The Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) reviewed its response to 10 of the most critical public health challenges faced in 2014:

New Infectious Disease Threats:

  • Ebola – largest response by the CDC with 170 staff in the field and more than 700 people working on Ebola at any one time.
  • Antibiotic resistance and healthcare-associated infections – important progress has been made but it still remains a serious threat; it will be a critical initiative for 2015. 
  • Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68) – the CDC’s studies have been accelerated by a CDC-developed rapid lab test that can detect the virus.
  • Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) – a new respiratory viral illness that was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 that has significantly increased in 2014.

Continued Fight Against Infectious Diseases:

  • HIV/AIDS pandemic – through partnership in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the CDC has helped support antiretroviral treatment, HIV testing, and counseling in over 60 countries.
  • Polio – eradicating polio will result in global savings of about $40–50 billion over the next 20 years.

RELATED: CDC Issues Revised Interim U.S. Guidance on Ebola

Laboratory Safety:

  • Laboratory safety – incidents during 2014 have increased national awareness of the importance of laboratory safety.

Leading Causes of Death:

  • Cardiovascular diseases – the Million Hearts campaign encouraged adoption and utilization of standardized treatment protocols to improve blood pressure control.
  • Smoking – remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States.
  • Fatal overdose – the CDC formed partnerships to improve prescription monitoring, reducing unnecessary prescriptions. 

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