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Rabies Scare Leads to Quick Public Health Action

Categories: Disease Investigation, Disease Outbreak, Vectorborne, Zoonotic Disease

Bats

By Jacquelyn Lickness

When a hospital in South Carolina spotted bats flying through its facility, officials sprang into action launching an investigation to prevent a possible rabies outbreak. Because bats are commonly infected with the virus, any contact with the flying mammals is taken very seriously. The hospital quickly involved state public health officials, who then reached out to CDC to help investigate any possible exposure to the rabies virus.

l’heure du spectacle: Film-based monkeypox outreach in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Categories: General, Prevention/Vaccination, Zoonotic Disease

Teacher speaking with students in the Democratic Republic of CongoBy Benjamin Monroe

The glow of the dell projector was the only source of light for miles except the blanket of stars in the African sky.  In a life without lights, the chance to watch a movie can be a really big deal.  So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when an entire village shows up to an educational film screening.  What was amazing was the audience frozen in rapt attention, the simultaneous gasps and laughter from the audience as if on cue, and the hour-long discussion that occurred afterwards.   This was no ordinary PSA, but something meticulously developed by a group with vast working knowledge of conservation, health, and behavioral education.

The Key to Community Preparedness: Pharmacists

Categories: General

 Picture of a pharmacy counter taken from one of the aislesBy Katherine Seib, MSPH

The last time you were in a pharmacy did you notice advertisements for the flu vaccine? Signs like these will become more common as pharmacists take on an important role in administering vaccines to the general public. Have you also noticed how pharmacies seem to be everywhere? The ubiquity of pharmacies plus their extended hours of operation and streamlined access to preventative treatments makes them perfect for helping respond to emergencies, by distributing vaccines, medications, or protective masks. It’s encouraging to know that pharmacists in all 50 states can now administer vaccines and many are involved in emergency response training.

Giving Students First Hand Experience

Categories: Disease Investigation, Disease Outbreak, General, Response

Emory students holding up sheets of paper

By Annum Shaikh

We often hear about CDC professionals who are preparing the nation and responding to various public health emergencies. But what about the students who are contributing to these initiatives?

 Close to the CDC campus in Atlanta resides a group that provides students with practical experience in public health emergency preparedness and the opportunity to serve the greater Atlanta community and beyond. The group is Emory University’s Student Outbreak and Response Team, also known as SORT.

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.

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