ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - March 07, 2016) - While knowledge of the link between Zika and birth defects is evolving, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends special precautions for pregnant women because of increasing evidence of an association between Zika virus infection in pregnant women and a certain type of birth defect, microcephaly, that occurs in some pregnancies. Microcephaly is a condition where babies' heads and brains are smaller and may not have developed properly during pregnancy or have stopped growing after birth. To aid efforts to help reduce the risk of Zika to pregnant women, the CDC Foundation today announced a partnership with CDC and multiple donors to create Zika prevention kits for pregnant women in the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) and American Samoa.
"We are learning more about Zika virus every day, and our priority is to reduce the threat to pregnant women," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. "These Zika prevention kits will help meet a critical need, particularly in high risk areas, so pregnant women can take effective steps to protect themselves."
The purpose of these Zika prevention kits is to inform pregnant women about Zika virus, its risks, and how to avoid infection, while providing an initial supply of prevention tools. Included in these kits are CDC educational materials, topical insect repellent, condoms to avoid potential sexual transmission of Zika, a thermometer for women to screen themselves for fever, and mosquito dunks to reduce mosquito populations. CDC has shipped 5,000 Zika prevention kits for immediate distribution to pregnant women and anticipates distributing more than 45,000 additional kits containing products provided by philanthropic or corporate donors. The kits will be provided to pregnant women through multiple dissemination channels in concert with the Departments of Health within the territories.
The CDC Foundation is continuing to identify donors to provide in-kind product donations or funding that can be used to acquire materials needed for the kits. SC Johnson provided an initial donation of mosquito repellent used in assembling the 5,000 kits and to be used in the additional kits. Other donors, including Spectrum Brands, CRC Industries, Summit Chemical Company and 3M, are providing additional mosquito repellent and control products to the CDC Foundation, facilitated by the Consumer Specialty Product Association. In addition, RB has provided a donation of condoms for the kits.
"We are extremely grateful for these generous contributions," said Dr. Judith Monroe, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. "These Zika prevention kits will help in protecting people and saving lives. The CDC Foundation is proud to help support CDC efforts to combat this health threat."
The CDC Foundation activated its U.S. Emergency Response Fund and Global Disaster Response Fund in February 2016 to further assist during the Zika response, as needed. Individual or business contributions to the CDC Foundation's Global Disaster Response Fund and U.S. Emergency Response Fund can be made on the CDC Foundation's website (www.cdcfoundation.org/zika-response). To discuss giving opportunities or an in-kind donation, contact Laura Angel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CDC Foundation advances the mission of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through philanthropy and public-private partnerships that protect the health, safety and security of America and the world. Established by Congress more than two decades ago, the CDC Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that has launched 800 programs and raised more than $620 million through partnerships with philanthropies, corporations, organizations and individuals. The CDC Foundation currently manages nearly 300 CDC-led programs in the United States and in 75 countries. For more information, please visit www.cdcfoundation.org.