Communicable Disease Center activities, 1946-1947
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Communicable Disease Center activities, 1946-1947

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      On July 1, 1946, by direction of the Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, the Communicable Disease Center was officially inaugurated as a field station of the States Relations Division in the Bureau of State Services of the U. U. Public Health Service. Up to this time there was no single agency functioning which could supply a definite, active program for the control of communicable diseases and which' could also carry on field research in the various control procedures. The Communicable Disease Center was organized to meet this specific need in the public health program of the United States-its province is to transmute scientific facts about all communicable diseases, except those for which adequate investigational and control facilities already exist, into practical methods of control; to promote utilization of such knowledge by demonstrating improved techniques; and to train health personnel in the field application of these techniques. The Center functioned to assist State and Territorial health departments by: (1) making, upon request, operational field investigations and demonstrations in the control of communicable diseases where Federal assistance was not provided and the required facilities were beyond the resources of the individual States; (2) engaging in field training in public health and in the production of audio-visual and other instructional aids for technical and professional training relative to communicable diseases and their control; and (3) supplying evaluation and consultation services concerning techniques and practices in public health diagnostic laboratories. The group of diseases which received primary attention during the first year was characterized by the knowledge or suspicion that its etiological agents, vectors, or reservoirs of infection are zoological. It included malaria, amoebiasis, schistosomiasis, ancylostomiasis, filariasis, yellow fever, dengue fever, sandfly fever, certain neuro-virological disorders such as poliomyelitis and encephalitis, the various forms of typhus and plague, diverse diarrheas and dysenteries, and r elated diseases. This consolidation is clinically heterogeneous, but from the standpoint of laboratory diagnosis, epidemiological investigation, and control operation it is eminently sound, sensible, and workable. The headquarters of the Communicable Disease Center was established in Atlanta, Georgia. All of the component divisions except one were also located here; the Technical Development Division was located in Savannah, Georgia. For its basic structure the Communicable Disease Center utilized the established facilities of the deactivated Office of Malaria Control in War Areas, and employed the physicians, engineers, and biologists who had obtained training and skill with that organization in the control of insect- and rodent-borne diseases. Experience had shown the wisdom of attacking communicable disease problems with teams of specially trained and equipped scientists whose activities are coordinated within a single organizational unit. Chart I shows the lines of authority of the administrative head of CDC and the interrelationships of the headquarters and field organization in the various States. Functional interrelationships were developed with the National Institute of Health and with other US PHS components, including the divisions of Commissioned Officers, Foreign Quarantine, Public Health Methods, and Sanitary Engineering, and with State and Territorial health departments through USPHS district offices. Within the States a director of CDC activities was responsible for over-all super vision of State programs. In most cases a State engineer and entomologist supervised the field work; CDC assigned engineers and entomologists to the State for supervision of programs if the State requested it. CDC engineers and entomologists we re also assigned to USPHS district offices and were available for technical consultation and guidance as needed.

      Communicable Disease Center -- Functions and programs -- Headquarters organization: Engineering Division, Entomology Division, Epidemiology Division, Laboratory Division, Technical Development Division, Training Division, Production Division, Library and Reports Division, Administrative Division -- Field Organization: District No . 1 - Headquarters: New York, New York; District No. 2 - Headquarters: Richmond, Virginia, District No. 3; Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois; District No. 4- Headquarters: New Orleans, Louisiana; District No. 5 - Headquarters: San Francisco, California; District No . 6 - Headquarters: San Juan, Puerto Rico; District No. 7 - Headquarters: Kansas City, Missouri; District No . 8 - Headquarters: Denver, Colorado; District No . 9 - Headquarters: Dallas, Texas.

      Federal Security Agency, Public Health Service, Communicable Disease Center, Atlanta, Georgia.

      153 numbered pages

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