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Published On: Tue, Oct 1st, 2013

Government shutdown affects on the CDC, NIH: Tracking MERS, clinical trials

While we will continue receiving the mail and Social Security recipients will still receive their checks, the partial government shutdown due to a lapse in appropriations with affect federal health agencies ability to do research on life threatening diseases and monitoring outbreaks such as the current Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), according to various news reports.

CDC scientist Image/James Gathany

CDC scientist Image/James Gathany

Fox News reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be furloughing more than two-thirds of its 13,000 employees and the CDC says this will effect the following services– Monitoring flu outbreaks, which includes stopping production of FluView, a weekly surveillance report and  the monitoring of  two of the major outbreaks of 2013; MERS and H7N9 avian influenza.

However,  in the event of an outbreak or other emergency that posed a threat to the lives of Americans, the CDC would be able to initiate a response, says Barbara Reynolds, director of the CDC’s Division of Public Affairs.

In addition, all informational parts of the CDC website–travel health, food safety and the rest have the following disclaimer at the top of the site:

Due to the lapse in government funding, only web sites supporting excepted functions will be updated unless otherwise funded. As a result, the information on this website may not be up to date, the transactions submitted via the website may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.

At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the USA.gov website notes that research into life-threatening diseases and other areas will stop, and new patients won’t be accepted into clinical  trials at the National Institutes of Health as a result of the partial shutdown.

 

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He regularly writes about infectious disease news for Examiner.com and administers the Outbreak News section of The Global Dispatch.

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