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What are some duties of the CDC?

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Quick Answer

The duties of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention involve protecting the American public from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and domestic, according to its website. The CDC is a federally sponsored agency that conducts disease surveillance, provides emergency support and advises on policies that promote public health.

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Full Answer

The CDC is responsible for detecting and responding to new and emerging health threats, explains its website. It consults and provides laboratory support for disease outbreak investigations conducted by local and state health departments. For multistate outbreaks, the CDC’s Outbreak Response Team is deployed to investigate and serves as the lead coordinator between agencies.

The CDC also provides continuous monitoring of the nation’s health status, notes its website. It maintains and monitors multiple disease surveillance systems. These systems collect health statistics on both infectious and noninfectious diseases, including birth defects, pediatric nutrition, mortality rates and seasonal influenza. This information is made publicly available in weekly reports known as the MMWR Summary of Notifiable Diseases and the CDC Surveillance Summaries.

During emergency situations, the CDC is responsible for preparing and coordinating the response of local and state public health departments, states its website. The organization provides financial support in advance of emergencies and deploys personnel for scientific and medical support when local resources become overwhelmed.

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