Nearly $110 million has been set aside by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help states improve their ability to track and respond to infectious diseases. The funds have been made possible by the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases Cooperative Agreement--an organization that helps states to fight and prevent outbreaks.

“These awards lay the foundation for those on the front lines--state and local health departments--to act quickly to prevent illness and deaths,” said Beth P. Bell, director of the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.

Approximately half of the funds were provided by the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund. That portion is expected to pay for:

  • Infectious disease surveillance
  • Outbreak response
  • Public health laboratories
  • Health information systems
  • Ways to fight zoonotic, vector-borne and foodborne diseases, vaccine-preventable infections, influenza and other infections

Some of the other line items awarded funding include:

  • $17.4 million to track and prevent foodborne diseases, including increased support for the PulseNet surveillance system
  • $9.2 million to help local, state and territorial health departments in building and maintaining disease detection, surveillance, and prevention programs in an effort to reduce the number of humans infected with the West Nile virus and other viruses caused by mosquitoes and ticks.
  • $6 million to build teams of local, state and territorial health coordinators responsible for tracking vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and pertussis.
  • $2 million+ will aid states in building their capacity for advanced molecular detection
  • $1.5 million to help states fight the growing problem of Lyme and other tickborne diseases.

The $110 million awarded represents a $13 million increase over what was provided last fiscal year. The increased funding will go toward foodborne illness prevention, vaccine research, advanced molecular detection and other related projects.