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EIS officer
EIS officer inspects her gear before deploying to West Africa in response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak.

EIS in the News

Ebola Response

Stopping Ebola by Land, Water, and Air
EIS officers Kelsey Mirkovic, Emiko Petrosky, Angela Dunn, David Blackley, and Kari Yacisin were among nearly 1,000 of CDC’s highly trained public health professionals helping to stop the Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. See photos and read about their experiences traveling by whatever means necessary in CDC Director Tom Frieden’s blog.
Huffington Post (blog)
February 18, 2015

Utah doctor wants Americans to remember Ebola-stricken West Africa
EIS officer Angela Dunn said she felt like a small piece in a big puzzle when she arrived in Sierra Leone to help teach local health workers to identify and prevent the spread of Ebola. Speaking at the Utah Department of Health, Dr. Dunn shared Ebola response experiences.
Deseret News
February 12, 2015

US Disease Detectives Pursuing Ebola's Trail
After three trips to Guinea, EIS officer Meredith Dixon shares experiences and describes how she has had opportunity to hone surveillance and interviewing skills.   
Voice of America
January 5, 2015

What It's Really Like on the Front Lines of the Ebola Fight
EIS officer Tiffany Walker discusses her work on the infection prevention and control team in Sierra Leone’s hard-hit Bombali district, and feeling honored to work with the people of the affected countries in West Africa.
SELF Magazine
December 13, 2014

Doctor speaks out about aiding Ebola fight
Brigette Gleason, EIS officer assigned to the Virginia Department of Health, shared insights about her work in the hard-hit Bombali district in Sierra Leone and helping Virginia prepare for Ebola.
Richmond Times-Dispatch
November 18, 2014

Can a U.S. military Ebola treatment center slow Ebola in one hard-hit city?
When EIS officer Morgan Hennessey arrived in Ganta, Liberia, Ebola seemed to be in a quiet phase—until another person infected with the virus arrived: “It’s like a fire. It just takes one spark … .”
Washington Post
November 2, 2014

Ebola outbreak in US unlikely, CDC officer says
EIS officer Deborah Hastings, assigned to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, tells a meeting of healthcare workers the chance of an Ebola epidemic in the United States is rare.
Columbus Telegram
October 30, 2014

U.S. Ebola fighters head to Africa, but will the military and civilian effort be enough?
For EIS officer Katie Curran, in rural Sierra Leone, making trips into the bush to meet with village leaders and discuss ways to contain the Ebola virus can be a challenge. Sometimes, there is no road.
Washington Post
October 25, 2014

Doctors, aid workers fight Ebola in West Africa, then fear of disease in U.S.
When David Schnabel, EIS officer assigned to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, returned to the U.S. after training Sierra Leoneans on Ebola safety protocols, he didn’t talk much about his trip with people he didn’t know: “I understood the emotional response to Ebola … I consciously was careful who I told.”
Washington Post
October 24, 2014

CDC Doctor in Sierra Leone Credits Local Health Workers
EIS officer Kimberly Pringle works with local public health teams in Kenema, Sierra Leone, to help slow the spread of the Ebola virus. Her first and inflexible rule while working in West Africa is “touch no one.”
GPB On Second Thought
October 23, 2014

CDC workers share emotional toll of Ebola
In Sierra Leone, EIS officer Michelle Dynes and EIS alum Anne Purfield worked in an office next to an Ebola hospital. Of the many precautions they took to avoid contracting the virus, staying several feet away from people was the most difficult.
11 Alive Atlanta
October 22, 2014

When Caring Kills: Ebola Kills Nurses Who Touched Baby
Two EIS officers and an EIS alum talk about how Ebola has turned Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea into countries where giving comfort can be fatal and hospitals are feared as dangerous places.
NBC News
October 21, 2014

What We Can Learn from the People Who Are Tracking Ebola
EIS officer Greg Raczniak says the most important aspect of contact tracing is clear communication.
Business Insider
October 20, 2014

Disease detectives help contain Ebola in Dallas
Five hours after the first case of Ebola was confirmed in the United States, EIS officer Charnetta Smith was on her way to Dallas as part of a CDC team sent to work alongside local health officials.
USA Today
October 12, 2014

When Holding an Orphaned Baby Can Mean Contracting Ebola
An EIS officer and an alum talk about Ebola’s devastating toll on Sierra Leone’s health care workers: “By the time we arrived, more than 20 nurses had died from Ebola.”
NPR StoryCorps
October 11, 2014

Meet the disease detectives tracking Ebola at CDC
Inside CDC’s Emergency Operations Center, EIS officer Aimee Summers is one of about 150 CDC staff members working to keep pace with the Ebola epidemic. 
PBS News Hour
October 8, 2014

On Ebola's front lines in Liberia
EIS officer Allison Arwady arrived in Liberia as the Ebola epidemic was overwhelming the country’s health care system.
Yale Medicine
Spring 2014

CDC's Ebola workers find funding is strapped
In Sierra Leone, EIS officer Brigette Gleason has seen tragedy every day. But to really make a difference, “you have to focus on what you can do.”
NPR Marketplace
October 8, 2014

CDC takes to Twitter to answer  Ebola concerns
EIS officer Kelsey Mirkovic and other CDC experts use Twitter to answer the public’s questions about Ebola. One response was re-Tweeted 4,000 times.
CBS Evening News
October 8, 2014

Inside the work of Ebola "Disease Detectives"
As public health officials in Dallas, Texas, continue to track the well-being of people who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus, EIS officer Jennifer Hunter and EIS alum Tracy Creek give some insight into the type of people who do this work.
NPR Marketplace
October 7, 2014

When Ebola hits, contact tracing is a critical process
EIS officer Kelsey Mirkovich describes how CDC, the World Health Organization, and Doctors Without Borders worked with the Ministry of Health to conduct contact tracing in the wake of Senegal’s first confirmed case of Ebola.
USA Today
October 6, 2014

For CDC team in Dallas, the search is on for those who had contact with Ebola patient
EIS officer Matt Karwowski  conducts in-person interviews and home visits, gathering details and sharing information to help assess a person’s risk level.
The Washington Post
October 4, 2014

Meet a Disease Detective Hunting Ebola in Dallas
In Dallas, Texas, EIS officer Matt Karwowski is a contact tracer—a job that is part medicine, part social work, and part investigator.
Time Magazine
October 3, 20124

Medical experts answer Ebola questions
EIS alum Dr. Seema Yasmin joins Drs. Sanjay Gupta and Ian Lipkin to answer questions about Ebola from social media.
October 2, 2014

EIS Officer
EIS officer (MD) swabbing sheep for newly discovered pox virus — Republic of Georgia.

CDC disease detectives dispatched to West Africa to fight Ebola
EIS officer Leisha Nolen is part of the CDC team working to stop the Ebola virus in West Africa. “This is not going to stop on its own,” she said.
CBS 46 News
September 29, 2014

CDC doctor talks about Ebola outbreak
EIS officer Leisha Nolen talks about the devastating effects of Ebola in West Africa and efforts to control the virus.
WSB-TV Channel 2 Atlanta
September 19, 2014

Tracking the Ebola Virus in West Africa
EIS officer Rebecca “Bex” Levine talks about the stories behind the numbers, the logistical challenges of contact tracing, and the need for resources in the fight against the Ebola virus.
September 18, 2014

"How Can I Not Go?": CDC Doctor on Going to Sierra Leone During Ebola Outbreak
EIS officer Kimberly Pringle has been to other global health trouble spots and knows there are risks. But she would rather put her skills to use than watch from the sidelines: “As a global citizen, how can I not go?”
GPB News
September 17, 2014

Video Diary Part 1: CDC Officer on Ebola Fight
EIS officer Rebecca “Bex” Levine describes her deployment to Sierra Leone during the 2014 Ebola outbreak response.
September 16, 2014

Video Diary Part 2: CDC Officer Deploys to Fight Ebola
EIS officer Rebecca “Bex” Levine talks about the challenges of an Ebola case involving a baby.
September 18, 2014

Doctor Shortage Hampers Ebola Fight, Iowa Expert Says
Dr. Samir Koirala, EIS officer assigned to Iowa Department of Health, helped set up an electronic Ebola contact tracking system in Sierra Leone. Dr. Koirala relates his observations, including the severe shortage of health care workers.
The Des Moines Register
September 17, 2014

The Reason Ebola Isn't Being Stopped
EIS officer Rebecca Levine arrives in West Africa with a new system developed by CDC to help make contract tracing—a mainstay in controlling epidemics—more effective.
September 11, 2014

What You Bring When You’re Going into an Ebola Outbreak
EIS officer Rebecca Merrill describes what supplies she packed for her deployment to Liberia.
Time Magazine
August 12, 2014

Inside the CDC's Emergency Operations Center Tackling Ebola
Time Magazine
August 9, 2014

CDC's disease detectives face dangerous but fulfilling task
EIS alum, Dr. Seema Yasmin, talks about the dangerous but rewarding work of being an EIS officer.
The Dallas Morning News
August 2, 2014

CDC 'disease detective' talks about challenges of fighting spread of Ebola virus
EIS officer Leisha Nolen, a pediatrician and genetics researcher, talks about cultural disbelief in the infection and other challenges to fighting the spread of Ebola in West Africa.
The Washington Post
August 1, 2014

CDC Disease Detectives Using New Software Tool in Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever Outbreak
(published CDC EpiInfo press release)
Imperial Valley News
April 30, 2014

CDC’s Disease Detectives Respond to the 2014 Ebola Outbreak

Disease Detective: Neil
EIS officer observed ambulances crews in Liberia to make sure infection control practices were being followed.
December 16, 2014

Disease Detective: Erik
EIS officer talks about the impact of Ebola on everyday life in Liberia.
September 30, 2014

Disease Detective: Rupa
EIS officer trained medical workers in Guinea to screen river passenger for Ebola symptoms.
September 30, 2014

Disease Detective: Ruth
EIS officer will rely on her familiarity with African culture to gain community buy-in during her deployment to Sierra Leone.
September 22, 2014

Disease Detective: Rebecca
EIS officer leaves for West Africa with communication equipment to assist in efforts to improve health messaging at the community level.
August 13, 2014

Disease Detective: Meredith
EIS officer talks about her first encounter with an Ebola patient during her second tour of duty helping fight Ebola in West Africa.
August 12, 2014

Disease Detective: Greg
EIS alum helps with contact tracing, a task vital to controlling the Ebola virus.
August 12, 2014

Disease Detective: Kelsey
EIS officer tells about her work as a CDC disease detective responding to the Ebola outbreak.
August 11, 2014

Disease Detective: Leisha
EIS officer educated people in West Africa to recognize new cases and prevent spread of Ebola.
August 11, 2014

Disease Detective: Kari
EIS officer says teamwork is an important part of controlling the Ebola virus.
August 21, 2014  

News from the International Media

El testimonio de una de las epidemiólogas que estuvo en Guinea estudiando el ébola
EIS alum Dr. Fatima Coronado talks about investigating Ebola in Guinea.
CNN Chile (in Spanish)
November 4, 2014

Brit 'Disease Detective' Helps Ebola-Hit Dallas
Dr. Seema Yasmin, an EIS alum and Dallas Morning News reporter, answers city residents’ questions about Ebola.
Sky News
October 15, 2014

Ebola en RDC: reportage à Lokolia, épicentre de l'épidémie
Interview with EIS officer Christopher Hsu.
rfi (in French)
October 2, 2014

Taking a lead role to contain Ebola
EIS officer Meredith Dixon, who had two tours of duty in West Africa, talks about CDC’s efforts on the ground to contain the Ebola epidemic in Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.
Radio New Zealand
August 21, 2014

2014 EIS Conference in the News

Disease Detective: Tracing Infection Back to Your Seafood
National Geographic
May 9, 2014

New Orthopoxvirus Discovered
Science magazine
May 9, 2014

New Poxvirus Found
Nature magazine
May 8, 2014

Brand New Smallpox-Related Virus Emerges In Country Of Georgia
Huffington Post
May 5, 2014

Bioterror Threat? New Smallpox-Related Virus Raises Alarms
Live Science
May 2, 2014

EIS Officer
EIS officer (PhD) checking water quality during a flood — Tennessee.

Smallpox Cousin Infects People in Georgia
Guardian Liberty Voice
May 2, 2014

Last remaining smallpox samples await destruction, but scientists plea for reprieve
The Independent (UK)
May 2, 2014

New Virus Related To Smallpox Is Found In Republic Of Georgia
May 1, 2014
This article additionally ran on Oregon Public Broadcasting's website and on KPBS in San Diego.

New Smallpox-Like Virus Discovered
May 1, 2014

CDC reports 3 human cases caused by new orthopoxvirus
University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy
May 1, 2014

CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Conference Dissects Foster Farms Salmonella Outbreak
Food Safety News
May 1, 2014

In praise of CDC's heroic 'disease detectives'
Fox News
April 30, 2014

Backyard Chickens Linked to Salmonella Outbreaks, CDC Says
NBC News
April 29, 2014

Other News

Leprosy Still Occurs in U.S., CDC Reports
Approximately 100 new cases of leprosy are reported in the United States each year, according to a CDC study. EIS officer Leisha Nolen was the lead researcher.
October 31, 2014

Meet the CDC's SWAT Team
Since 1951, the “shoe leather epidemiologists” of the EIS have been on the public health front lines.
Washington Post
October 16, 2014

Common Childhood Vaccine Cuts "Superbug" Infection: Study
EIS officer is lead researcher on study suggesting childhood pneumoccal vaccine reduces antibiotic-resistant infections for children younger than 5 years.
October 10, 2014

Disease Detectives Investigate Outbreaks at Home and Abroad
EIS alum Dr. Seema Yasmin writes about what it’s like to be the medical sleuths of CDC—the young doctors, veterinarians, scientists, and other health professionals who work behind the scenes but sometimes are put into the limelight.
Scientific American Guest Blog
October 10, 2014

Public Health Professor Bring CDC Experience, Expertise
EIS alum Seema Yasmin has joined the University of Texas–Dallas faculty. Dr. Yasmin also covers public health as a staff writer at The Dallas Morning News.
UT Dallas News Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
October 10, 2014

How disease detectives find the source of outbreaks like enterovirus, Ebola
EIS officer Dan Pasula and EIS alum Jennifer McQuiston talk about the process of investigating and solving medical mysteries and stopping outbreaks.
Colorado Public Radio
October 6, 2014

Outbreak Agents: Officers in the Epidemic Intelligence Service Expend Shoe Leather and Stamp Out Disease
An EIS alum’s experiences in post-flood Pakistan set the scene for an article on the origins of EIS and its impact on interest in public health careers.
Johns Hopkins Magazine
December 8, 2010

Health Investigators Use Props, Patience to Track Salmonella
A salmonella outbreak investigation highlights the painstaking detective work involved in finding the source of a food-borne illness.
USA Today
July 29, 2008

The Making of the Disease Detectives, or the Case of the Nutty Dish
In this dramatization, two new EIS officers solve a case study about a Salmonella outbreak as they train to become disease detectives.
PRX Public Radio Exchange
August 26, 2014

CDC 'disease detectives' probing overdose data to help R.I. stem mounting fatalities
Providence Journal
April 17, 2014

Malaria cases reach 40-year high in U.S.
Vaccine News Daily
February 4, 2014

Premature infants on parenteral nutrition among the casualties in zinc shortage
Family Practice News
January 17, 2014

Former EIS Officer receives Lifetime Achievement Award in Hemodialysis
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
January 31, 2014

CDC's Disease Detectives — Contagion, the Movie: Hollywood's Take on Disease Detectives

CAPT Douglas Hamilton, EIS program staff epidemiologist, discusses Warner Bros. movie Contagion.

Could the movie "Contagion" really happen?
WABC-TV New York, NY
September 15, 2011

"Contagion" shines light on real-life 'disease detectives'
The Washington Post
September 13, 2011

CDC: Contagion movie plot is possible
CBS Atlanta (WGCL-TV)
September 12, 2011

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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  • Page last reviewed: August 11, 2014
  • Page last updated: February 18, 2015
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