New York scores high on report over bio-preparedness

New York has been named one of eight states to have met nine of 10 preparedness measures in the face of a pandemic, a first step in fighting a potential biological attack.

Joining New York were Arkansas, Delaware, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Vermont, The report was prepared by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which last year rated New York's preparedness at a seven out of 10.

New York's point increase stems from raising funding for public health services, its hospital preparedness, its capacity for distributing antiviral medications, its ability to detect and diagnose food borne disease and its Medical Reserve Corps' readiness.

"As the H1N1 pandemic demonstrates, disease outbreaks and other health emergencies frequently happen with little warning, and when they do, the ability to mount a quick and effective public health response is crucial to reduce illness and save lives," he said," Gov. David Paterson told the Poughkeepsie Journal.

The one unsatisfactory area for New York uncovered by the study was in its lack of a law or legal opinion to limit the liability of not-for-profit organizations and corporations that provide volunteer help during emergencies. Thirty-two other states currently have such laws in place.
Nearly two-thirds of all states scored a seven or less with Montana scoring the lowest with a three. No states scored a 10.