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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., one of four Republican senators named to a conference committee on bioterrorism legislation, said funding intended to help defend against bioterrorism and other public health emergencies will help strengthen Wyoming's ability to respond to a biological threat.

Wyoming will receive a grant of about $6.5 million to go toward the upgrade of infectious disease surveillance and investigation, enhancing the readiness of hospital systems and expanding public health capacities.

"This grant will help increase our capability to respond effectively to a biological threat and will give state and local communities the resources needed to begin plugging the gaps that may exist in our public health systems," said Enzi. "The Administration is doing a smart thing by sending the money to the states and allowing them to decide where it would be most useful. The states know where they need to improve and I am confident our Wyoming officials will put this funding to good use and help us better prepare for disaster."

Allocation of the funds is made up of two parts. The first is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is designed to support local health departments. The Health Resources and Services Administration will provide the second portion of the funds which are to be used to create regional hospital plans.

Bioterrorism preparedness grants to all the states total $1.1 billion. The funding comes from a bioterrorism appropriations bill passed by Congress last year and signed by the President earlier this month. Each state will receive a base amount of $5 million with additional allocations based on its share of the total U.S. population. States may begin spending a portion of their funds immediately to avoid delays in implementing preparedness plans.