Report: Kansas Ranks Near Bottom In Preparedness For Infectious Disease Outbreaks

Dec 18, 2015

Credit Trust for America's Health

Kansas is one of seven states that rank in the bottom tier in a newly released report measuring states’ readiness to deal with infectious disease outbreaks.

The report by two national health policy groups finds that most states are ill-prepared to deal with the threat of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, resurgent illnesses like whooping cough, tuberculosis and gonorrhea, and other threats.

Kansas scored on only three of 10 key indicators measuring efforts at outbreak prevention, detection, diagnosis and response.

Sara Belfry, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Health & Environment, said the situation in Kansas is not as dire as portrayed. For example, she said, the state barely missed the report’s 50 percent target for adult vaccinations.

“I think the important thing for Kansans to know is that we are prepared to make sure that we’re able to respond in the event of an infectious disease outbreak," Belfry says.

Missouri scored on five of the report’s 10 indicators, putting it in the middle of the pack.