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HICprevent

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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

Government shutdown imperils CDC mission

January 12th, 2015

I’ve largely avoided politics in this space as if it were a Thanksgiving family reunion and the bar was wide open, but now we learn the government shutdown imperils the mission of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CBS News is reporting more than 8,000 CDC employees are being told to chill at home. Now all we need is for the first case of MERS-CoV to fly in via a feverish Middle East tourist.

"I usually don't lose sleep despite the many threats we face, but I am losing sleep because we don't know that we will be able to find and stop things that might kill people," Tom Frieden, MD, CDC director told CBS.

We certainly know that bugs never sleep. You can’t furlough a fomite or hold off an outbreak with a filibuster.

"If there is an outbreak of something like Legionella pneumonia, we may not detect it, we may not find it, we may not stop it," he said. "If there is an outbreak of food-borne illness that affects people in multiple states, we may not identify it promptly."