CDC

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Last year, reported cases of West Nile virus in the United States hit their highest levels in nearly a decade. It’s a good reminder to keep protecting yourself from getting bitten, but it also begs the question: Is this just a sign of a much bigger threat? The answer is just as wily as the pesky mosquito.

It seems we barely go a week now without news of another violent gun incident. Last week’s shooting rampage in Santa Monica, Calif., has resulted in the deaths of five people. And since the Newtown school shooting last December — in the span of less than six months — thousands of Americans have been killed by guns.

On Feb. 13, 2012, Honey Stecken gave birth to her daughter Maren. Everything appeared perfectly fine — she ate and slept and did all the things a baby does. Even after a couple weeks at home in South Fork. Colo., with her newborn little girl, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

Funny cats and disaster preparedness. It’s a marriage made in Internet heaven.

To the long list of hard-to-pronounce bacteria and viruses that threaten people’s health can now be added one more threat: sequestration. Except sequestration isn’t a disease — well, unless you’d call Congress’ chronic inability to deal with the national debt in a fair and balanced way a disease.

A recent report again confirms what comes as no surprise to public health practitioners: that income and education are inextricably tied to the opportunities for better health and longevity.

by Kim Krisberg Amanda DeSimpelare was always interested in science, but she was wary of what a career in the field would be like. She pictured herself being tucked away in a laboratory all day. It wasn’t too appealing. Then, in the summer of 2010, she discovered public health. “When I pictured science before, I…

Lessons from Contagion

By Mark Pendergrast As I watched the blockbuster bio-thriller Contagion, I was struck by how realistic it was in many ways. That isn’t surprising, since many epidemiologists, including those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, served as advisors. The film was based on a simple premise. What if a new,…

After blaming cucumbers, backpedaling on the cucumbers and blaming bean sprouts, then backpedaling on the sprouts, German authorities have now concluded that bean sprouts are, in fact, to blame for the spread of E. coli O104:H4, which has sickened more than 3,000 people and killed 31. Patients with the most severe cases have suffered kidney…

Thirty years ago today, the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published a report of five young men with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia who were treated at three different hospitals in Los Angeles, California. The authors observed that all five patients had no known common contacts, but had in common the fact that they “reported having…