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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Group gives US states middling marks on disease readiness

 USA map

Today's post is shared from

Citing the bumpy response to Ebola as an illustration, a public health advocacy group asserted today that many US states have a mediocre level of preparedness for infectious disease threats.

The nonprofit group Trust for America's Health (TFAH) said half the states met 5 or fewer of 10 key indicators of the ability to prevent, detect, diagnose, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. The measures pertain to things like public health funding, childhood vaccination rates, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), and reporting of HIV data.

The nation has achieved dramatic improvements in state and local capacity to respond to outbreaks and emergencies in the past decade, said TFAH Executive Director Jeffrey Levi, PhD, in a press release.

"But we also saw during the recent Ebola outbreak that some of the most basic infectious disease controls failed when tested," he added. "The Ebola outbreak is a reminder that we cannot afford to let our guard down.

Five states—Maryland, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia—tied for the top score by achieving 8 of 10 indicators, while Arkansas had the lowest score, at 2 of 10, according to the report.

Thirteen states achieved 6 of the 10 indicators, making the largest score group. Seven states achieved 7; nine states and Washington, DC, scored 5; eight states scored 4; and seven scored 3.
Key preparedness findings

TFAH highlighted scores on several of the key indicators in its press release.

On the positive...
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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.