Programs to prevent infectious disease receive more funding

by Erica Shaffer
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ATLANTA – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced funding increases for foodborne disease prevention, advanced molecular detection and other projects.

Funding is allocated through the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases Cooperative Agreement (ELC) totals $110 million, an increase of $13 million over fiscal 2014 funding levels. CDC said $51 million of the nearly $110 million is provided through the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund. That funding will support infectious disease surveillance and outbreak response; public health laboratories; health information systems; and initiatives to combat zoonotic, vector-borne and foodborne diseases among other public health concerns.

This year’s funding for food safety efforts includes $17.4 million for foodborne disease prevention and tracking — a $4 million increase over fiscal year 2014 funding. The money will increase support for the PulseNet surveillance system and outbreak response and for the Integrated Food Safety Centers of Excellence to establish a new Northeast Regional center. Additionally, more than $2 million will go to help states build their capacity for advanced molecular detection which is an emerging field that combines next-generation genomic sequencing with bioinformatics to more quickly identify and respond to disease outbreaks.

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