What is the CDC?

CDC has grown to become nation’s 'premiere health promotion, prevention, and preparedness agency'

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, better known as the CDC, has been at the forefront of the efforts to contain and prevent the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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One of the major institutions within the Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC is headed by Director Robert Redfield with the purpose of keeping Americans as safe as possible from diseases and increasing the nation’s overall “health security.”

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It was founded on July 1, 1946, in Atlanta, Ga., by Dr. Joseph Mountin, and it was first named the Communicable Disease Center, according to history provided on the agency's website.

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Back then, the center’s goal was to stop the spread of malaria. It now employees roughly 15,000 in more than 50 countries, and has grown to be recognized as “the nation’s premier health promotion, prevention, and preparedness agency.”

The agency uses cutting edge technology and science to thwart diseases from forming while also reacting to emerging threats, raising awareness and training and teaching the public health sector.

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An important aspect of the CDC’s role comes from disease detectives.

The job of “disease detective” was created in 2001 with the purpose of investigating the cause of a disease outbreak or other similar events, even those that extend beyond just infectious diseases to include those that are non-infectious, disabilities and injuries.

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