Report: Which U.S. States Are Prepared for Outbreaks?

EmergencyHow prepared is your state in the event of an infectious disease threat? According to a new report, only half of U.S. states score well in key health metrics.

The Infectious Diseases Policy Report, by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health, measures states by 10 indicators, including training, reporting, communications, and leadership capabilities. This year 25 states scored 5 or lower. Last year, 34 states had scores five or lower.

Some of the indicators measures states’ preparedness training. This year 47 states and Washington, D.C., conducted recommended exercises to evaluate the amount of time it took for front-line labs to receive urgent messages from state labs.

Less encouraging: Only 27 states scored equal to or higher than the national average on the National Health Security Preparedness Index’s measure of information management, reinforcing the importance of communications in a crisis.

The top ranked, scoring 8 out of 10:

  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia.

Lagging behind with scores of 3:

  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • Wyoming

And with the lowest score of 2: Arkansas.

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