The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a national public health institute of the United States. It is a United States federal agency, under the Department of Health and Human Services, and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
Its goal is to protect public health and safety through the control and prevention of disease, injury, and disability in the US and internationally. The CDC focuses national attention on developing and applying disease control and prevention. It targets its attention on infectious disease, food borne pathogens, environmental health, occupational safety, health promotion, injury prevention, and educational activities designed to improve the health of United States citizens. The CDC also conducts research and provides information on non-infectious diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, and is a founding member of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes.
The CDC is organized into "Centers, Institutes, and Offices" (CIOs), with each organizational unit implementing the agency's activities in a particular area of expertise while also providing intra-agency support and resource-sharing for cross-cutting issues and specific health threats. Generally, CDC "Offices" are subdivided into Centers, which in turn are composed of Divisions and Branches.
Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world. Seven different coronaviruses, that scientists know of, can infect people and make them sick. Some human coronaviruses were identified many years ago and some have been identified recently. Human coronaviruses commonly cause mild to moderate illness in people worldwide. Two newer human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have been known to frequently cause severe illness.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was first reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and has since caused illness in people in more than 25 other countries, including the United States. Most people reported to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Coronaviruses are common in many different species of animals, including camels and bats. Rarely, these coronaviruses can evolve and infect humans and then spread between humans. Recent examples of this include SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.
Most coronaviruses infect animals, but not people. In the future, one or more of these other coronaviruses could potentially evolve and spread to humans, as has happened in the past. We still don't understand why only certain coronaviruses are able to infect people.
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