Infectious Disease Outbreaks: Bioterrorism Preparedness Efforts Have Improved Public Health Response Capacity, but Gaps Remain

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Following the bioterrorist events of the fall of 2001, there has been concern that the nation may not be prepared to respond to a major public health threat, such as the current outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Whether a disease outbreak occurs naturally or is due to the intentional release of a harmful biological agent by a terrorist, much of the initial response would occur at the local level, particularly hospitals and their emergency departments. Efforts to plan for worldwide influenza pandemics are useful for understanding ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. April 9, 2003.

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Description

Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Following the bioterrorist events of the fall of 2001, there has been concern that the nation may not be prepared to respond to a major public health threat, such as the current outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Whether a disease outbreak occurs naturally or is due to the intentional release of a harmful biological agent by a terrorist, much of the initial response would occur at the local level, particularly hospitals and their emergency departments. Efforts to plan for worldwide influenza pandemics are useful for understanding public health preparedness for other large-scale outbreaks. GAO was asked to examine (1) the preparedness of state and local public health agencies and organizations for responding to a large-scale infectious disease outbreak, (2) the preparedness of hospitals for responding to a large-scale infectious disease outbreak, and (3) federal and state efforts to prepare for an influenza pandemic. This testimony is based on GAO's report, Bioterrorism: Preparedness Varied across State and Local Jurisdictions, GAO-03-373 (Apr. 7, 2003), a survey of hospitals GAO conducted to assess their level of emergency preparedness, and information updating GAO's prior report on federal and state planning for an influenza pandemic, Influenza Pandemic: Plan Needed for Federal and State Response, GAO-01-4 (Oct. 27, 2000)."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • April 9, 2003

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  • June 10, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Infectious Disease Outbreaks: Bioterrorism Preparedness Efforts Have Improved Public Health Response Capacity, but Gaps Remain, text, April 9, 2003; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc289838/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.