Stephen Redd, MD (RADM, USPHS), Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), explains what the CDC is doing about Zika.
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)
“Let me highlight three different areas that we are working in: The first is with locations that have widespread transmission. For US-territories, this is the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa. [We are working] to try to reduce the mosquito-borne transmission [rates] so that returning travelers are less-likely to have the infection.
Secondly, we’re working with state health departments. We are providing technical support and [we are also] providing emergency response teams. We had a team in Florida recently because of the local transmission there.
Thirdly, we are providing funding to state health departments so that they can be able to test for Zika virus. They’ve [now] got the resources to do communication, and they have resources for mosquito control.
The funds that have been used so far have been redirected from other activities. For example, [the] funds that leave CDC for preparedness: a portion of those funds were redirected for the Zika response. A total of $300 million were redirected. About two-thirds of that was for the domestic response [and] a third [of that was] for the international response.”
[When asked what would happen if funding runs out, Dr. Redd responded:]
“The big things that [will happen is that] work on a vaccine will stop. Work on developing new diagnostics tests will stop. Some of the support that we’ve been able to provide to state health departments and overseas would [also] have to be drastically curtailed.”
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