Ebola, influenza, some new disease that turns people into zombies — does your state have what it takes to battle an outbreak?
No state comes close to perfection, but some are a lot better prepared than others, according to a report released Thursday by The Trust for America's Health and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The results cut across regions and partisan lines, with states ranked on a 10-point scale.
New Jersey was a lone, under-prepared three in the well-prepared Mid-Atlantic region, while a huge chunk of western states were lacking in the criteria used to measure preparation — criteria that included vaccination prevalence, hospital staff training and facility cleanliness, food safety and public leadership.
"[D]uring the recent Ebola outbreak [we saw] that some of the most basic infectious disease controls failed when tested," said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of The Trust for America's Health. "The Ebola outbreak is a reminder that we cannot afford to let our guard down. We must remain vigilant in preventing and controlling emerging threats - like MERS-CoV, pandemic flu and Enterovirus - but not at the expense of ongoing, highly disruptive and dangerous diseases [such as] seasonal flu, HIV/AIDS, antibiotic resistance and healthcare-associated infections."
America's biggest states — California, Texas, New York and Florida — all scored fairly well, but the top-scoring states were Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont.
The state ranked dead last: Arkansas.
Read the full report here.
Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter