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Learn More about Epi-X

What is Epi-X?

Epi-X is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's web-based communications solution for public health professionals. Through Epi-X, CDC officials, state and local health departments, poison control centers, and other public health professionals can access and share preliminary health surveillance information --- quickly and securely. Users can also be actively notified of breaking health events as they occur. Key features of Epi-X include unparalleled scientific and editorial support, controlled user access, digital credentials and authentication, rapid outbreak reporting, and peer-to-peer consultation.

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Who's participating in Epi-X?

Participation in Epi-X is limited to public health officials designated by each health agency. These experts are engaged in identifying, investigating, and responding to health threats. Access to Epi-X is limited to these designated officials to ensure the security necessary for the exchange of preliminary and provisional information. The technology that supports Epi-X makes the system available to these individuals while in the field, in the laboratory, at the office, or at home. Currently, Epi-X has approximately 4,200 users.

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What's being shared on Epi-X?

Epi-X supports postings and discussions about disease outbreaks and other public health events that potentially involve multiple jurisdictions. Since its inception in December 2000, health officials have posted approximately 6,700 reports. Epi-X highlights include reports related to local and national responses to terrorism, SARS, and Hurricane Katrina. Other Epi-X reports have focused on West Nile virus surveillance, influenza surveillance and pandemic preparation, foodborne outbreaks and food recalls that affected residents in multiple states, and investigations of travelers with contagious illnesses.

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When is information exchanged on Epi-X?

Epi-X provides rapid communications whenever there is a public health need. Epi-X scientific staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide assistance in editing and posting reports on the secure web site and to notify users routinely (by e-mail) or emergently (by pager, telephone, and e-mail) about acute health events. Users who contribute reports to Epi-X can opt for posting within 24 or 48 hours (even sooner for emergencies), but most reports are posted within hours of submission. Officials can begin discussions about a report as soon as it is posted.

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How and Why is Epi-X "secure" — what does that mean?

To protect the sensitive nature of the preliminary information it provides, Epi-X utilizes content security technology. The secure system allows the exchange of early information between public health officials in an appropriate environment. This key feature allows prompt nationwide disease tracking and investigation and can prompt appropriate interventions when a disease outbreak is detected.

In addition, all Epi-X users are designated public health officials who understand and respect the secure nature of the communications that take place on the system. Ultimately, the activities on Epi-X foster a coordinated response to public health events. The results? Effective interventions and accurate communications.

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Why is information exchanged on Epi-X?

Epi-X was created to provide public health officials with a single source of up-to-the-minute alerts, reports, discussions, and comments - contributed by their peers, and moderated by medical epidemiologists and laboratorians at CDC. The network's primary goal is to inform health officials about important public health events, to help them respond to public health emergencies, and to encourage professional growth and exchange of information. Epi-X also helps to ensure accurate communications to the public (when appropriate) through MMWR and other sources.

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How can I become an Epi-X user?

Epi-X users are designated by each state. Each official must obtain pre-approval from the appropriate health agency. Once pre-approval has been obtained, Epi-X staff provides additional information about getting set up on the system. Public health professionals interested in participating in the program can contact Epi-X at

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