Extreme weather, extreme outbreaks, and extreme science-based preparedness and response

From the CDC’s blog, Public Health Matters:

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the news media has increased discussion and debate about what needs to be done in the future to better prepare our country for emergencies. Whether it’s another superstorm or the next H1N1, disasters are inevitable.

Last year, 11 disasters surpassed $1 billion in losses each, including Superstorm Sandy and  Hurricane Isaac. Tornadoes across the Great Plains, Texas, and the Southeast and Ohio Valley and introduced us to the cool term “derecho.” Some experts link these and other severe weather disasters to climate change. According to NOAA, the average temperature in 2012 for the contiguous United States was 3.2 degrees above normal and a full degree higher than the previous warmest year recorded.

Weather is not the only thing affected by climate. Similarly, the ecologic, social, and microbial factors that drive new and emerging infectious diseases will lead to novel pandemics in the footsteps of HIV/AIDS, influenza, SARS, or healthcare acquired infections. While the world is clearly a safer place, there remain determined individuals who would not hesitate to use biologic, chemical, or radiologic agents for nefarious purposes.

A recent CNN opinionExternal Web Site Icon piece on our nation’s level of preparedness made seemingly sound points, but it does not consider the great strides we’ve made in  public health to protect our nation; and it misses a key point we struggle with – how to get individuals involved.

CDC’s public health preparedness program is just one of the federal investments to secure our nation’s health.

Read more here.

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