Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Our Global Voices Posts

The Consequences of Contaminated Water

Posted on by Adrienne Lefevre, MPH, CHES

Thank you to CDC’s Rick Gelting, Tom Handzel and Eric Mintz for their assistance in writing this story.

World Water Day March 22 2017 March 22 is World Water Day. CDC highlights the need for all people to have access to safe water, and to prevent sickness and death from waterborne diseases such as cholera

World Water Day Social Media Infographic
World Water Day

We all remember when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, killing 230,000 people and displacing over a million. Fewer people remember that roughly nine months after the earthquake, the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) confirmed cases of cholera for the first time in Haiti. Since the emergence of cholera, Haiti has reported about 805,000 suspected cases and nearly 9,500 deaths. In 2016 alone, Haiti reported 41,421 suspected cholera cases and 447 cholera deaths.

Cholera is a diarrheal illness caused by the bacteria called Vibrio cholerae. Most cholera cases happen when people drink water or eat food that contains feces of a cholera-infected person. The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe, leading to sudden dehydration and shock. It can be deadly within hours if not appropriately treated with oral or intravenous (IV) rehydration. Today, March 22, is World Water Day, which was established by the United Nations to bring attention to the global water crisis. We observe World Water Day to highlight the need for all people to have access to safe water, and to prevent sickness and death from waterborne diseases such as cholera.

Dr. Brinel, formerly part of the Field Epidemiology Training Program, learns how to collect stool samples to test them for cholera in October 2016 in Haiti (Photo courtesy of Coralie Giese)
Dr. Brinel, formerly part of the Field Epidemiology Training Program, learns how to collect stool samples to test them for cholera in October 2016 in Haiti (Photo courtesy of Coralie Giese)

Cholera persists in Haiti primarily because many people lack access to clean water and proper sanitation. CDC continues to work with partners to improve access to safe water, such as increasing the number of homes who treat household water with chlorine. Despite progress, the cholera epidemic in Haiti—the largest documented cholera outbreak in recent history—remains ongoing. Cholera was prevalent in the U.S. in the 1800s for the same reasons it is prevalent now in Haiti. The U.S. eliminated cholera by constructing and improving water and sewage treatment systems. While Haiti continues to struggle with cholera, the combined efforts of the National Potable Water and Sanitation Directorate (DINEPA), MSPP, CDC, UNICEF, PAHO/WHO, USAID, and other organizations are strengthening the country’s capacity to combat cholera and other infectious diseases.

Without the combined efforts of countless partners, the cholera epidemic in Haiti could have claimed many more lives. Join us in observing World Water Day on March 22 as we continue to work towards making safe water and improved sanitation and hygiene accessible to all.

Additional information about CDC’s initiatives to improve global access to water and sanitation is available at:

 

 

Posted on by Adrienne Lefevre, MPH, CHESLeave a commentTags , , , , , , , , , ,

Yellow Fever Vaccination Response

Kim Fox

Authors: Jennie Harris, Kimberley Fox March 16, 2017 In December 2015, a yellow fever outbreak started in Angola and quickly spread within the country and to its neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Laboratory testing confirmed 962 cases, but there were thousands of suspected cases, making this the largest reported outbreak in 30 years. Read More >

Posted on by Kimberley Fox, MD, MPH, Immunizations Systems Branch Chief, Global Immunization DivisionLeave a commentTags , , , , ,

World Birth Defects Day 2017 Raises Global Awareness of Birth Defects 

World Birth Defects Day

Every year, about 3% to 6% of infants worldwide are born with a serious birth defect. Birth defects can affect an infant regardless of birthplace, race or ethnicity. In some countries, birth defects are a leading cause of death for babies and young children. Those who survive and live with these conditions have an increased Read More >

Posted on by Jennifer Williams, MSN, MPH, FNP-BC, Division of Congenital and Developmental DisordersLeave a commentTags , ,

CDC Maintains Vigilance to Eradicate Polio in Northern Nigeria

Vaccines save lives. Today, millions of children have a chance at surviving and living healthy, productive thanks to the introduction and increasingly widespread use of vaccines against major diseases that cripple and kill children over the last few decades. These diseases include polio, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, influenza and measles. The essence of our work could Read More >

Posted on by Chimeremma Denis Nnadi, MD, MPH, PhDLeave a commentTags , , ,

Global Rapid Responders – Our Boots on the Ground Defense

Because our world is more connected than ever, a disease threat that occurs anywhere can very quickly spread across boundaries and become a threat to people worldwide. New microbes are emerging and spreading, drug resistance is rising, and limited biosafety and security measures in laboratories around the world make the intentional or unintentional release of Read More >

Posted on by Ashley Greiner, MD, MPHLeave a comment

The Stakes are High, the Goal the Same – Overcome Cancer

As a pediatric oncologist, I have sat across from a family and told them the heart wrenching news that their child has cancer. Many families tell me later that this was the worst day of their lives. Although I was the bearer of bad news, I had a strong oncology training, a collaborative team of Read More >

Posted on by Elizabeth Van Dyne, MD, MPH EIS OfficerLeave a commentTags ,

Protecting newborns from infection in healthcare settings

Each year, a staggering 3.6 million babies globally will die within the first four weeks of life. Tweet This As a mother, the safety of my baby is of utmost importance to me. Yet each year, a staggering 3.6 million babies globally will die within the first four weeks of life. Tragically, many of these Read More >

Posted on by Rachel Smith, Medical Epidemiologist2 CommentsTags , , , , , , ,

The Case for Global Health Security

Finding and stopping disease outbreaks at the earliest possible moment no matter where they emerge is important: to reduce illness and death, increase national security, and maintain economic gains made over the previous decades. Disease threats, after all, require only the smallest opening to take root and spread. In today’s tightly connected world a disease Read More >

Posted on by Maureen BarteeLeave a commentTags , , , , , ,

CDC Continues the Fight Against Polio

In 1988, when CDC joined three other partners to launch the ambitious Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the world was a much different and, measured by polio’s reach, dangerous place. Back then, polio existed in more than 125 countries and it paralyzed 350,000 children that year. Thanks to GPEI and the tireless work of its Read More >

Posted on by Rebecca Martin, PhD, Director, Center for Global HealthLeave a commentTags , , , , , , , , ,

Innovation to Drive Impact: Reaching the Hardest to Reach

A version of this blog also appeared on AIDS.gov. As we mark World AIDS Day, we reflect on how far we’ve come and acknowledge the profound challenges that still remain. The scientific progress we’ve made since the first cases of AIDS that appeared more than 35 years ago has been nothing short of remarkable. The Read More >

Posted on by Shannon Hader, MD, MPH, Director of CDC’s Division of Global HIV & TBLeave a commentTags
TOP