Success Stories


Just in time for this seasons’ blooms, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a new national reporting system for harmful algal blooms (HABS), called One Health Harmful Algal Bloom System (OHHABS). OHHABS provides an electronic platform for state public health departments to report human and animal illnesses resulting from exposure to HABs.

person smoking an e-cigarette

One of the hottest topics in public health today is the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), commonly referred to as “vaping.” These devices are often marketed as a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes, and represent a growing market share of tobacco products.

burning synthetic marijuana cigarette

Synthetic marijuana a broad term for a number of products containing dried plant material sprayed with various manmade chemicals and smoked as an alternative to marijuana.

bottles of supplements

One half of U.S. adults in the United States use dietary supplements such as herbs. Some of these products have been recognized as potential causes of liver injury; however, linking liver injury to a specific product is difficult.

photo of pills

In March 2013, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) began investigating an unusual cluster of symptoms among persons taking dietary supplements from a single manufacturer, Purity First. Reported health effects varied, ranging from unusual hair growth in women, to fatigue, muscle pain, and anxiety. Some patients had elevated liver enzymes and cholesterol levels.

success map thumbnail image

You often hear about the importance of electronic medical records and electronic health records, but what about electronic death records? In a disaster, prompt and accurate recording of death certificates are critical for effective post-disaster surveillance. Until recent CDC efforts, however, timely and accurate vital records lagged far behind what public health and communities in distress need.

Rebecca S. Noe (right) is with Dr. Suleiman Haladu

On any given vacation day, you might find Commander Rebecca S. Noe in Alaska exploring the frozen, snowy peaks or hiking the hot, dusty trails at the Grand Canyon. Extreme weather and rigorous environmental challenges are what make this dual-trained scientist – both a nurse and an epidemiologist – tick.

iFund participants

Kenya experiences extreme aflatoxin exposure and fatal, recurring aflatoxicosis outbreaks. They urgently need evidence-based interventions. One promising intervention is NovaSil clay. After it is ingested, NovaSil binds to aflatoxin and prevents it from being absorbed into the body. A team from NCEH’s Health Studies Branch wants to test the use of NovaSil clay tablets to block the ravaging effects of aflatoxin.

Arid, mountainous terrain of Tigray, Ethiopia. Photo by CDC staff

A strange new illness was spreading throughout Tigray, the northern region of Ethiopia. In this dry, mountainous area, people living in remote homes and villages were coming down with what appeared to be the same unknown disease.

Buttke takes a sample from a goat herd. Photo by CDC staff

CDC’s Colleen Martin, MSPH, was alone in her office the day that the test results came in from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She was so eager to see what they revealed that she did a preliminary analysis of the data in just one day.

laundry pods

During May and early June 2012, the Carolina Poison Center and the Poison Control Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia received four reports of children with vomiting, mental status changes, and respiratory distress after ingesting the contents of laundry detergent pods.

man working on water tank

Water hauling is widespread on Navajo Nation. About 25% of their households are not connected to a public water system and must haul drinking water from outside, often untreated sources. CDC conducted a study that showed widespread bacterial contamination and water sources.

man working on samples

Beginning in late September of 2006, media headlines spoke of a “mystery illness” responsible for numerous deaths and almost two-dozen seriously ill patients in the Republic of Panama. CDC’s toxicology experts helped unravel this deadly and unanticipated threat.