HHS Awards Additional $6.3 Million to Help States and Cities Fight West Nile Virus
HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced today that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will award more than $6.3 million to 25 states, three cities, and the District of Columbia. The federal government continues to provide technical and scientific support to states and communities in need of assistance.
The $6.3 million is in addition to the $11.3 million that was awarded to states and cities in August to help them strengthen their efforts to combat the virus and is to be available immediately.
Secretary Thompson is directing the CDC to make sure its expertise, technical support, and other pertinent resources are fully available to states as they deal with the spread of the virus. The CDC has deployed epidemiologists and clinicians to Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Chicago
"We are working closely with state and local health departments to bolster their efforts to protect residents from West Nile virus," Secretary Thompson said.
CDC funding to states and cities for West Nile virus so far this year is approximately $35 million. Since fiscal year 2000 more than $58 million has been made available to state and local health departments to develop or enhance epidemiological and lab capacity for West Nile virus and other arboviral diseases.
West Nile virus activity has been reported from coast to coast and will continue to expand into new areas," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, CDC director. These funds are intended for activities deemed the highest priority by states to help control and prevent human disease from West Nile virus.
West Nile virus activity has been reported in 43 states and the District of Columbia. As of September 11, there are 1201 human cases of West Nile virus, with 46 deaths.
CDC recommends that people take the following steps to prevent West Nile virus:
Eliminate sources of standing water on their property - including potted outdoor plants that are watered regularly;
Use an insect repellent containing DEET;
Cover themselves with lightweight clothing as much as possible whenever they are outside.
CDC is operating its public hotlines for questions about West Nile virus. The English number is 1-888-246-2675; the Spanish hotline is 1-888-246-2857, and the number for the hearing-impaired hotline is 1-866-874-2646.
Below is the state-by-state listing of the funds being awarded today.
District of Columbia $200,000
New Hampshire $150,000
New Jersey $200,000
New Mexico $100,515
New York $200,000
New York City $200,000
North Carolina $203,225
Rhode Island $150,000
South Carolina $200,000
West Virginia $200,000
CDC protects people's health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national and international organizations.