CDCroybal_406x250On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced funding for states to help them fight infectious disease outbreaks more quickly and develop better interventions to protect the public’s health. The nearly $110 million in awards includes $13 million over fiscal year 2014 funding for vaccine-preventable disease surveillance, foodborne-disease prevention and advanced molecular detection. The funding is allocated through the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases Cooperative Agreement, and $51 million is provided through the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund. “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, 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.” This year’s funding includes $17.4 million for foodborne disease prevention and tracking — a $4-million increase over fiscal year 2014. This includes increased 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. More than $2 million will also to help states build their capacity for advanced molecular detection, an emerging field that combines next-generation genomic sequencing with bioinformatics to more quickly identify and respond to disease outbreaks. CDC funds all 50 state health departments, six local health departments, and eight territories or U.S. affiliates through the ELC mechanism. The funding helps pay the salaries of nearly 1,500 epidemiologists, lab technicians, and health information systems staff in the state, territorial, local, and tribal health departments. (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)