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Zika Preparedness Funds Made Available by the CDC

MAY 13, 2016 | DANIELLE MROZ, MA
It would seem that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not waiting for Congress to decide on Zika-funding. In a recent press release, the CDC announced that US states and territories can now apply for funds to fight Zika locally, through the CDC. “More than $85 million in redirected funds identified by the Department of Health and Human Services is being made available to support efforts to protect Americans from Zika infection and associated adverse health outcomes, including the serious birth defect microcephaly.”
 
According to Stephen C. Redd, MD (RADM, USPHS), director of the CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, "These funds will allow states and territories to continue implementation of their Zika preparedness plans, but are not enough to support a comprehensive Zika response and can only temporarily address what is needed.”
 
A total of $25 million in fiscal year 2016 funds will go to 53 states, cities, and territories at risk for Zika virus outbreaks. Funds will be distributed based on history of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks; population size; and the geographic locations of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, the two mosquitoes known to transmit the Zika virus. The funds can be utilized to “strengthen incident management and emergency operations coordination; information management and sharing; and community recovery and resilience.”
 
The CDC affirms that, “state, local and territorial health officials can use the funds to rapidly identify and investigate a possible outbreak of Zika virus disease in their communities; coordinate a comprehensive response across all levels of government and non-governmental partners (including the healthcare sector); and identify and connect to community services families affected by Zika virus disease.”   
 
Those US states and territories that wish to apply for funds may do so through the CDC. Applications are due by June 13, 2016, and funds will be disbursed during Summer 2016 and remain available through July 2017. 
 
 
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