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US CDC unveils funds to fight Zika locally

PBR Staff Writer Published 16 May 2016

The US health department has made available more than $85m in redirected funds to fight Zika infection in the country.

US states and territories can now apply to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for funds to fight Zika locally.

The CDC said $25m in preparedness and response funding for 2016 will go to 53 states, cities, and territories at risk for outbreaks.

Recipients will secure funds depending on the geographic locations of the two mosquitoes known to transmit Zika virus, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus; history of mosquito borne disease outbreaks; and size of population.

The funds will be used by jurisdictions to expand incident management and emergency operations coordination; information management and sharing; and community recovery and resilience.

Applications for the funds should be sent to the CDC by 13 June 2016. Funds will be disbursed during the summer and the rest available through July next year.

CDC office of public health preparedness and response director Stephen Redd said: "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.

"Without the full amount of requested emergency supplemental funding, many activities that need to start now are being delayed or may have to be stopped within months."

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration issued recommendations to reduce risk of Zika virus transmission by human cell and tissue products.

The virus is generally mild and self-limiting, lasting two to seven days. Its symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain, itching, conjunctivitis or red eyes, headache, muscle pain, and eye pain.