Seventy years after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was founded to fight mosquitoes that carried malaria, the agency has found itself in combat with another mosquito-borne illness, Zika virus. The CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center to fight Zika on January 22, 2016, after a widespread virus outbreak in the Americas was linked to a large increase in the number of babies born with microcephaly. Now, as the emergency response approaches one year, an article in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report has highlighted 10 critical contributions that the CDC made toward the fight against Zika virus in 2016.
These contributions include:
“Fighting Zika is the most complex epidemic response [the] CDC has taken on, requiring expertise ranging from pregnancy and birth defects to mosquito control, from laboratory science to travel policy, from virology to communication science,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. “CDC experts in every field will continue to protect women and their families from the devastating complications of this threat.”
The CDC’s top priority in its Zika response is to protect pregnant women. To do that, the agency’s efforts continue to focus on:
“Zika virus remains a serious threat to public health, and focused efforts on these key priorities will help advance the fight against Zika,” the CDC said.
Source: CDC; December 30, 2016.