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50 Years of the Epidemic Intelligence Service

This issue of MMWR commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS). In 1951, EIS was established by CDC following the start of the Korean War as an early-warning system against biologic warfare and man-made epidemics. EIS officers selected for 2-year field assignments were primarily medical doctors and other health professionals, such as sanitarians, dentists, and veterinarians, who focused on infectious disease outbreaks. EIS has expanded to include a range of public health professionals, such as postdoctoral scientists in statistics, epidemiology, microbiology, anthropology, sociology, and behavioral sciences. The scope of work also has expanded to include chronic disease, environmental health, unintentional injury, violence prevention, and workplace health and safety. Since 1951, approximately 2500 EIS officers have responded to requests for epidemiologic assistance within the United States and throughout the world. Each year, EIS officers are involved in several hundred investigations of disease and injury problems, enabling CDC and its public health partners to make recommendations to improve the public's health and safety. Additional information about EIS and its 50th anniversary is available at http://www.cdc.gov/eis.



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