New CDC Division Helps Prepare for Future Pandemics

August 18, 2021

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday announced the creation of a new division to advance the use of forecasting and outbreak analytics in public health decision making.

The Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics will bring together next-generation public health data, expert disease modelers, public health emergency responders, and high-quality communications. It will accelerate public health decision makers’ access to and use of data to help them mitigate the effects of social and economic disruption from disease threats. The center will prioritize equity and accessibility, while serving as a hub for innovation and research on disease modeling.

“This is an amazing opportunity for CDC and public health as we stand up the country’s first government-wide public health forecasting center,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “We are excited to have the expertise and ability to model and forecast public health concerns and share information in real-time to activate governmental, private sector, and public actions in anticipation of threats both domestically and abroad.”

The new center will focus on three key functions:

  • Predicting future pandemic and other health threats
  • Connecting health experts through the expansion of data sharing and integration and programming of software interface capabilities, allowing for new data streams from the public health ecosystem and other sources
  • Informing government, businesses, and nonprofits through the translation and communication of health threats.