State News

N.C. earns perfect score on health emergency test

Posted December 9, 2008 4:26 a.m. EST
Updated December 9, 2008 3:07 p.m. EST

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— North Carolina is one of the most prepared states in the country when it comes to dealing with public health emergencies, according to a national report released Tuesday.

N.C. was one of five states that earned a perfect 10, according The Trust for America's Health. The state received a nine out of 10 last year.

The group measured whether states were prepared in 10 categories, which were:

  • Has adequate plans to distribute emergency vaccines, antidotes and medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile
  • Purchased 50 percent or more of its share of federally subsidized antiviral medications to prepare for a potential pandemic flu outbreak,
  • Public health lab has an intrastate courier system that operates 24 hours a day for specimen pickup and delivery
  • State public health lab can meet the expectations of the state's pandemic influenza plan
  • Uses a disease surveillance system that is compatible with CDC's National Electronic Disease Surveillance System
  • Has laws that reduce or limit the liability exposure for health care volunteers who serve in a public health emergency
  • Has laws that reduce or limit the liability for businesses and non-profit organizations that serve in a public health emergency
  • Has a Medical Reserve Corps coordinator
  • Identified the pathogen responsible for reported food-borne disease outbreaks at a rate that met or exceeded the national average of 44 percent
  • Increased or maintained funding for public health programs from fiscal year 2006-07 to fiscal year 2007-08