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Zika Virus Information and Resources

The spread of the Zika virus in the United States and territories requires a comprehensive public health response. Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects, especially affecting the neurological system. Children exposed to Zika virus prenatally meet the definition of children with special healthcare needs, regardless of whether they are symptomatic at birth. HRSA has made addressing this public health threat a top priority.

How HRSA Works to Combat Zika

HRSA works closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and other U.S. Government, State and local partners in response to Zika. The agency addresses the spread of the virus through the following actions:

  • Supporting the ongoing efforts of health centers to detect and prevent the spread of the Zika virus, including HHS awards of $39 million to health centers in Puerto Rico, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as $1 million to two Primary Care Associations for training and technical assistance. Previously, HRSA awarded $5 million to health centers in Puerto Rico and $742,000 to health centers in American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands to expand primary care services to help combat the Zika virus.
  • Strengthening systems of support and comprehensive health care for women, children and families who are facing long-term health impacts from the Zika virus, including through HRSA awards of $17 million to health departments in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa for the maternal and child health population.
  • Working directly with State Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) and Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) Programs, funded by the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant to share information and provide expert technical assistance to address both immediate and long-term issues of screening, access, coordination of care for women, children and families.
  • Developing strategies and best practices for MCH professionals to ensure children born with microcephaly or central nervous system defects receive health care, early intervention, and support services. HRSA awarded a total of $600,000 to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to support health professional education and training for pediatric clinicians, particularly those in high risk areas, to expand their capacity to provide family-centered, comprehensive and coordinated care for children who are or may be impacted by the Zika virus.
  • Strengthening family engagement efforts to ensure families who are or may be impacted by the Zika virus are partners in their child’s care. HRSA awarded a $250,000 supplement to Family Voices, Inc. for the National Center for Family/Professional Partnerships cooperative agreement to expand training and assistance on family to family support, referral assistance, and distribution of Zika-specific, culturally appropriate information to families. In addition, HRSA awarded $150,000 each directly to the Puerto Rico Department of Health, Parent to Parent by Apoyo a Padres de Niños con Impedimentos, Inc. and Virgin Islands Advocacy, Inc. to support family engagement through information, education, and technical assistance.
  • Communicating with grantees and partner networks both nationally and locally to promote Zika awareness based on CDC guidelines, through webinars, regional meetings, and newsletters.

HRSA Grantee-developed Resources*

*Their contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HRSA.

HHS Resources for Health Centers, Healthcare Providers and Health Professionals

Date Last Reviewed:  May 2017