Health Officials Participate in Bioterrorisim Drill
By Katie Ridgeway, KWMU
St. Louis, MO – Public health officials in Missouri and Illinois tested their ability to react to a bioterrorism attack Wednesday.
Volunteers lined up to get fake doses of antibiotics at several sites in the St. Louis area as part of a regional exercise.
Pamela Walker heads Missouri's Center for Emergency Response and Terrorism.
She says the metro area was a good place for emergency responders to practice.
"We think that the reality of the situation if you have you know a contagious disease outbreak is it's going to be in one of the major metro areas starting with, and if you stop it there then you can keep it from spreading to the rest of the state," Walker said.
Last year public health officials had major problems with distributing flu vaccine because of manufacturing problems.
But Walker says a federal distribution plan now in place will ensure that local health departments will have adequate supplies of antibiotics in the event of a bioterrorist attack.