BIOTERRORISM RESOURCES AND AWARENESS IN TARRANT COUNTY

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2013-04-12

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Pfeiffer, Catherine

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Abstract

Purpose: This poster is a systematic review of the methods and algorithms available to health care professionals in Dallas and Fort Worth that minimize the impact of a possible bioterrorism attack. This includes background information on recognizing and classifying biological threats, as well as a discussion of ways such threats can affect public health and community function. Methods: We conducted a thorough search of electronically accessible resources, a listing of resources available to Tarrant County and surrounding areas, and condensed classifications of bioterror agents that may be encountered. We contacted the Tarrant County Public Health Department and utilized CDC publications as main sources, as well as other published literature, FEMA, and the Red Cross. Results: Dallas/Fort Worth's quarantine station is one of nineteen CDC quarantine stations in the United States and responds to threats in five states including Texas. Within the CDC's laboratory response network there is a single level II level laboratory in the state of Texas, with the ability to analyze select toxins and nerve agents. Among the available tools for reporting and responding to bioterrorism activities is the CDC's Early Aberration Reporting System, which may be utilized by the public for surveillance of bioterrorism-related cases at the local and state level. Some of the other resources with great potential to shorten response times and improve efficiency are the Readiness Plan Templates for healthcare facilities, response protocols and descriptions, and reporting outlets. Conclusions: Dallas/Fort Worth's quarantine station is one of nineteen CDC quarantine stations in the United States and responds to threats in five states including Texas. Within the CDC's laboratory response network there is a single level II level laboratory in the state of Texas, with the ability to analyze select toxins and nerve agents. Among the available tools for reporting and responding to bioterrorism activities is the CDC's Early Aberration Reporting System, which may be utilized by the public for surveillance of bioterrorism-related cases at the local and state level. Some of the other resources with great potential to shorten response times and improve efficiency are the Readiness Plan Templates for healthcare facilities, response protocols and descriptions, and reporting outlets.

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