Prions and Public Health Office (PPHO)
Corporate Authors:National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (U.S.). Division of High-Consequence Pathogens & Pathology. Public Health Office.
Description:PPHO monitors human prion diseases in the US and coordinates programs related to these and other selected neurological diseases and illnesses of unknown causes such as Nodding syndrome and Kawasaki syndrome. PPHO conducts epidemiological research and provides expert consultation on prion diseases and Kawasaki syndrome. Its statisticians provide consultation on a variety of studies related to high-consequence pathogens.
• Why we care: Prion diseases, which can occur in humans and animals, are relatively rare but always fatal. Surveillance and research are essential to define how prion diseases spread and to identify opportunities for preventing and controlling these diseases.
• Prions are abnormal protein particles that are infectious. When they multiply, they damage different parts of the brain. Prions are believed to be the cause of a class of diseases referred to as prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs).
• Kawasaki syndrome is an acute febrile illness of unknown etiology that primarily affects children younger than 5 years of age. It is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children in the US.
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