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Video: Global Disease Detectives - Clues and Answers

Examples of CDC at work in the world help protect America and all from disease threats that respect no borders.

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SCOTT DOWELL: We can help countries to pick up new threats, to confirm them in the laboratory, to investigate clusters of disease, and ultimately to treat patients and contain the new disease threat before it spreads around the world.

KIM LINDBLADE: And of these new emerging infections, Zoonotic diseases play a huge role. And Zoonotic diseases are those that are transmitted from animals to humans.

PATRICIA JULIAO: Bats are found all over the world, and they've been associated with different diseases all over the world, so what information we find here will give us an idea of what sort of infections they can harbor and what is the likelihood of those infections being transmitted to humans.

DAVID MORAN: Right now, right here, we are trying to get some samples from the bats, because there's an outbreak right now -- there's a current outbreak of rabies in cattle in this area. We find bats in the net. We check what kind of species, because there are some protected species. We take and put in some small bags, and then we took all the captured animals and go to a facility here in the village. We anesthetize the animals and take blood samples and samples from ectoparasites.

KIM LINDBLADE: The reason for having the program here is to understand more about the kinds of infections and diseases that are occurring in Central America, which helps us to understand and prepare better in the United States,
to counter -- to prevent and to treat -- these important infectious diseases.

ROBERT BREIMAN: Because of market practices, because of air traffic, it's very possible for a disease to move from one corner
of the Earth to another within a day. We have a very unique project going on in Kibera. We have a group of what we call community interviewers -- they're basically field workers.

[Ouma speaking Kenyan language ]

ROBERT BREIMAN: They carry personal digital assistants, you know, PDAs. These PDAs are programmed with the questions that we're trying to get answers for.

JANE ALICE OUMA: Like, we can talk of cholera. H1N1 was found in the community.

ROSELYN ATIENO ODENGO: She wanted to know how we are going on, anyone who has been sick, anyone who has been in hospital.

JANE ALICE OUMA: So, in this last one week...

ROBERT BREIMAN: And this is an area of about 30,000 people, about 8,000 households. And they go to every single household every two weeks. And if someone's very sick, they encourage them to go to the field clinic. So diseases that emerge, for instance, in the urban slum of Kenya, that might seem so remote and not relevant to someone living in North America, are actually quite relevant and quite important.

SCOTT DOWELL: There's no better way to protect the American population against new disease threats than by strengthening our partners in public health institutions around the world so that they can be contained where they start.

  • Page last reviewed: May 2, 2011
  • Page last updated: May 2, 2011
  • Content source: Global Health
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