CDC lists its 10 top public health concerns from 2014

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention released a list of the year's top public health threats and other related issues. | Courtesy of CDC

Ebola was only one issue the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dealt with in 2014 in what the agency called an “unprecedented” year on Monday.

The CDC released its list of the 10 most challenging public-health threats and other related issues this year, with the Ebola virus topping the list among new infectious diseases.

“CDC’s Ebola response is the largest global effort in the agency’s history, but we’re carrying out many other public-health missions crucial to protecting American lives,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said. “We’re taking action on a wide range of health threats.”

In addition to Ebola, the CDC made progress fighting antibiotic resistance, the agency said. Resistance to drugs can hurt the ability to fight off infectious diseases.

Detection of enterovirus D-68, a virus that affects mostly American children, has been improved through the CDC's faster lab tests.

Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) made the list as an emerging threat to the U.S., and the CDC said it has been preparing for any cases that may come.

Other threats that topped the list included the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which the CDC called “one of the world's most important health challenges, and the virtual elimination of polio. The world is “on the brink” of eradicating the disease, but the CDC said it can't stop now or risk losing the ground already gained.

The CDC also listed laboratory safety as one of the top health-related issues faced this year. The center said implementing safety concerns is a “continuous process,” and that it successfully applied important lessons for laboratory safety.

The last three health-related issues dealt with cardiovascular diseases, smoking and drug overdoses, all leading causes of death. The CDC said that every year in the U.S., nearly 800,000 Americans die from cardiovascular diseases and more than 480,000 die from smoking, and that every day, 44 die from overdoses.

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