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Study ranks SD on disease threats

WASHINGTON — A report released Tuesday by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds South Dakota scored five out of 10 on key indicators of policies and capabilities to protect against infectious disease threats.

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“The Outbreaks: Protecting Americans from Infectious Diseases” report finds that the nation’s ability to prevent and control infectious disease outbreaks is hampered by outdated systems and limited resources.

A majority of states (34) scored five or lower out of 10 key indicators in the report. Three states tied for the lowest score, achieving two out of 10 possible indicators — Georgia, Nebraska and New Jersey. Eight states had the highest score, at 7 out of 10: Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington.

“From antibiotic-resistant Superbugs to Salmonella to the seasonal flu, infectious diseases disrupt lives and communities,” said Jeffrey Levi, Ph.D., executive director of TFAH. “Fighting these diseases requires constant vigilance. The bad news is that we found major gaps in the country’s ability to prevent, control and treat outbreaks, leaving Americans at an unacceptable level of unnecessary risk.”

Trust for America’s Health is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing the country.

Source: Trust for America’s Health