Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies
The Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies
- Detects the effects of new health threats on pregnant women and babies by collecting data from pregnancy through childhood
- Uses real-time, evidence-based, actionable information to help save and improve lives of families
In fiscal year 2019, CDC received $10 million to carry out surveillance for emerging threats to mothers and babies. Through this effort, state, local, and territorial health departments will work with CDC to identify the impact of emerging health threats to pregnant women and their infants.
Goals and Impact: Combatting Emerging Health Threats to Help Mothers and Babies Thrive
Surveillance for Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies collects information on pregnant women and their children through the first 3 years of life. This system aims to figure out how health threats, such as Zika virus, syphilis, and hepatitis C, affect these populations. It will also track birth defects, developmental problems, and other disabilities as these children age. CDC scientists will use these data to
- Monitor and improve the health of pregnant women and infants
- Link families to medical and social services to get recommended care
- Strengthen laboratory and clinical testing to find emerging health threats quickly
- Begin to set-up regionally-based centers of excellence to offer medical, public health, and other knowledge to ensure communities can help pregnant women and infants get the care they need
- Ensure public health is ready and prepared to meet the needs of pregnant women and infants during emergencies
This effort builds upon the US Zika Pregnancy and Infant Registry. The Registry collected health information on pregnant women and infants with laboratory evidence of Zika infection during pregnancy. A key part of this unique surveillance is the ability to find exposures during pregnancy and link them with health outcomes of pregnant women and infants. This system is the first of its kind to track health data for mothers and babies over time. CDC and state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments can adapt this surveillance platform to respond to other emerging infectious diseases that affect pregnant women and get follow-up data on affected infants.
Programs can eventually use this surveillance model to address other threats and diseases that affect pregnant women and babies. Focus areas can include natural disasters, environmental hazards, and harmful substances.
Coordinating Local, State, Territorial, and National Collaborations
CDC is supporting 13* state, local, and territorial health departments to prepare for and respond to emerging threats to pregnant women and infants.
States and Territories Funded for the Surveillance of Emerging Threats to Mothers and Babies in August 2019 and Current Field Assignee Placement Sites
Supporting Surveillance Capacity for U.S. States, Local Areas, and Territories
- CDC funded jurisdictions shown in the map above for surveillance of infectious disease threats, such as Zika, hepatitis C, and syphilis. Seven jurisdictions will focus activities on only one of these infectious disease threats. Six will expand surveillance of congenital Zika infection and include at least one other infectious disease threat.
- CDC placed skilled contractual field assignees at health departments with high burden to support local and state surveillance efforts. Field assignees also do educational outreach for healthcare providers and community members and help connect families to resources.
Building upon Zika Pregnancy and Infant Surveillance
In August 2016, 61 states, territories, and local areas received one-time Zika supplemental funding to support the US Zika Pregnancy and Infant Registry. Data collected through the Registry helps CDC scientists to learn more about the long-term health outcomes of infants affected by Zika during pregnancy.
States and Territories Funded for the US Zika Pregnancy and Infant Registry in August 2016 and Field Assignee Placement Sites
*Jurisdictions and partners are supported through either a cooperative agreement or contractual mechanism. Jurisdictional cooperative agreements are funded through the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ELC).