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In The Field with the CEFO Program

Categories: Response

I became a Career Epidemiology Field Officer (CEFO) in July 2008 after accepting an assignment with the North Carolina Division of Public Health in Raleigh.  My initial projects focused on increasing capacity for disaster epidemiology, evaluating communicable disease surveillance, and conducting case, cluster, and outbreak investigations.  These early projects provided great learning experiences, but my most rewarding experience was during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic when my role as CEFO provided an important liaison function between state and federal public health agencies.   During this time, I was appointed Chief of Operations and tasked with overseeing the epidemiology, surveillance, and countermeasures teams.  Even though it was a hectic time I was thrilled to put all my training and past experience to work!

Change is in the Air

Categories: General

 

Change is a good thing: it brings new ideas and new opportunities. I’m excited about the new changes in my career as I transition from the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) to the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR) within CDC. I joined OPHPR this August as the new Director and am thrilled about the opportunity to engage in some more disruptive innovation.

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. 

Cheesy Chicken & Rice Recall: A Successful Outbreak Investigation

Categories: Foodborne

Epidemiology curve of number of cases and map of states affected by Salmonella Chester, with background micrograph of salmonella bacteria

I know it is summer when a quick review of our foodborne outbreak watch board shows four multistate outbreak investigations: Salmonella Chester, Salmonella Baildon, Salmonella Hartford, and  E. coli O157 due to contaminated bison meat products. Outbreak investigations play a key role in preventing foodborne diseases and often help public health officials identify areas for improvement in the food industry. The U.S. food production, processing, and distribution system generally provides safe food and numerous options to feed 300 million Americans every day. Occasionally, foodborne outbreaks occur when people eat food that has been contaminated.

The Truth is Out There: What You Need to Know About Bats

Categories: Vectorborne

Even though bats can spread diseases to people, they also benefit people in many ways and are usually able to peacefully exist alongside humans.

Even though bats can spread diseases to people, they also benefit people in many ways and are usually able to peacefully exist alongside humans.

Warm weather is here, and you know what that means — more people are headed outdoors. You might even be involved in summertime activities that take you into places such as woods, forests and caves. But you might not know about the risks associated with an animal often found in these areas: bats.

Sweet Relief: Public Health Efforts in Haiti

Categories: Response

A boy stands amid the rubble of a building

When I started working at CDC as a laboratory research scientist, one of the things that interested my supervisor was my ability to speak French, a skill I learned during a postdoctoral research position in Montpellier, France. This was because we had various projects in French-speaking countries. For me, having the opportunity to use my scientific skills and my French language skills to make a difference became a very rewarding experience. 

Several years later, I’m fortunate to continue having such experiences. I recently traveled with a team of CDC colleagues to Haiti, where again I was able to use those talents for the benefit of others.

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