A report that ranks the states for their preparedness for public health emergencies places Iowa in the middle of the pack. Iowa scored four out of ten for preparedness for diseases, disasters and bioterrorism. John Auerbach, president and CEO of Trust for America’s Health, says one category focuses on the immunization level for influenza, and Iowa ranked low.
The report, called “Ready or Not: Protecting the Public’s Health,” also shows Iowa has room for improvement in terms of how well hospitals are prepared for halting the spread of harmful diseases or illnesses.
The report grouped the states into three performance categories, 17 states are in the upper tier, 20 in the middle tier and 13 in the lower. Iowa is in the middle tier, in part, due to issues with nitrates and other pollutants in our waterways.
The report shows deaths in Iowa due to drugs, alcohol or suicide are lower than the national average, but our adult obesity rate is higher than the norm.