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Conferences & Events

Outbreak: Plagues that changed History
September 27 – January 30, 2009
Organized by the Global Health Odyssey Museum; come see Byrn Barnard’s images of the symptoms and paths of the world’s deadliest diseases – and how the epidemics they spawned have changed history forever.

CDC Timeline

Rubella was eliminated in the United States2007
CDC issues federal order of isolation, the last such order being issued in 1963.

CDC celebrates 60th anniversary.

Rubella was eliminated in the United States.

CDC provided support for laws restricting access to over-the-counter medications used in methamphetamine production in Georgia.

SARS was first reported in Asia. CDC provided guidance for surveillance, clinical and laboratory evaluation, and reporting.

CDC reported that U.S. newborn HIV infections were down 80 percent since 19812002
CDC reported that U.S. newborn HIV infections were down 80 percent since 1981.

CDC learned of the first anthrax case; the victim was a 63-year-old Florida man. He would be the first in a series of domestic terrorism victims of infection by anthrax sent through the mail.

Children's Health Act of 2000 established Safe Motherhood, a CDC program to better understand the burden of maternal complications and mortality.

CDC’s Laboratory Response Network was established1999
CDC’s Laboratory Response Network was established.

For the first time since 1981, AIDS was diagnosed in more African-American and Hispanic men than in gay white men

CDC participated in the nationally televised White House event of the Presidential Apology for the Tuskegee Study.

CDC found measurable levels of serum cotinine in the blood of 88 percent of American nonsmokers.

CDC recommended offering HIV testing to all pregnant women.

Polio elimination certified in the Americas.1994
Polio elimination certified in the Americas.

CDC investigated an outbreak of a mysterious illness in the southwestern United States, later known as hantavirus.

The National Academy of Sciences reported on a dangerous new phenomenon: the emergence of new and virulent diseases that are resistant to antibiotics.

PHS recommended all women of childbearing years consume 400 mg of folic acid/day to reduce the risk of pregnancies affected by spina bifida and anencephaly.

CDC reported the possible transmission of HIV from a dentist to a patient1990
For the first time, CDC reported the possible transmission of HIV from a dentist to a patient in Florida during an invasive procedure.

CDC reported every 6 of 10 killings involved guns, making firearms the 8th leading cause of death, after diabetes but ahead of liver disease.

CDC established the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

CDC reported that about 7,000 workers die on the job annually; 42 percent of female workers who die on the job are murdered.

The Office on Smoking and Health, which targets the nation’s primary preventable health problem, became part of CDC.

CDC study stated polysaccharide, a new vaccine, was a ost-effective means to protect children who were at risk for developing Haemophilus influenzae.

CDC studied Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange during combat and later fathered babies; no increased risk of birth defects was found.

CDC established a Violence Epidemiology Branch to apply public health prevention strategies to child abuse, homicide, and suicide.

CDC advised of the possible risk of Reye syndrome associated with the use of aspirin by children with chickenpox and flu-like symptoms.

The first diagnosis of the fatal disease later known as AIDS was described1981
The first diagnosis of the fatal disease later known as AIDS was described in the June 5, 1981, issue of MMWR.

MMWR published the first report on a newly recognized illness associated with tampon use: toxic shock syndrome.

First Healthy People report published.

Alcorn County, Mississippi, reported cases of the first outbreak of tuberculosis resistance to formerly effective drugs.

Global eradication of smallpox was achieved1977
Global eradication of smallpox was achieved.

CDC investigated two outbreaks of a previously unknown deadly hemorrhagic fever, later known as Ebola, in Zaire and Sudan.

The last victim of variola major smallpox, the more severe form of the disease, was reported.

Downward trend in the number of Americans immunized1974
CDC planned a major campaign to reverse the downward trend in the number of Americans immunized.

MMWR reported that lead emissions in a residential area constituted a public health threat—contrary to popular assumption at the time.

CDC assisted Sierra Leone in fighting a new outbreak of Lassa fever, a mysterious lethal viral disease

The National Center for Health Statistics conducted the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to capture the health status of Americans.

Communicable Disease Center1970
The Communicable Disease Center became the Center for Disease Control.

CDC constructed a “biocontainment lab” to protect scientists while they work with deadly and infectious pathogens.

CDC investigated an unidentified, highly infectious respiratory disease in Pontiac, Michigan, later identified as Legionnaire’s disease.

The Foreign Quarantine Service, one of the oldest and most prestigious units of the Public Health Service, joined CDC.

measles eradication campaign1966
CDC announced a national measles eradication campaign at the American Public Health Association meeting.

New surveillance systems added to the original National Surveillance Program of 1952 included measles, shigellosis, tetanus, and trichinosis.

The first Surgeon General’s report linking smoking to lung cancer was released. It stated that “cigarette smoking is a health hazard of sufficient importance in the United States to warrant appropriate remedial action.”

CDC tested the newly developed Jet Gun and vaccine for smallpox1963
CDC tested the newly developed Jet Gun and vaccine for smallpox.

CDC played a key role in one of the greatest triumphs of public health: the eradication of smallpox.

CDC took over publication of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

The Tuberculosis Program moved from the Public Health Service to CDC.

Dr. Robert Kissling developed the fluorescent antibody test for rabies1959
Dr. Robert Kissling developed the fluorescent antibody test for rabies, first used in a field trial with 100 percent accuracy.

A CDC team traveled overseas, for the first time, to Southeast Asia to respond to an epidemic of cholera and smallpox

National guidelines for influenza vaccine were developed1957
National guidelines for influenza vaccine were developed.

Dr. William Cherry found the first practical use for the fluorescent technique and used it to research communicable diseases of bacterial origin. 

CDC established the Polio Surveillance Program1955
CDC established the Polio Surveillance Program.

Alexander D. Langmuir, MD, MPH, set up a leptospirosis laboratory in Jacksonville, Florida.

CDC reported first case of rabies in a bat.

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Leonard A. Scheele reported that the Communicable Disease Center was ready to combat possible biological warfare.

The Epidemic Intelligence Service was established to help protect against biological warfare and manmade epidemics.

first investigation of an epidemic of polio1950
Fifteen CDC staffers conducted the first investigation of an epidemic of polio in Paulding County, Ohio.

The US was declared free of malaria as a significant public health problem.

CDC gained worldwide recognition for the quality and quantity of its contributions to the taxonomy of the Enterobacteriaceae.

In San Francisco, CDC took over the Public Health Service Plague Laboratory, thus acquiring an Epidemiology Division.

The Communicable Disease Center was organized in Atlanta, Georgia,
on July 1.


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Page last reviewed: July 17, 2008
Page last updated: July 17, 2008
Content source: Office of Enterprise Communication
Notice: Links to non-governmental sites do not necessarily represent the views of the CDC.
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