The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded more than $16 million to 40 states and territories to establish, enhance, and maintain information-gathering systems to rapidly detect microcephaly–a serious birth defect of the brain–and other adverse outcomes caused by Zika virus infection. These awards are a stopgap diverted from other public health resources until Zika funds are provided by Congress.
The funding will also help states and territories ensure that infants and their families are referred to appropriate health and social services. Finally, the awards will enable states and territories to monitor the health and developmental outcomes of children affected by Zika.
“It is critical to identify infants with birth defects related to Zika virus so we can support them and their families,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “This CDC funding provides real-time data about the Zika epidemic as it unfolds in the United States and territories and will help those most devastated by this virus.”
The funds will allow states and territories to:
- Enhance information-gathering to carry out strategies for real-time, population-based monitoring for microcephaly and other birth defects caused by Zika virus;
- Enhance capacity development through partner collaboration and infrastructure improvements;
- Provide referral of infants and families to health and social resources;
- Participate in CDC data reporting; and
- Expand access to examination of health and monitoring of developmental outcomes of children born to women with positive or inconclusive Zika virus test results.
The funds were provided to states and territories based on their risk of Zika virus transmission, population need, and availability of funds. These funds are in addition to $25 million awarded on July 1 as part of CDC’s preparedness and response funding to areas at risk for outbreaks of Zika. Funding amounts for the 40 states and territories receiving the assistance range from $200,000-$720,000. CDC has obligated more than half of the $222 million in repurposed funds available for the domestic Zika fight. Overall, HHS has spent more than $201 million of the $374 million that was redirected for the domestic Zika fight in April.
Zika virus spreads to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus), although Aedes aegypti are more likely to spread Zika. Zika infection can also be spread by infected men and women to their sex partners. There is no vaccine or treatment for Zika and many people infected with Zika have no symptoms. Of those who do have symptoms, the most common complaints are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Zika infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other severe defects in the developing fetus.
CDC encourages everyone, especially pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant, to protect themselves from mosquito bites to avoid possible Zika virus infection.
*States and territories receiving this funding:
|Alabama Department of Health||New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services|
|American Samoa Department of Health||New Jersey Department of Health|
|Arizona Department of Health||New Mexico Department of Health|
|California Department of Public Health||New York State Department of Health/Health Research, Inc.|
|Connecticut Department of Public Health||North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services|
|Florida Department of Health||Northern Mariana - Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation|
|Georgia Department of Public Health||Ohio Department of Health|
|Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services||Oklahoma State Department of Health|
|Hawaii Department of Health||Pennsylvania Department of Health|
|Illinois Department of Public Health||Puerto Rico Department of Health|
|Indiana State Department of Health||Rhode Island Department of Health|
|(Iowa) University of Iowa||South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control|
|Kansas Department of Health and Environment||Tennessee Department of Health|
|(Kentucky) Cabinet for Health and Family Services||Texas Department of State Health Services|
|Louisiana Office of Public Health||Utah Department of Health|
|Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene||Vermont Department of Health|
|Massachusetts Department of Public Health||Virginia Department of Health|
|Minnesota Department of Health||Virgin Islands Department of Health|
|Mississippi State Department of Health||West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources|
|Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services||Wisconsin Department of Health Services|
For more information on Zika, please visit www.cdc.gov/zika.