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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deactivated its emergency response for Zika virus (Zika) to transition efforts to normal program operations on Sept. 29, 2017. On Jan. 22, 2016, CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in response to the devastating effects of Zika virus infection during pregnancy. A team of experts from across the agency, called the Zika Coordination and Operations Transition Team (ZCOTT), will lead the transition from EOC activation to routine, long-term activities and will ensure timely coordination and collaboration on scientific, communication, and policy activities.
CDC’s EOC is the agency’s command center for monitoring and coordinating emergency response to public health threats and has been activated previously for events such as natural disasters, the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, and the 2014 Ebola outbreak, among others. Since the 2016 EOC activation for Zika, experts from across the agency have worked to protect Americans, especially pregnant women, fetuses, and infants, from the emerging virus and its devastating consequences. CDC will continue its work to protect these groups by providing support for healthcare providers as they counsel pregnant women affected by Zika and provide follow-up care to their infants. CDC recognizes the continued need for coordination among federal, state, and local levels to provide services for families affected by Zika and will provide technical assistance as resources permit.
Deactivation does not mean that the threat of Zika has lessened in importance or that people are no longer at risk of infection. Zika continues to be a public health threat in the United States and internationally. Zika is still a risk for pregnant women, and the continental United States and Hawaii will continue to see some travel-related cases as travelers visit countries and territories with risk of Zika transmission. The possibility of local transmission in the continental United States and Hawaii still exists. CDC remains committed to protecting the health of Americans and will continue working to protect the nation from the threat of Zika.
As a reminder, CDC recommends travelers to areas with a risk of Zika take steps to prevent Zika by preventing mosquito bites and sexual transmission of Zika during and after travel. CDC continues to recommend that pregnant women avoid travel to areas with risk of Zika.