Outbreaks 2015: Protecting Americans From Infectious Diseases

Outbreaks 2015: Protecting Americans From Infectious Diseases

The United States must redouble its efforts to protect the country from new infectious disease threats such as MERS-CoV and antibiotic-resistant superbugs as well as resurgent illnesses like whooping cough, tuberculosis, and gonorrhea, a report from the and the warns. The report, (116 pages, PDF), found that twenty-eight states failed to meet targets on more than five out of ten indicators of health security preparedness, with only five — Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, New York, and Virginia — meeting targets on as many as eight out of ten indicators, and Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Utah tying for "least prepared," meeting only three. Among their recommendations, the report's authors urge U.S. public health officials to increase the resources available to ensure that every state can maintain and modernize its epidemiology and laboratory capacity; reduce antibiotic overuse; and strengthen efforts to monitor healthcare-associated infections.