Terrorism Preparedness in State Health Departments --- United States, 2001--2003

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2003-10-31
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Shipp, G.
Quinlisk, P.
Lohff, C.
Franklin, N.
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Dickson, James
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Meat Science
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Abstract

The anthrax attacks in fall 2001 highlighted the role of infectious disease (ID) epidemiologists in terrorism preparedness and response. Beginning in 2002, state health departments (SHDs) received approximately $1 billion in new federal funding to prepare for and respond to terrorism, infectious disease outbreaks, and other public health threats and emergencies (1). This funding is being used in part to improve epidemiologic and surveillance capabilities. To determine how states have used a portion of their new funding to increase ID epidemiology capacity, the Iowa Department of Public Health's Center for Acute Disease Epidemiology and the Iowa State University Department of Microbiology conducted two surveys of U.S. state epidemiologists during September 2000--August 2001 and October 2002--June 2003. This report summarizes the results of these surveys, which determined that although the number of SHD epidemiology workers assigned to ID and terrorism preparedness increased by 132%, concerns remained regarding the ability of SHDs to hire qualified personnel. These findings underscore the need to develop additional and more diverse training venues for current and future ID epidemiologists.

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This article is from Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 52 (2003): 1051.

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