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US Complacent on Infectious Disease Threats, Report Shows

By Unknown - Saturday, January 2, 2016 No Comments

The United States has to do more to boost its ability to prevent and control infectious disease outbreaks, according to the third annual report card, released today, on the nation's infectious disease preparedness.
More than half of states (28) received a score of five or fewer of 10 key indicators related to preventing, detecting, diagnosing, and responding to outbreaks, according to the report from Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Seven states (Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Utah) tied for the lowest score, at three of 10, whereas Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, New York, and Virginia tied for the top spot, achieving a score of eight of 10.
Sustained Interest, Investment Lacking
"We conduct the outbreaks report to examine the country's policies to respond to ongoing emerging infectious disease threats, including new threats such as [Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus] and antibiotic-resistant superbugs, as well as resurging illnesses like whooping cough, gonorrhea, and tuberculosis," Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of Trust for America's Health, said during a press briefing today.
"Most infectious diseases are preventable, but we found overall that we haven't made the investments to put in place many of the basic protections that could avoid significant numbers of outbreaks and save billions of dollars in unnecessary healthcare costs," he said.
"The country's interest in infectious diseases tends to ebb and flow. When there is a new scary threat, like Ebola last year, there is a major ramp up, but once there is a sense that an outbreak is contained, we fall back to a place of complacency," Dr Levi added.


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