The CDC lost control of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Then the agency disappeared


The world’s premier health agency pushed a flawed coronavirus containment strategy — until it disappeared from public view one day before the outbreak was declared a pandemic.

 On January 17, the world’s most trusted public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced it was screening travelers from Wuhan, China, because of a new infectious respiratory illness striking that city.

It was the CDC’s first public briefing on the outbreak, coming as China reported 45 cases of the illness and two deaths linked to a seafood and meat market in Wuhan. Chinese health officials had not yet confirmed that the new illness was transmitted from person to person. But there was reason to believe that it might be: four days earlier, officials in Thailand confirmed their first case, a traveler from Wuhan who had not visited the seafood market.

“Based on the information that CDC has today, we believe the current risk from this virus to the general public is low,” said Nancy Messonnier, the CDC’s director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Messonnier, 54, was a veteran of the CDC’s renowned Epidemiological Intelligence Service, where she had risen through the ranks during the national responses to the anthrax attacks and the previous decade’s swine flu pandemic to eventually head the agency’s vaccines center.

Most of the novel coronavirus’s infections apparently went “from animals to people,” she explained, and human transmission was “limited.”

There were many reasons why the information the CDC had on January 17 was wrong. It was wrong because China’s leaders withheld what they already knew about the virus from the World Health Organization. It was wrong, perhaps, because Trump administration officials had cut CDC staffers in Beijing who might have reported the truth directly from China. And it was wrong because past coronavirus outbreaks provided a false guide to an illness new to humanity.

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CDC uses HP bioprinters to speed up testing for new antibiotics


The pilot will help test effectiveness against superbugs.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is turning to some bleeding edge tech in its bid to stamp out drug-resistant ‘superbug’ bacteria. It’s buying a slew of HP bioprinters (the D300e you see above) as part of a pilot program that could speed up the testing of more effective antibiotics. The machines will give regional labs in New York, Minnesota, Tennessee and Wisconsin their first shot at printing drug samples used for developing and running antimicrobial susceptibility tests. Hospitals won’t have to wait for testing or else risk mistakes like overusing drugs.

The testing will start at CDC’s regional labs in the first quarter of HP’s fiscal 2019 (between November and January). Its initial focus is on widely resistant bacteria. And HP won’t be done once th e bioprinters are in the Center’s hands. HP will help the CDC study the success of the pilot, tweak it if needed, and explore the possibility of wider-scale printer uses if the test proves successful. This may become an instrumental part of fighting superbugs if all goes smoothly.

Via Engadget 

The historically low birthrate, explained in 3 charts


US women are having fewer and fewer babies. In some ways, it’s a sign of progress.

The number of births in the US dropped by 2 percent between 2016 and 2017, to 60.2 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, continuing a general downturn that started with the great recession of 2008. Getty Images/Ikon Images

American women are having so few babies these days that the fertility rate has hit a historic low, according to stunning provisional data just published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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CDC warns “we will soon be in a post-antibiotic era”

For some patients and for some microbes, we are already in the post-antibiotic era.

The Centers for Disease Control, in a highly unusual new report, warned that America is threatened by a wave of new antibiotic-proof germs that could threaten public health, and that overuse of antibiotics in health care and industrial agriculture bears much of the blame.



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Hospitals now a major source of contracting antibiotic-resistant infections: CDC

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are prevalent in the U.S.

Antibiotic-resistant infections are rapidly increasing in the United States, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  In the U.S., more than two million people get drug-resistant infections every year. About 23,000 die from these diseases that are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics in doctors’ arsenals.



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95% of people don’t wash their hands correctly: Study

Handwashing is the most effective thing one can do to reduce the spread of infectious disease.

When consulting the CDC’s official guide to handwashing you might be surprised to learn that they don’t distinguish between using warm or cold water.They say what is important is that you use soap, that you scrub well (including the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails) for at least 20 seconds, and that you dry your hands afterwards. The CDC also officially recommends humming the “Happy Birthday” song twice through for an accurate measure of time.



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Up to 1 in 5 U.S. children have a mental health disorder: CDC

Only 21 percent of affected children actually get treatment.

About 7 million to 12 million children in the U.S., up to 1 in 5,  experience a mental-health disorder each year, according to a new report billed as the first comprehensive look at the mental-health status of American children.



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Suicide rates rise sharply among middle-aged Americans

More people now die of suicide than in car accidents.

The rate of suicide among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade, prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription painkillers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm.



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The drugs that actually kill Americans: Infographic

There were 80,000 drug and alcohol overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WONDER database. The database, maintained by the National Center for Health Statistics, keeps a tally of all the deaths listed on certificates nationwide. They’re classified by the ICD-10 medical coding reference system.



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Nightmare drug-defying bacteria are spreading in U.S. hospitals

CDC microbiologist,holds up a plate that demonstrates the modified Hodge test, which is used to identify resistance in bacteria.

In hospitals across America, deadly infections with bacteria that resist even the strongest antibiotics are on the rise. Health officials have warned that here is only a “limited window of opportunity” to halt their spread.



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Brace yourselves for the worst flu season in a decade

The latest influenza activity update in the U.S. has just been released by the CDC  and it’s not a pretty picture. First things first: GET VACCINATED. If you’re over six months old or someone you interact with on a regular basis is at high risk of flu complications (i.e. young, old, pregnant, immunocompromised, etc.):  GET VACCINATED. This year’s flu  virus has arrived early and it has health officials across the country bracing themselves for what could be the worst flu season in a decade.



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