Center of Disease Control

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Center for Disease Control Wiki

Created as a federal agency during the WWII to work for prevention of Malaria that happened to be great threat to lives at that time, Center of Disease Control has today become a leading agency on public health. CDC has its headquarters in Atlanta and works round the clock to raise awareness about diseases. In its history of 70 years of existence, the name of the agency has been changed many times and today it is called Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The priorities and interests of CDC have been changing all the time and while it focused upon Malaria eradication and prevention at one point of time, the focus and attention seems to have shifted towards H1N1 and the swine flu recently.

 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Doing Yeoman Service

CDC has been responsible in saving thousands of lives throughout its existence and people have tremendous faith in the health advices and tips given out through the website of the agency apart from of course its large workforce of doctors and biologists. If we talk about pandemics that have struck the population since WW II, it was malaria that took centre stage and required the efforts of CDC and the common people to be eradicated from most of the countries of the world. However, two pandemics that have shook the world in the last two decades causing panic and terror in the minds of the people not just in the US but around the world is bird flu or avian flu and the swine flu or H1N1. It was only in august 2010 that WHO Director General acknowledged that the influenza virus subtype called H1N1 was past the stage of being a pandemic and has moved in a stage labeled as post pandemic.

Two viruses that have struck most fear in recent times Incidentally, both avian flu and swine flu are viruses of influenza affecting birds and swine respectively. But somehow, when they started to affect human beings did they raise an alarm among the authorities. Of the two, it was bird flu that terrorized the world earlier when it was reported first in a 59 year old woman in Hong Kong in 1997.  The disease rarely afflicted humans and it could spread only to those who worked in close proximity to birds and chicken infected with this influenza like virus. It was only later that the virus got mutated and developed the ability to afflict human beings. Now the virus could spread from person to person and created influenza like symptoms in human beings and proved to be far more deadly than simple human influenza virus. Bird flu soon spread to different continents and situation became drastic and desperate when governments started to order slaughter of chickens and ducks on suspicion of spreading avian flu among human beings.

 Swine flu arrived later but terrorized more

It was much later in 2009 that the world got terrorized again the form of swine flu which was a virus affecting the swine population. It was influenza virus of a different strain that produced wheezing and redness of eyes in pigs similar to what was observed in birds when they became afflicted with avian flu. There were rare instances of virus jumping off the pigs and catching human beings working in poultries but it was later that swine flu got converted into a new strain and started to spread from one to another human being that the world took notice of this virus called H1N1 2009 by CDC. It was nothing less than a pandemic during 2009-2010 and caused panic among the population in different parts of the world. The pandemic was deadly and resulted in thousands of deaths in many countries with several governments ordering killing of large numbers of pigs in their countries.

There is a shot to prevent swine flu Interestingly, there was no vaccine to prevent avian flu and even today there is no vaccine that people can take and stay in peace secured that they cannot catch H1N1. However, scientists at CDC have developed a shot called vaccination against seasonal flu that is said t prevent onset of H1N1 virus.

 The symptoms of swine flu include fever with a temperature of 100.4 degree Centigrade, aching of muscles, dry cough and a sore throat. These symptoms persist for a week or so before leaving. One should consult his GP for medication upon suspicion of swine flu. There used to be a national Pandemic Flu Service that has been disbanded.To learn more about the swine flu click here