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Maryland, Hopkins get funding to fight germs like MRSA..

Two Baltimore institutions will share in $11 million in new funding from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention aimed at preventing the spread of germs.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore and Johns Hopkins University, which have long been involved in developing technology and protocols to control infections in and among patients and health care workers, will join four other facilities in the program.

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They will focus on developing new ways to stop the spread of the flu virus, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and Ebola, for example, as well as determine ways of increasing adherence to existing protocols that have been proven effective.

Under the CDC program, begun in 1997, there already were five centers funded by the CDC to accelerate health care innovations, and the new money is an effort to get ahead of a problem that is costly in lives and dollars, officials said.

"It can be difficult and challenging to prevent the spread of dangerous diseases in health care facilities," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC director, in a statement. "To protect Americans, it's critical that we develop the cutting edge science needed to stay ahead of the germs. The six institutions receiving these funds are doing just that."

Other newly funded institutions include Emory University; University of Illinois, Chicago; University of Iowa; and University of Utah. Other already funded include Cook County Health & Hospital System and Rush University Medical Center; Duke University; Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and University of California, Irvine; University of Pennsylvania; and Washington University.

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