Global Disease Detection Operations Center Fact Sheet

Keeping an Eye on Global Health Threats

The Global Disease Detection (GDD) Operations Center monitors outbreaks 24/7 across the globe and assesses their potential risk to the U.S. and communities around the world. The GDD Operations Center was established in 2007 to address weaknesses and gaps in global public health surveillance and response capacity. The GDD Operations Center monitors outbreaks from infectious and noninfectious causes, including public health events linked to disasters, poisonings, and chemical, radiological, or nuclear events. Animal outbreaks of diseases that can be transmitted to humans (zoonotic diseases) are also monitored to stop these diseases from spreading to people.

We detect and respond in the earliest stages of an outbreak, often before the cause is determined.

In 2017, the GDD Operations Center monitored and reported on 340 outbreaks in 107 countries including Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, pneumonic plague in Madagascar, yellow fever in Brazil, and polio worldwide. The GDD Operations Center also coordinates and supports many of CDC’s international response operations for outbreaks of global concern that could affect millions of lives.

Countries where GDD Operations Center tracked outbreaks in 2017
By The Numbers
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Monitors approximately 30-40 public health threats each day

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Tracked more than 170 unique diseases globally since 2007

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Identified outbreaks in more than 210 countries since 2007

How We Do It

An innovative epidemic intelligence and response operations unit, the GDD Operations Center uses nontraditional event-based surveillance methods, including internet scanning for key words in over 40 languages, and a global network of CDC staff and partners, for detection, verification, and reporting of international disease outbreaks and health threats. This surveillance provides an early warning alert, allowing CDC to rapidly respond and protect public health in the U.S. and abroad.

As CDC’s core platform for detecting, tracking, and monitoring global public health events of international importance, the GDD Operations Center works with CDC experts to provide scientific assessment of the risk and impact of a potential outbreak. The information gathered allows CDC to take rapid, evidence-based action to protect the public health of the global community.

Learn more about how we protect health and save lives around the world.