Top 10 Most Critical Health Threats of 2014 Reviewed by CDC

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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