Public Health Preparedness: 2011 State-by-State Update on Laboratory Capabilities and Response Readiness Planning: An Update on CDC-Funded Preparedness and Response Activities in 50 States and 4 Cities [open pdf - 7MB]
"Strong state and local public health systems are the cornerstone of an effective response to routine as well as large-scale and/or unexpected public health incidents. Public health departments have made progress in building and strengthening their preparedness and response capabilities. A summary of progress in laboratory capabilities and response readiness planning follows. [...] Laboratories identify disease agents, toxins, and other health threats found in clinical specimens, food, or other substances. Rapid detection and characterization of health threats is essential for implementing appropriate control measures that can help mitigate the impact of the threats. The ability to detect and characterize health threats relies on the availability of laboratory equipment, a trained workforce, accurate and consistent methods, and quick data-exchange systems."
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/