Not one U.S. state is fully prepared for a major public health threat, according to a new General Accounting Office report.
Although many states have invested in laboratory and communications capabilities, surveillance systems and workforce development, shortcomings remain in surge capacity and regional coordination and planning, the report said.
Most states haven't finalized plans for receiving and distributing medical supplies, vaccines and other material from national stockpiles. In addition, HHS hasn't published a federal plan for addressing an influenza pandemic, which the GAO recommended in 2000.
HHS said the plan is under review and that most states continue to work on their own responses to influenza. The GAO report follows a December 2003 study by the nonpartisan coalition Trust for America's Health, which found that federal bioterrorism funding had led to only modest improvements in states' preparedness.
Click here to read the GAO report.