On The Trail Of Disease Outbreaks

04/29/10 2:23PM By Jane Lindholm
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The Epidemic Intelligence Service is an elite corps of doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, anthropologists and others who travel the world investigating disease outbreaks. 

Since 1951 the EIS has been involved in nearly every disease outbreak you can imagine, from uncovering the mystery behind Legionnaire's Disease in Philadelphia, to identifying the HIV virus, to vaccinating against smallpox and helping to eradicate that disease worldwide.

EIS members fly around the world at the first sign of a disease outbreak to figure out what's causing it and how to stop it.  Their work often goes unheralded but author Mark Pendergrast has conducted nearly 500 interviews for his book, "Inside the Outbreaks." 

He spoke with VPR's Jane Lindholm about the 59-year history of the organization


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