HHS provides $1.2b for bioterrorism preparedness

The Health and Human Services Department has made $1.2 billion available to states, territories and four metropolitan areas to strengthen their response to terrorism and other public health emergencies.

The funds will be used to improve infectious-disease surveillance and investigation; enhance the preparedness 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.

The funds will also be used to exercise existing response plans, test capabilities and evaluate improvements as part of national emergency preparedness and response efforts.

HHS' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing $766 million to develop emergency-ready public health departments by upgrading, improving and sustaining their preparedness and response capabilities for 'all-hazards' public health emergencies.

Included in CDC's total is $5.4 million for the Early Warning Infectious Disease Surveillance program'specifically for states bordering Canada and Mexico'to develop and implement a plan to provide effective detection, investigation and reporting of urgent infectious disease cases in the shared border regions of the three nations.

HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration is providing $450 million for states to develop medical surge capacity and capability to deal with mass-casualty events.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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