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Press Release

For Immediate Release: September 15, 1999
Contact: CDC Media Relations (404) 639-3286

States receive $40 million for stronger public health preparedness for bioterrorism

HHS' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded $40 million today to states and major cities to expand and upgrade their ability to detect and respond to biological and chemical agents, and provide a public health response to terrorist acts in the United States. These funds allow communities to develop or enhance public health capacities at the local and state level. Specifically, CDC funded 127 project activities in the following five categories:

  • $1.3 million for readiness planning assessment among local and state health departments;
  • $7.8 million to build capacity to detect outbreaks of illness that might have been caused by terrorists;
  • $8.8 million to expand state and local biological laboratory capacity;
  • $4 million for laboratory expertise to identify the biological or chemical agents involved;
  • $19 million for an improved electronic communications network, which will include Internet access for local health departments to share information among public health officials regarding unusual disease outbreaks.

The grants announced today are part of a total of $173 million in FY 1999 funding to prepare against bioterrorism. This HHS funding will be used to improve the nation's public health infrastructure to quickly detect disease symptoms from unknown agents and protect against the consequences of these biological or chemical attacks.

In addition to the leadership, guidance, and resources that CDC is providing to States and local communities, the agency is also enhancing laboratory services at CDC. These enhancements will help public health laboratories to readily identify agents suspected in bioterrorism events. Further, CDC has received $52 million to begin the establishment of a national pharmaceutical stockpile, which will ensure the availability of drugs, vaccines, prophylactic medicines, chemical antidotes, medical supplies, and equipment that will be needed to support a medical response to a biological or chemical terrorist incident.

"Every dollar we spend on preparing public health locally for even the possibility of a biological or chemical release among their civilian population is also a dollar that helps reinvigorate our public health infrastructure," said CDC Director Jeffrey P. Koplan, M.D., M.P.H. "The medical expertise, laboratories, and communication network needed to counter bioterrorism are the same resources that are needed to detect diseases in the community from any source, whether natural or deliberate."

A public health responsibility in the overall federal bioterrorism response is to improve the public health community's ability to detect illnesses and determine quickly where it may be related to a bioterrorism act.

"Terrorists can strike fast and disappear, leaving victims, unknowingly, to fall ill days or weeks after the attack," said Scott Lillibridge, M.D., chief, CDC/Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program. "A strong public health network across the nation is needed to piece together early reports of illness and determine quickly what has happened. We're encouraged by the focus local and state health departments have put on this need. "

Public Health Preparedness and Response for Bioterrorism
Grantees by Focus Area
A: $1.3M B1: $6.8M B2: $1.0M C:$7.8M D: $4.0M E: $19.0M
Alabama Alabama Florida Alabama California Alabama
California Alaska Hawaii Alaska Michigan Alaska
Colorado Arizona Massachusetts Arizona New York Arizona
Hawaii California Minnesota Arkansas Virginia Arkansas
Illinois Chicago New Mexico California California
Michigan Colorado New York Colorado Chicago
New York City Florida Washington Connecticut Colorado
North Carolina Georgia Florida Connecticut
Ohio Hawaii Illinois Delaware
Illinois Iowa Florida
Kansas Kansas Georgia
Kentucky Los Angeles Illinois
Los Angeles Louisiana Kansas
Maryland Maryland Los Angeles
Massachusetts Massachusetts Louisiana
Michigan Michigan Massachusetts
Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota
Mississippi Mississippi Missouri
Montana Nebraska Montana
Nebraska New Hampshire Nevada
New Jersey New Mexico New Hampshire
New Mexico New York New Jersey
New York New York City New Mexico
New York City North Dakota New York
Ohio Ohio New York City
Oregon Oklahoma North Dakota
Rhode Island Oregon Ohio
South Carolina Pennsylvania Oregon
Texas Rhode Island Rhode Island
Utah South Carolina Texas
Virginia South Dakota Utah
Washington Tennessee Vermont
Wisconsin Texas Virginia
Wyoming Utah Washington
Virginia West Virginia
Wisconsin Wisconsin
A: Preparedness Planning and Readiness Assessment
B: Epidemiology and Surveillance Capacity
    B1: Core Capacity
    B2: Special Projects
C: Laboratory Capacity for Biologic Agents
D: Laboratory Capacity for Chemical Agents
E: Health Alert Network/Training


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