The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention celebrated its 50th anniversary on July 1. The world-renowned public health institution evolved from the World War II agency, Malaria Control in War Areas (MCWA). The Bureau of State Services wanted a national effort to keep military bases and essential war industry-related establishments in southern states malaria-free. The MCWA was converted to the Communicable Disease Center in 1946.
In addition to combating diseases, the agency today has become the national prevention agency. Working with a wide universe of public- and private-sector organizations, the CDC efforts have focused not only on preventing new and re-emerging infectious diseases, but also on violence and injury prevention, environmental threats, workplace hazards, preventing chronic disease, and addressing issues related to promoting the health of women, children, and youth.