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Public Health Matters Blog

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


Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse

Categories: Zombies

Banner - Zombie Apocalypse

Walking Dead fans, check out our latest post:

There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

Practice Makes Perfect: Responding to a Mock Emergency

Categories: Response

As relative newcomers to the field of public health, we’ve often dreamt — morbid as it may sound — about the day when we could be sent to respond to an actual disease outbreak. You can imagine our excitement when we found out that we would be getting that chance in our Emerging Infectious Diseases course in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, thanks to our instructor, Dr. Ali Khan.

The JIC Never Sleeps

Categories: General, Preparedness

Photo by Rosa Norman: CDC's Joint Information Center (JIC) during response to Japan earthquake, tsunami, and radiation release

Photo by Rosa Norman: CDC's Joint Information Center (JIC) during response to Japan earthquake, tsunami, and radiation release

It was 5:45 a.m.The familiar vibration from the cell phone woke me up. The voice message said, “There was an 8.9 magnitude earthquake that occurred near Japan. We’re not sure about the extent of damages, deaths or injuries. But it has caused a tsunami that might affect Hawaii and the west coast later this morning. I’m calling a JIC ALL for 8:00 a.m. today. Please try to get to work early.” [View our Photo Gallery]

CDC Responds to Earthquake, Tsunami, and Radiation Release in Japan

Categories: Natural Disasters, Response

Photo courtesy US Navy: An upended house among debris in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture in Japan on March 15, 2011.

On March 11, CDC immediately activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Atlanta to respond to the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami and radiation release in Japan. CDC continues to closely monitor the effects of this disaster and is focused on making sure it is ready to support any requests that come in from Japanese colleagues related to public health.

Haiti Cholera Response: Stories from the Field, Part 3

Categories: Response, Waterborne

Photo by Kendra Helmer/USAID: A woman stands in the hallway as personnel prepare supplies at a Cholera Treatment Center in the Artibonite department of Haiti.

On one beautiful sunny day, we passed by a group of people under an awning. At first, I thought they might be gathering after a church service. Only as we passed did I realize they sat facing a coffin. Fifteen minutes after passing this congregation, we came upon another group of people dressed in white and black. It was a procession carrying yet another coffin through the dusty streets.

At every clinic we visited, we asked what supplies were needed. At every clinic, one of the answers was “more body bags.” [View our Photo and Video Galleries]

Battling Disease Outbreaks in the Big Apple

Categories: General, Response

Over one-third of New York City (NYC) residents are from outside the United States, so in addition to preparing for and responding to numerous indigenous infectious diseases, we also encounter many imported cases, some of which end up causing outbreaks.

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