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March 22, 2002
For Immediate Release
Contact: CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Press Release

CDC Develops Global Strategy to Fight Infectious Diseases

HHS' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released a new global strategic plan to help prevent the emergence and spread of infectious diseases in the United States. The plan, entitled Protecting the Nation's Health in an Era of Globalization: CDC's Global Infectious Disease Strategy, describes how CDC and its international partners can collaborate to address infectious diseases.

"Infectious diseases continue to be a leading cause of death worldwide and the third leading cause of death in the United States," said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. "Left unchecked, today's emerging diseases can become the endemic diseases of tomorrow."

Because U.S. and international health are inextricably linked, the fulfillment of CDC's domestic mission - to protect the health of the U.S. population - requires global awareness and strategic thinking. "CDC's efforts to prevent infectious diseases globally directly benefits the health of all Americans," said CDC Director Dr. Jeffrey P. Koplan. This plan defines six priority areas developed in consultation with global public health partners to enhance to fight infectious diseases.

1. International Outbreak Assistance - an underlying principle of the global strategy is the recognition that international outbreak assistance from CDC is vital to help countries maintain control of new pathogens when an outbreak is identified.

2. Global Disease Surveillance - CDC will help stimulate the process of expanding regional surveillance networks into a global "network of networks" to provide early warnings of emerging health threats.

3. Applied Research - CDC's laboratorians, epidemiologists, and behavioral scientists will maintain an active research program to develop tools to detect, diagnose, predict, and eliminate diseases of global or regional importance.

4. Application of Proven Public Health Tools - CDC will conduct applied research to identify opportunities to use newly developed tools and technologies for disease control. For example - the use of insecticide-impregnated bed nets to prevent malaria and the use of home water treatment and safe storage to prevent waterborne diseases.

5. Global Initiatives for Disease Control - CDC and its partners will consult on future international priorities for disease control, elimination and eradication efforts - as well as monitor for antimicrobial resistance and plan for pandemic influenza.

6. Public Health Training and Capacity Building - CDC will encourage and support the establishment of International Emerging Infections Programs in developing countries to strengthen national public health capacity and provide hands-on training in public health.

CDC's global infectious disease strategy was prepared in collaboration with numerous global health organizations and agencies. The strategy will be implemented incrementally over the next five years as resources become available.

"Implementation of specific objectives in this plan will help realize CDC's vision of a world in which U.S. citizens and people throughout the world are better protected from infectious diseases," said Dr. James M. Hughes, director of CDC's National Center for Infectious Diseases.

The complete plan including the executive summary can be found at


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protects people's health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.


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This page last updated March 22, 2002

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