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Selected Category: Zoonotic Disease

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.

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.

Don’t Feed the Animals

Categories: Disease Investigation, Zoonotic Disease

Juvenile zebra standing in safari

When you think of rabies you probably think of stray dogs, bats, or raccoons. CDC staff stationed in Kenya recently learned that when it comes to rabies, it’s not always the usual suspects you have to worry about. This August they were hit with an unusual case of rabies in a baby zebra who had taken up residency at a Kenyan safari lodge. The lodge caters to international tourists from all over the world, and it took a herculean effort by the Kenyan Ministry of Health, CDC, and the World Health Organization to track down everyone who might have been exposed to the deadly disease.

Thinking About Keeping Live Poultry?

Categories: Zoonotic Disease

 Chickens and owner in backyard 

An increasing number of people around the country are choosing to keep live poultry, such as chickens or ducks.  Along with the benefits of backyard chickens and other poultry, it is important to consider the risk of illness, especially for children, which can result from handling live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam.  In recent years, several human Salmonella outbreaks associated with live poultry contact have been reported to the CDC. 

Rolling Up Our Sleeves to Fight Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Categories: Zoonotic Disease

CDC scientist Linda Cheng, collaring dogs in Arizona.

CDC scientist Linda Cheng, collaring dogs in Arizona.

I am a pediatrician by training, and people are often amused by that fact when I tell them what my job responsibilities sometimes include. Going door-to-door putting tick collars on dogs and treating yards with pesticide are not activities people typically associate with their children’s doctor. However, this is exactly what my team and I were doing last summer.

I am a medical officer at the CDC in the Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch, and my team consisted of public health specialists, including veterinarians and scientists. We traveled to eastern Arizona last summer to join with a group of concerned community members to tackle Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), a serious public health threat in this region.

Globe Hopping, Rabies Stopping: Outreach to DRC

Categories: Vectorborne, Zoonotic Disease

Dr. Richard Franka and Lillian Orciani provide guidance to laboratory staff.

Lillian Orciari and Dr. Richard Franka (far right) provide guidance to laboratory staff in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

We often talk about what we’ve done to help others stay free of infectious diseases. But something that often goes unstated is the training we provide that gives other health and medical professionals the tools to keep people healthy. Although a lot of this work happens here in the United States, the assistance we provide to other countries facing overwhelming disease outbreaks is also important.

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