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$14 million to help Utah fight diseases

WASHINGTON — Utah will receive $14 million to respond to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies, such as infectious disease outbreaks like SARS or the West Nile virus.

The money will be distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a statement said Tuesday. Utah's share is part of $1.4 billion that will be distributed nationally.

The money will allow the state to continue planning and upgrading its public health system. It is also for hospitals that will be called to respond in emergencies, the statement said. The funds will be used to assess state and local readiness in such emergencies. It also will be used for surveillance and epidemiology, biological and chemical labs, communications technology, public health education and smallpox preparedness planning, the statement said.