Zika prevention education: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funds CDC, PAHO effort

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The CDC, the Pan American Health Organization and the CDC Foundation — a branch of the agency that expedites CDC efforts by forging partnerships — have entered into a collaborative effort to educate pregnant women on Zika prevention in the U.S. and its territories. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided critical funding for this effort.

"Pregnant women deserve the best and most relevant information about Zika in order to protect their pregnancies...harnessing the best information and expertise from both CDC and PAHO, can have great impact and save lives," said Tom Frieden, MD, director of the CDC.

The initiative will include surveys on Zika risk perception to determine where there are gaps in knowledge about the virus in the Americas, community engagement regarding mosquito control and an educational multimedia campaign. The goal of the effort is to provide pregnant women in at-risk communities like Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa with the most comprehensive information on the virus and prevention available.

Carissa F. Etienne, MD, director of the PAHO, said, "We welcome these joint efforts that will allow us to develop concrete actions with the communities throughout the Americas to prevent Zika infections and protect those who need it the most."

More articles on the Zika virus: 
Scientists collaborate to form OpenZika, a project to find virus treatment  
Emergency Zika funds pass Senate with ease; contention likely in the House  
Best insect repellants for Zika protection 

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