Report: Mississippi not preparing for health emergencies - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Report: Mississippi not preparing for health emergencies

WASHINGTON (AP) - A new report on how well states have prepared for public health emergencies says Mississippi is among seven states that so far aren't participating in a federal program to buy antivirals for a potential influenza pandemic.

The research group the Trust for America's Health concludes that some states have made significant progress since the terrorist and anthrax attacks in 2001. However, critical gaps remain.

The Bush administration has encouraged states to stock up on antivirals in the event of an influenza pandemic. Under one program, the federal government will pay for a quarter of the cost of buying Tamiflu or Relenza, and states pay the remainder for a combined investment of about $680 million. Antivirals reduce the severity of influenza.

The report says Mississippi along with Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and North Dakota have not made the purchases. Mississippi is also among the states that got low scores for preparedness.

Seven states performed adequately in all 10 categories.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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