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H1N1 reveals weaknesses, report concludes

The swine flu pandemic may turn out to be less severe than many had feared, but the H1N1 virus has revealed disturbing weaknesses in the nation's defenses against public health emergencies, according to a new report.

The report, released Tuesday by the Trust for America's Health, a private non-profit think tank, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that 20 states scored six or less on ten key measures of preparedness. Nearly two-thirds of states scored seven or less. The measures included the ability to track available hospital beds as well having sufficient antiviral drugs, laboratory capacity and medical workers in reserve.

Seven states tied for the highest score of nine: Arkansas, Delaware, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Vermont, according to the report entitled Ready or Not? Montana had the lowest score--just three out of 10.

The District scored eight out of 10 while Maryland and Virginia scored seven out of 10.
 
 

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