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CDC in Atlanta, 1945

Before battling ebola, the CDC began in downtown Atlanta with one focus: malaria

The Communicable Disease Center, first located on Peachtree Street in downtown, initially focused on eradicating malaria. But Dr. Joseph Mountin pushed to expand its mission to other diseases. With financial support from Coca-Cola tycoon and philanthropist Robert Woodruff, the CDC did exactly that.
Waycross, Georgia cancer cluster

Why are so many people getting rare cancers in this small Georgia town?

After multiple rare cancers have been diagnosed in Waycross, Georgia, the city grapples with a profound question: What if the industries that gave us life are killing us?
Georgia opioid crisis

At the nation’s largest opioid conference, Georgians call for new ways to battle the epidemic

This week people from Atlanta to Alaska traveled to the Hyatt Regency for the 2018 National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit, the country’s largest conference devoted to the opioid crisis.

A Georgia sperm bank, a troubled donor, and the secretive business of babymaking

When customers of Xytex uncovered the truth about one of its sperm donors, Chris Aggeles, the disclosure set off more than a dozen lawsuits—exposing an industry that can shatter lives while helping to create them.
Big Chicken

Consumers want antibiotic-free chicken. Can companies and farmers afford it?

Antibiotics don’t just fight infections; they also fatten chickens. In an excerpt from her new book, Big Chicken, Atlanta journalist Maryn McKenna explores how consumer demand is forcing huge companies, such as Perdue and Chick-fil-A, to go antibiotic-free.
Lens on the CDC

The CDC celebrates its longtime photographer, Jim Gathany

Since 1986 photographer Jim Gathany has documented the inner workings of the Centers for Disease Control, snapping images of visiting presidents, lab scientists at work, even mosquitoes as they feast on his own blood.
Task Force for Global Health

Unsung Saviors: Decatur’s Task Force for Global Health is helping eliminate horrific diseases

Atlanta is a world capital for public health. But unlike some of the other big players based here, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Carter Center, the Task Force for Global Health has operated largely out of the public spotlight—and done so by design, since it was founded in 1984 by former CDC director Dr. William Foege with a mission to boost childhood immunization rates in the developing world.
PrEP Atlanta controversy

HIV prevention pill stirs debate in Atlanta’s gay community

“A lot of gay men were uncomfortable with the growing availability of PrEP because they felt it would increase promiscuity,” says AIDS activist Michael Baker. In fact, almost as soon as Truvada was endorsed by the CDC for HIV prevention two years ago, stories appeared in national media about a “slut-shaming” backlash within the gay community against the drug’s users.

CDC to vote on new meningitis vaccine

Though rare (600 to 1,000 annual cases in the U.S.), bacterial meningitis—also called meningococcal disease—poses a serious public health concern for colleges, where close living quarters promote transmission.

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