disease outbreaks

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'Big Chicken': The Medical Mystery That Traced Back To Slaughterhouse Workers

Maryn McKenna | NPR | September 10, 2017

Reimert Ravenholt, a physician at the Seattle Department of Public Health, was puzzled. It was the winter of 1956, and for weeks now, local doctors had been calling him, describing blue-collar men coming into their offices with hot, red rashes and swollen boils running up their arms. The men were feverish and in so much pain they had to stay home from work, sometimes for weeks...

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Blue Ribbon Study Panel On Biodefense Receives $2.5 Million Grant To Reduce Risk of Catastrophic Bioweapon Disease Outbreaks

Press Release | Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense | February 15, 2018

The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense announced today a $2.5 million grant from the Open Philanthropy Project. The grant allows the Panel to continue its leadership role in assessing our nation’s biodefense, issuing recommendations and advocating for their implementation, and identifying viable avenues for needed change to policy. The grant comes amidst heightened global tensions as North Korea and other regimes seek to develop biological weapons. It also arrives on the 100th anniversary of a catastrophic influenza pandemic that took the lives of millions around the world, a stark reminder of the dangers of biological events.

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Blue Ribbon Study Panel Recognizes National Security Strategy, Calls for Comprehensive Approach

Press Release | Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense | December 21, 2017

Senator Joseph Lieberman and Governor Tom Ridge, the co-chairs of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, today addressed the newly updated U.S. National Security Strategy and the emphasis it places on combatting biological threats to the country. “With the release of the National Security Strategy, the Administration is sending a strong message to our enemies that America takes the biological threat seriously,” said Sen. Lieberman and Gov. Ridge.

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Camels And Contagion: Inside Global Hunt For Source Of MERS

Cynthia Gorney | National Geographic | May 13, 2014

With another case of the virus confirmed in the U.S., virus detectives are tracing its spread.

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Geospatial Intelligence: A Diagnostic Dashboard For A Healthier Nation

Chris Powell | Government Health IT | July 17, 2015

When it comes to public health, and identifying the events and behaviors that affect it, agencies charged with protecting the health and welfare of citizens need to leverage every available tool at their disposal to quickly and effectively respond to growing threats. Data mapping is a tool to answer the call...In the case of emergencies, planning and crisis response, open-source information is readily available via the CDC...

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HHS Ventures Team Helps Detect Disease Outbreaks

It was a no brainer for the HHS Ventures Fund to include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) GHOST project in its latest round of funding. There are about 3.5 million Americans infected with Hepatitis C (HCV), which attacks the liver and can lead to cirrhosis and other serious health problems, according to the latest data collected by the CDC. This CDC Ventures team is developing a cloud-based, public health research tool to help state and local health departments more quickly detect and fight the spread of disease. The team calls their system GHOST – Global Hepatitis Outbreak Surveillance Technology...

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How A Free Mobile App Fights Ebola And Other Global Epidemics

The enormity and severity of the West African Ebola epidemic that began in 2014 is hard to fathom. The outbreak resulted in more than 11,000 deaths, and hundreds of thousands of people affected by loss. Providing adequate care for any medical condition depends on information, but even more so when dealing with an epidemic that is as severe, dangerous, and fast-moving as Ebola. This is the story of how a dispersed global health IT community banded together to solve the enormous, unique information challenges presented by Ebola...

Majority of States Score 6 or Lower Out of 10 Indicators in Report on Health Emergency Preparedness

Press Release | Trust for America’s Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation | December 19, 2012

Washington, D.C., December 19, 2012 – In the 10th annual Ready or Not? Protecting the Public from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism report, 35 states and Washington, D.C. scored a six or lower on 10 key indicators of public health preparedness. Read More »

Moving Counter-Clockwise: Lessons from Hurricanes, Floods and Earthquakes

The plethora of natural disasters raises all sorts of complicated but expected issues – from discussions of the legitimacy of global warming to the adequacy (or lack thereof) of on the ground relief efforts. One would have thought that post-Katrina, we would be ready, willing and able to provide immediate relief to those in need of disaster relief...despite capacities, we have been stunningly slow in moving these new services into disaster areas. Instead of technology advancing the ball, it is as if we are moving our clocks backwards. Sure, in the absence of cell towers, creative workarounds have been enabled like ATT&T facilitating communications to/from the mainland for its customers.

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The Shutdown Will Harm the Health and Safety of Americans, even After it's Long Over

With the U.S. federal government shutdown now the longest in history, it's important to understand what a shutdown means for the health and safety of Americans. The good news is that in the short run, the consequences are relatively few. But, as a researcher who studies natural disaster planning, I believe that Americans should be worried about the federal government's long-term ability to ensure good public health and protect the public from disasters. As the shutdown drags on, it increasingly weakens the government's ability to protect Americans down the road, long after federal workers are allowed to go back to work. Many of these effects are largely invisible and may feel intangible because they don't currently affect specific individuals...

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Tracking Disease One Text at a Time

Belinda Luscombe | TIME.com | August 15, 2012

How cheap cell phones — and quick thumbs — are saving lives in Uganda

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Wireless Access for Health Project and Open Source HIS to Expand to All Tarlac Health Clinics in the Philippines

Press Release | Qualcomm Incorporated | May 23, 2012

Tarlac to Become the First Philippine Province to Use 3G Technology and a Modern [Open Source] Health Information System to Enable More Responsive Health Care for an Entire Province
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Zambian Minister Says Open Source DHIS2 Is Vital for Healthcare

Chali Mulenga | Zambia Daily Mail | June 5, 2015

[Zambia's] Deputy Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya says district health information systems are critical for surveillance and planning in the provision healthcare services. Dr Chilufya said the health sector in collaboration with co-operating partners commenced the implementation of a web-based health facility data base called district health information system (DHIS2). He was speaking in Livingstone on Wednesday during the DHIS2 academy training conducted by Oslo University.

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