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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333


DIRECTORRochelle P.Walensky
Principal Deputy DirectorDebra Houry, Acting


On July 1, 1946, the Communicable Disease Center opened its doors in Atlanta, GA, with the goal of stopping the spread of malaria nationwide. With a budget of $10 million, its employees numbered fewer than 400. Shovels, sprayers, and trucks were among the most important tools for slowing the disease's spread.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posts an organizational chart online in Portable Document Format (PDF) for viewing and downloading.


The CDC, as part of the Public Health Service, protects the public health of Americans by leading the national effort to prevent and manage diseases and other preventable conditions and by responding to public health emergencies. Within the CDC, the following five directorates lead efforts to diagnose, prevent, and treat public health hazards.

Infectious Diseases Research and Policies

The CDC oversees three infectious disease national centers. The National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases focuses on diseases that have been known for many years, emerging diseases, and zoonotic diseases (i.e., those that spread from animals to people). The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention eliminates, prevents, and controls disease, disability, and death caused by human immunodeficiency virus infection/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, non-HIV retroviruses, viral hepatitis, other sexually transmitted diseases, and tuberculosis. The National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases mitigates the effects of disease, which include disability and death, through immunization and by controlling respiratory and related diseases.

Occupational Safety and Health

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health conducts research to reduce worker illness and injury and to advance worker well-being; promotes safe and healthy workers through interventions, recommendations, and building capacity to address hazards; and enhances worker safety and health through collaborations that are global in scope.

Noncommunicable Diseases Prevention

The CDC's current noninfectious disease priorities include marijuana use outcomes that affect health, mental health, and the prevention of nonoccupational hearing loss. Its noninfectious disease services are provided by four national centers: the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities; the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; the National Center for Environmental Health / Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

Public Health Preparedness and Response

The Center for Preparedness and Response helps the Nation prepare for and respond to urgent public health threats by providing strategic direction, coordination, and support for CDC's terrorism preparedness and emergency response activities.

Public Health Science and Surveillance

The Public Health Science and Surveillance services—which include the National Center for Health Statistics and the Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services (CSELS)—lead the effort in promoting and facilitating science, surveillance, standards, and policies for reducing the burden of diseases in the United States and abroad. The CSELS promotes collaboration among health professionals globally; supports educational, training, and professional opportunities in epidemiology and public health science; maintains datasets and manages and preserves specimens; facilitates the sharing of health information; and reports on emerging public health problems. Within the CDC, the Office of Laboratory Science and Safety oversees and coordinates critical laboratory policies and operations; the Office of Science serves as the CDC’s authority on scientific quality, integrity, and innovation.

Public Health Service and Implementation Science

One office and three centers lead the national effort to promote and facilitate science programs and policies for identifying and responding to domestic and global public health threats. These four components are the Center for Global Health; Center for Preparedness and Response; Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support; and the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity.

Sources of Information

A–Z Index

An alphabetical subject index helps visitors navigate the content of the CDC's website.

Archived Records

The "Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States" indicates that CDC records have been assigned to record group 442.

Career Opportunities

The CDC is the leading national public health protection agency in the United States. It relies on professionals with scientific and nonscientific expertise to protect Earth's human population from the threat of deadly diseases like Ebola, HIV/AIDS, influenza, malaria, and tuberculosis. Most scientific and technical positions at the CDC are filled through the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service, a uniformed service of the U.S. Government.

In 2020, the CDC ranked 192d among 411 agency subcomponents in the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places To Work Agency Rankings.

Climate Change

Together with other natural and anthropogenic health stressors, climate change affects human health and disease in many ways. It intensifies some existing health threats and causes the emergence of new ones. Not everyone is equally at risk: Age, economic resources, location, and other factors influence outcomes.

Extreme heat events pose a serious public health risk. The CDC's "Heat and Health Tracker" provides local heat and health information to help communities better prepare for and respond to extreme heat events.

Contact Information

The "Contact CDC–INFO" web page has CDC phone numbers and an electronic form for contacting the agency.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19)

Guidance on prevention and treatment of COVID–19, as well as updates on the virus and information for specific groups like healthcare professionals and travelers, is available on the CDC website.

Disease of the Week

The "Disease of the Week" web page presents key facts on, prevention tips for, and a quiz to test one's knowledge of diseases that are common and serious.

Federal Register

Significant documents and documents that the CDC recently published in the Federal Register are accessible online.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The FOIA requires of the CDC to disclose records that any person requests in writing; however, some records (or parts of them) may be shielded by one or more of the nine disclosure exemptions that the law contains. | Email:

The CDC has posted an "E–Z Guide to FOIA Exemptions."

The CDC posts frequently requested agency records in its electronic reading room.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The CDC posts answers to questions on its website.


Some of the CDC's most important contributions to public health are described on the "CDC Timeline" web page.

The David J. Sencer CDC Museum features award-winning permanent and changing exhibitions that focus on public health topics, as well as on the history of the CDC. The museum is located at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, GA, and it is associated with the Smithsonian Institution. Admission is free, and the museum welcomes visitors Monday–Friday, excluding Federal holidays. Phone, 404-639-0830.

Influenza (Flu)

Information on and resources for influenza are available on the CDC website.

Language Assistance

Information on language assistance services is available online for readers of Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Haitian Creole, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese speakers.


The Stephen B. Thacker CDC Library helps the advancement of science and public health and safety through information. It provides a full range of information services and products to support public health research, policy, and action. The Library, which comprises the headquarters library in Atlanta and six branches, serves CDC employees nationwide, as well as employees working in international locations.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. The bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi is the most common cause of the disease. Infected blacklegged ticks transmit the bacterium to people. Typical Lyme Disease symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans.


The Public Health Media Library's online holdings include recent and featured CDC podcasts.


Many publications are accessible on the CDC's website.


The monthly report "CDC Vital Signs" is released on the first Tuesday of every month. Past editions addressed such topics as colorectal and breast cancer screening; obesity, alcohol and tobacco use; HIV testing; motor vehicle safety; cardiovascular disease; teen pregnancy and infections associated with health care; and foodborne diseases. The report is also available in Spanish.

The CDC prepares the "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report," which it uses for scientific publication of accurate, authoritative, objective, reliable, timely, and useful public health information and recommendations. Educators, epidemiologists and other scientists, physicians and nurses, public health practitioners, and researchers and laboratorians regularly read the report. | Email:

Social Media

The CDC maintains a robust social media presence online. Digital tools are also accessible on its "Social Media at CDC" web page.

Travel Health Notices

The CDC posts travel health notices on its website.

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)

VAERS is an early warning system that monitors the safety of vaccines after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized or licensed them for use. The CDC and FDA comanage VAERS.

The CDC has posted an instructional video for searching the VAERS by using the search tool WONDER (Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research).