HHS Offers More Money for Fighting Zika in U.S. Territories

Being infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other severe brain defects. As of Oct. 26, 2016, more than 32,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from U.S. states (4,091 cases) and territories (28,723 cases).

The Health Resources and Services Administration, an HHS agency, announced Oct. 28 it has made $39 million available for health centers in Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands so they can offer more preventive and primary health care services to meet immediate and anticipated Zika-related health care needs and allow health centers to expand services in response to other primary health needs.

Being infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other severe brain defects. As of Oct. 26, 2016, more than 32,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from U.S. states (4,091 cases) and territories (28,723 cases), according to the HHS announcement.

"As Zika transmission continues, additional resources are necessary to expand health centers’ response to current and evolving Zika-related needs," said HRSA Acting Administrator Jim Macrae. "These supplemental Zika funds will enable health centers to provide additional high-quality services to underserved populations."

The funding will specifically be made available for use over a three-year period to eligible Health Center Program-funded health centers in these territories. For more information on U.S. efforts to combat the virus, visit https://www.cdc.gov/zika/. To learn more about HRSA's Health Center Program, visit http://bphc.hrsa.gov/about/index.html.

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