What is Global Health Security?

What is Global Health Security

Colombia FETP COVID-19 field investigation with the Amazonas State Department of Health in San Juan de Atacuari on the Brazilian border, May 2020.

Global health security is the existence of strong and resilient public health systems that can prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats, wherever they occur in the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works 24/7 to protect the health, safety, and security of the American people and fight global health threats worldwide, so we don’t have to fight them here at home. In today’s globalized society, a disease threat anywhere is a disease threat everywhere.

Today’s top global health security risks include:

  • Emergence and spread of new infectious diseases
  • Ever-increasing globalization of travel and trade, enabling disease to spread
  • Rise of drug-resistant, disease-causing pathogens
  • Potential for accidental release, theft or illicit use of dangerous pathogens

CDC strengthens capabilities in these four core areas to fight top global health security risks:  

  • Surveillance systems to quickly catch outbreaks before they spread
  • Laboratory networks to accurately diagnose diseases and identify new pathogens
  • Workforce development of frontline staff to identify, track, and contain outbreaks at their source
  • Emergency Management systems to coordinate response efforts when crises occur