CDC

Epidemiologists traditionally have depended on what people say to discover how disease spreads. But in investigating Indiana's recent HIV outbreak, the CDC tracked what the virus says — by looking at its DNA.


Brian Paul/Side Effects

A generation of young men missed out on the HPV vaccine. Now, Side Effects Public Media's 29-year-old correspondent wonders if that’s putting him at risk.

Congress Still Limits Health Research On Gun Violence

Dec 8, 2015

Mass shootings and police shootings have spurred calls for authorities to take action to reduce the violence. But policymakers may be stymied by the dearth of public health research into both gun violence and deaths that involve the police. One big obstacle: congressional restrictions on funding of such research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Right now, the CDC studies all kinds of violence. There's a program on child abuse and youth violence, and the public health agency collects data on suicides and sexual assaults.

A medical examiner in Las Vegas prepares tissue samples from a corpse for viewing under a microscope to help determine cause of death. States are taking steps to improve the quality of information supplied on death certificates.
Associated Press

Robert Anderson may know more about death than anybody else in the United States.

Anderson is chief of mortality statistics for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Information about death flows into his suburban Maryland office from all over the country, detailing not only how many Americans have died—2,596,993 in 2013—but the causes of those deaths. Researchers use the information to learn what kills Americans, and public officials use it to craft policies to improve health and safety.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still trying to figure out how the military managed to ship anthrax spores that were apparently live from one of its facilities to more than a dozen labs across the United States.

"We have a team at the [military] lab to determine what may have led to this incident," says CDC spokesman Jason McDonald. In addition, he says, the agency is working with health officials in nine states to make sure the potentially live samples are safely disposed of and the labs affected are decontaminated.

Health officials in California have linked the measles outbreak at Disneyland to a type most commonly found in the Philippines, but they don’t yet know exactly how this particular strain of the virus got to Disneyland.

Unimmunized travelers returning from the Philippines have spread measles in California before. Yesterday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 141 cases of measles since Jan. 1, in two separate outbreaks. Last year, U.S. health officials reported the highest number of measles cases in two decades.