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Protecting Against Disease Epidemics

CDC works to prevent, detect and respond to global health threats.

CDC works with global partners to build countries’ global health security capacities to better protect the world from infectious disease epidemics. In our interconnected world, a health threat anywhere is a threat everywhere. 

  • Keeping the world safe and secure from infectious disease threats. New microbes are emerging and spreading, drug resistance is rising, and laboratories around the world could release dangerous microbes.
  • Globalization of travel and trade increase the chance and speed of outbreaks spreading.  The US government can’t protect us all and is working with the WHO and countries around the world to prevent and reduce the likelihood outbreaks, detect them early and when they do occur, respond rapidly and effectively.   
  • CDC uses multiple platforms and partnerships to protect Americans from diseases that begin overseas. Examples include Global Disease Detection Centers (GDD), Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETP) and other disease-specific programs. These gold standards in public health have been widely embraced and adopted by other nations, broadening the health security net by developing technical skills, increasing laboratories, and connecting information systems to improve decision-making and prevent, detect, and respond to diseases more effectively.

For more information, visit CDC's Global Health Security website.

Graphics / Images

  • Photo:  Response to diphtheria outbreak in Bondowoso District - East Java,Indonesia

    Response to diphtheria outbreak in Bondowoso District - East Java, Indonesia
    Photo by Friskila Damaris Silitonga

  • Photo:  -	Dengue fever outbreak investigation  - Pakistan

    Dengue fever outbreak investigation - Pakistan
    Photo by Shoaib Hassan

  • Photo:  Laboratory analysis of serum samples in Nigeria

    Laboratory analysis of serum samples in Nigeria
    Photo by Mabel Aworh

  • Photo:  Woman in rural Vietnam

    To prevent, quickly detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks from spreading in Vietnam’s 63 provinces and in the region, CDC technical experts collaborated with Vietnam’s Ministry of Health to strengthen Vietnam’s public health response system.
    Photo by Niki Pham

  • Photo:  CDC and Vietnamese Ministry of Health experts worked with provincial laboratories

    CDC and Vietnamese Ministry of Health experts worked with provincial laboratories, coaching staff on laboratory quality management systems, an essential component of global health security.
    Photo by Niki Pham

  • Photo:  CDC experts provided training and standardized protocols to enhance Vietnam’s ability to confirm detection of new pathogens such as influenza A (H7N9) and MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

    CDC experts provided training and standardized protocols to enhance Vietnam’s ability to confirm detection of new pathogens such as influenza A (H7N9) and MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
    Photo by Niki Pham

  • Photo:  Lab worker in Vietnam

    Lab worker in Vietnam
    Photo by Niki Pham

  • Photo:  Over the years, Uganda has faced multiple outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever.

    Over the years, Uganda has faced multiple outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever.
    Photo by Justin Williams

  • Photo:  Uganda has often requested a team of CDC scientists to assist with disease detection, laboratory work and overall incident management.

    Uganda has often requested a team of CDC scientists to assist with disease detection, laboratory work and overall incident management.
    Photo by Justin Williams

  • Photo:  Fiedl workers in Uganda test virus samples.

    For years, virus samples from Uganda had to be shipped to CDC in Atlanta to be tested, which meant a diagnosis in weeks. Now, with Uganda’s enhanced nationwide laboratory network, virus samples can be tested in country in days, so a diagnosis of Ebola can be confirmed or ruled out and disease control activities undertaken quickly.
    Photo by Justin Williams

  • Graphic:  The Global Aviation Netwrok: Disease can spread nearly anywhere within 24 hours

    The Global Aviation Netwrok: Disease can spread nearly anywhere within 24 hours

  • Graphic: SARS cost the world $30 billion in just 4 months - a rapid effective response could have avoided most of this.

    SARS cost the world $30 billion in just 4 months - a rapid effective response could have avoided most of this.

  • Graphic: Global Disease Detection Operations Center Contingency Fund-Supported Outbreak Investigations, 2010–2013

    Global Disease Detection Operations Center Contingency Fund-Supported Outbreak Investigations, 2010–2013
    Entire graphic

Contact Information

CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286
media@cdc.gov

Spokespersons

Tom Frieden, MD, MPH

Biography

Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH

There may be a misconception that infectious diseases are over in the industrialized world. But in fact, infectious diseases continue to be, and will always be, with us. With patterns of global travel and trade, disease can spread nearly anywhere within 24 hours. That’s why the ability to detect, fight and prevent these diseases must be developed and strengthened overseas, and not just here in the United States. Global health and national security go hand in hand.

Tom Frieden, MD, MPH - Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Captain Jordan W. Tappero, MD, MPH

Biography

Photo: Jordan W. Tappero, MD, MPH

The Division of Global Health Protection (DGHP) within CDC’s Center for Global Health works 24/7 to protect the health and well-being of Americans and people around the world. DGHP helps ensure global health security by supporting the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005), establishing Field Epidemiology Training Programs and Global Disease Detection Centers, detecting emerging health threats, supporting the development of national public health institutes, advancing non-communicable disease prevention and control, and preparing for and responding to public health emergencies. As the first permanent Director of DGHP, I am excited about the opportunity to provide leadership and overall strategic direction for the division’s activities and ensure that our work is aligned with CDC’s strategic objectives.

Captain Jordan W. Tappero, MD, MPH - Director, Division of Global Health Protection, Center for Global Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Mike Gerber, MPH

Biography

Photo: Mike Gerber, MPH

Global travel is increasing and diseases know no borders. To ensure global health security, it is critical that every nation have the capability of rapidly detecting and responding to emerging health threats. CDC’s Global Disease Detection Centers are working 24/7 with ministries of health and other partners around the world to help build the capacity to prevent, detect and respond to public health emergencies. Until all nations have this fundamental capacity, the US and our partners will not be secure.

Mike Gerber, MPH - Acting Chief of the Global Disease Detection Branch, Division of Global Health Protection

Linda Quick, MD, MPH

Biography

Photo: Linda Quick, MD, MPH

In our globalized world, contagious diseases and other health threats can spread rapidly across international borders and may trigger the onset of a pandemic. Every country needs a team of highly-trained epidemiologists also known as “disease detectives” to detect, validate and rapidly respond to outbreaks.

CDC’s Field Epidemiology Training Program Branch plays a significant role in ensuring global health security by assisting countries in meeting the International Health Regulations (2005) core capacity requirements. FETP residents serve as first line rapid responders to health threats and provide an evidence base to control well-known and emerging diseases and save lives.

Linda Quick, MD, MPH - Chief, Field Epidemiology Training Program Branch, Division of Global Health Protection

Eric Kasowski, DVM, MD, MPH

Biography

Photo: Eric Kasowski, DVM, MD, MPH

The global threat of diseases such as avian influenza and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) spreading from person to person and across borders poses a public health risk to all countries. The risk is especially high for low- and middle-resource countries with less-developed systems to detect, investigate, and quickly respond to emerging and re-emerging public health threats.

The Global Health Security Branch (GHSB) leads CDC’s global health security engagement to promote mutual strategies, research, and policies. GHSB includes key programs that partner with host countries to build surveillance and response capacity for potential public health events of national and international concern in the context of the International Health Regulations (2005) and CDC’s Global Health Strategy.

Eric Kasowski, DVM, MD, MPH - Chief, Global Health Security Branch, Division of Global Health Protection

 
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