Tag Archives: H5N1

Avian flu still a danger, CDC official tells fellows

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

This is a guest post from Marshall Allen of the Las Vegas Sun. Allen is among the first class of AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellows who are spending the week studying public health issues at two Atlanta campuses of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Marshall Allen (right), a Las Vegas Sun reporter, speaks to Grant Baldwin, Ph.D., director of the CDC’s Injury Center, about interpreting child safety data for localizing stories. (Photo: Christy Stretz)

Marshall Allen (right), a Las Vegas Sun reporter, speaks to Grant Baldwin, Ph.D., director of the CDC’s Injury Center, about interpreting child safety data for localizing stories. (Photo: Christy Stretz)

Media furor over avian influenza, also known as bird flu, has died down in recent years, but that’s more a reflection on the news cycle than the actual threat posed by the disease, according to a CDC expert.

That’s the assessment of Dr. Scott Dowell of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s global disease detection program. Dowell spoke Wednesday to a group of 11 AHCJ-CDC fellows, who are in Atlanta to learn about the federal agency’s programs around the world.

Dowell said there is less anxiety about bird flu, also known as H5N1, than there was in the early days of the outbreak, but it still remains a danger. Since 2003, the disease has infected nearly 400 people in more than a dozen countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific, Europe and the Near East. Continue reading