News of the WeekInfectious Diseases

Fears of Lax Surveillance if CDC Program Cut

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Science  28 May 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5982, pp. 1088
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5982.1088

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A proposal to stop funneling dollars directly to U.S. surveillance and research for most mosquito and other vector-borne diseases such as West Nile virus and dengue has scientists wringing their hands. They are concerned that if the plan sticks, the country will be ill-prepared to handle new emerging diseases and manage existing ones. The proposal in President Barack Obama's 2011 budget for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, combined with a $15.7 million cut for infectious disease work generally, would virtually eliminate the vector-borne program. Currently, CDC funds mosquito testing for a variety of diseases and investigations into patterns of disease spread in the United States.