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Mat releases (also known as matte releases or formatted releases) are formatted, ready-to-print articles that are free to use in any publication. CDC′s Formatted Release Library has articles on a variety of important health topics.

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Preventing Infant Deaths from Congenital Heart Defects

Kristine and Cora McCormick

In the United States, every 15 minutes a baby is born with a congenital heart defect, the most common type of birth defect in this country.

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Turtles and other reptiles are risky pets

A hand holding a small turtle

Turtles are colorful and cute and are often kept as pets. However, many people don’t know that turtles and other reptiles like snakes and lizards can carry harmful germs that can make people very sick.

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New CDC Program Created To Help Cancer Patients Prevent Infections

Man holding and infant with a woman wearing a hat

There is important news for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Did you know that one of the most dangerous side effects of chemotherapy cannot be seen? That’s right; a low white blood cell count puts cancer patients at a higher risk for getting an infection. This condition, called neutropenia, is common after receiving chemotherapy.

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Got Raw Milk? Don’t Drink It!

Got Raw Milk? Don’t Drink It! Girl drinking milk

Although many foods can be enjoyed raw, milk and products made from it should never be one of them. Raw milk, or milk that has not been pasteurized (heated to kill germs), is one of the riskiest sources of foodborne illness and can be contaminated with a variety of germs that can make people sick.

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CDC: Decades of saving lives and protecting people

Coronary Disease American Indians

For more than six decades, CDC has guarded people against infectious and noninfectious diseases, responded to dangers caused by injuries, workplace hazards, disabilities and environmental health threats, thereby increasing opportunities for longer, more productive lives for all people.

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Coronary Heart Disease: A Burden for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Coronary Disease American Indians

Heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). A variety of health disparities affect AI/AN communities, including, disproportionately high prevalence for diabetes, suicide, teenage pregnancy, infant death, unintentional and motor vehicle injuries, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and coronary heart disease.

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Peep, chirp, quack! What you should know about Salmonella if you keep live poultry

A chick and a duckling

It's not unusual to see soft and cute baby poultry put on display in agricultural feed stores, especially during the spring. But most people do not realize that live poultry (chicks, chickens, ducks, ducklings, geese, turkeys) can be a source of human Salmonella infections, especially for children.

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Disease outbreak at a summer camp highlights ways to stay healthy

Children at summer camp

For many children, summer means spending weeks or months at camp. Though summer camp can be a great place for kids or young adults to learn new skills, make friends, and participate in outdoor activities, camp can also provide the perfect environment for spreading germs.

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Pregnant or older? Be Safe with ready-to-eat meats

A pregnant woman, with two other women in the background.

Cook-outs and picnics are great ways to share quality time with friends and family. However, it's important to know that ready-to-eat hot dogs, lunch meats, and cold cuts may not be safe for certain groups of people. These and certain other foods can be contaminated with the bacteria Listeria, which causes listeriosis, a serious disease that primarily affects older adults, adults with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and newborns.

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Have Diabetes. Will Travel.

National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP)

Heading out of town? Leaving your troubles behind? Off on an important business trip? Whenever you travel, your diabetes comes along with you. And while having diabetes shouldn’t stop you from traveling in style, you will have to do some careful planning. Here are some helpful diabetes travel tips from the National Diabetes Education Program.

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CDC Warns That Water Frogs Can Make Your Child Sick

A water frog

Virginia Ortiz had no idea that the two African dwarf frogs in her great aunt's aquarium could carry Salmonella bacteria, a germ that can cause serious illness in people. If she had, she would not have stored her 4-month-old baby's bottles next to the kitchen sink where the water frogs' aquarium was cleaned. Virginia knew something was seriously wrong when her usually lively baby, Willie, could not hold his head up and was "pooping red stuff." She rushed Willie to the hospital, a decision she would later find out probably saved his life.

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Know the Facts: Tips for Travelers about Malaria

A woman takes pills out of a container

World Malaria Day is observed around the world each April 25 to raise awareness about the impact of this serious, sometimes deadly disease. World Malaria Day rightly seeks to draw attention to the thousands of people at greatest risk for malaria, children and pregnant women who live in malarious areas of the world. However, people from countries without malaria, such as the United States, can also become infected when they travel to countries with malaria. This generally happens because of a lack of awareness about how to prevent malaria, not a lack of resources.

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Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child

Four babies sitting

You want to do what is best for your children. You know about the importance of car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep them safe. But, did you know that one of the best ways to protect your children is to make sure they have all of their vaccinations?

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HPV vaccines offer disease protection pre-teens can grow into—now for girls and boys

Four children laying on the grass

When it comes to their kids, parents are always planning. Healthy dinners. Safe activities. One plan that's easy to make could have a tremendous benefit, even saving a life. That's planning to have pre-teens vaccinated against HPV, the leading cause of cervical cancer in women.

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Whooping cough: Without booster vaccine, pre-teens at risk for lengthy, disruptive illness

A mother takes her son's temperature while on the phone with the doctor

Whooping cough—or pertussis—is a serious and very contagious respiratory disease that can cause long, violent coughing fits and the characteristic "whooping" sound that follows when a person gasps for air. Whooping cough has been on the rise in pre-teens and teens. In 2009, a quarter of the 16,858 cases of pertussis reported in the United States were among 10- through 19-year-olds.

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

A woman wears a pink breast cancer ribbon.

The fall season brings an influx of pink ribbons and education around breast cancer and its prevention. In 2006, more than 190,000 new cases of breast cancer were reported nationwide and more than 41,000 women died from the disease. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among adult women in the U.S. and the second leading cause of cancer death among women. One of every eight adult women will get breast cancer in her lifetime.

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NEW Flu Vaccine information for the 2010-11 Flu Season

A mother checks her daughter's temperature with a thermometer.

It's flu season again and it is important to prepare yourself and your loved ones to avoid becoming sick. Understanding new flu vaccine information will help your family make safe and healthy decisions regarding the 2010-2011 flu season.

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Whooping Cough Making a Comeback — Vaccination is Key

A mother holds her baby

Another fitful night. A mom is awake, listening to her baby cough and trying to comfort him. She will be too worried to sleep tonight. For the past four days, her baby has had trouble eating, drinking, and sleeping because of this awful cough. Tomorrow, she will miss another day of work to care for him. She wonders wearily when it will end. She is exhausted and her baby is miserable. Unfortunately, the end will not come soon because this cough is whooping cough, also called the "100-day cough" because of its long duration.

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CDC Tips for Living with Arthritis

A girl helps a woman plant flowers

Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States, disabling 8.6 million adults and limiting the activities of nearly 19 million adults in all. CDC's Arthritis Program is currently working to improve the quality of life for people affected by arthritis by raising awareness about the disease and showing what they can do to management it themselves.

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CDC Battles Osteoarthritis with New Public Health Agenda

CDC Battles Osteoarthritis with New Public Health Agenda

Nearly 27 million Americans have Osteoarthritis (OA), a painful and potentially life-altering joint disease affecting mainly the hands, knees and hips. CDC and the Arthritis Foundation in collaboration with 75 partners recently released, A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis, a new agenda to battle this disease.

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Stop, Wash, and Go To Avoid the Flu During Travel

Stop, Wash & Go

You don't have to let the flu bug spoil your next trip. A few simple steps can help prevent the spread of flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Flu is Here: Take Action to Protect Yourself

A group of young adults

Every year, flu season occurs in the United States – but did you know that flu seasons can be different each year?  Flu seasons can differ in timing, duration, or severity.  This year, there is a new and very different influenza virus causing illness called 2009 H1N1 flu. CDC expects both 2009 H1N1 flu and seasonal flu to cause illness, hospital stays, and deaths this season.  However, there are important steps you can take to protect yourself.

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What You Should Know About 2009 H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu)

Sick Child

2009 H1N1 flu (sometimes called "swine flu") is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 6 in response to the ongoing global spread of the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus. A Phase 6 designation indicates that a global pandemic is underway. WHO′s decision to raise the pandemic alert level to Phase 6 is a reflection of the spread of the virus, not the severity of illness caused by the virus.

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Rabies: The Silent Killer

A sleeping boy

A young child awakens early one morning to a fluttering sound coming from the blinds covering his bedroom window.  He gets out of bed and notices what looks like a small bird flopping around on the floor.  The child picks up the bird and realizes that it's not a bird but a bat and releases it out the window.  Weeks later, the child develops a fever, headache, and becomes disoriented and is admitted to a hospital.  Tragically, he dies two days later from what doctors diagnose as rabies.  This scenario is not uncommon when it comes to humans being infected with rabies.

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Protect Yourself & the People You Love from Common STDs

African American couple drinking coffee

There are a lot of things you can get out of an intimate relationship – human connection, understanding, love. But one thing you don't want to get is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). STDs are caused by infections passed from one person to another through sexual contact and can be passed through oral, vaginal or anal sex. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 19 million new STD infections occur each year in the United States – almost half of them among young people 15-24 years of age. In addition to youth, women and minorities are also severely affected. STDs are the most commonly reported infectious diseases in the United States. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the most common reportable STDs and can result in infertility in women.

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Know the Truth about MRSA Skin Infections

Know the Truth about MRSA Skin Infections

The truth about methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) may surprise you. MRSA is a type of bacteria that causes skin and other kinds of infections. Sometimes called “the superbug,” MRSA is resistant to certain antibiotics, but several antibiotics still work. And many times, antibiotics aren't even needed -- doctors are often able to treat MRSA skin infections by simply draining them.

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Protect your Child from Flu, and the Babysitter, Too!

Know the Truth about MRSA Skin Infections

You′ve done your homework, researching and interviewing to find the best care for your child, but is your caregiver—nanny, babysitter, daycare worker or family member—protected against the flu?

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What You Don′t Know About Sickle Cell Disease

What You Don't Know About Sickle Cell Disease

Learning the Truth about One of the Most Common Genetic Diseases

Sickle cell disease one of the most common genetic diseases in the United States. It is estimated that more than 70,000 people have sickle cell disease and more than two million people carry the gene that allows them to pass it on to their children.

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