Preparation for possible bioterrorist attacks is leading to broader public health benefits, with some public health departments able to hire additional staff and greater public awareness of potential threats making it easier to track nonterrorist concerns such as West Nile virus, diabetes and obesity, the Center for Studying Health System Change said in a new report. Public health officials also reported greater collaboration among local, state and federal authorities; upgraded communication technologies; and better plans to handle public health emergencies. But officials also expressed concern that resources were being diverted from other public health issues and complained about insufficient funding for the smallpox vaccination program. The report is available at www.hschange.org. -- by Tony Fong
Antiterror steps benefiting public health: report
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