Bioterrorism is a silent killer. It’s an insidious weapon of mass destruction; a silent attack we may not even be aware of which can lead to illness, death and vast social disruption. Bioterrorism is deliberate, intentional and an attack against us, through the use of a virus, bacteria or other germs.
Joining McCuistion to talk about this deadly issue are panelists:
Left to Right: Nick Sloan and Gerald Parker
Gerald W. Parker, D.V.M., PhD, M.S:
Vice President for Public Health Preparedness and Response
Texas A&M Health Science Center
Nick Sloan, Director of Emergency Management
Baylor Health Care System
Our experts inform us of the dangers of a bioterrorism attack and what is presently being done by law enforcement and health officials to research and prevent a panic. Although bioterrorism is a centuries old problem, we became more aware of its implications and use as bio warfare after the 9/11 Anthrax attacks. Anthrax itself is a virus. The attack, devised by one scientist, used only 1 gram of Anthrax, yet the 24 letters sent caused 22 people to be infected and resulted in 5 casualties.
While bioterrorism attacks could be on par with a nuclear power detonation; they are conducted at low cost and have low visibility. It is important to quickly define, mitigate and look for solutions. Preparedness and quick response are critical. Yet an attacker has the upper hand. With our highly mobile society, how does one find the point of origin? Category A and B diseases are reported immediately but days can lapse before that point of origin is found and many thousands could be infected. The inoculation period could take days to weeks.
Instant communication is ideal, yet has to be done without creating a panic. One of the roles of the Center for Disease Control is to research and prevent potential epidemics. There is a nationwide laboratory response network; a system of laboratories with uniform protocol standards which is the foundation of a bio surveillance system which lets us know of unusual infectious diseases. There is a tremendous integration between law enforcement and health officials and an on-going effort at research and prevention and we still need a more real time bio-surveillance system.
Tune in to find out how deadly this danger is and what is being done to prevent attacks that could cause a mass panic.
As always we continue talking about things that matter… with people who care.
Niki Nicastro McCuistion
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Corporate Culture Change Consultant and Problem Solver
Be sure to watch more McCuistion TV programs on our website www.McCuistionTV.com.
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