[Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), full page: (LINK).]

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 / Contact: Media Relations (404) 639-3286

CDC awards funding to help states face new infectious disease threats

Funding helps build epidemiology and laboratory capacity

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced an award to states of about $75.8 million through the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases Cooperative Agreement (ELC). This funding helps states and communities strengthen core epidemiology and laboratory capacity needed to track and respond quickly to a variety of infectious diseases.

Through the ELC mechanism, CDC provides funding to all 50 state health departments, six local health departments (Los Angeles County, Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, Houston and the District of Columbia), and eight territories or U.S. affiliates. Funds provided through the ELC mechanism help pay for more than 1,000 full- and part-time positions in the state, territorial, local, and tribal health departments.

These positions include epidemiologists, laboratorians, and health information systems staff. The annual ELC investment provides public health officials with improved tools to respond to more outbreaks, conduct surveillance faster and prevent more illnesses and deaths from infectious diseases.

?CDC funding provided through the ELC platform is essential to strengthening national infectious disease infrastructure,? said Beth P. Bell, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC?s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. ?With many infectious diseases first identified at the local level, this funding ensures that state health departments are able to effectively prevent, detect and respond to such public health threats.?

The funding provided through the ELC cooperative agreement supports surveillance, detection, and outbreak response efforts in many infectious disease areas, including zoonotic and vector-borne diseases, foodborne diseases, influenza, and healthcare-associated infections. In addition, the ELC provides health departments with resources to rapidly identify and respond to outbreaks of new and emerging infectious disease threats, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and monkeypox.

This crucial CDC investment helps build a competent public health workforce, able surveillance systems, modern and efficient laboratory facilities and information networks. This support is critical to combating the ongoing and increasing threat posed by emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and to improving public health.

Details on state-by-state ELC funding are available on the ELC webpage at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dpei/epidemiology-laboratoryhttp://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dpei/epidemiology-laboratory-capacity.html-capacity.html. This funding is in addition to $13.7 million that went out through the ELC mechanism in January.

For more information on CDC?s ELC cooperative agreement, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dpei/epidemiology-laboratory-capacity.html.