Most States Unprepared for Next Health Threat

New analysis from Trust for America’s Health shows 26 states and Washington, D.C., are unprepared for health threats.

The Ready or Not? Protecting the Public from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism report notes those states scored a six or lower on 10 key indicators of public health preparedness.

According to the report, the nation is often caught off guard when a new threat arises, such as Zika, the Ebola outbreak or bioterrorist threats. Alaska and Idaho scored the lowest, with 3 out of 10 key indicators of public health preparedness, while Massachusetts scored the highest, with 10 out of 10, and North Carolina and Washington also scoring high, both with 9s.

“Health emergencies can quickly disrupt, derail and divert resources from other ongoing priorities and efforts from across the government,” said Rich Hamburg, interim president and CEO, TFAH. “Many areas of progress that were made after 9/11 and the anthrax attacks to improve health security have been undercut. We aren’t adequately maintaining a strong and steady defense, leaving us unnecessarily vulnerable when new threats arise.”

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