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Carolinas get high marks on health emergency plans

Sep 21, 2010 5:38:00 PM - thestate.com
Improvements in nationwide readiness for emergencies like bioterrorism or pandemic flu praised by a new report may already be in jeopardy, thanks to dwindling budgets and shrinking staffs.

A report released Tuesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the country's overall preparedness for such emergencies has improved, including in both North and South Carolina, which got high marks in everything from laboratory capabilities to getting the word out to the public.

"Much progress has been made to build and strengthen national public health preparedness and response capabilities," the report says.

But the report measures state activities between Oct. 1, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2008, before the worst effects of the Great Recession began to hit state and local budgets.

"This is not the state of preparedness as it exists in real time today," said Jack Herrmann, senior advisor on public health preparedness for the National Association of County and City Health Officials.