Being a medical assistant – like being a certified nurse assistant, nurse, or doctor – means being informed not simply on the material covered in medical assistant training, certified nursing assistant courses or med school. It also means staying vigilant when it comes to trends and events that can impact on public health. In some cases, being aware of emerging health threats can save critical hours when patients come in with severe health issues. Take for example today’s release by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) which announced the existence of an unidentified stomach bug which has stricken more than 250 people across multiple states including, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia and Connecticut. The CDC suspects the pathogen cyclospora which are transmitted sometimes via produce which has been contaminated with feces. Wherever the current outbreak is ultimately determined to originate, the point is that a medical assistant or certified nurse assistant who is aware of the emerging threat will be able to more quickly help identify the affliction in patients who come in suffering. Keeping tabs on resources like the CDC, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other public and private health organizations is a good practice for those who want to become top performing medical assistants and certified nursing assistants.