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What CDC is Doing

  • CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated for Zika on January 22, 2016, and moved to a level 1 activation—the highest level – on February 8, 2016. The EOC is the command center for monitoring and coordinating the emergency response to Zika, bringing together CDC scientists with expertise in arboviruses like Zika, reproductive health, birth defects, and developmental disabilities, and travel health. Their work includes:
    • Developing laboratory tests to diagnose Zika.
    • Conducting studies to learn more about the link between Zika and microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome.
    • Monitoring and reporting cases of Zika, which will help improve our understanding of how and where Zika is spreading.
    • Providing guidance to travelers and Americans living in areas with current outbreaks.
    • Surveillance for the virus in the United States, including US territories.
    • Supporting in Puerto Rico, Brazil, Colombia, American Samoa, the US Virgin Islands, and Panama on the ground.
    • Conducting a study to evaluate the persistence of Zika virus in semen and urine among male residents of the United States.
  • CDC’s EOC is currently home to hundreds of CDC staff working in collaboration with local, national, and international response partners to analyze, validate, and efficiently exchange information about the outbreak.
    • The EOC has resources to rapidly transport diagnostic kits, samples and specimens, and personnel to areas with Zika.
    • The EOC is serving as CDC's command center for monitoring and coordinating the emergency response to Zika, including the deployment of CDC staff and the procurement and management of all equipment and supplies that CDC responders may need during deployment.
CDC Deployment Totals
As of 21 June 2016 Pending Current Completed
Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis 0 0 1
San Salvador, El Salvador 0 0 2
Joao Pessoa/Brasilia, Brazil 0 0 19
Bogota/Barranquilla, Colombia 1 4 38
Lisbon, Portugal 0 0 1
Mexico City, Mexico 0 0 6
Majuro, Marshall Islands 0 1 5
Panama City, Panama 0 1 6
Pago Pago, American Samoa 4 6 23
Paris, France 0 0 2
San Juan, PR 31 39 187
Christiansted, USVI 9 9 28
Geneva, Switzerland 0 0 4
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago 0 0 1
Tamuning, Guam 0 0 1
Total 45 60 324


  • Before 2015, Zika virus disease (Zika) outbreaks occurred in areas of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands.
  • In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika virus infections in Brazil.
  • Currently, outbreaks are occurring in many countries and territories.
  • On January 22, 2016, CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to respond to outbreaks of Zika occurring in the Americas and increased reports of birth defects and Guillain-Barré syndrome in areas affected by Zika. On February 8, 2016, CDC elevated its EOC activation to a Level 1, the highest level.
  • On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) because of clusters of microcephaly and other neurological disorders in some areas affected by Zika.
  • On February 8, 2016, President Obama announced a request for $1.8 billion in emergency funds for several agencies to accelerate research into a vaccine and educate populations at risk for disease.
  • On April 13, 2016, CDC scientists announced that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects.