CDC′s Work Saves Lives Everywhere, Every Day
CDC’s mission, simply put, is to keep Americans safe and healthy where they work, live and play. Scientists and disease detectives work around the world to track diseases, research outbreaks, respond to emergencies of all kinds, and use what they learn from this work to strengthen America′s health and resilience.
Diseases and Disasters Have No Borders
CDC scientists and disease detectives are deployed globally because outbreaks that start in remote corners of the world can travel to the US as quickly as a plane can fly. In a pandemic or a health crisis of any kind, time is precious. CDC experts available where and when a problem first occurs can potentially save hundreds, even thousands, from illness, injury or death. Investing and acting globally enables CDC to be better prepared to combat any threat to the health and safety of American citizens, no matter where in the world it might first arise.
The United States has made significant progress toward protecting people against chickenpox. A walk back in time shows the many successes along the way.
In 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began collaboration with Emory University and the American Heart Association to take a closer look at whether all the links in the chain were working properly, by developing the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES).
Dengue, a painful and sometimes deadly viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, threatens more than 3.5 billion people worldwide. Dengue is endemic in at least 100 countries in Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and parts of Africa.
Years ago, diphtheria wiped out entire communities, sometimes killing all the children in a family. This is the story of a famous event that galvanized people in the United States to begin to use diphtheria vaccine—which has virtually wiped out the once dreaded disease in this country.
In 2008, CDC malaria expert Dr. Mary Hamel learned that the Malaria Vaccine Institute was looking for leading research institutions in Africa to conduct Phase III clinical trials of the world’s most advanced malaria candidate vaccine, RTS,S/AS01. Recognizing that CDC’s nearly 30 years of collaboration on malaria research with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) would uniquely qualify it for serving as vaccine trial site, she told herself: “We must apply.”
They’re usually in bowls of mixed nuts that are a holiday staple. But for 8 people who lived in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, the 2010 holidays weren’t so merry. Beginning in late December, they all came down with a rare and serious illness caused by Escherichia coli O157:H7 that was lurking in, of all places, hazelnuts.
In 2011, cantaloupes contaminated with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes caused the deadliest foodborne disease outbreak in the United States in more than 90 years. The number of deaths would have been higher had it not been for an effective, coordinated response by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local health departments, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Epi-X network includes epidemiologists, laboratorians, veterinarians, health officers, environmental health specialists, statisticians, pharmacologists, and other key health officials from local, state, and federal agencies. Epi-X works continuously with these partners, providing the guidance and support needed to handle a variety of health threats.
CDC′s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) staff are the elite global health sleuths. EIS officers share real-life stories of response disease outbreaks and other crises.