CDC in Boston to investigate illness striking homeless

Disease-trackers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention arrived in Boston Wednesday to study the spread of a deadly bacterial infection among homeless people.

Dr. Anita Barry, director of the Infectious Disease Bureau at the Boston Public Health Commission, said the CDC is interested in the city’s experience because the federal agency is updating guidelines for handling clusters of meningococcal disease, the infection that killed two homeless people in Boston and sickened three others.

They’re thinking if they look a little more closely at what’s going on in Boston, it might give more useful information,” such as what circumstances increase the risk of infection, she said.

Three of the CDC’s elite disease detectives from its Epidemic Intelligence Service began their work Wednesday, with a fourth expected later. The Epidemic Intelligence Service sends physicians, scientists, and other health professionals to solve public health problems around the world.

Read the rest of the story in the Boston Globe, here.

I was one of those “elite disease detectives” from 2012-2014 so I have an inside perspective on what they are doing here in Boston. Basically, they are conducting an investigation to discover the root causes of the deadly infection and stop ongoing transmission.


Thanks so much for visiting my website! Writing and reading blog posts does take time and we all know that time is in short supply. You and I will both get much more out of this blog if it leads to dialogue. If you found my post useful and wouldn’t mind leaving a brief comment or sharing on social media, I would be grateful. Or if you’re shy about Tweeting but are willing to email me a comment that I can post anonymously or send an anonymous Surveymonkey, that would be great. My posts are generally written quickly, so if you find any factual or grammatical errors, please do let me know. Best regards, Philip Lederer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s