With the government shut down the CDC employees are left with worry. 68% of its employees were furloughed and no longer able to run the agency’s 24/7 emergency operations center. That equates to 8,754 people who are no longer serving as advocates for our health and safety from infection. Most of the CDC’s lab work has been stopped and there is no longer anyone responsible for keeping an eye on flu outbreaks. There are 48 million Americans who develop foodborne illnesses every year and there is only one CDC staffer who is tracking reports of dangerous foodborne pathogens. This means that when that one person reports an outbreak, less than half of the usual employees are available.
At the start of flu season, it couldn’t be a more inconvenient time. As of now, there will be no influenza outbreak detection, analysis or updating of disease treatment and prevention recomendations. Here is a clip from the CDC’s website. They remind us that no funding means no working.
In the past, the expertise coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was the only hope for those suffering from dangerous infections. Right now there is no funding to fight measles outbreaks or monitor the flu seasonto help limit the spread of infections. The CDC shutting down is just one of many areas that are affected but it seems like a serious one. Could the government shut down be more disterous than we think? Is it more than a lot of people in Washington with some time off and and even more amount of wasted money and a lack of progress? Could it cause a domino effect that we can’t undo?