(CIDRAP News) – An annual report on state and local public health preparedness offered mixed grades today, saying much progress has been made in the past decade but that important gaps persist and an ominous budget-cutting trend continued in most states.
Disclosure: The University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, which publishes CIDRAP News, has produced training programs and materials for the BioWatch program. The news team has no involvement in the center's BioWatch work.
In the wake of a newspaper investigation that questioned the value of the federal BioWatch program for detecting dangerous airborne pathogens, some public health officials familiar with the program acknowledge that it's far from perfect, but they say it's not time to scrap it.
(CIDRAP News) – A detailed expert assessment of what it would take for the nation to improve its resilience to natural disasters, infectious disease outbreaks, and other emergencies by 2030 found that although the goal is big and wide ranging, a national vision centered on measurable short-term goals could make a big difference.
(CIDRAP News) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a report last week on the nation's progress in emergency preparedness, highlighting successes in all-hazards planning and gaps in cybersecurity efforts and disaster recovery.
The report is the first in a series of annual reports designed to gauge key capabilities and help national officials set priorities and fill gaps.
(CIDRAP News) Though much of the nation's ability to detect potentially catastrophic disease outbreaks, manmade or otherwise, is in the hands of state and local agencies, the federal government still lacks a comprehensive view of the role it plays in biosurveillance, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported.
(CIDRAP News) Public health leaders, recalling and reflecting on the anthrax letter attacks of 2001 in a lengthy report released today, say the nation is better prepared to respond to such an emergency than it was 10 years ago, but their confidence is tinged with fear of slipping backward in the current era of budget cutting.