The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have moved to the highest level of activation for a Zika response.
"To further enhance its response to the Zika virus outbreak, CDC's Emergency Operations Center is moving to a Level 1 activation-reflecting the agency's assessment of the need for an accelerated preparedness to bring together experts to focus intently and work efficiently in anticipation of local Zika virus transmission by mosquitoes in the Continental U.S.," the agency said Monday.
The EOC command center, which monitors and coordinates the response to the Zika virus, has been working on the virus since Jan. 22 to bring together CDC scientists with expertise in arboviruses, reproductive health and birth and developmental defects.
The CDC said their work includes:
- Developing laboratory tests to diagnose Zika
- Conducting studies to learn more about the possible linkages with microcephaly and Guillain Barré syndrome
- Surveillance for the virus in the United States, including US territories
- On-the-ground support in Puerto Rico, Brazil and Colombia
"The EOC is currently home to more than 300 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. 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."