Categories: Disease Investigation, Disease Outbreak, Prevention/Vaccination, Response, Vectorborne
January 24th, 2014 11:19 am ET -
By 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.
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Categories: Disease Investigation, Disease Outbreak, General, Vectorborne
July 18th, 2013 1:01 pm ET -
By Tyler Sharp and Ryan R. Hemme
Wanna know a secret? Here it is. Chances are, the same reason you’re reading this blog is why many folks at CDC do what they do: a fascination with infectious diseases and a desire to help others. Although the work of CDC employees is frequently glamorized in movies like Outbreak and Contagion, we face the same challenges as any other large, complex organization: communication, logistics, funding, and teamwork. These challenges become especially apparent when outbreaks occur, such as during CDC’s recent response to a dengue outbreak in Angola. Based on our experiences in Angola, this blog will dispel 5 myths about outbreak investigation that are often dramatized by Hollywood.
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Categories: Disease Outbreak, General, Vectorborne
August 16th, 2012 10:37 am ET -
West Nile virus season is off to an early start this year, which doesn’t bode well for what’s to come. Most West Nile virus exposures in the United States occur from July through October, with a peak during the first two weeks of August. Peak season in Texas is under way, and there are already 336 cases of West Nile illnesses, including 14 deaths reported as of August 13, making this the largest outbreak of West Nile virus in Texas since 2003. The virus has been appearing in many parts of the country, but almost half of the cases are in Texas and the numbers are rising.
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Categories: Disease Investigation, General, Response, Vectorborne
December 30th, 2011 9:40 am ET -
By Tyler M. Sharp, PhD
Before we left off in Part 1 I had just gotten on a boat to visit a small atoll in the Marshall Islands affected by the dengue outbreak…
Establishing surveillance on the outer islands included monitoring for dengue-like symptoms and testing with a rapid diagnostic test, demonstrated here
A few days earlier we had identified a small cluster of cases on Arno, a small atoll about 30 miles from Majuro. I traveled by boat to Arno where I was able to provide clinical education, help the health assistants set up surveillance, and teach them how to use the dengue rapid diagnostic test. The hours on the boat gave me plenty of time to relax, think, and plan my next move: something that I probably would not have done if I had stayed in Majuro. Luckily, my WHO colleague had much more experience in emergency management than I, and he had done an excellent job of getting things under control back at the hospital.
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Categories: Disease Investigation, General, Vectorborne
December 22nd, 2011 9:26 pm ET -
By Tyler M. Sharp, PhD
The whole thing was straight out of a movie. An outbreak of dengue fever on a small island chain in the middle of the Pacific. A local government requesting assistance to control the outbreak. In the end, CDC, the US Department of Defense, the World Health Organization (WHO), USAID, local governments as well as those of Taiwan, Japan and Australia were involved in the response. If we were going to succeed in our mission, we all had to communicate and work together. Amazingly, through concerted teamwork over many long days, we ultimately worked as one unit and beat the outbreak.
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Categories: General, Vectorborne
August 15th, 2011 11:22 am ET -
by Tyler M. Sharp, PhD
Paradise Has Its Risks
Given the choice I prefer my bones to remain unbroken. For that reason I began to worry when I found out that the disease I would be studying for the next two years in Puerto Rico was also referred to as “breakbone fever.”
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