N.C. more prepared for outbreaks than most states according to report

Wil Petty Staff Writer

December 31, 2013

According to a report from nonprofit Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), North Carolina is more prepared than most states in case of an epidemic attack.

The survey was scored on a scale of one to 10. North Carolina received a score of seven, which was the highest in the South region, and with seven other states, the second highest score given by the group.

Those factors ranged from the state covering HIV screenings through Medicaid programs, to if there had been an increase or maintained level of funding for public health services by the state in the past fiscal year.

“The report’s indicators are developed in consultation with leading public health experts based on data from publicly available resources or information provided by public officials,” the release with the information read.

The report, released on Dec. 17, gives 10 different factors which determined the scores.

North Carolina received a “No” evaluation in “increased or maintained level of funding for public health services from FY 2011-13 to FY 2012-13.” The state also failed to meet the Health and Human Services goal of vaccinating 90 percent of babies against whooping cough and does not have a climate change adaption plan focusing on human health.

In all three parts, a majority of states lacked those same services. According to TFAH, a majority of the states (32) received a score of five or lower.

Only two states (Connecticut and Delaware) and the District of Columbia met the 90 percent mark on the whooping cough vaccination. In 2013, North Carolina saw an increase in Pertussis reporting, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The highest score went to New Hampshire, which received an eight out of 10. Georgia, Nebraska and New Jersey scored the lowest with two out of 10.

For other neighboring states, Tennessee and Virginia received a score of six, while South Carolina received a score of five.

The report was supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, according to the release.

For more information on TFAH, and to read the findings of the report, go to