The head of the federal government's public health agency is out, according to an e-mail sent Friday night to federal employees.
Dr. Julie Gerberding has resigned as director of the Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and will be replaced as of Jan. 20 by a deputy who will serve as interim director.
The news was disclosed in an e-mail sent Friday night to employees of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which the CDC is part of.
A CDC spokesman said Gerberding was traveling in Africa and unavailable for comment.
The CDC investigates disease outbreaks, researches the cause and prevalence of health problems, and promotes illness prevention efforts. Gerberding was appointed head of the CDC in July 2002.