- "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, abbreviated as CDC, is a building within Atlanta, Georgia that the survivors attempt to reach in Episode 5 of Season 1, "Wildfire", in a desperate attempt to obtain assistance and aid from the government.
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.
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.
- Dr. Edwin Jenner - (Scientist)
- Vi - (Main computer)
- Dr. Candace Jenner/Test-Subject 19 - (Lead scientist)
- Carol Peletier
- Daryl Dixon
- Rick Grimes
- Carl Grimes
- Glenn Rhee
- Lori Grimes
- Theodore Douglas
- Shane Walsh
- Dale Horvath
- Sophia Peletier
- Possibly numerous CDC scientists and/or personnel
- Dr. Candace Jenner (Alive and Zombified)
- Dr. Edwin Jenner
- Possibly numerous CDC scientists and/or personnel.
- 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 Video Game, specifically around the Highway Overpass in "Long Road Ahead" and on a table in Fivel's Mansion in "Around Every Corner".
|Organizations (TV Series)|
|Linden County Sheriff's Department • King County Sheriff's Department • Center for Disease Control • Federal Emergency Management Agency • U.S. Military • Mert County Department of Public Works • West Georgia Correctional Facility|