News Articles


  • Investigating rabies in Omaha through multi-agency response
    CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officers investigate a strain of the raccoon rabies variant identified in a deceased kitten in Douglas County, Nebraska. The multi-pronged effort involves local, state, and federal officials ― including 2 EIS officers, Drs. Sydney Stein (class of 2023), Ann Carpenter (class of 2022), and EIS alumnus, Ryan Wallace. Seeking to contain and eliminate a rabies strain found for the first time west of the Appalachian Mountains in late September, EIS officers quickly began enhanced surveillance. Rapid response is critical to containing a disease that can spread from wild animals to pets and humans. Testing is expected to continue, though the hope is that early detection coupled with vaccination efforts could mean Douglas County, Nebraska doesn’t see another case.
    Omaha World-Herald
    October 29, 2023
  • Hand Sanitizer Isn’t Cutting It. Here’s Why Hikers Need to Start Washing Their Hands
    EIS officers investigated an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness which spread throughout the Washington stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2022. Arran Hamlet, PhD, MSc (EIS class of 2022) and colleagues surveyed sick hikers and found that most of them used alcohol-based hand sanitizers instead of handwashing. The article noted while hand sanitizer effectively kills germs like E. coli and SARS-CoV-2, it does not have the same effect for norovirus, the cause of the gastrointestinal illness studied by Arran and his colleagues. The study suggests that preventing future outbreaks will require promoting the importance of handwashing and ineffectiveness of alcohol-based hand sanitizers against norovirus, and more frequent cleaning of public facilities.
    Yahoo Lifestyle
    October 9, 2023
  • Doctors watching for more cases after mysterious cluster of brain infections strikes kids in southern Nevada
    EIS officers investigated a cluster of rare and serious brain abscesses in kids in and around Las Vegas, Nevada, and doctors from other parts of the country say they may be seeing a rise in cases, too. Dr. Jessica Penney, EIS class of 2022, presented findings during the 2023 EIS conference of her investigation into the Clark County, Nevada cluster while CDC continues monitoring the situation closely. Pandemic-related social distancing, which limited children’s typical exposures to infectious diseases, is a suspected cause of an “immunity gap;” therefore potentially leading to unusual increases in childhood infections.
    CNN Health
    April 28, 2023
  • CDC ‘detectives’ study HIV clusters among Hispanics in metro Atlanta
    Multiple HIV clusters were identified in metro Atlanta in 2021 and 2022 among men who are gay or bisexual and other men who have sex with men. Dr. David Philpott, EIS class of 2021 and lead author of the published study, presented findings during the 2023 EIS conference, citing language barriers, lack of access to primary care, and immigration-deportation concerns as barriers to Hispanic men seeking HIV treatment.
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    April 26, 2023
  • The Disruptors: Black Women Championing Public Health Post-Pandemic
    CDC relies on a diverse, flexible, and highly trained public health workforce ― one that reflects the diversity of America. Keisha Lindsay Nurse, Ph.D., is a member of the largest class of Black women EIS officers in CDC history. Dr. Nurse shared with Essence Magazine how she and her colleagues in the EIS class of 2022 will draw from diverse backgrounds to make a positive impact on policies and programs that prevent diseases and protect communities. Dr. Nurse says, “Black women are at the center of many public health conversations and crises, such as the concerning Black maternal mortality rate. Having Black women gain the training EIS offers positions us to become public health leaders who drive the systemic changes needed to improve the health of Black women, Black communities, and our nation.”
    Essence Magazine
    March 31, 2023
  • Flu, RSV and Covid may have peaked. But the threat isn’t over
    Hospitalizations related to flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and COVID have fallen across the United States since December 2022. There’s still no way to predict what will happen for the remainder of this year’s flu season, and research indicates that respiratory illnesses hit children the hardest in 2022. CDC disease detective Christine Thomas recently co-authored a study with colleagues in Tennessee that showed that children in the state were twice as likely as adults to test positive for flu, and they tended to be sicker. With the flu season still ongoing, experts urge vaccination – Thomas’s co-author Dr. William Schaffner says, “Flu probably won’t go away completely until we get into the early summer.”
    NBC News
    January 19, 2023

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