Issues and Recommendations to Safeguard Public Health, as Identified by the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease

“In today’s globally connected society, an infectious disease epidemic anywhere can soon become an emergency everywhere.”

On October 6, 2014, Texas Governor Rick Perry issued Executive Order RP79, authorising the creation of the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response. This task force is a direct result of the Ebola cases in Texas, and the nation-wide apparent lack of preparation for infectious disease control and treatment. The task force was charged with the duty to provide evidence-based expert assessments, protocols and recommendations on the Ebola epidemic and possible spread to other parts of the United States. Another duty was to provide a comprehensive strategic emergency management plan for incident command teams and state and local government partners. 

Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response released their initial findings just days after creation of the group, on October 17, 2014, in a short list of Recommendations. Their second set of Recommendations came less than two weeks later, on October 31, 2014. The Task Force has met and exceeded expectations on all fronts, as it was not required to submit its findings until December 1, 2014. 

This required report is the Full Report and Recommendations regarding the state’s capabilities to prepare for and respond to infectious diseases. Though the report came from the Ebola infections, the findings can be applied to all states and all infectious diseases. Key recommendations from this final report include: 

  • Education of Institutions, Health Care Providers, First Responders, and Others
  • Care and Monitoring of Domestic Animals
  • Development of Mobile App for Real-time Data Support to Public Health Officials
  • Establishment of Biocontainment Treatment Facilities and Pediatric Unit

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