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News: CDC Cuts 80% of Global Disease Prevention Efforts

News: CDC Cuts 80% of Global Disease Prevention Efforts

Some are concerned this will leave the US susceptible to Zika, Ebola, flu, measles and more.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works daily to ensure the health, safety and security of the American people. In an effort to do so, the CDC has organized programs to stop the spread of infectious diseases in countries all over the world.

One branch of the organization, the Division of Global Health Protection (DGHP), will be ceasing efforts to stop the spread of diseases like Zika and Ebola in 39 of the 49 countries in which they are currently working.

The organization doesn't anticipate receiving the monetary resources necessary to continue their efforts in these countries beyond October 2019. The program has primarily been funded by a one-time congress-approved grant of $600 million to help slow the spread of Ebola in 2014, but the money is scheduled to run out before the end of next year.

Beginning on October 2019, the CDC will instead focus their efforts on 10 "priority countries," including India, Kenya, Nigeria and Thailand. China, Haiti, Ethiopia and Congo are just some of the regions that will experience first-hand cuts to this program. According to CDC officials, if money becomes available at the start of the next fiscal year, the organization will resume efforts in certain countries.

What's this got to do with America?
These efforts were designed to prevent and detect outbreaks of infectious disease overseas before they reach the US—so what could these cuts mean for Americans?

According to the CDC website, the Global Disease Detection Operations Center oversees 30 to 40 outbreaks in various countries each day. It also notes that diseases can spread from remote areas to large cities in just 36 hours.

These cuts may leave Americans more susceptible to diseases, like measles, Ebola, Zika, polio, chikungunya virus and bird flu, that spread from other countries. Infectious disease can be transmitted across borders when infected people travel or by the spread of insects or animals from outbreak areas.

Protecting yourself from disease
There are a number of ways to protect yourself and your family from infectious diseases every day. Simple steps like washing your hands and disinfecting commonly-touched surfaces can prevent the spread of germs.

Pay attention to public health warnings about travel to areas where outbreaks are happening and be mindful to avoid sick people.

Staying up-to-date with vaccinations can help prevent the threat of diseases like measles, diphtheria and polio.

Medically reviewed in February 2018.

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