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Posts Tagged "CDC"

Food Matters

A Tired Game of Telephone: Scientists, Reporters, Pundits and Politics

Photo by Lee Summers

  In going after CDC study, Reuters report misrepresents WIC experts, their research. The Press Release That Started it All In February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association on obesity prevalence that concluded: “Overall, there have been no significant changes in obesity [...]

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Guest Blog

Disease Detectives Investigate Outbreaks at Home and Abroad

Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer Dr. Leisha Nolen preparing to depart on assignment to West Africa in response to the 2014 Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak across Guinea, northern Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Pictured atop the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) materiel case to her left are some of the requisite medical supplies she would be taking including phlebotomy vials, and disposable face masks. (Credit: CDC)

The medical sleuths of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been thrust into the limelight with the recent Ebola epidemic. Charged with chasing diseases and stopping outbreaks, they’re a geeky bunch of young doctors, veterinarians and scientists, who prefer to work behind the scenes. I can call them geeks because I was one [...]

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Guest Blog

Mandatory Shots: Should Hospitals Force Health Care Workers to Get the Flu Vaccine?

A growing number of U.S. hospitals now compel health care workers to get vaccinated against the flu and other infectious diseases to protect patients from communicable diseases. In the case of the flu, the need is obvious: hospitalized patients who become infected have an elevated risk of developing complications or dying. Yet the vaccination requirement [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Why Ebola Is a Wake Up for Infection Control

Antibiotic_thumbnail

Just as the CDC’s and other experts’ thoughts on Ebola and infection control have evolved with experience, mine have taken a slight twist as well. Given the missteps at Dallas’s Texas Presbyterian Hospital, which could have occurred in any community, I now agree with the current recommendations to centralize care in specialty centers. My perspective [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Ebola in the U.S.—Politics and Public Health Don’t Mix

CDC Public Health Preparedness Funding

“Against stupidity, even the gods strive in vain.” — Fredirich Schiller I’ve been glued to the Ebola news, riding the roller coaster of emotions. While  very impressed with CDC’s director, Dr. Tom Frieden’s, initial press conference (10/2/14), I became infuriated at the subsequent statements from Lisa Monaco, Homeland Security Advisor, and the tragicomedy of the [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Superbugs should scare you more than Ebola in US

Stay calm...

The first case of Ebola in the United States was announced today, with a patient in Dallas who traveled to the US from Liberia. The resultant hysteria and xenophobia prompts this reminder. There is NO need to panic. Ebola is NOT transmitted before a patient develops symptoms. Ebola is transmitted by contact with infectious secretions [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Ebola – the World’s Katrina

A staff member at the MSF's Ebola management center in Monrovia - Caroline Van Nespen/MSF

To anyone who follows infectious disease outbreaks, it is no great surprise that the most immediate, looming threat, Ebola, has received scant attention until recently. Even now, the world’s response has been incomprehensibly and seemingly irresponsibly slow. Why is this the case? Likely because of disparities in the power and wealth of people affected by [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Ebola and Priorities in Drug Development

Ebola in Guinea (flickr Euro Comm DG ECHO)

News is rapidly changing regarding Ebola. Even as I’ve been writing this post, we’ve gone from “There is no treatment except supportive care” to NIH’s Dr. Fauci saying a potential vaccine “could be given to health workers in affected African countries sometime in 2015.”⁠ This optimistic projection was a surprise to me, as normally it [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Will Antibiotics Be There When You Need Them? Get Smart

CDC: Antibiotic Resistance Threat

Just in time for “Get Smart about Antibiotics Week,” I had a refreshing experience recently, working in a different rural hospital. Over that week, I didn’t see one patient with “superbugs” other than the occasional MRSA. No one had the now scarier Gram negative bugs known as ESBLs (extended spectrum beta lactamases) or the even [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Hidden Dangers Lurking in Your Food

Money dropped onto meat - Luang Prabang

Food week on SciAm blogs would not be complete without scary stories. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Jack in the Box E. coli O157:H7 hamburger outbreak that sickened 623 people and killed 4 children. There still are major outbreaks, including Listeria from cantaloupe (2011) and, most recently, the parasite Cyclospora from pre-packaged [...]

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Observations

CDC Launches Ebola Response Team

cdc ebola response

In the two days since the second U.S. Ebola patient was diagnosed, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has assembled a new team to battle the threat of Ebola. This team has no steady lineup, but it will be deployed anywhere in the country that sees a new case of Ebola, CDC [...]

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Observations

Clay Jenkins and Zachary Thompson Are Ebola Heroes

All last week CDC officials reiterated their conclusion—based on nearly 40 years worth of successfully containing past outbreaks—that you cannot catch the Ebola virus from people who are infected unless they have already begun suffering a fever or started showing other signs of illnesses. Two Dallas County officials took them at their word and wore [...]

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Observations

Anthrax Blunder Reveals Deadly Potential of Accidents

Credit: CDC/ Laura Rose

A lab director has reportedly been reassigned and other heads at the U.S. Center for Disease Control are likely to roll after an incident earlier this month in which at least 75 staff members may have accidentally been exposed to live samples of anthrax being transported from one lab to another. The samples were supposed [...]

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Symbiartic

Graphic Guides to Ebola from the Epicenter and Abroad

14-026FEATURE

The Ebola outbreak in Western Africa continues to make the news as more cases are reported and casualties rise. A common thread in reporting is the difficulty in communicating accurate information to combat the spread of the virus when communities are gripped with fear and misinformation spreads as quickly as the virus itself. While our [...]

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