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ABOUT THIS WORD
What does the CDC mean?
The CDC stands for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, the CDC is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The core mission of the CDC is to promote and protect the public health of the United States by preventing and controlling health threats, notably the spread of infectious diseases, such as Ebola, swine flu, and types of coronavirus. The CDC works to fulfill this mission by conducting vital scientific research, compiling critical health statistics, carrying out important health surveillance, and delivering educational programs and services to the public.
Other key activities of the CDC focus on environmental health (under its National Center for Environmental Health, or NCEH) and occupational health and safety (under its National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, or NIOSH). Non-infectious diseases, including cancer, diabetes, and obesity, are also focuses of the CDC, as are birth defects and developmental disabilities.
The CDC was founded in 1946 in Atlanta by physician and lifelong public health servant Joseph Mountin. It was known as the Communicable Disease Center (which may help explain why we continue to abbreviate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the CDC, not CDCP). Its original mission, as was true of its preceding agencies, was helping to fight the spread of malaria in the United States. The CDC soon after expanded to tackle such highly contagious diseases as polio and smallpox.
While the CDC has since become one of the world’s leading epidemiological centers, the Communicable Disease Center was formed as just a minor branch of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), a division of HHS. Its original budget was a mere $10 million and under 400 people made up its staff—compared to the billions in its budget and the thousands on its staff today.
The CDC also has a number of offices outside Atlanta, from California to Ohio and Puerto Rico, as well as quarantine stations throughout the United States. It maintains a website (cdc.gov) that offers essential information and updates on diseases and emergency preparedness.
Other divisions of the USPHS include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The CDC is one of several federal institutions, such as NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), that are best known by their abbreviated names. The word centers in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is plural because the CDC oversees a number of specialized centers and institutes, such as NIOSH.
Did you know ... ?
Have ever wondered why the CDC was founded in Atlanta, Georgia?
Well, when it was first established in the 1940s, malaria was still regularly found (endemic) in the United States, especially in the Southeast. During World War II, many soldiers were sent off to fight (and returned home) to bases in the Southeast, so controlling malaria there was vital. Additionally, as remains true today, Atlanta was a major transportation hub, helping it to mobilize its disease-fighting efforts.
In popular culture, the CDC prominently figures in the first season (2010) of the hit AMC zombie apocalypse TV drama, The Walking Dead.
Example sentences from the Web for CDC
Regardless, there could be a sidewalk full of sign-hoisting demonstrators outside the CDC if the recommendations are confirmed.
According to the CDC, that figure could be even higher, around 42 percent.
With a rescue plan in place and a five-year, $4.9 million contract between Phoenix and the CDC, the planes went into storage.The American Ebola Rescue Plan Hinges on One Company. Meet Phoenix.|Abby Haglage|November 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In 2007 though, there were outbreaks reported to the CDC on 21 leisure voyages, including one on the QE-II.A Doctor Explains Why Cruise Ships Should Be Banned|Kent Sepkowitz|November 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Many of these, especially in rural areas, are what concerns the CDC.
British Dictionary definitions for CDC
Medical definitions for CDC
Cultural definitions for CDC
A government agency headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, which is responsible for the control and suppression of infectious diseases. It offers a national information database on infectious disease and national support to the health care community by providing research and control measures in response to imminent health threats, such as epidemics.