitis outbreak linked to fungus found in tainted medication.  Now officials are trying to rein in a different outbreak of meningitis, more specifically meningococcal disease, popping up on a college campus, including Princeton University.

Flu Fighting Facts: How to stay healthy this flu season

Categories: Flu, General, Prevention/Vaccination

Girl receiving flu vaccine from female doctor

With colder temperatures comes the holiday season, a new year, and of course, flu season

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 each year to be hospitalized. 

Just One Breath: How Voices of Valley Fever Were Heard Coast to Coast

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

By William Heisel

One year ago, valley fever was a disease that few people outside of Arizona or Central California had heard of.

Caused by breathing in spores from a fungus that grows in the dirt throughout the Southwest, coccidioidomycosis – as it is formally known – can cause serious illness and a painful death. It spreads from the lungs to the bones, skin, and organs. It can cause lifelong pain and disability and require years of expensive medications. If you live in one of the 15 states that are required to report cases of the disease to the CDC, you have a greater chance of getting valley fever than you do AIDS, hepatitis, or Lyme disease.

From CDC to ABC: H7N9 from Hong Kong

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

Taking on the role of interim CDC director can be an intimidating task, but an impending pandemic can make the position exponentially more daunting. This is the situation Dr. Richard Besser faced in 2009 when he stepped into his new job. But Besser took the task head on and guided the country’s premier health agency through the H1N1 outbreak with skill and confidence. Through this experience Besser saw first hand how important communication is to building the publics’ trust and improving health behaviors.

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