Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | WABE 90.1 FM

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Martha Irvine / Associated Press

A widely shared story that U.S. health officials are recommending a delay in breast-feeding to improve vaccine effectiveness is false.


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The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency named in the false reports, encourages breast-feeding . The CDC says breast milk is best for all infants except in rare cases such as when a mother has active, untreated tuberculosis.


branden camp / associated press file

A proposal to replace the Obama health care law would cut out a pillar of funding for the nation's lead public health agency, and experts say that would likely curtail programs across the country to prevent problems like lead poisoning and hospital infections.

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Molly Samuel / WABE

Experts on climate change and public health gathered at the Carter Center on Thursday for a conference put together to replace one with a similar agenda the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put on hold.

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David Goldman / Associated Press

Atlanta's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has canceled a summit next month on climate change and health.

According to the Associated Press, CDC officials have told other people involved in the meeting that the Trump administration did not ask or order that it be canceled.

Instead, the agency said it took the step because of concern about how the new administration would view the summit.

Aspen Institute

Dr. Tom Frieden will step down as head of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Inauguration Day.  That's standard practice when a new president takes power.

WABE’s Amy Kiley spoke with Frieden about his time with the CDC and the future of the institution.  He started by addressing concerns that a new administration might reduce funding for the CDC or change its priorities.

Interview Highlights:

Some employees in Atlanta outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they were anxious about President-elect Donald Trump leading the nation and appointing public health leaders who are against mandatory vaccinations.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Employees at the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the mood in their office is somber.

The employees of one of the largest federal agencies in Atlanta said they're concerned about job safety, funding and new public health policies under Donald Trump's presidency.

At the General Muir deli across the street from the CDC, a few employees talked to WABE, asking that their names not be used. One microbiologist said her colleagues were crying in the hallways. 

In this Monday, Aug. 31, 2015 photo, a Coke truck delivers Coca Cola at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

A new study has found Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and its main rival, PepsiCo, gave money to nearly 100 national health organizations between 2011 and 2015.

Emory University, the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation are among a half-dozen Atlanta-based groups receiving funding from Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

A government survey has found at least one violation in nearly 80 percent of public pool and hot tub inspections from 2013 in five states.

The Centers for Disease Control says it analyzed more than 84,000 inspections of nearly 49,000 public venues in Arizona, California, Florida, New York and Texas, the five states with the most public pools.

The CDC says 1 in 8 inspections resulted in immediate closure because of serious health and safety violations. It says 1 in 5 kiddie pools were shut down.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, without additional emergency funding from Congress, it may have to stop or delay measures to prevent the Zika virus.

Right now the CDC's Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response is throwing everything it's got at trying to understand Zika and prepare for warmer temperatures favorable to mosquitoes that can carry the virus. 

Michell Eloy / WABE

Katy Mallory says she’s ready to head to the hospital at moment’s notice: “If we need to get our bags, we actually have them in the car already."

Mallory is pregnant with twin girls, due in early May. Her pregnancy has been relatively routine, except for one twist.

Earlier this year, Mallory’s husband, Dan, traveled to Mexico for business. Mexico is among the countries where the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say mosquitos are actively spreading Zika, the virus that’s been linked to severe birth defects in Brazil.

White House officials said President Barack Obama is offering federal funding to state and local agencies and certain nonprofit groups in Georgia that responded to the mid-February storm.
Jim Bourg / Associated Press

President Barack Obama is headed to Atlanta at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to address the National Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit, where he's expected to speak on new measures expanding addiction treatment.

Michell Eloy

In a nondescript office park outside Atlanta, researchers at Emory University's Hope Clinic are running tests on blood and plasma.

The samples come from people who received an experimental Ebola vaccine, which made it to a final efficacy trial in West Africa. Unfortunately, it arrived a little too late.

“We were unable to have enough cases, which is a good thing,” said Emory’s Dr. Mark Mulligan. “We’re glad the cases went down, but for the vaccine, we didn’t get to answer that all important final question: Does it protect?”

In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil.
Felipe Dana, File / Associated Press

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has elevated its emergency response to what it calls a Level 1 status, the highest level, to come up with a comprehensive response to the Zika virus outbreak.

'All Hands On Deck'

David Goldman / Associated Press

With the largest Ebola outbreak under control, officials with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they see 2016 as an opportunity to transition away from responding to Ebola and toward strengthening the public health systems in countries vulnerable to infectious diseases.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, based in Atlanta, plans to investigate a possible link between environmental factors and cancer in Ware County in southeast Georgia.

Georgia Health News reports the agency is responding to a petition from residents.

The area has a history of industrial contamination.

And there have been three recent cases of a rare form of soft tissue sarcoma in children who live there.

David Goldman / Associated Press

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received a huge funding bump for antibiotic resistance research in the federal budget.

The budget, signed by President Obama last week, appropriates an extra $160 million for the research this upcoming fiscal year. Beth Bell, who heads the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases at the CDC, says that's a significant increase from the $18 million before.

Alan Diaz / Associated Press

A report from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows an overwhelming majority of Georgia high schools and middle schools aren't teaching all of the agency's recommended sex education topics.

The report, conducted during the 2013-2014 school year and released Wednesday, says Georgia's high schools performed better than most states on the majority of the 16 recommended topics.

Reggie Batiste, program manager with AIDS Healthcare Foundation, administers a free HIV test as part of National HIV Testing Day.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Health officials say they see signs that new HIV infections in gay black men may finally be leveling off.

New figures released Sunday show that the number of newly diagnosed cases in gay and bisexual black men hasn't moved up much since 2010 — less than 1 percent.

The group accounts for about 10,000 of the 40,000 new HIV cases diagnosed last year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented the numbers at a conference in Atlanta.

Would you agree to take a public health survey with 75 questions on it?

What if it had as many as 1,200 potential questions?

As you might expect, people were much more likely to agree to take the shorter one. And that's what it looked like nearly 60 years ago, when the government launched what would become the most influential survey aimed at monitoring the nation's public health.

But now, the National Health Interview Survey has mushroomed along with the government and its interests. It takes the average family more than 90 minutes to complete it.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a potentially deadly insect making headlines is in Georgia, but it has been for some time.

Kissing bugs, or triatomines, occur naturally in Latin America and in the southern half of the United States, including here in Georgia. They’re known to carry a parasite that can cause Chagas disease, which the CDC says can be fatal if left untreated.

The bugs suck the blood of birds, reptiles and mammals, including humans, and transmit the parasite through their feces.

In late September, the World Health Organization removed Nigeria from the list of polio-endemic countries, marking more than a year since the country’s last transmission of the disease.

The interruption brings Nigeria a step closer to its decades-long goal of complete eradication and underscores a major turnaround in the country’s fight against the paralyzing disease. Just three years ago, Nigeria accounted for more than half of worldwide polio transmissions. Its success now leaves only two countries on the list of endemic nations: Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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In September 2015, WABE sent our reporters out to find out one thing: "What defines Atlanta, exactly? Do we have a unique identity?" You can read the rest of the stories here.


Lucrative state tax incentives have made movie sets a common sight around Atlanta over the past few years, but the city is still trying to find its on-screen persona.

You have to start with "Gone With the Wind," said Eddy von Mueller, a film and media professor at Emory University.

Ryan Nabulsi /

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded Emory University a $2.2 million grant to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including Ebola, in hospitals.

“What we’re trying to do is make a safer environment for both patients and health care workers,” said Jesse T. Jacob, associate professor of medicine at Emory University, who’s leading the grant.

A recent CDC survey found that about one out of 25 of hospital patients has at least one care-associated infection.

CDC Expert Warns Of Concussion Risks As Football Starts

Sep 22, 2015
In this Dec. 21, 2013 file photo, Aledo quarterback Luke Bishop (4) is tackled by Brenham's Ryan Nunn (22) in the first half during the UIL Class 4A, Division II high school football championship game in Arlington, Texas.
Matt Strasen / AP Photo

The football gridiron is a dangerous place. Players from professional to high school to even younger risk bodily injury every time they take to the field.

With football season in full swing, the rate of injuries increases. A potentially serious injury is something you can’t even see: a concussion.

Hundreds of thousands of children are treated every year for traumatic brain injuries, like concussions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Climate and Health Summit that was scheduled for February has been canceled.
John Lorinc / WABE

School starts too early in the morning for most teenagers. That's not just a gripe. It's the result of a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. The CDC found, on average, only one out of six schools follows that recommendation.

CDC epidemiologist Anne Wheaton says those that don’t make the change are fighting biology.

Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Kissing Backyard Chickens

Jul 16, 2015
Kristine Paulus /

Don’t kiss your pet chickens! That’s the warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after a salmonella outbreak in some 40 states sickened 181 people, sending more than 30 to the hospital.

The CDC has traced the outbreak to people cuddling and kissing backyard and pet chickens.

CDC veterinarian Megin Nichols said during an interview on “A Closer Look” that chickens often carry salmonella on their feathers, feet and beaks.

“When you kiss one of those birds, you are potentially kissing those germs.”

Dave Foster /

The hot Georgia summer is well under way. The sweltering temperatures mean public swimming pools in metro Atlanta are crowded as residents try to cool off and beat the heat.

But how safe are these public pools and what’s lurking in the water along with swimmers? You might not want to know.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Michele Hlavsa said on “A Closer Look” that one of the biggest myths the CDC is trying to bust involves chlorine and red eyes.

Lee Jin-man / Associated Press

South Korea is battling a MERS epidemic that has killed at least 10 people, infected dozens more and shut down schools and several hospitals.

It’s the largest outbreak of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, outside the Arabian Peninsula, where the illness was first diagnosed in 2012.

There is no cure for the viral illness and experts aren’t sure exactly how it spreads.

Mary Langley
Tasnim Shamma

Dariel Fowler is a rising sophomore at South Cobb High School. She says she sees a lot of girls at her school who are pregnant. 

“They drop out of school, they can’t take care of their kids or they [get] abortions,” she says. 

But not her. In 2010, Dariel was one of the 200 at-risk youth chosen to participate in a five-year afterschool teenage pregnancy prevention program. The program has centers in Monticello, Barnesville and Atlanta. 

Alastair Grant / Associated Press

Can cutting down the number and concentration of bars, clubs and other places that serve alcohol reduce violent crime?

That’s the conclusion of a new CDC study that looked at data from Buckhead.

For his research, Dr. Robert Brewer, who heads the CDC’s alcohol program, looked at crime and liquor license data in Buckhead during two time frames. The first was from 1997-2002 – characterized by a period of growth in the number of places where people could drink. During this time frame, the number of bars, clubs and other places that served liquor peeked at 111.