The History and Mission of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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The History and Mission of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Photo by William Fortunato on


The History and Mission of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In this article, The History and Mission of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we will delve into the rich history and mission of this esteemed organization. Our aim is to provide you with valuable insights into the CDC’s contributions to public health and its significance in the global healthcare landscape. Let’s embark on this informative journey together!

Origins of the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traces its roots back to July 1, 1946, when it was established as the Communicable Disease Center. Its primary objective was to combat malaria, a significant health concern in the United States at that time. Over the years, the organization evolved, expanding its scope to address a wide range of diseases, both infectious and chronic.

Mission and Objectives

The CDC’s mission is to protect the nation from health threats and promote the well-being of individuals and communities. To achieve this, they focus on the following core objectives:

1. Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC plays a pivotal role in preventing and controlling the spread of diseases. They conduct research, gather data, and develop strategies to tackle various health issues. By working closely with national and international partners, they strive to minimize the impact of infectious diseases on public health.

2. Emergency Response

In times of crises, the CDC swiftly mobilizes its resources to respond to emergencies, such as disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and bioterrorism threats. Their expertise and preparedness help save lives and ensure the resilience of communities facing health-related challenges.

3. Health Promotion and Education

The CDC is committed to promoting healthy behaviors and empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their well-being. Through educational campaigns, they raise awareness about various health issues, encourage preventive measures, and provide valuable resources to the public.

4. Global Health

Recognizing that health knows no boundaries, the CDC actively engages in global health initiatives. They collaborate with international partners to combat infectious diseases worldwide, strengthen healthcare systems, and enhance global health security.

Key Achievements

Over the decades, the CDC has made significant contributions to public health. Let’s explore some of their notable achievements:

1. Smallpox Eradication

The CDC played a pivotal role in the global eradication of smallpox, one of humanity’s greatest achievements in healthcare. Through extensive vaccination campaigns and surveillance efforts, smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980.

2. Polio Elimination

Working alongside global partners, the CDC has contributed to the elimination of polio in many parts of the world. Their efforts in vaccine development, surveillance, and immunization campaigns have brought us closer to a polio-free world.

3. Tobacco Control

Recognizing the devastating health consequences of tobacco use, the CDC has been at the forefront of tobacco control efforts. Their initiatives have included anti-smoking campaigns, research on the effects of smoking, and policy advocacy for stronger tobacco regulations.

4. Disease Surveillance and Outbreak Response

The CDC’s expertise in disease surveillance and outbreak response has been crucial in addressing various health emergencies. From the H1N1 influenza pandemic to the recent COVID-19 crisis, they have provided vital guidance, conducted research, and supported healthcare systems worldwide.


In conclusion, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has played a pivotal role in safeguarding public health both within the United States and globally. Through their dedication to disease control, emergency response, health promotion, and global health initiatives, they have made significant strides in improving health outcomes and saving lives. As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of healthcare, the CDC remains an essential pillar in our collective efforts to protect and enhance the well-being of individuals and communities.

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