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

Top 7 Disaster Songs Countdown

Categories: General, Preparedness


By Regina Quadir

Most artists may not have had preparedness in mind, but these top 7 title tracks remind us of some events that we should always be prepared for.

Check out our top 7 disaster tracks:

Stepping Up to Take Down Polio

Categories: General, Polio, Response

Men painting billboard for polio vaccination campaign

Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease that is completely preventable. Since 1988, members of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), including CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary, and UNICEF, have teamed up to eradicate polio world-wide through large scale vaccination efforts. Global polio cases are down more than 99% since GPEI began. We were able to completely eradicate the disease in the Americas by 1994 and protect our children. By 2006, polio was endemic in only four countries:  Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Despite our advances, this debilitating and deadly disease continues to afflict children from the poorest communities.

On Friday, December 2 CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center for a period of 18-24 months to support the final effort to eradicate polio, a public health emergency.

Ticket for Two – International travel during pregnancy

Categories: General

 Pregnant woman and priority parking sign

By Stacie Dunkle

“We don’t recommend international travel during pregnancy for first-time mothers,” said my nurse midwife. Those words stopped me in my tracks. As an officer in the Epidemic Intelligence Service with three years of experience working overseas, I couldn’t believe what this nurse was telling me. Rarely a month went by that I wasn’t waiting in a security line at the airport. “Why?” I asked. I was up-to-date on all of my vaccines, even yellow fever, which I knew shouldn’t be given during pregnancy, and I was well-practiced in methods for staying healthy in developing countries (wearing seatbelts and avoiding untreated drinking water, food from street vendors, raw vegetables, etc.). I began to wonder how I was going to break the news to my supervisor that I wouldn’t be able to conduct the investigation we were planning in Nepal in two weeks. We had been preparing for over a month. Our colleagues on the ground were ready to go, and my plane tickets were already booked.

Winter weather preparedness means more than just grabbing your coat

Categories: Natural Disasters

Tree damage from ice storm

The holiday season is fast approaching and so is the winter weather that comes with it. Old Man Winter has already been reeking havoc in the northeast leaving millions without power after “Snowtober.” So, while you’re pulling out your holiday decorations, why not also pull together some basic supplies incase Jack Frost comes knocking on your door.

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.

Are You Prepared? Video Contest Winners

Categories: General, Preparedness

woman holding a camera

September was National Preparedness month and CDC asked, “Are You Prepared?” Emergencies affect thousands of people every year. They can include earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, severe heat, and disease outbreaks, just to name a few. Although emergencies are ever-present, many people are not prepared to deal with them. Even though local, state, and federal governments will provide aid, disasters start with you on the front lines. Families, schools, and organizations can ensure that they are prepared should disaster strike by making a plan, gathering necessary supplies, and being informed about the types of disasters that may occur and how to respond to them.

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