The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the nation’s health protection agency, working 24/7 to protect America from health and safety threats, both foreign and domestic. In 1951, CDC established the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), a two-year postgraduate fellowship for health professionals interested in public health and epidemiology.
EIS officers are physicians, veterinarians, scientists, and other health professionals. They are actively involved in identifying causes of disease outbreaks, recommending prevention and control measures, and implementing strategies to protect people from injury, disability, illness, and death.
EIS officers are often called disease detectives. They quickly respond to and investigate various public health issues. Topic areas can include infectious and noninfectious diseases, global health, injury prevention, environmental health or natural disasters, and occupational health. EIS officers are typically assigned to either a position at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia or at a state or local health department throughout the United States. Many EIS officers deploy to other states or countries to respond to health threats. EIS officers have responded to threats such as Zika, Ebola, SARS, Hurricane Katrina, avian influenza, and monkey pox.
EIS officers are recruited to Arizona every year and assigned to a joint position with Arizona Department of Health Services and Maricopa County Department of Public Health. This collaboration allows EIS officers to better serve the communities in Arizona. EIS officers also work closely with other local health departments, tribal jurisdictions, border health, and other health agencies and groups within Arizona.
During the last few years, EIS officers in Arizona have tackled many outbreaks and public health concerns, such as cryptosporidiosis, measles, Tick-borne Relapsing Fever, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, influenza, Salmonella, and dengue. Arizona EIS officers have analyzed data to learn more about health-related issues, how best to solve them, and areas for improvement. EIS officers have helped with local trainings and conferences and are actively involved in outreach and community events, such as Protect You and the Zoo from Flu or The Great Arizona Mosquito Hunt.