Authors: Jennie Harris, Kimberley Fox March 16, 2017 Kim Fox 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. A critical aspect to yellow fever outbreak response is vaccination campaigns in the affected areas. One dose of yellow fever vaccine is capable of providing lifelong protection. Thus the World Health Organization (WHO) keeps a stockpile of 6 million yellow fever vaccine doses for outbreak response
Author Archives: CDC Global Health
Chimeremma Denis Nnadi, MD, MPH, PhD Epidemiologist in the Polio Eradication Branch of the Global Immunization Division 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 be seen in CDC’s commitment to eradicate polio and reduce other vaccine-preventable diseases among children in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa. More children are surviving and the country is closer than ever to eradicating polio.
Ashley Greiner (Global RRT Tier 1 Emergency Public Health Epidemiologist) worked long hours in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Dr. Greiner is seen here checking samples labels before sending them to the Port au Prince national laboratory for testing in October 2016 (Photo courtesy of Coralie Giese) 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 dangerous microbes easier.
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 healthcare professionals with multidisciplinary backgrounds, and the resources to help many families beat cancer. The U.S. has had many cancer treatment success stories where people can live long healthy lives after a diagnosis.
Rachel Smith, Medical Epidemiologist Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion’s International Infection Control Program 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 deaths are preventable.
Maureen Bartee 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 can be transported from an isolated, rural village to any major city in as little as 36 hours. Sadly, we also have to consider the possibility of bad actors gaining access to and disseminating dangerous pathogens, a development which could have serious implications not only on people’s health but on the stability and security of entire populations. The recent Zika virus and Ebola outbreaks remind us that health threats are not limited to one country, one issue, or one pathogen
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. Rebecca Martin, PhD, Director, CDC Center for Global Health 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 current partners – the World Health Organization, Rotary International, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and CDC – by 2005 polio was eliminated in all but four countries– Pakistan, Nigeria, India, and Afghanistan. In 2011, India conquered poliovirus, leaving only three endemic countries.
Below is a quote by Shannon Hader, MD, MPH, Director of CDC’s Division of Global HIV & TB: “On this World AIDS Day, we reflect upon the all too many lives—nearly 35 million–that have been lost since the first days of the epidemic, celebrate the leadership that has driven a major expansion of quality HIV services around the world, and commit to greater impact by reaching the millions of people who are not yet benefiting from life-saving interventions. In the US and around the world, CDC’s experts are working together with national and community leaders to understand the “now” and the “next”. To accomplish this, we are leveraging the power of data to target the most effective HIV interventions to the people and places that need them ‘now’ and doing that in a way that better prepares us to address what will be needed ‘next’. At CDC, saving lives through public health impact is our core mission. Working side by side with Ministries of Health, community organizations and partners, we are harnessing the power of data for greater insights on where to focus our collective efforts and resources going forward to ultimately helps save more lives
We use toilets every day – at home, school, and work – yet 40% of the world’s population does not have this luxury. Clean and safe toilets are more than just a place to use the restroom. They are essential for health, human dignity, and improved education. Sadly, 2.4 billion people are still using inadequate forms of sanitation, which in many ways represents a hidden public health crisis. Among these people, almost 1 billion face the indignity of defecating outside without privacy.
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims takes place every third Sunday in November. It serves as a way to: Remember the millions of people killed and injured in road crashes as well as their families, friends and those affected; Pay tribute to the dedicated emergency responders, police and medical professionals who deal with the traumatic aftermath of road death and injury; Remind the international community, governments and individual members of society of their responsibility to make roads safer. According to the World Health Organization, about 1.25 million people die each year globally as a result of road traffic crashes. Road traffic injuries represent the leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years. More than 90% of the world’s road fatalities occur in low- and middle-income countries, even though these countries have approximately half of the world’s vehicles.
James L. Goodson, MPH, Senior Measles Scientist at CDC Since its inception, the CDC has played a major role in advancing the health security in dozens of countries by improving response times to the outbreaks of several vaccine-preventable diseases. Furthermore, its partnerships with other countries and philanthropic organizations have not only stopped outbreaks, but also improved disease surveillance, laboratory science, emergency operations, and health systems overall. This along with the significant progress made towards the eradication of polio gives us plenty of reasons to celebrate, but that celebration would be premature. Between the anticipation of polio eradication in the near future and the response to emerging diseases like Zika, measles has become a forgotten, but formidable foe.