Thursday, December 20, 2012

Idaho Gets Low Marks for Low Vaccine Rates, Lax Prep for Extreme Weather

Posted By on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Idaho—along with the majority of other U.S. states—scored a 6 or lower on 10 key indicators of public health preparedness.

The report, issued by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that "there continue to be persistent gaps in the country's ability to respond to health emergencies, ranging from bioterrorist threats to serious disease outbreaks to extreme weather events."

In particular, Idaho got low marks for having poor emergency management, low thresholds of vaccinations against infectious diseases, and lax preparedness for extreme weather

Kansas and Montana scored the lowest—3 out of 10—and Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Vermont and Wisconsin scored highest—8 out of 10.

"Investments made after Sept. 11, the anthrax attacks and Hurricane Katrina led to dramatic improvements, but now budget cuts and complacency are our biggest threats,'' sad Jeffrey Levi, the executive director of the Trust for America's Health. "Since then, there have been a series of significant health emergencies, but we haven't learned that we need to bolster and maintain a consistent level of health emergency preparedness."

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