On Thursday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled the Check and Report Ebola Kit, which it will be handing out starting Monday to travelers from West Africa who arrive at U.S. airports. Think of it as a swag bag for epidemic time.
It begins with a rash – red, and expanding. Then, exhaustion. Joints ache as if with arthritis. There may be a headache, fever, chills. If it goes untreated, the arthritis can last years. Even worse, the brain may be affected, leading to shooting pains and tingling limbs, or even memory loss.
These are the symptoms of Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that affects around 300,000 Americans each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is no human vaccine for Lyme, but now a CDC researcher has developed a new way to fight the troublesome disease: by vaccinating the mice that carry it.
While most Americans probably haven't heard of Chikungunya, Ann Powers, a research microbiologist at the Centers for Disease Control, has been studying the virus for 15 years.
The mosquito-carried virus made the news recently when the first locally-transmitted case of it appeared in Florida, July 17. Now, the public and medical researchers are wondering if it may spread further into the United States, and how serious it might be.
The research that Powers does at the CDC's Division of Vector Borne Diseases in Fort Collins may help answer some of those questions.