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Keeping You Healthy: Group Says Mississippi Meets Some Standards to Fight Disease

JACKSON, Miss.–Infectious diseases like measles, mumps and polio are still around and you can still get them if you’re not vaccinated, said the Trust for America’s Health. Deputy Director Rich Hamburg told News Mississippi Friday that the Magnolia State is doing some things right when it comes to keeping you from getting those diseases and preventing outbreaks of flu and Ebola.

“This is the second year running that the state has increased public health funding,” said Hamburg. “Only 28 states had done that. Also there is a target of 90 percent vaccination rate for Hepatitis B.”

Hamburg said Mississippi has also conducted drills to see if the state’s labs could handle an emergency and  that HIV reporting on viral load has improved.

He said their organization measures ten factors and that Mississippi only met four, though.

“We do need to ramp up vaccination rates. The most available data that we have had only 37 percent of the population getting vaccinated for the annual flu. That’s almost two thirds of the population not getting that vaccination.”

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He said the state should be able to monitor outbreaks as they are occurring, have an expert workforce that can ID an outbreak and work to fight it, to have enough medicines and vaccines to stop the spread of a disease and effective communications.

He said the public should also be informed better.

“There’s complacency. There’s an assumption that it doesn’t happen anymore. That you can’t get mumps, you can’t get measles. you can’t get polio, and we need the vigilance to make sure complacency doesn’t set in and we start to see pockets of these outbreaks.”

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