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Public Health Scientific Services

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CDC’s scientific services promote health, prevent disease, and prepare for health threats. As a pioneer in collecting and using health data, CDC tracks the health of populations and provides timely data used by public health and civic officials to respond to the most urgent health issues. This vital information is depended upon for policymaking, biomedical and health services research, lab safety, and improved access to healthcare for everyone. In addition, CDC guides and supports safe, state-of-the-art laboratories across the U.S. as a key line of defense against health threats.

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35 Years

CDC’s Health, United States report has provided a snapshot of the nation’s health for 35 years, including trends in disease, deaths, and what’s harming Americans.

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2.9 Million

CDC Vital Signs monthly report grew to reach 2.9 million electronic viewings in 2013, up from 250,000 in 2010.

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401 Trainees

CDC increased the number of trainees in state, territorial, local, and tribal public health agencies from 119 in 2009 to 401 in 2013.

Key Accomplishments

  • Developed multistate testing and improved testing methods, systems that work together, and advanced management methods for U.S. disease-detecting laboratories.
  • Used cloud technology to develop innovative information science tools and mobile applications for healthcare professionals and state and local public health departments.
  • Provided data access services to quickly share information among state and local health departments and CDC.
  • CDC’s WONDER (Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research) increased from 30 to 67 online databases from 2010 to 2012.

35 Countries


CDC’s Epi INFO™, a software network that helps to rapidly identify disease outbreaks, is used by public health professionals in more than 35 countries.

Measuring Emergency Response to Chemical Threats by Simulations

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Testing samples and rapid reporting are a critical part of emergency response. Simulations help CDC and states improve readiness.

Simulations are a critical part of testing the response between federal agencies and all 50 public health departments. CDC held a simulation of a mass chemical exposure to determine how rapidly deadly chemical agents could be identified.

In the simulation, a Category 3 hurricane caused flood damage that releases the nerve agent sarin and the pesticide aldicarb into flood waters and the drinking water supply. CDC used rapid toxicology screening, a process that can identify more than 150 chemicals in blood and urine, to help state public health departments respond. Participants in the exercise analyzed more than 8,000 test samples and reported to medical and public health personnel during the simulation.


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