Infectious Disease

A Matter of Life and Death: How States Are Tackling Sepsis as Public Policy

November 25, 2019

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused by the body’s extreme response to an infection and can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Sepsis can be caused by a wide range of infections but is most commonly linked to infections of the lungs, kidneys, skin, and gut. Based on CDC estimates, at least 1.7 million American adults developed sepsis in 2014 and nearly 270,000 died as a result of sepsis. CDC investigations showed that sepsis begins outside of the hospital for four out of every five patients. While preventing infections and illness is critical to reduce the risk of sepsis, early detection and immediate treatment is often the difference between life and death. Many opportunities exist to improve sepsis prevention, detection, and treatment and improve patient outcomes. Our experts discuss the national burden and epidemiology of sepsis, the importance of raising awareness among healthcare personnel and the community, and case examples of state efforts to promote policy changes relating to sepsis, including options for state-level policy to identify and/or prevent sepsis.Read More »

Public Health on the Frontlines to Combat Flu

October 16, 2019

It’s that time of year again…flu season. Each year, the United States battles seasonal influenza, leaving thousands of people sick, hospitalized, or worse. Public health professionals across the nation are on the front lines, doing their best to prepare for and respond to seasonal flu in the hopes of reducing the likelihood of a pandemic event. This episode will focus on the burden of seasonal and pandemic flu, and highlight key planning activities and strategies that federal, state, and local public health agencies are doing to combat flu and keep communities healthy.Read More »

The Fungus Among Us

September 24, 2019

In the United States, three main types of fungi—coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis, and blastomycosis—can cause lung infections like pneumonia when people breathe in fungal spores from the air. Depending on where you live, you may be more likely to come in contact with one of these fungi. Some fungal diseases go undiagnosed and cause serious infections in people in the United States and around the world, leading to illness and death. Increased awareness about fungal diseases is one of the most important ways we can improve early recognition and reduce delays in diagnosis and treatment. In this episode, in honor of Fungal Disease Awareness Week, Tom Chiller from CDC’s Mycotic Diseases Branch, and Kristen Ehresmann, director at the Minnesota Department of Health’s Infectious Disease Epidemiology department, talk about the risks of endemic fungal diseases.Read More »

Seeing the Possible: A Conversation with CDC Director Robert Redfield

April 30, 2019

In March 2018, Robert R. Redfield became the 18th director of CDC, bringing to the role more than 30 years of experience as a public health leader engaged in the clinical research and care of viral infections and infectious diseases, especially HIV. Since then, HHS and President Trump have announced an ambitious plan to end HIV in America, a cause which Redfield considers a prominent part of his life’s work. But public health challenges remain, including the opioid epidemic and anti-vaccine movement. In this wide-ranging conversation, Redfield shares insights into how his own personal experiences have shaped his priorities as CDC director, the importance of improved communication around vaccine education, CDC’s strategy to end HIV transmission, and how the agency plans to support states and territories as they address the opioid epidemic and other public health challenges.Read More »

The State of STDs

April 12, 2018

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are at a record high in the United States, and while they can impact anyone, vulnerable groups—including young people, pregnant women, and men who have sex with men—are hit hardest. In this episode, we hear state and national perspectives from leaders in the fight against STDs, discussing the resurgence and health impacts of STDs, proven prevention strategies, and the critical role of disease intervention specialists.Read More »

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