Arkansas is the state least prepared for an infectious disease outbreak, according to a new analysis.
But no state is perfect: none scored higher than an eight on the 10-point scale used in “Outbreaks: Protecting Americans from Infectious Disease,” a new report assessing readiness for infectious threats and conducted by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The study is not comprehensive and there’s a warning not to use it to judge state health departments and systems. But scoring a 2 on a 10-pont scale put us all alone at the bottom.
Test factors included public health funding, information management, childhood and flu vaccination rates, preparedness for climate change, food safety, efforts to minimize infection of two types and testing how fast information moves between labs in emergencies.
Here’s the breakdown for Arkansas. It scored positively in only two categories:
* Preparing for Emerging Threats: From July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, public health lab reports conducting an exercise or utilizing a real event to evaluate the time for sentinel clinical laboratories to acknowledge receipt of an urgent message from laboratory.
* Food Safety: State met the national performance target of testing 90 percent of reported Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157 cases within four days.