Public Health Officers Challenge Findings of Bioterror Preparedness Report
Public health officers in California said the state is less prepared for a bioterror incident than a report issued on Tuesday indicates, the Sacramento Bee reports.
For example, the Health Officers Association of California says that the state's supply of infectious disease laboratories is inadequate and that the state does not have enough lab scientists to test for the presence of bioterror agents. However, the report, which was released by the Trust for America's Health, rates the supply of labs and scientists as adequate.
Dr. Glennah Trochet, president-elect of HOAC and the health officer for Sacramento County, questioned the report's findings, citing a Nov. 29 report by the president of the California Association of Public Laboratory Directors that addresses a statewide shortage of laboratory directors and other issues.
Department of Health Services Director Sandra Shewry said that laboratory staffing is "a personal priority" for funding requests for the fiscal year 2006-2007 budget. Shewry said that California has one of the best developed laboratory networks in the nation, adding that state officials would like to improve the network further (Griffith, Sacramento Bee, 12/9).