Health
7:07 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Study: North Carolina Ranks High Among States In Fighting Disease Outbreaks

WUNC's Gurnal Scott reports on a new study that finds North Carolina is more prepared than most states to fight infectious disease outbreaks.
 A Washington non-profit group says North Carolina ranks high in stopping infectious diseases.  The Trust for America's Health released a report on a year-long study that says the state hit seven of 10 marks in preventing outbreaks.  Spokesman Albert Lang says North Carolina is focused on more than just maladies common in less-developed nations.
Credit Wake Med

 "There's other things like whooping cough... measles... stuff like that that, we thought kind were almost eradicated in the United States that are now making a comeback," Lang says.

North Carolina tracks data from hospitals detailing who in the state has what disease and where.  Dr. Peter Leone is a specialist with the Infectious Disease Division at UNC Chapel Hill's School of Medicine.  He says a program called 'N-C Detect' helps

"We live in a world now where people move very quickly from place to place and the ability of diseases to follow that movement is lightning fast," Leone says.  "And the responsibility to detect those things and respond to it is critical."

North Carolina was the only southern state reaching seven of the survey's 10 goals.  New Hampshire scored highest with eight.