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MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

1. Household Preparedness for Public Health Emergencies — Selected States, 2006–2010

CDC
Division of News & Electronic Media
404-639-3286

Similar to previous studies, the findings in this report generally indicate increased levels of disaster and emergency preparedness among men, English-speaking persons, and households with more-educated adults.  During a study involving 14 states and spanning 5-years, CDC found a significant number of respondents had adequate supplies in the event there was a disaster or emergency. Nearly 90 percent reported having 3-day supply of medications, 83 percent stockpiled enough food for 3-days, and 53 percent had enough water to last 3-days.  However, the results also showed only 21 percent had a written evacuation plan.  The study was part of CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the world’s largest, ongoing telephone health survey system tracking health conditions and risk behaviors in the United States yearly since 1984.

2. Assessment of Household Preparedness During Training Exercises — Two Metropolitan Counties, Tennessee, 2011

CDC
Division of News & Electronic Media
404-639-3286

Utilizing CDC’s Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) to determine the readiness level of a jurisdiction is a vital tool for emergency response planners tasked with ensuring the resiliency of a community following a disaster. The Tennessee Department of Health conducted two community assessments in 2011 in two metropolitan regions measuring household preparedness. The results of the assessments showed that roughly only one-third of households reported being “well-prepared” to handle disasters. In one of the surveyed counties, only 11 percent of households reported having a written disaster evacuation plan.  This exercise of disaster assessment capabilities reminds us that the health community has much more to do to prepare for disasters.

3. Tuberculosis Genotyping — United States, 2004–2010

CDC
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
404-639-8895

Overall improvements in national tuberculosis genotype surveillance in recent years can help to promptly detect outbreaks and refine public health efforts to control TB. TB genotyping is a laboratory method that looks at the genetics of the bacteria that cause TB disease. When genotyping results and TB surveillance data are linked, this information can help health departments detect TB outbreaks by identifying cases likely to be in the same chain of transmission. The TB Genotyping Information Management System (TB GIMS) – a collaboration between CDC, laboratories, and health departments – is a secure online web portal that provides health departments with easy access to national TB genotyping results and surveillance data.  For this analysis, the completeness of TB GIMS data from 2004–2010 was analyzed from 51 reporting areas in the United States.  The proportion of culture-positive TB cases with genotyping results increased from 51.2 percent in 2004 (when genotyping was first introduced nationally) to 88.2 percent in 2010. Based on these data, 17 percent of all TB genotype clusters in 2008–2010 were identified as potential outbreaks needing further evaluation. Timeliness of linked genotyping and surveillance data improved from 22 weeks to 11 weeks during 2010. As the United States moves towards TB elimination, genotype surveillance can lead to continued refinement of TB control activities.

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