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SOURCE Trust for America's Health
WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A report released today by Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) finds the nation's ability to prevent and control infectious disease outbreaks are hampered by outdated systems and limited resources.
The Outbreaks: Protecting Americans from Infectious Diseases report finds that a majority of states (34) score 5 or lower out of 10 key indicators of policies and capabilities to protect against infectious disease threats. Three states tied for the lowest score, achieving two out of 10 possible indicators – Georgia, Nebraska and New Jersey. New Hampshire had the highest score, at 8 out of 10.
"From antibiotic-resistant Superbugs to Salmonella to the seasonal flu, infectious diseases disrupt lives and communities," said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH. "Fighting these diseases requires constant vigilance. The bad news is that we found major gaps in the country's ability to prevent, control and treat outbreaks, leaving Americans at an unacceptable level of unnecessary risk."
Some key findings include:
The report's indicators are developed in consultation with leading public health experts based on data from publicly available sources or information provided by public officials.
"Many infectious disease threats keep me up at night – from the emergence of a new deadly disease, such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), to the prospect of bioterrorism, to antibiotic resistant infections, to the worsening of mosquito-borne illnesses being driven by changes in the climate," said Tom Inglesby, MD, chief executive officer and director of the UPMC Center for Health Security.
Outbreaks provides a series of recommendations that address many of the major gaps in infectious disease control and prevention, including:
The report and state-by-state materials are available on TFAH's website at www.healthyamericans.org. The report was supported by a grant from RWJF.
A full list of all of the indicators and scores and the full report are available on TFAH's website. For the state-by-state scoring, states received one point for achieving an indicator or zero points if they did not achieve the indicator. Zero is the lowest possible overall score, 10 is the highest. The data for the indicators are from publicly available sources or were provided from public officials.
8 out of 10: New Hampshire
7 out of 10: Connecticut, Delaware, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington
6 out of 10: Colorado, D.C., Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia
5 out of 10: Alaska, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin
4 out of 10: Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas, Utah and West Virginia
3 out of 10: Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming
2 out of 10: Georgia, Nebraska and New Jersey
Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. www.healthyamericans.org
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measureable, and timely change. For more than 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter www.rwjf.org/twitter or Facebook www.rwjf.org/facebook.
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