U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention
On July 1, 1946 the Communicable Disease Center (CDC) came into being on one floor of a small building in Atlanta, Georgia. Descended from the wartime agency Malaria Control in War Areas (MCWA), the CDC initially focused on fighting malaria by killing mosquitoes. Pursuit of malaria was by far the most absorbing interest of CDC during its early years, with over 50 percent of its personnel engaged in it. Among its fewer than 400 original employees, the key jobs at CDC were those of entomologists and engineers. In fact, CDC had only seven medical officers on staff in 1946. DDT, available since 1943, was its primary weapon, and the CDC′s early challenges included obtaining enough trucks, sprayers, and shovels necessary to wage the war on mosquitoes. In its initial years, over 6.5 million homes were sprayed, and an early organization chart was even drawn—somewhat fancifully—in the shape of a mosquito. CDC′s first budget was under $10 million.