As scientists with CDC’s Special Pathogens Branch, Pierre Rollin, Bobbie Rae Erickson, and I recently boarded a flight from Atlanta to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, so that we could provide health officials with our expertise on Alkhurma virus. This virus causes Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever, a tick-borne disease that can be serious, even fatal, in humans. Ticks with the Alkhurma virus are believed to pass the virus on to camels, sheep, and goats. It’s not a new disease, but it is a high-hazard disease that we have much to learn about.
Sharing our stories on preparing for and responding to public health events
February 24th, 2010 4:11 pm ET - Adam MacNeil
February 11th, 2010 2:05 pm ET - Nicki Pesik
On December 17th, Health Protection Scotland contacted the Bacterial Zoonosis Branch (BZB) to discuss 3 cases of anthrax in heroin users. They requested assistance with the epidemiologic investigation and patient treatment options, such as adjunctive therapy with anthrax immune globulin. Because immunotherapy is of potential benefit in anthrax, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and CDC provided immune globulin for patients with anthrax.
November 6th, 2009 3:18 pm ET - Ali S. Khan
The influence of weather on infectious diseases has been recognized for centuries. In our own experience, we know that some diseases like influenza are more common in the winter or others thrive better in the tropics. The effects of climate – weather over long periods of time – on infectious diseases have been getting a lot of attention lately. I was recently interviewed for a Focus Earth episode on infectious diseases and climate change. The introductory clip frames a debate between a calculated scientific position for the impact on individual infectious disease versus broad generalizations about global warming. It makes for great television and offers an opportunity to educate and engage the public about the health impact of climate change. In this case, both positions are true but highlight the difficulties in communicating the complexity of health effects from climate change – especially when we try to isolate the effects of climate from other biologic, ecologic, or social changes that lead to changes in infectious diseases.
Categories: Disease Investigation
September 15th, 2009 3:16 pm ET - Patricia Lafon
When CDC is working on an outbreak of foodborne illness, it’s our goal to pinpoint the source as quickly and precisely as possible so we can prevent any further threat to public health. For several years now, the PulseNet Methods Development and Reference Unit (PMDRU) has been developing and validating new methods to complement pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), which is currently the standard typing method used in outbreak detection. The method that we have found most helpful in detecting subtle differences between closely related bacterial strains is a technique known as multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA).
September 9th, 2009 2:36 pm ET - Gerry Gómez
The possibility that E. coli O157:H7 was a contaminant in cookie dough surprised even the most experienced microbiologists here in CDC’s Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch. E. coli O157 is a common culprit of a severe diarrheal illness, usually caused by eating contaminated and undercooked ground beef or drinking unpasteurized apple juice. It shouldn’t have even been on the “Who’s Who” list of the top bacterial contaminants.
Categories: Zoonotic Disease
September 2nd, 2009 2:16 pm ET - Craig Manning
“Wildlife Health from Land to Sea: Impacts of a Changing World.” That was the theme of the 58th annual meeting of the Wildlife Disease Association, held earlier this month. I had the pleasure of attending this conference along with several colleagues from the National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-borne, and Enteric Diseases (NCZVED).
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