Issue Paper. Are Local Health Responders Ready for Biological and Chemical Terrorism?
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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The public health and medical communities have long sought to address the threat of biological, chemical, or other weapons of mass destruction WMD and their potential effects on the health and safety of U.S. citizens The United States has made some key advances in the past five years or so toward increasing the capacity of the public health system to conduct disease surveillance, establishing pharmaceutical stockpiles, and improving the training of medical and public health personnel to detect and treat exposed victims. However despite these important strides, another key challenge remains Are local public health agencies and our nations hospitals both public and private prepared to deal with biological or chemical terrorism These local health responders represent the front line for ensuring the publics health against such emerging threats, especially in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the anthrax attacks that followed in the fall of 2001. Yet these events have called into question how prepared our public health system and hospitals actually are to respond effectively to such incidents.
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare
- Unconventional Warfare