CDC to invest $2.1 billion in infection prevention

Sept. 20, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a $2.1 billion investment to improve infection prevention and control activities across the U.S. public health and healthcare sectors.

The agency said the funding will help healthcare personnel prevent infections more effectively in healthcare settings, support rapid response to detect and contain infectious organisms, enhance laboratory capacity, and engage in innovation targeted at combating infectious disease threats.

Improvements in infection prevention will span the healthcare continuum, including 6,000 hospitals, 15,400 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, 7,900 dialysis clinics, and 4,700 ambulatory surgery centers, and will extend to other outpatient settings. 

In addition, the CDC said, these investments will help address the rise of healthcare-associated infections, which increased as U.S. hospitals were inundated by COVID-19—reversing national progress seen prior to the pandemic.

The CDC will allocate$1.25 billion of the total to 64 state, local, and territorial health departments over the next three years. Initial awards totaling $885 million will be made in October 2021 to these jurisdictional health departments.

In addition to amounts provided to state, local and territorial health departments, $880 million will be used over several years to support healthcare partners, academic institutions, and other nonprofit partners to develop new prevention interventions and capacities for infection prevention and control training, data collection, and technical assistance.

The CDC’s goals with the funding include:

·        Strengthening state capacity to prevent, detect, and contain infectious disease threats across healthcare settings.

·         Increasing state and regional laboratory capacity to conduct surveillance for emerging pathogens to better identify patients infected with or carrying infectious disease threats, such as antibiotic-resistant germs like “nightmare bacteria” carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE) and Candida auris. Throughout the pandemic, there have been outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant pathogens in COVID-19 units and other healthcare settings.

·         Designing and implementing effective infection prevention and control training and education to frontline healthcare staff, leveraging a unique collaborative of healthcare, public health, and academic partners.

·         Increasing data and monitoring through NHSN to determine where and when infections occur in healthcare settings and target IPC interventions.

·         Supporting state data analyses of antibiotic use and implement programs to improve antibiotic prescribing across communities, including addressing health disparities related to antibiotic use. Despite being ineffective against COVID-19, antibiotics have been commonly prescribed to patients during the pandemic, increasing the risk of antibiotic resistance.

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