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


Haiti Cholera Response: Stories from the Field, Part 2

Categories: General, Response, Waterborne


Photo by Araceli Rey: View from the car of Haiti’s tent city

Photo by Araceli Rey: View from the car of one of Haiti’s tent cities

When I was in high school I studied French and learned about French-speaking countries. Haiti was one of them, and I always thought that one day I would visit this beautiful country as a vacation destination. I never, ever thought I would be part of a response like the one currently underway in Haiti or that I would see the country in such desperate despair. 

But fate would have it differently. [View our Photo Gallery]

Haiti Cholera Response: Stories from the Field, Part 1

Categories: General, Response, Waterborne

Doctor treating patients at a Cholera Treatment Center in the Artibonite department of Haiti. Photo by Kendra Helmer/USAID

Photo by Kendra Helmer/USAID: Doctor treating patients at a Cholera Treatment Center in the Artibonite department of Haiti.

Cholera has an interesting personality.” That’s what I told my friends when they asked why I was going to Haiti to help with CDC’s cholera outbreak response. Understandably, they were worried I might get sick. Like my friends, most people don’t know much about cholera, so they assume it’s a big, bad bug. And it is. But as I explained to my friends, although cholera is very contagious, you can take some simple steps to prevent it. [View our Photo Gallery]

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.

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