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A Century in the Life of the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual: 1917 to 2017

Marr, John S. MD, MPH; Cathey, John T. MS

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: November/December 2016 - Volume 22 - Issue 6 - p 597–602
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000435
Original Articles

The Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, a premier publication of the American Public Health Association, celebrates its centennial in 2017. The Control of Communicable Diseases Manual has evolved in format and content through 20 separate editions. This article is a follow-up to an earlier article, titled “Evolution of the Control of Communicable Disease Manual: 1917 to 2000,” that appeared in the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice in 2001. Our update focuses on the period since the 17th edition, which is characterized by dramatic changes. The 20th edition (2014) added a few arboviral diseases (Banna, Cache Valley, Eyach, Heartland, severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus, Iquitos, and Me Tri), but mostly contracted, leaving 65 arboviral entries. Other categories of pathogens also declined in the most recent editions, indicating an apparent trend to make the manual less encyclopedic. We attempt to explain these and other changes and ask the reader to comment whether they are aware of other related facts or history based on personal experience.

Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.This article describes a century in the life of the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual (1917-2017) and provides updates and changes since the 17th edition.

Dr Marr and Mr Cathey are now retired and stay at Free Union, Virginia, and Chiang Mai, Thailand, respectively. Mr Cathey is the former Senior Editor of Annals of Saudi Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Correspondence: John S. Marr, MD, MPH, 6315 Pig Mountain Rd, Free Union, VA 22940 (

The authors thank Sheryl Monks (Editorial Associate, The Journal of Public Health Management & Practice), Emily Bowden (librarian, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia), Reina Vidad Tejano (King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), and Karla Pearce (archivist), and Alan Giarcanella (senior graphic designer, the American Public Health Association) for their assistance in obtaining critical information, and Charles Calisher and Jack Woodall for critical comments.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

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