New report recommends improvements to US outbreak response

| March 8, 2013

A newly published report by the Center for Biosecurity of UPMC in the USA examines the how the country responds to outbreaks of foodborne illness and recommends a number of improvements.

The ‘When Good Food Goes Bad’ report highlights the significant public health burden of foodborne diseases in the USA, citing 40 million cases, 128,000 hospitalisations and 3,000 deaths each year. It estimates the total annual economic cost to be at least $77 billion.

Effective surveillance and rapid response to outbreaks are identified as critical to overall preparedness, while determining the source of outbreaks remains the biggest challenge as supply chains grow more complex.

The report makes a number of recommendations, including government funding for new surveillance and diagnostic technologies, better federal funding for state health departments and other agencies and better integration of surveillance activity. It is also suggested that more use could be made of expertise and data in the private sector.

The full report can be accessed here.

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