HHS provides $1.3b in state bioterror funds

The Health and Human Services Department has made available $1.3 billion to states and large metropolitan areas to strengthen their ability to respond to terrorism and other public health emergencies.

'Our ability to respond effectively to public health emergencies is an important part of securing our homeland,' HHS secretary Mike Leavitt said today in a statement. The funds aim to build on programs states have developed over the last three years to deal with bioterror attacks or infectious disease outbreaks, like SARS or West Nile virus.

The funds will upgrade infectious-disease surveillance and investigation; enhance the readiness of hospitals and the health care system to deal with large numbers of casualties; expand public health laboratory and communications capacities; and improve connectivity between hospitals and city, local and state health departments to enhance disease reporting.

HHS also provided $1.3 billion to states and metropolitan areas last year.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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