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Success Stories

CDC launches updated Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) website and the One Health Harmful Algal Bloom System

	HABJust 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.

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E-cigarette study sparks national attention around e-cigarettes and nicotine toxicity

	person smoking an e-cigaretteOne 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.

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Rise in Colorado ED visits launches epi investigation associated with synthetic marijuana

	burning synthetic marijuana cigaretteSynthetic 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.

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Epi team links national outbreak of liver failure, acute hepatitis to dietary supplements

	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.

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Epi investigation finds steroid-laced vitamins and minerals; Purity First offers product recalls

	photo of pillsIn 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.

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Disaster Epi: HSB staff's field experience boosts national data reporting

	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.

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Commander Noe embodies never-give-up spirit: 2015 Nurse Responder of the Year

	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.

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CDC awards iFund Challenge for Innovation

	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.

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Disease Detectives in Ethiopia, Part 1

	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.

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Disease Detectives in Ethiopia, Part 2

	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.

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Children’s Poisoning from Laundry Detergent Pods

	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.

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Navajo Nation Safe Drinking Water Initiatives

	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.

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Panama’s Mystery Illness

	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.

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