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Global Health Programs: Global Disease Detection


The Global Disease Detection Program (GDD) is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) principal and most visible program for developing and strengthening global capacity to rapidly detect, accurately identify, and promptly contain emerging infectious diseases that occur internationally.

Program Description

GDD develops and strengthens global public health capacity to identify and contain infectious disease threats from around the world. GDD core activities include:
  • Rapid outbreak response
  • Surveillance systems
  • Pathogen discovery
  • Training
  • Networking

CDC’s eight Global Disease Detection regional centers help strengthen public health systems and improve the infrastructure in host countries to identify and control emerging infectious diseases rapidly at the source. The Global Disease Detection Operations Center, an epidemic intelligence and response unit in Atlanta, is often the first to alert partners to the potential for a disease or adverse health event. In addition, our Technical Support Corps, based at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, provide support to the GDD Centers as needed in the field 24 hours a day. Finally, CDC is designed as a WHO Collaborating Center for National Surveillance and Response Capacity. In this role, we help implement the revised International Health Regulations, helping countries develop programs to detect and control diseases.

Where We Work

  • China
  • Egypt
  • Guatemala
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Thailand
  • South Africa

Public Health Impact

  • Added 2 new GDD Regional Centers in India and South Africa.
  • Provided rapid response to more than 579 disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies including:
  • Hand, foot, & mouth disease and Salmonella enteritidis (China)
  • Human H5N1 influenza and Q fever (Egypt)
  • Dengue, respiratory syncytial virus, and febrile encephalitis (Guatemala)
  • Anthrax, typhoid fever, and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (Congo)
  • Discovered 51 new pathogens for the first time anywhere in the world or newly discovered within the GDD Center regions.
  • Provided short-term public health training for more than 42,000 participants worldwide. Training has included epidemiology, laboratory, all-hazards preparedness, risk communication, influenza, and others.
  • Placed over 100 million persons under population-based surveillance for a variety of other diseases and 5.5 million persons under surveillance for pneumonia.
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  • Page last reviewed: April 18, 2011
  • Page last updated: April 18, 2011
  • Content source: Global Health
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