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New York ranks high for protecting against disease threats

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On Dec. 17, a report by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) was released titled "Outbreaks: Protecting Americans from Infectious Diseases." The authors looked at the policies and capabilities of all 50 states with respect to preventing and controlling infectious disease outbreaks. New York was scored a seven of ten indicators in the report.

New York State received a score of seven for its policies and abilities with respect to infectious disease. It joined 48 states in failing to meet a national goal of vaccinating 90 percent of 19- to 35-month-olds against pertussis. Along with 38 other states and the District of Columbia, it failed to vaccinate at least half of the state's population against influenza during the 2012-2013 flu season. New York also did not increase public health spending from FY 2011-2012 to 2012-2013, one of 33 states and D.C. to not do so.

Key areas that New York scored in, where many other states did not, included having a plan to expand testing at state labs if demand surged 300 percent. The state also scored for having a climate change adaptation plan that included a focus on public health effects. Just one state had a higher score than New York, and seven other states tied with New York.

New Hampshire scored eight of ten in this report. At the other end of the scale, Georgia, Nebraska and New Jersey scored a two of ten. New Hampshire failed to meet the immunization goal for pertussis, and that for influenza in the 2012-2013 season.

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