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Hepatitis B in Kuwait: Are Immunizations Making an Impact? Yes!

Categories: Prevention/Vaccination

a grayscale map singling out Kuwait in brown.

The Public Health Matters blog welcomes requests from its readers. Recently, a reader asked us to address the issue of Hepatitis B in Kuwait. Dr. Frank Mahoney, a CDC medical epidemiologist who has worked extensively in the Middle East, wrote this response:

Q Fever: The Good, the Bad, and the Underreported

Categories: Zoonotic Disease

APHL/EID Fellow Amanda Candee collecting environmental samples from a sheep pen in western Colorado. Sheep are a major reservoir for Coxiella burnetii.

APHL/EID Fellow Amanda Candee collecting environmental samples from a sheep pen in western Colorado. Sheep are a major reservoir for Coxiella burnetii.

Q fever is a disease caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii, which can be transmitted to humans from animals such as sheep, goats, and cattle. C. burnetii is considered a possible bioterrorism agent because it is quite hardy in the environment, infects people who breathe aerosols containing the organism, and has a very low infectious dose (one organism can cause disease in a susceptible person).

One Piece Found in the Marburg Puzzle

Categories: Vectorborne

Egyptian fruit bats at home in the Python Cave, Maramagambo Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda.

Egyptian fruit bats at home in the Python Cave, Maramagambo Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda.

Marburg hemorrhagic fever is one of the world’s deadliest diseases. While not always fatal, infection with the Marburg virus generally causes serious illness. There is no vaccine or drug therapy available for those who become infected and we know that as many of 90 percent of those infected during outbreaks have died.

The First Step in Identifying a Foodborne Outbreak… PulseNet

Categories: Foodborne

Cluster of indistinguishable PFGE fingerprints linked to the cookie dough outbreak.

The road to last month’s cookie dough recall started when CDC scientists reviewed information collected through PulseNet, a national network of laboratories that perform DNA “fingerprinting” of foodborne bacteria like E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and Listeria. These fingerprints are plugged into a database that CDC and its state partners routinely scan. I’m a PulseNet database manager at CDC and one of my jobs is to identify “clusters” – groups of illnesses that share the same fingerprint.

Crafting Ebola Prevention Messages in Uganda

Categories: Preparedness, Prevention/Vaccination

Workshop participants developed several alternative designs before agreeing a layout.

Workshop participants developed several alternative designs before agreeing a layout.

I work in CDC’s Special Pathogens Branch (SPB) where we study highly infectious viruses. My job is health communications and I’ve just returned from Uganda. I was there to work with the Ministry of Health and health educators from Uganda’s Western Districts to create materials that would help keep people there safe from Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers. Unfortunately, Uganda has seen more than its share of these diseases since the first cases were diagnosed in 1967.

Imported Human Rabies Cases

Categories: Vectorborne

A black and white picture of a Mexican freetail bat being held by a heavy glove.

In the U.S., human rabies is rare, thanks mostly to the availability of rabies vaccination and the elimination of dog rabies. But in many other countries around the world, dog rabies is very common and people are at greater risk. When a person travels or immigrates from an area of higher risk (like Mexico) to an area of lower risk (like the United States), they may encounter obstacles in getting diagnosed correctly if they have rabies. A recent human rabies case from California demonstrates the challenges that can arise when attempting to administer care to a person from another country.

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