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Keeping Tabs on Deadly Diseases

Categories: Anthrax, General, Preparedness

Microscopic view of Ebola virusCDC is responsible for protecting the public from a host of health threats, including some pretty scary pathogens, like Ebola virus or anthrax for example. One way we do this is through our Select Agents Program which is responsible for governing and regulating the use of certain pathogens by research facilities and labs around the world. In the beginning of December I had the remarkable opportunity to accompany the inspection team who helps regulate the Select Agents Program on one of their routine lab inspections. I was invited to an inspection of a laboratory in the Southeast region of the U.S. that handles rare and dangerous pathogens to get a glimpse of how the Inspection team operates, what they look for, and what they do to protect us.

Lessons from Atlanta

Categories: General, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Response

photo of television screen showing news coverage of Atlanta snowstormWhat many would call a “dusting,” we Atlantans would call a “snowpocalypse” as evidence by this week’s 2 inches of snow which crippled the city, causing severe gridlock across the metro area, stranding school children and commuters who were forced to abandon cars on the highway. The mayor of Atlanta and Governor Deal have been making the media circuit, trying to explain what happened to cause the city to grind to a halt, but regardless of who’s fault it was, it’s time to take a look at the situation and see what we can learn from a preparedness perspective. Here are our top 5 lessons learned, that don’t just apply to folks in the Deep South, but to everyone who might be caught in an emergency situation.

Coming (Back) to America? What 2013 Can Teach Us About Dengue in the United States

Categories: Disease Investigation, Disease Outbreak, Prevention/Vaccination, Response, Vectorborne

jumbled picture of words related to dengue feverBy Tyler Sharp

2013 was a banner year for dengue in the United States: an outbreak with 22 associated cases was identified in Florida; another outbreak was detected in south Texas along the U.S./Mexico border;  Aedes aegypti, the most efficient mosquito vector of dengue, was detected in central-California; a locally acquired dengue case was detected outside of NYC; and Puerto Rico experienced a sizeable dengue epidemic that had been ongoing  since late 2012.  So, what’s next?  Is this par for the course, or was 2013 an anomaly?  In this blog, I’ll discuss the history of dengue in the U.S., what the future might hold, and what you can do to reduce your risk of getting infected while at home or abroad.

Do 1 Thing: First Aid

Categories: Do 1 Thing, General, Natural Disasters, Preparedness

ambulance driving

By Cate Shockey

This blog is part of a series, covering a preparedness topic each month from the Do 1 Thing Program . Join us this month to discuss first aid.

We’ve all done it. Bumps and bruises are commonplace in every day life.  Usually a band-aid and some antiseptic is the right treatment to get the job done.  But if an emergency happens and you have to call for an ambulance, do you know what to do while you wait?  Do you have the supplies you need to do basic first aid?  Or the training to perform CPR?

Outbreak of Meningitis Causing Health Officials to Look Overseas for Help

Categories: Disease Investigation, Disease Outbreak, General, Prevention/Vaccination

male student walking to university buildingBy Thomas Clark, MD, MPH

This time last year public health officials were grappling with a meningitis outbreak linked to fungus found in tainted medication.  Now officials are trying to rein in a different outbreak of meningitis, more specifically meningococcal disease, popping up on a college campus, including Princeton University.

Winter is Coming… Be Ready

Categories: General

Game of Thrones winter icons

With winter bearing down on most of the country this week, it’s a great time to make sure you’re ready for cold weather.  Winter can be unpredictable as temperatures drop quickly and snow piles up within hours.  Winter is coming, so heed the advice of the Game of Thrones and start preparing now.

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