Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | St. Louis Public Radio

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Illinois’ COVID-19 caseload surpassed 10,000 this weekend. Governor J.B. Pritzker said residents must continue to do their part to slow its spread.

Updated on April 5 at 8:15 p.m. ET

Since the first U.S. case of the coronavirus was identified in Washington state on Jan. 21, health officials have identified more than 330,000 cases across the United States and more than 9,000 deaths. By March 17, the virus had expanded its presence from several isolated clusters in Washington, New York and California to all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Why It Takes So Long To Get Most COVID-19 Test Results

Mar 28, 2020

After a slow start, testing for COVID-19 has begun to ramp up in recent weeks. Giant commercial labs have jumped into the effort, drive-up testing sites have been established in some places, and new types of tests have been approved under emergency rules set by the Food and Drug Administration.

At least one person has died in Illinois, after they used an e-cigarette product that appears to have caused fatal breathing problems. The death may be the first vaping fatality in the nation.


Vaccinations not only protect your health, they protect the health of the community by slowing or stopping the spread of illness.

But Missouri now has some of the lowest measles vaccination rates in the nation, and that’s especially troubling for families with children who can’t get the shots for medical reasons.

In recent years, state officials say the number of people diagnosed with HIV in Missouri jumped by more than 10 percent between 2013 and 2016.
MARIA FABRIZIO | NPR

The number of new HIV cases in Missouri is on the rise — and a disproportionately large number are in rural counties.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified Missouri as one of seven states with a “substantial rural burden” — noting that it has more than 75 cases and 10 percent or more of diagnoses in rural areas. Public health researchers say the concentration of cases likely is due to several factors, including lack of access to health care.

A person prepares a measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, which protects against 93-97 percent of measles cases. Health officials say a case has been reported in Jefferson County.
Matthew Lotz / U.S. Air Force

Health officials in Jefferson County are trying to find people who may have come in contact with a person there who has caught measles.

The person caught the virus after traveling, according to officials at the Jefferson County Health Department. The department is “working directly with the case to identify potential contacts and make arrangements for follow up immunizations and care if necessary,” officials said in a release.

Measles infects the respiratory system and can cause deafness, blindness and can even be fatal in some rare cases. People who contract the measles develop a distinctive red, splotchy rash over their bodies. There is no specific antiviral treatment or medicine for measles, but giving a person a vaccine soon after they’ve been infected may lessen symptoms.

College and graduation illustration
Illustration by Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis-area organizations are working to remove some of the barriers that prevent LGBTQ students from applying to and staying in college.

LGBTQ high schoolers face stigma and discrimination that put them at higher risk than heterosexual students for mental-health problems and poor academic performance, according to studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study says those disadvantages can lead to “negative health and life outcomes.”

According to the CDC, 1,307 Missourians died from gunshot wounds in 2017.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri has one of the highest rates of gun-related deaths in the nation.

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rank Missouri sixth in U.S. for gun death rate, including intentional and accidental shootings. The CDC reports 1,307 Missourians died from gunshot wounds in 2017, an increase over the previous year.

An estimated 45 percent of girls and 34 percent of boys in Missouri received the HPV vaccination last year, about ten percentage points lower than the national average.
Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

When it comes to vaccinating adolescents, Missouri ranks among the worst in the nation.

The report from the nonprofit United Health Foundation ranks Missouri 48th in the U.S. for overall adolescent vaccinations. Doctors say the pattern may be linked to a more widespread trend of “vaccine hesitancy” among parents in the U.S.

Michael Velardo | Flickr

The nation’s opioid crisis is threatening to undo decades of HIV prevention work, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

In response to a national survey of intravenous drug users in 22 cities, they’re calling for wider distribution of clean needles.  

“The science shows that syringe services programs work,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said. "They save lives, and they save money." 

The chlamydia bacteria, stained and viewed at 500 times.
National Cancer Institute | Dr. Lance Liotta Laboratory

Rates of three common sexually transmitted diseases have risen to a record high level nationwide, and St. Louis continues to rank high among cities, according to federal data released Wednesday.

The St. Louis region recorded 14,961 cases of chlamydia in 2015, the 17th highest per-capita rate in the country. Rates of syphyllis stayed relatively steady at just over 400 cases in the metro area. The city of St. Louis, however, measured the highest rate of both chlamydia and gonorrhea among counties and independent cities. 

“We’ve seen closures of publicly funded STD clinics around the country, and St. Louis is similar in that we have very few options for people to get tested and treated,” said Dr. Brad Stoner, medical director of the St. Louis STD/HIV Prevention Training Center.

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito feasts on the blood of CDC photographer James Gathany. Aedes aegypti is the type of mosquito most likely to carry Zika and other tropical diseases.
James Gathany | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The breed of mosquito most likely to carry the Zika virus probably won’t make its way to St. Louis this summer, but local public health agencies are still taking precautions.

gavin rice | Flickr | http://bit.ly/23yE1Ru

As of Friday, at least 31 people in the U.S. have been infected with the Zika virus. That includes three pregnant women — two in Illinois and one in New York. The virus has been reported across the globe in Africa, South Asia, Polynesia, as well as Central and South America.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, rash and conjunctivitis. It has been associated with microcephaly birth defects, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It spreads to people via mosquito bites.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

William Stage, a former investigator for the Centers for Disease Control in St. Louis and longtime writer for the Riverfront Times, is back with a new novel, “Creatures on Display.” The book is a “gritty mystery set in the seedy underside of St. Louis.”

This is no typical comic noir, though. It takes a hard look at the fictional efforts of investigators who must confront the AIDS crisis during the 1980s. Investigating the AIDS crisis was something that Stage had to undertake through his work with the CDC.

Dr. Ken Haller talks about vaccination safety with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Feb. 10, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Rumors of a link between autism and the measles vaccine persist, although the original paper that claimed the link, as well as its author, have been discredited.

Adrian Clark | Flickr

After test results confirmed that a nurse in Dallas had contracted the deadly Ebola virus from a patient, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told hospitals to ‘start thinking Ebola’ when patients present flu-like symptoms.

Hospital officials in the St. Louis region say they’ve already done so. They've been working to determine protocols, train health workers and buy protective equipment. The virus is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids.

Missouri childhood vaccination rates still below average

Sep 6, 2012
(via Flickr/Daniel Paquet)

Missouri is still near the bottom of the pack when it comes to childhood vaccination rates.

The results of the CDC's annual National Immunization Survey show about 68 percent of children under age 3 got all the required vaccinations in 2011. That's about the same as in 2010, and up from 56 percent in 2009.

In Illinois, vaccination rates fell from about 75 percent in 2010 to about 72 percent in 2011.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 2, 2011 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set up a call center system to begin making random calls this evening to residents in neighborhoods where E. coli victims have been identified.

Mo. jumps 11 spots in toddler immunization rankings

Sep 1, 2011
(via Flickr/Daniel Paquet)

Missouri is doing a better job of getting toddlers vaccinated for childhood diseases.

Results of the CDC’s National Immunization Survey show Missouri rose from last in the rankings in 2009 up to 39th last year.

A study from SLU is one of the first clear indications that quitting smoking during pregnancy can have health benefits for a developing fetus throughout the third trimester.
(via Flickr/shnnn)

Reporting from KCUR's Elana Gordon used in this report.

A decade ago, more than one in four Missourians smoked. Now, only about one in five smoke, and those who do smoke are doing so less often.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 20, 2011 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday that it had found 15 cases of the potentially fatal deep skin fungal infection among those injured or killed during last month's tornado in Joplin. It said five of those cases involved people who had died. But the agency did not indicate the extent to which it thought the fungus contributed to those deaths.

Morning headlines: Monday, June 20, 2011

Jun 20, 2011
Flickr/Dave Hogg

St. Louis Industrial Fire Forces Evacuations Near Hampton

Updated 4:35 p.m. - All three firefighters were released from the hospital around noon.

A five-alarm fire in the 2100 block of Clifton at Chemisphere Corp., a solvent distributor, was reported at about 2:30 this morning, and was under control by 6 a.m.

St. Louis Fire Captain Dan Sutter said a few minor injuries were reported .

Landline use falling by the wayside in Mo., Ill.

Apr 20, 2011
Consumer groups claim measures of the Illinois Statehouse could mean the end of traditional landline service. AT&T says it's part of the ongoing shift to modern technology, which is reliable.
tylerdurden1 | Flickr

If you use a cellphone instead of a landline, you aren’t alone. More people are dropping their landlines in exchange for a cellphone-only existence.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released estimates today showing a two year increase in Missouri and Illinois households making the switch to cellphones.

In Missouri: