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Learn More about Epi-X

What is Epi-X?

The Epidemic Information Exchange (Epi-X) is the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's secure, web-based communications network that serves as a powerful communications exchange between CDC, state and local health departments, poison control centers, and other public health professionals. The system provides rapid reporting, immediate notification, editorial support, and coordination of health investigations for public health professionals.

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Who's participating in Epi-X?

Participation in Epi-X is limited to public health officials designated by each health agency. These experts are engaged in identifying, investigating, and responding to health threats. Access to Epi-X is limited to these designated officials to ensure the security necessary for the exchange of preliminary information. The technology that supports Epi-X makes the system available to these individuals while in the "field," in the laboratory, at the office, or at home. Currently, Epi-X has over 1200 users.

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What's being shared on Epi-X?

Epi-X supports postings and discussions about disease outbreaks and other health events that potentially involve multiple jurisdictions. Since its inception in December 2000, health officials have posted over 1000 reports of disease outbreaks. Some highlights of information reported on Epi-X include the 2002 West Nile Virus outbreak, local and national responses to bioterrorism, discovery of a new strain of influenza, unknown illnesses in children, travelers with contagious illnesses, and foodborne outbreaks and food recalls that could affect residents in multiple states.

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When is information exchanged on Epi-X?

Epi-X provides rapid communications whenever there is a public health need. Epi-X scientific staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide assistance in editing and posting reports on the secure web site and to notify users routinely (by e-mail) or emergently (by pager, telephone, and e-mail) about acute health events. Users who contribute reports to Epi-X can opt for posting within 24 or 48 hours (even sooner for emergencies), but most reports are posted within hours of submission. Officials can begin discussions about a report as soon as it is posted.

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How and Why is Epi-X "secure" - what does that mean?

To protect the sensitive nature of the early information Epi-X provides, the system utilizes the latest encryption and security technology for communicating with and reporting information to users. The secure system allows the appropriate exchange of the early information between public health officials. This key feature can prompt nationwide disease tracking and investigation when disease outbreak is detected.

In addition, all Epi-X users are designated public health officials who understand and respect the secure nature of the communications that take place on the system. Ultimately, the activities that result on Epi-X foster a coordinated response to public health events that results in effective interventions and accurate communications to the public (via MMWR and other sources).

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Why is information exchanged on Epi-X?

Epi-X was created to provide public health officials with a single source of up-to-the-minute alerts, reports, discussions, and comments - contributed by their peers, and moderated by medical epidemiologists and laboratorians at CDC. The network's primary goal is to inform health officials about important public health events, to help them respond to public health emergencies, and to encourage professional growth and exchange of information.

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How can I become an Epi-X user?

Epi-X users are designated by each state. Each official must obtain pre-approval from the appropriate health agency. Once pre-approval has been obtained, Epi-X staff provides additional information about getting set up on the system. Public health professionals interested in participating in the program can contact Epi-X at

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