10/10/2014 08:04 EDT | Updated 12/10/2014 05:59 EST


With concern growing about Ebola in the United States, the CDC is suddenly in the spotlight. Here's why: The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the government agency in charge of protecting the public's health.

While only two cases of Ebola are known to have been transmitted in the United States — in Dallas nurses who treated a Liberian patient who later died — the CDC's job includes helping stop the virus plaguing West Africa from spreading in this country.