The government shutdown that happened this past Tuesday on October 1 is certainly the main headline these days. So many in our country are being affected in different ways, whether it is major hits like furlough notices and missing paychecks, or small inconveniences like travel plans changing or parks being closed. What you may not have noticed in the chaos and in the headlines is how the shutdown affects the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a source we all rely on for important health-related issues.
If you completed an online search about agencies that have closed, you may have seen articles detailing the actions the CDC took, and if you logged onto their website after October 1 you saw this notice:
So what does this mean? Tuesday morning the CDC sent home 68% of its workforce as federal funding for research was halted. Any investigations of major outbreaks of disease across multiple state lines will not happen as long as the government remains closed. That means the new research and reporting on diseases we updated you about last week, like West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease, will be put on the back burner until Congress can pass a budget. In the short term this may not seem like something that should be a priority, but these are key months for reported cases of these mosquito-borne illnesses and if the CDC is no longer tracking them, you simply won’t have the same information to know if there are threats in your area. Until we get the wonderful news that the government is back up and running, please be sure to take extra precautions. Customized treatments from Mosquito Joe are always your safest bet to stay mosquito free, but you should also remove all standing water from your yard and wear long sleeves and pants if you are going to be outdoors.
Keep an eye on the news and usa.gov for updates and let’s hope our government is back to full operations very soon.
Photo credit: Architect of the Capitol