Emergency Preparedness and Response

Respiratory disease outbreaks are a common public health problem and investigating them can be a challenge. Determining which pathogen is the cause (etiology) of an outbreak is critical to implementing appropriate control measures. However, it can be difficult to determine which pathogen is causing respiratory disease outbreaks as many pathogens could be the cause. Diagnostic testing can also be complicated as sometimes the appropriate diagnostic test may not be available locally or can be difficult to interpret.

CDC developed the following resources to assist public health professionals and partners in investigating unexplained respiratory disease outbreaks (URDO).

URDO fact sheet

Unexplained Respiratory Disease Outbreaks Work Group Factsheet pdf icon[1 page]
Did you know CDC can provide support if you have a respiratory disease outbreak of unknown etiology? Learn more about how you can get CDC’s help to investigate your outbreak.