A History of Success: Investigating and Responding to Public Health Threats Since 1951

Milestone Investigations

EIS has a 73-year history of success in training disease detectives. EIS officers step up at a moment’s notice to investigate public health threats in the United States and around the world. From the Smallpox Eradication Program in the 1960’s to the COVID-19 pandemic, EIS officers are called on to protect people and save lives.

1955 through 2016. Polio(1955), Smallpox(1966), Legionnaires Disease(1976), Ebola(1976), Asprin (1978), HIV/AIDS (1981), E.coli(1993), Anthrax (2001), SARS (2003), Ebola (2014), HIV/Hepatits (2015), Zika (2016).

  • 1951

    EIS Program Inception

  • 1966

    Smallpox Eradication Program

  • 1976

    Legionnaires Disease

  • 1976


  • 1978

    Aspirin use and Reye’s syndrome

  • 1981

    first reported

  • 1988

    Global Polio Eradication Initiative

  • 1993

    Jack in the Box

  • 2001

    U.S. Postal Service

  • 2003


  • 2009

    Influenza (H1N1) pandemic

  • 2014

    West Africa

  • 2015

    Opiod-related outbreak

  • 2016


  • 2018

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • 2019

    EVALI outbreak
    e-cigarete/vaping-associated lung injury

  • 2019

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Details by the decade
EIS Timeline Booklet - A Snapshot of Public Health Achievements

A Snapshot of Public Health Achievements [2 MB, 10 Pages, 508] highlights milestone investigations that improved health, made a difference in thousands of lives, and effected change in communities and entire countries.

Did You Know?
EIS 1960 Leather Shoe Sole

Worn out shoe leather with a prominent hole worn through has been a recurring visual theme of EIS through the decades, a reference to the practice of EIS officers personally investigating disease outbreaks at the local population level, in all parts of the world.