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EIS: Medical Investigators
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CDC scientist collecting specimens from trapped rodents

Over the past 50 years, CDCís Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officers have worked on the front lines to identify and combat the root causes of major epidemics in this country and across the world.

CDCís EIS officers work at the request of state and local health departments, who are our vital partners in any investigation. On occasion, cases arise that give CDCís scientists a chance to work with our partner federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Both CDC and NIH are major operating divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services.

These "disease detectives" work to locate causes of both known and unknown diseases like those depicted on the NBC series Medical Investigation.

Investigations: In Depth
More information on the subjects presented on Medical Investigation.

You're Not Alone [October 22, 2004]

This weekís episode was a rebroadcast of the preview episode.

The doctors discover several patients who are suffering from an illness apparently derived from something they have eaten. Food and water borne diseases are one of the more common causes of the outbreaks investigated by CDCís EIS officers.

For more information on food and water borne illnesses including suggestions on how to avoid getting sick, check out the National Center for Infectious Diseasesí site for Food-Related Diseases.

The diners turn out to be accidentally poisoned by sodium nitrate. This type of poisoning is similar to cases investigated over the past several years. The MMWR articles below were written by the scientists who worked on these investigations.

Note: Methemoglobinemia is the condition which occurs when the hemoglobin in the blood is replaced by methemoglobin which, unlike hemoglobin, cannot carry oxygen. This lack of oxygen causes the skin to have a slate gray-blue cast.

In order to contain the spread of an unknown disease, public health authorities place those who are ill in isolation. The fact sheets below contain information on isolation and quarantine.

The newborn on the series is first suspected to be the victim of child abuse. For more information and additional resources, see the Child Maltreatment: Fact Sheet.

It is revealed that the child has a rare bone disease. For more information on bone health, check out CDCís National Bone Health Campaign.

Watch for Investigations: In Depth each week following Medical Investigation.

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