Running Head: Bioterrorism Attack 1
Community & Public Health
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ERBC (2007) website states that: A bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants (ERBC, 2007). Bioterrorism agents can be separated into three categories, depending how easily they can be spread. These categories are as followed: category A, which is considered the highest risk, category B, and category C, which is the third highest category.
The world??™s ability to respond to bioterrorism rest largely in states public health system. Although, much of the action that is taken comes from the federal level. Garfield (2005) states that:
States hold primary responsibility for organizing public health and bioterrorism preparedness activities. Some states delegate authority to local health agencies while others maintain a centralized approach. Generally, states take the lead in many detection activities. They provide advanced laboratory capacity and epidemiological expertise, coordinate and direct-surveillance, led planning and coordination efforts among localities, law enforcement, providers, and other state agencies, and advise on diagnosis, treatment, or remediation of hazardous conditions. States also provide and funnel funding to local efforts (Garfield, 2005).
Anthrax is considered to be a bioterrorism threat mainly, because it can be created easily in a lab, and is very durable. Spores of anthrax can lie dormant for years entering a living
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host, where they reactivate and multiply. For these reasons, anthrax is considered a bioterrorism weapon. More recently anthrax has been used in bioterrorism attacks in both Japan and the United States (Palemo, 2013). State and localities apply for annually for funding by submitting a detailed work plan to the agencies. Each state or locality receive a base allocation, plus a per capita amount.
Brachman (2002) states that:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a plan for the public health and medical response to a bio terroristic event. In developing this plan, CDC collaborated with an extensive group of other agencies, organizations, and persons and prepared a plan incorporating actions at all levels of responsibility. They have prepared written and website documents and have participated in meetings and training sessions to disseminate their recommended plans. Training exercises include tabletop exercises, held to educate people with responsibilities in carrying out the plan and to point out deficiencies for subsequent modification (Brachman, 2002).
Communication is important in an emergency response, because it allows citizens and public health officials alike to be prepared for what it is to come, and also prevention and readiness. Holding public hearings or meetings can be an effective way to improve communication. Doing this allows the public to get involved, and ask questions. At the same time, public officials can learn more about the concerns of the public. Also, holding workshops
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can be an informative way to teach and educate. During this time, an open discussion can take place.
I think my state, just like many other states has become more aware of emergency response since the September 11th attacks on this country. Budget Brief (2002) states that:
2001 Wiscon Act 109, the budget adjustment act, passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Scott McCallum on July 26, 2002, creates new laws relating to public health emergencies and mandates terrorism response training for emergency medical personnel (Budget Brief, 2002).
In conclusion, bioterrorism is a reality that we must be ready to free at any time. It??™s ultimately comes down to the readiness of our federal and state public health officials, to response in a professional and efficient manner. The public themselves must also be aware of these bioterrorism attacks not if they come, but when they come.
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Brachman, S.P. (2002). Bioterrorism: An Update with a Focus on Anthrax
Budget Brief (2002). Budget Briefs: Bioterrorism and Public Health Emergencies; Retrieved from
ERCB (2007). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Emergency Preparedness and
Response; Retrieved from www.commonwealth.org
Garfield, R. (2005). Life Science: What Is Anthrax; Retrieved from www.livescience.com
Palermo, E. (2013). Bioterrorism Anthrax
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