Ohio Wants Computers to Track Deadly Diseases

March 17, 2004
by Regina McEnery
The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Imagine tuning in every day to the infectious-disease version of Doppler...Building a public health system able to weather a catastrophe - whether it be a smallpox attack or the next flu pandemic - may ultimately depend on how reliably a state tracks unusual patterns of illness. Trust for America's Health also found fault with the pace of bioterrorism programs. In a report released last fall that ranked all 50 states, the organization, a Washington, D.C., group that tracks public-health issues, noted that 19 percent of a $30.2 million CDC grant awarded to Ohio nearly 18 months ago hadn't been spent. "They have since received another $34 million from the CDC, in 2003," said Shelley Hearne, executive director of Trust for America's Health. "Our report didn't even account for that."

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