The Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases Cooperative Agreement (ELC) will soon enable officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to begin awarding nearly $60 million in support of activities to protect the health of the American public, especially pregnant women, from Zika virus disease.
Activities will include epidemiologic surveillance and investigation, improvement of mosquito control and monitoring, and stronger laboratory capacity. The funds will also support participation in the United States Zika Pregnancy Registry to monitor pregnant women with Zika, their infants, as well as Zika-related activities in the border states of Mexico and the United States.
“These CDC funds will strengthen state and territorial capacity to respond to Zika virus, an increasingly concerning public health threat for pregnant women and babies,” CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, said in a press release.
The new funding will become available as of August 1 and is in addition to $25 million awarded on July 1 as part of CDC’s preparedness and response funding to states, cities, and territories in areas at risk for Zika outbreaks. On August 1, CDC officials also awarded another $10 million to states and territories to identify cases of microcephaly and other birth defects linked to Zika and refer affected families to services.
The ELC distributes annual funding to support an array of federal projects to strengthen the ability of domestic public health departments when responding to emerging infectious disease threats. This year, ELC has awarded $240 million to help states detect, prevent, and respond to the growing threats posed by infectious diseases, including foodborne and vaccine-preventable diseases. This includes increased funding for Zika and the fight against antibiotic resistance. Last year’s ELC award was nearly $110 million.
CDC awards $60 million to help states and territories battle Zika [press release]. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; July 21, 2016.