Global Disease Detection (GDD) Operations Center

A group of 6 individuals stand outside and review data on a sheet of paper.

CDC field epidemiologist and members of Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Forestry, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, and Ministry of Health and Social Services review data in the field during an anthrax outbreak in wildlife in Namibia in 2017. Photo: Caitlin Cossaboom/CDC

Emergency Response in Action

The Global Disease Detection (GDD) Operations Center is dedicated to detecting, monitoring, and supporting responses to global public health events of international importance by conducting event-based surveillance (EBS). Through a team of analysts, the GDD Operations Center regularly reviews reports, stories, rumors, and other information about health events that could be a serious risk to public health.

We detect and support outbreak investigations at their earliest stages, often before the cause is determined. As of December 2021, the center has monitored and reported over 1100 unique outbreaks of more than 150 diseases occurring in 237 different countries and territories since 2007, as represented by the map below.

Public health events of international importance monitored by the Global Disease Detection Operations Center, 2007-2022

Working Rapidly Improves CDC’s Response

Verification is key to determining whether a public health event is truly occurring. The GDD Operations Center was created to monitor health events that could be a serious risk to public health and immediately alert CDC programs of an event to facilitate a response from the agency and reduce the effects of that event. CDC response teams can deploy internationally soon after learning about an outbreak. The GDD Operations Center ensures CDC is always able to respond through

  • Rapid information gathering
  • Prompt verification
  • Timely dissemination of information

The GDD Operations Center monitors around 30-40 reported public health events each day, with particular emphasis on CDC’s current or potential outbreak and emergency responses. Our analysts scan multiple sources of information about disease events, including media and the internet, for key words in over 50 languages.

We examine both official information sources (such as reports from ministries of health or the World Health Organization) and unofficial media reports. All unofficial reports are verified through a global network of public health professionals and reviewed for signs of emerging threats to the public’s health.

Learn more about DGHP’s Global Disease Detection Operations Center through the Global Emergency Alert and Response Services (GEARS) fact sheet.