A Few Pertinent Questions:
1. When will the "bio-terror
drills" go live?
2. How will police, military and the American people know the difference between "real world" bio-terror and "drilled" bio-terror?
3. Will the video footage of bio-terror drills be used by the government or media for pandemic propaganda purposes at a later date?
Resounding Bio-Terror Drill Themes:
1. A bio-terror attack and
subsequent pandemic is not a matter of "if", but "when".
2. Synchronicity and coordination of ALL local, county, state and federal government emergency agencies is being repeatedly drilled by DHS and FEMA in congruence with COG (Continuity of Government) / Martial Law plans.
Date: May 2004
Abstract: In May 2003, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security conducted a bioterrorism drill. It was the first drill since September 11, 2001. Sixty-four hospitals in Illinois participated in this bioterrorism drill.
Methods: The infection control experiences of eight acute-care hospitals in one healthcare system in the Chicago area were collated from a questionnaire sent to the infection control professionals.
Results: The healthcare system consists of three community teaching hospitals and five community hospitals with an average daily census ranging from 79 to 586. The hospitals report to two independent federal health jurisdictions (Chicago Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Public Health) and three county health departments.
The surge of patients seriously challenged the capacities of the hospitals. More than 300 patients (human and paper) were sent to the eight Emergency Departments during the drill. Approximately one-third of the patients had symptoms consistent with pneumonic plague. A number of patients were dead on arrival or expired soon after.
All hospitals initiated appropriate isolation precautions. Symptomatic patients were placed on airborne precautions in negative-pressure rooms, and personnel wore N95 particulate respirators. Most hospitals switched to surgical masks once the health departments identified the agent. One site recorded an inadequate supply of personal protective equipment. Infection Control or Employee Health gave prophylaxis to exposed patients and personnel.
Communication was a serious problem. The drill was primarily confined to the Emergency Departments, and communication with other departments, including Infection Control, was poor or nonexistent at most sites. Health departments and other outside agencies provided confusing and sometimes contradictory information.
Conclusions: The major lesson learned was that there was inadequate communication to and from the health departments and within the hospitals. Confusion existed, despite advance knowledge of the biological agent. The drill interfered with actual patient care; however the experience was beneficial in preparing hospitals for a real bioterrorism event (AJC, 2004).
Title: KU Joins Bioterror Drill
Date: October 1, 2004
Source: Kansas University
Abstract: KU representatives
will join the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department and other area medical
professionals for a federally funded bioterrorism exercise Oct. 23. The event
also will be a chance for the general public to receive free flu shots.
Flu-X, a mass dispensing exercise, will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Free State High School, 4700 Overland Drive.
The exercise was one objective outlined in the past year by the Douglas County Bioterrorism Task Force, which includes Student Health Services Center chief of staff Myra Strother and chief pharmacist Cathy Thrasher.
“An event that would affect the city of Lawrence would also affect KU,” Thrasher said. “This is a good way for Watkins and other medical entities to plan and practice in case of an emergency.”
Health department officials said the exercise was designed to provide local agencies, including Student Health Services, an opportunity to practice vaccinating a large group of people in a relatively short period of time.
During the Flu-X exercise, shots will be available to the public at no cost in return for their participation. Anyone 6 months or older may receive a flu shot. Those eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, First Guard or HealthWave should bring insurance cards. Those agencies will be billed for vaccinations.
Douglas County is one of 10 counties in Kansas selected for the Flu-X exercise. The others are Crawford, Geary, Lyon, Osborne, Pratt, Reno, Saline, Seward and Shawnee.
Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department officials said they were hoping for high turnout to give the agency a chance to practice its response to a public health emergency.
“The best way for us to see our plan in action is to have good turnout on that day to receive a flu shot,” said Kay Kent, health department director. “The Flu-X exercise also gives the public the experience of participating in a mass immunization clinic” (Kansan University, 2004).