The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced plans to spend $110 million – up about $13 million over the last fiscal year – to help states and communities strengthen their capacities to track and respond to infectious diseases.
Large increases are slated for vaccine-preventable-disease surveillance, foodborne-disease prevention and advanced molecular detection, among other projects, according to a prepared statement from the CDC.
Of the nearly $110 million, $51 million is provided through the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund.
“In the last year alone, states were hit with emerging diseases, like chikungunya and respiratory infections from enterovirus D-68, while also responding to outbreaks of measles, foodborne illness, and other threats. These awards lay the foundation for those on the front lines – state and local health departments – to act quickly to prevent illness and deaths,” Beth P. Bell, MD, MPH, director of CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases said in the statement.
This year’s funding, which is allocated through the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases Cooperative Agreement (ELC), includes:
- $6 million to establish local, state and territorial health coordinators to track vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and pertussis.
- $17.4 million for foodborne disease prevention and tracking – a $4 million increase over fiscal year 2014 funding.
- More than $2 million to help states build their capacity for advanced molecular detection, an emerging field that combines next-generation genomic sequencing with bioinformatics to more quickly identify and respond to disease outbreaks.
- Approximately $1.5 million to help states fight Lyme and other tickborne diseases. CDC research shows that Lyme disease has been spreading geographically in recent years and CDC estimates that it affects about 300,000 people per year.
- Approximately $9.2 million to aid state, local, and territorial health departments in building and maintaining disease detection, surveillance, and prevention programs to reduce the number of human infections with West Nile virus and other mosquito- and tick-borne arboviruses.
Funding through the ELC mechanism also supports the nation’s fight against healthcare-associated infections and the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, efforts in which multiple federal agencies and private-sector organizations are participating.