Report: Utah fairly prepared for health emergencies

Flu outbreak »But state has purchased only 25 percent of medications needed.

December 16, 2008
by Heather May
The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah is fairly well-prepared to handle a health emergency, meeting seven out of 10 indicators considered critical by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnston Foundation.

Only five states received passing grades on all 10 indicators. More than half of states and the District of Columbia scored seven or less.

Utah was credited for having plans to distribute emergency vaccines, antidotes and medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile. It has also proven its mettle at identifying pathogens responsible for food-bourne disease outbreaks at or above the national rate of 44 percent. But it has only purchased 52,000 doses, or 21 percent, of its share of the antiviral medications Tamiflu or Relenza in case of a potential pandemic flu outbreak.

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