This photograph of a laboratory worker wearing protective gear is included in the CDC report. (CDC image)

CDC Supporting Public Health Agencies Nationwide

The agency has issued a report summarizing its activities and investments in 2012 and 2013 to help local agencies prepare for and respond to public health threats.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows how it has supported state and local agencies' ability to respond to public health crises during the past two years. An assessment of state and select local preparedness also is included in "2013-2014 National Snapshot of Public Health Preparedness," the sixth annual report from CDC's Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response.

The report includes fact sheets about all 50 states, four large metropolitan areas (New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles County), and eight U.S. territories funded by CDC's Public Health Emergency Preparedness cooperative agreement, as well as summaries about the responses to Hurricane Sandy, the West Nile Virus outbreak in Texas, and the Joplin, Mo., tornado.

"CDC support for state emergency preparedness is vital to the health security of Americans," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., MPH. "The lives protected by the public health response to Hurricane Sandy, the fungal meningitis outbreak, and the tornadoes in Joplin are just a few examples of how communities and CDC can work together to protect the public's health when it's needed most."

During 2012, for al 62 PHEP awardees, Emergence Management Program activities included 185 engagements and 204 exercises. Another highlight: Lead state responders reported for immediate duty within 27 minutes of receiving notification of a potential public health emergency, which was nine minutes faster than the 2011 national average, according to CDC.

"The ability of our local and state health departments to be innovative and maintain a steady level of preparedness despite extensive budget cuts is reassuring," esaid Ali Khan, M.D., MPH, director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response. "However, preventing an erosion of our nation's health security will be difficult in the current fiscal environment."

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