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Walking Dead Wiki
Walking Dead Wiki

You know what this place is?! We protected the public from very nasty stuff! Weaponized smallpox! Ebola strains that could wipe out half the country! Stuff you don't want getting out! Ever!
―Dr. Jenner shouting at the group about the CDC.[src]

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, better known as the Center for Disease Control or abbreviated as CDC, was a laboratory and headquarters for the public health agency of United States in AMC's The Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond, located in Atlanta, Georgia. Through its purpose of studying and containing diseases in the United States, it was one of the first agencies to discover the Wildfire virus in April 2010 after it had leaked from la Biomédicine DDMI in France. Under Dr. Candace Jenner, the CDC attempted to study and treat the virus.

Along with the World Health Organization (WHO), the CDC declared the outbreak a global pandemic on August 25, 2010. Shortly after, society collapsed and the U.S. Military mobilized in Operation Cobalt to contain the virus. Due to a lack of supplies and an inability to study undead subjects, many of the scientists either fled or committed suicide. Candance Jenner later was infected. Her resurrection and subsequent tissue samples were recorded and studied by her husband, Dr. Edwin Jenner. He continued to research the virus and worked with the French until they went dark.

Two months later, a survivor group led by Rick Grimes arrived at the CDC for safety and answers. Edwin Jenner, being the sole scientist left, brought them in despite the CDC's low fuel. A self-destruct sequence was designed to be detonated should the facility be completely without power. Before destruction, Jenner shared all that he could with them about the virus - including the fact that everyone on the planet was infected. The group managed to escape before the facility was destroyed, except for Dr. Jenner and group member Jacqui.


Atlanta, Georgia[]

Established in 1946 and succeeding the Office of Malaria Control in War Areas, the CDC was responsible for protecting public health and safety by providing information to enhance health decisions, and it promotes health through partnerships with state health departments and other organizations. It also houses some of the world's deadliest and rarest infectious diseases such as Smallpox. The facility was also operating on advanced computer technology where an Artificial Intelligence named Vi was partly in control of some building systems and functions. In the event of a power loss, back-up generators located on the basement level use fuel to keep the facility running while conserving power, Vi, will shut down all non-essential systems and computers. However, in the event of a major power loss or terrorist attack, high-impulse thermobaric (HIT's) fuel-air explosives are released which produces a blast wave of significantly greater power and duration than any other known explosive except nuclear. This is an extreme measure to protect the public and ensure that no infectious diseases escape the facility.


Season 1[]

"Days Gone Bye"[]

The CDC is mentioned by Morgan and his son when they speak with Rick saying during the initial evacuation, the center was used as an evacuation site.


After the devastating zombie attack on the camp that killed several campers, the remaining survivors decide to leave camp, declaring the area unsafe. Before leaving, there was much speculation on where to head for. It was either the CDC in the city or Fort Benning, an army base 125 miles away from Atlanta, Georgia. Ultimately, it was agreed they'd go to the center, although Morales and his family decided to head for family in Birmingham, Alabama instead. The survivors reach the complex, where the outside is filled with hundreds of dead bodies, civilians and soldiers alike. The U.S. Military tried to protect the building as much as possible since it was vital on developing a cure to the disease. Upon approaching the building, some zombies begin to rise, spreading panic, since the doors of the building are locked and won't budge. They are about to leave when Rick sees the camera move and lashes out at it, demanding for the doors to open. The survivors are terrified now as it is getting darker and zombies are approaching until suddenly the door opens, thanks to Dr. Edwin Jenner, who is inside.


Jenner reveals to the group that he is the only remaining member of staff at the CDC. He mentions that when walkers began to overrun Atlanta, many of the CDC workers left to be with their families. When the Military protection of the CDC was overrun, many of the remaining doctors ran. The remaining doctors at the CDC eventually committed suicide until the Jenners and only a handful of other scientists remained. Candace Jenner was eventually infected, her death recorded, and her life ended. Jenner does not disclose the information on how the remaining doctors eventually "left" the CDC. Jenner and the other doctors had remained in contact with presumably other governmental agencies until the communication network broke down roughly a month after the outbreak. Afterwards, Jenner continued to broadcast progress reports to anyone still listening in a lonely, hopeless manner. At the same time of the loss of communications, the power grid crashed, leaving the CDC to run on generators. It is likely that around this time that the French announced that they were close to a solution for Wildfire. They unfortunately lost power before they could continue.

Dr. Jenner was a scientist working with samples in order to find a cure. On Day 64, after constantly working to try and discover a cure, he is in the lab when he accidentally tips a vial over, causing a corrosive toxic smell. Vi notes the poor air quality and calls for an immediate full scale decontamination. Unfortunately, during the decontamination, it destroys the valuable samples (TS-19) Dr. Jenner needed which sent him into despair, in which he decides to get drunk on wine before committing suicide, until he sees other survivors outside and (after some hesitation) lets them in.

Dr. Jenner discusses his findings about the outbreak and the disease. He shows an MRI of his wife, Candace, as Test-Subject 19 since she was infected and what the result of the infection was. After much discussion, Dale notices a digital clock that appears to be counting down. The clock counts down to the amount of fuel still left in the basement generators attempting to keep the facility running. When the clock hits zero, a facility wide full decontamination occurs in order to keep the viruses and diseases housed within the CDC from spreading.

Rick and most of the survivors scramble to try and find a way out. Carol points out to Rick that when he first got to camp, she washed his uniform and found an army grenade inside his pocket. She hands it over to Rick and he uses it to blow open a window. Everyone runs out towards the vehicles just as the facility explodes.

Season 2: World Beyond[]

"The Last Light"[]

The Center for Disease Control is briefly seen when a French scientist is seen watching recordings of Dr. Jenner when he and the French were still in contact with each other in the hopes of finding a cure to the Wildfire Virus.





TV Series[]

Season 1[]

Season 11[]

World Beyond[]

Season 2[]


  • It appears that CDC actually has incredible level of technology, as Edwin Jenner is seen working with microscope capable of viewing DNA, on a level that no known modern technology is capable of, even having the base pair links visible.
  • The building shown as the CDC is actually the Cobb Energy Center, which is a performing arts center in Atlanta.
  • In the final explosion, the building itself acts as a massive Thermobaric weapon. This ensures complete and unequivocal destruction of the building and everything inside. As planned, this includes the weaponized smallpox and ebola strains mentioned by the doctor.
  • By following Jenner's video logs, it appears the CDC building can survive a total of 65 days of being disconnected from the city's main power grid given the amount of emergency fuel stored in the building.
  • While it doesn't appear directly, several flyers for a CDC safe zone in Atlanta can be seen in the Telltale Series, specifically around the Highway Overpass in "Long Road Ahead" and on a table in Fivel's Mansion in "Around Every Corner".