Zika Outbreak: Activating Our Global and U.S. Response Funds

We’ve all seen the alarming stories recently about the Zika virus outbreak in many countries and territories in the Americas, the likelihood that the virus will continue to spread to new areas, and the potentially serious implications for pregnant women and infants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been working closely with its U.S. and international partners on the response. To accelerate this work, CDC has just requested that the CDC Foundation activate our two emergency response funds—the Global Disaster Response Fund and the U.S. Emergency Response Fund.

Zika ReponseFor most people, Zika virus causes no more than mild illness. For pregnant women, however, Zika poses a more serious threat. Evidence suggests Zika virus can spread from a pregnant woman to her baby. That infection may be linked to microcephaly, a debilitating birth defect where babies are born with much smaller heads than normal and with brains that may not have properly developed.

CDC has some of the world’s leading experts both in diseases spread by mosquitoes and in birth defects. These experts are working 24/7 to address the Zika outbreak in several critical ways, from issuing travel notices to providing guidance for healthcare providers. Other measures include working with partners on diagnostic tests, treatments and potential vaccines for Zika as well as providing expert guidance on mosquito control solutions.

While CDC has government funding to support most needs, CDC does not have funding needed to meet all immediate response needs—and that’s where the CDC Foundation disaster response funds provide flexible essential resources. Your support will assist in a variety of ways, such as enhancing CDC’s ability to broadly alert healthcare providers and the public about Zika; funding Zika prevention kits with educational materials for pregnant women in Puerto Rico and other high-risk areas; protecting travelers with guidance and information; supporting state health laboratories with diagnostic tests; and detecting and reporting cases to help prevent further spread.

The CDC Foundation’s disaster response funds enable CDC to respond faster to the changing and unanticipated nature of infectious disease outbreaks. In the past, these funds have proved to be crucial for CDC in broadening their swift response to many emergency situations, most recently in the West Africa Ebola outbreak.

Please join forces with us to help CDC control the Zika outbreak. All contributions to the CDC Foundation’s Global Disaster Response Fund and U.S. Emergency Response Fund will help CDC fight immediate health threats and respond to future outbreaks and emergencies. 

Make a Contribution. Your gift will save lives.


Judy Monroe, MD, is president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.