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A Time to Remember

Categories: Anthrax, Preparedness, Response

aerial shot of the twin towers burning

By Captain Tracee Treadwell

Ten years ago, the September 11th tragedies devastated our country and forever changed our lives.  On this anniversary, we remember those we lost, as well as those who worked tirelessly and courageously during the response efforts.  I had the honor of working with these heroic individuals near Ground Zero.  Although a decade has passed, the memories I have of those events are as vivid as if they took place yesterday.

Outbreak Investigation: A Cheat Sheet

Categories: Disease Investigation

Scientist in biocontainment suit examining a dead rat

With the approaching release of the movie Contagion, I thought it would be appropriate to post my cheat sheet on how to investigate a disease outbreak. Aspiring disease detectives take notes!

What do you think of when you hear the word “outbreak”?  Maybe you envision a population decimated by a terrible, novel, and incurable disease like in the aformentioned movie Contagion or you think of Dustin Hoffman roaming around California in a blue biocontainment suit with Rene Russo trying to protect folks from a tiny monkey and narrowly preventing an airstrike by the US military?

Ten Years Later, What’s Changed?

Categories: Anthrax, General

September 11 Newspapers and Headlines

The events of 9/11 will forever be engrained in our memories. The attacks on the twin towers, Pentagon, and the anthrax attacks which followed were unimaginable at the time. Ten years after these tragic events, what’s changed?

Breakbone Fever Attacks Enchanted Island: Battling the 2010 Dengue Epidemic in Puerto Rico

Categories: General, Vectorborne

Mosquito biting human 

by Tyler M. Sharp, PhD

Paradise Has Its Risks
Given the choice I prefer my bones to remain unbroken. For that reason I began to worry when I found out that the disease I would be studying for the next two years in Puerto Rico was also referred to as “breakbone fever.”

Tornado Survivors Battle Deadly Fungus in Joplin, Missouri

Categories: Natural Disasters, Response

 

hospital sign a midst rubble in Joplin, MO

By Molly Gayden

Disaster Strikes

On May 22, 2011, an F5 Tornado ripped through the heart of Joplin, Missouri, a city of more than 50,000 people. Almost 160 people were killed and thousands of lives were completely uprooted. The tornado damaged more than 7,000 buildings, one third of the city. St. John’s Regional Medical Center, Joplin’s main hospital, was directly in the path of the three-quarter mile wide tornado, with almost 200 patients and even more medical staff inside. The physical and psychological damages the city of Joplin sustained are devastating, as was the traumatic injuries inflicted on many of the residents.   

Borders, Budgets, and the Rising Risk of Disease

Categories: General, Preparedness

Picture overlooking El Paso border with microscopic picture of tuberculosis overlayed

Borders, Budgets, and the Rising Risk of Disease

Is there a perfect storm brewing along our nation’s southern border?  Let’s take a look at the numbers in El Paso, Texas where I recently visited:

  • There are 27 million crossings per year alone at the El Paso Point of Entry (POE)
  • Cuts to federal funding including a 50% reduction in the  Early Warning Infectious Disease Program as well as 12.5% cuts to critical preparedness and response funding;
  •  Texas is second in the nation for number of tuberculosis cases, the majority of which are found near the border  and many of the cases involve tuberculosis strains that are drug resistant
  •  The bordering country, Mexico, was the source of the last global influenza pandemic

So is this a bad situation getting worse or ticking bomb? 

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