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Malaria: CDC Beginnings

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In 1942 when the U.S. was mobilizing for the Second World War, the U. S. Public Health Service set up a program to protect the personnel of military bases in the Southeastern states from malaria. This disease had long been rampant in the area, and posed serious threats to the health of the military and civilian populations. The program known as “Malaria Control in War Areas” (MCWA) was created to carry out the work. The lack of space in Washington due to the war effort allowed the program to base its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and closer to the work at hand.

During the war years, the program was expanded to include the control of other communicable diseases. Its work was so successful a new organization was created on July 1, 1946, around the nucleus of MCWA. This organization was named the Communicable Disease Center (CDC), which eventually came to be known as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This archive chronicles the agency’s early history from 1941-1951, including the contributions of local businessmen and Emory University.

The links above connect you to a database of documents, oral histories, photographs and media.

Use of this information is free, but please see About this Site for guidance on how to acknowledge the sources of the information used.