Newsroom > DHHS News Release


Jan. 20, 2016
Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, 402-471-9356
Nebraska One of Top 11 Scoring States for
Preventing and Controlling Disease Outbreaks

Lincoln— A recent report “Outbreaks – Protecting Americans from Infectious Diseases” released by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says Nebraska scored seven out of 10 key indicators related to preventing, detecting, diagnosing and responding to disease outbreaks.
According to the report, 28 states received a score of 5 or less out of the 10 indicators. Five states   achieved 8 indicators. Six states, including Nebraska scored a 7.

“Nebraska is more prepared now than ever before. Our agency and our partners have trained together and responded together to real-world events like Ebola, H1N1 influenza and outbreaks of Cyclospora, salmonella and mumps,” said Jenifer Roberts-Johnson, Deputy Director of Public Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “But the threat of another disease outbreak or a natural disaster is always on the horizon, which means there’s always more work to be done. Preparedness planning and response never stops and it will continue to be a priority for our agency and our partners across the state.”

Nebraska scored points for:
• Public health funding – state increased or maintained funding for public health between FY 2013-2014 and FY 2014-2015.
• Flu vaccination rates – state vaccinated at least half of its population for seasonal flu during 2014-2015 flu season.
• Childhood immunization school requirement policies – State law excludes philosophical exemptions entirely or requires a parental notarization or affidavit to achieve a religious or philosophical exemption for school attendance.
• HIV/AIDS surveillance – state requires reporting of all CD4 cell count and HIV viral load data to state HIV surveillance program.
• Public health laboratories – two points (state laboratories having a biosafety professional and providing biosafety training and/or information).
• Food safety – state met national performance target of testing 90 percent of reported E.coli O157 cases within four days.
Nebraska did not score points for:
• Syringe exchange programs – state authorizes syringe exchange programs.
• Climate change and infectious disease – state currently has climate change adaptation plans completed.
• Central line-associated bloodstream infections – state reduced the standard infection rate for central line-associated bloodstream infections 2012-2013.
Score Summary:
A full list of all of the indicators and scores and the full report are available on the Trust for America's Health website - For the state-by-state scoring, states received one point for achieving an indicator or zero points if they did not achieve the indicator, with zero the lowest possible overall score and 10 the highest. 
8 out of 10: Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, New York and Virginia
7 out of 10: Alaska, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Nebraska
6 out of 10: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin
5 out of 10: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington
4 out of 10: Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wyoming
3 out of 10: Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon and Utah
2 out of 10: Oklahoma

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