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CDC Timeline

Take a minute to review many of CDC's momentous contributions to public health since it was organized in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center.


2010s |  2000s  |  1990s  |  1980s |  1970s  |  1960s  |  1950s  |  1940s

2010s

  • 2016

    Zika Virus outbreak (in Americas and U.S. Territories) response
    • Zika Virus outbreak (in Americas and U.S. Territories) response. CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated for Zika virus disease on January 22, 2016, and moved to a level 1 activation—the highest level – on February 8, 2016
    • Flint water response.
  • 2015

  • 2014

    The first case of Ebola is reported in Guinea in March; the disease spreads into the neighboring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone
    • The first case of Ebola is reported in Guinea in March; the disease spreads into the neighboring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone
    • CDC activates its Emergency Operations Center to respond to the largest Ebola outbreak in history affecting multiple countries in West Africa. CDC helps coordinate the response at the national level, providing health education and assisting with database management. Trains teams of people who can do contact tracing, finding everyone who came in direct contact with a sick Ebola patient
    • Responds to a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg infections linked to chicken
    • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) response.
    • Global Health Security Agenda initiated
  • 2013

    CDC activates its Emergency Operations Center to investigate a novel coronavirus called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus
  • 2012

  • 2011

    • CDC responds to a multi-state outbreak of listeriosis which is linked to whole cantaloupes
    • June 5, 2011, marks the 30th year since CDC reported the first cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
    • CDC continues to support the global polio eradication effort by activating the Emergency Operations Center to strengthen the agency’s partnership engagement through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), which is committed to completing the eradication of polio
  • 2010

    In the aftermath of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti, CDC response effort helps prevent 7,000 deaths from cholera
    • In the aftermath of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti, CDC response effort helps prevent 7,000 deaths from cholera
    • Healthy People 2020 is published by DHHS. A new focus on blood disorders and blood safety addresses bleeding and clotting disorders, and hemoglobinopathies
    • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is enacted. One of the requirements is that any federally conducted or supported health care or public health program, activity, or survey collect and report, to the extent practicable, data on disability status
    • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provides technical assistance for responder safety and health in the Deepwater Horizon containment and cleanup
    • The CDC Vital Signs monthly report is launched. It includes an MMWR Early Release, a graphic fact sheet and website, a media release, and social media tools

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  • Page last reviewed: June 27, 2016
  • Page last updated: June 29, 2016
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