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Centers for disease control and prevention

The meaning of «centers for disease control and prevention»

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC or U.S. CDC) is the national public health agency of the United States. It is a United States federal agency, under the Department of Health and Human Services,[2] and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.[3]

The agency professes its main goal to be the protection of public health and safety through the control and prevention of disease, injury, and disability in the US and worldwide.[4] The CDC focuses national attention on developing and applying disease control and prevention. It especially focuses its attention on infectious disease, food borne pathogens, environmental health, occupational safety and health, health promotion, injury prevention and educational activities designed to improve the health of United States citizens. The CDC also conducts research and provides information on non-infectious diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, and is a founding member of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes.[5]

Historically the CDC has not been a political agency, however, the COVID-19 pandemic, and specifically the Trump Administration's handling of the pandemic, resulted in a "dangerous shift" according to a previous CDC director and others. Four previous directors claim that the agency's voice was "muted for political reasons."[6] Politicization of the agency has continued into the Biden administration as COVID-19 guidance is contradicted by State guidance[7] and the agency is criticized as "CDC's credibility is eroding".[8]

The Communicable Disease Center was founded July 1, 1946, as the successor to the World War II Malaria Control in War Areas program[9] of the Office of National Defense Malaria Control Activities.[10]

Preceding its founding, organizations with global influence in malaria control were the Malaria Commission of the League of Nations and the Rockefeller Foundation.[11] The Rockefeller Foundation greatly supported malaria control,[11] sought to have the governments take over some of its efforts, and collaborated with the agency.[12]

The new agency was a branch of the U.S. Public Health Service and Atlanta was chosen as the location because malaria was endemic in the Southern United States.[13] The agency changed names (see infobox on top) before adopting the name Communicable Disease Center in 1946. Offices were located on the sixth floor of the Volunteer Building on Peachtree Street.[14]

With a budget at the time of about $1 million, 59 percent of its personnel were engaged in mosquito abatement and habitat control with the objective of control and eradication of malaria in the United States[15] (see National Malaria Eradication Program).

Among its 369 employees, the main jobs at CDC were originally entomology and engineering. In CDC's initial years, more than six and a half million homes were sprayed, mostly with DDT. In 1946, there were only seven medical officers on duty and an early organization chart was drawn, somewhat fancifully, in the shape of a mosquito. Under Joseph Walter Mountin, the CDC continued to advocate for public health issues and pushed to extend its responsibilities to many other communicable diseases.[16]

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