Centers for Disease Control

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is part of the United States of America Department of Health and Human Services. The mission of the CDC is "to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability."[1] It is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia (US), works on preventing and mitigating disease, accidents, and industrial injuries. It is especially noted for its role in identifying, containing, and managing epidemics, especially those associated with rare or unknown Emerging Infectious Diseases[2].

It is a peer of the National Institutes of Health. In general, NIH is more internal to the biomedical research community, concentrating on basic and clinical research both on-campus and grant-supported, while CDC's focus is more directed at public health. While CDC does do both basic and applied research, the research supports activity in populations or specific areas.

Its Atlanta facility contains extensive laboratory facilities, including a Biological Safety Level 4 (BSL-4). The BSL-4 "hot labs" goes even beyond the stringent Level 4 requirements, since it is one of the two laboratories in the world that maintain stocks of Variola virus, the cause of the first major disease eradicated from the wild, smallpox.


The Director, currently Julie Louise Gerberding,, MD, MPH, has a significant role as a national and international public health authority. CDC contains several major offices and centers, and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Despite its name, NIOSH is not part of NIH.

Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases (CCID)

National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP)

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)

National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (NCZVED)

Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases

Among the more visible activities of this group is serving as the U.S. center for anthrax and botulism, surveillance for food-borne infections, and both monitoring water safety and producing simple safe water treatment systems for developing countries.

Division of Parasitic Diseases

This Division is especially significant for the developing world, with responsibility for diseases including malaria and healthy water systems. It serves as a resource for U.S. physicians treating patients with tropical diseases not usually seen in the U.S. The Division maintains stockpiles of drugs for such diseases, drugs not commercially available in the U.S.

Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases

Most mosquito, flea, and tick-borne diseases are under this division; malaria is an exception because it is caused by a parasite, rather than a bacterium or virus. Plague and tularemia are among the responsibilities of this division.

Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases

Some of the highest profile emerging diseases, such as the group of hemorrhagic fevers including Ebola, the prion diseases such as Creuzfeldt-Jakob syndrome and bovine spongiform encepalopathy ("mad cow disease"), poxviruses including variola virus (smallpox), and basic research in infectious disease pathology.

National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases (NCPDCID)

Coordinating Office for Global Health (COGH)

Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response (COTPER)

Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention (CCEHIP)

National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH)

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC)

Coordinating Center for Health Information and Service (CCHIS)

National Center for Health Marketing (NCHM)

National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)

National Center for Public Health Informatics (NCPHI)

Coordinating Center for Health Promotion (CoCHP)

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD)

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP)

Office of Genomics and Disease Prevention

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)


  1. About the CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved on 2008-01-25.
  2. Emerging Infectious Diseases