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Global Disease Detection: Accomplishments

What We Track

Global Disease Detection (GDD) Centers monitor and evaluate the program's capabilities and progress on a quarterly basis with final reports issued at the end of the calendar year. Since 20061, five key activities have been tracked and evaluated using a framework that includes quantitative and qualitative information. Below are some of our key accomplishments from 2006-2014.

Outbreak Response

African woman holding a digital contact tracer tablet, equipment used to follow up on people exposed to diseases like Ebola.

Equipment such as this contact tracer tablet is essential for following up with people who have been exposed to diseases like Ebola.

We track this to…ensure outbreak investigations and responses are timely and comprehensive.

What We Did

  • Responded to more than 1700 disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies, including:
    • Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (all GDD Centers)
    • Anthrax (Bangladesh)
    • Chikungunya (Central America)
    • Influenza H7N9 (China)
    • Human H5N1 influenza (Egypt and Thailand)
    • Acute encephalitis syndrome (India)
    • Botulism (Kazakhstan)
    • Cholera (Kenya)
    • Novel orthopoxvirus (South Caucasus)
  • Provided fast response: 70% received a response within 24 hours of the request for assistance.
  • Responded comprehensively: 66% of outbreaks involved laboratory support. Of those, 85% were given a confirmed cause.

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Pathogen Discovery

We track this to…identify novel threats before they spread and advance public health knowledge through innovative research into the epidemiology and biology of emerging infections.

What We Did

  • Discovered 77 new pathogens. These new pathogens were either identified for the first time anywhere in the world, or newly discovered within GDD Center regions.
  • Developed capability to identify 289 pathogens locally, up from 11 in 2006. Identifying pathogens closer to the source means faster response times.

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We track this to…build capacity and improve the quality of epidemiology and laboratory science through applied training.

What We Did

  • Increased the number of Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) trained epidemiologists and laboratorians within GDD Center regions to 676 (from 26 in 2006).
  • Provided short-term public health training to nearly 100,000 participants worldwide. Training topics have included epidemiology, laboratory, all-hazards preparedness, risk communication, influenza, and others.

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Two scientists collect soil samples in a green field in Thailand.

Scientists working with the GDD Center in Thailand collect soil samples to evaluate the environment as a reservoir for unusual types of Legionella, which have been detected as a cause of hospitalized pneumonia through the surveillance and research activities.


We track this to…strengthen surveillance systems capable of detecting, assessing, and monitoring the occurrence and public health significance of infectious disease threats.

What We Did

  • Covered 13.1 million people with population-based surveillance for pneumonia and other locally important diseases and syndromes, which serve as demonstration projects for national surveillance efforts.
  • Kept 16 diseases and syndromes under surveillance, including respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, pneumococcus, febrile illness of unknown origins, influenza-like illness, and tuberculosis. GDD Centers are using these data to detect outbreaks, make policy recommendations, evaluate new interventions, and measure public health impact.

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Building Network Capacity

We track this to…enhance collaboration through shared resources and cooperation.

What We Did

  • Worked with WHO and local ministries of health to control the spread of respiratory infections in healthcare settings.
  • Collaborated with WHO and other partners to assess the ability of countries to meet the revised International Health Regulations (IHR).

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  1. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection. Global Disease Detection Program: Monitoring and Evaluation Report 2009 [PDF - 200 B] and Global Disease Detection Program: Monitoring and Evaluation Report 2010 [PDF - 200 B] . [accessed June 2015]

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  • Page last reviewed: June 23, 2015
  • Page last updated: June 23, 2015
  • Content source: Global Health
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