What is Bioterrorism?
Simply stated, bioterrorism is the intentional release of harmful bacteria, viruses, or germs. Bioterrorism is used primarily to injure or kill people, cause panic, and disrupt our daily lives.
Unfortunately, little can be done in advance to protect ones self from a bioterrorist attack. However, be assured there is much that government agencies, health care facilities, and public health departments are doing to improve our capacity to protect the public should such an attack occur in Crawford County.
Who is looking out for Crawford County?
All your first responders such as the Sheriff’s Office, Fire Departments, Police Departments, etc., county EMA, the Crawford County General Health District and the Galion City Health Department. The Health Department is responsible for helping protect the residents of Crawford County against outbreaks of infectious disease, whether that disease occurs in nature or because it is released by a terrorist. As a result, grant monies have been provided by Ohio Department of Health through the state Department of Homeland Security and the Center for Disease Control to help our county establish the infrastructure needed to respond to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies.
New equipment items have been purchased, time-consuming emergency response plans have been written or updated, personnel response training in on-going, and quarterly exercises have been establish to practice our response plans with our Regional and local partners. Our local partner, the Galion City Health Department, has also purchased equipment, receives ongoing training, developed response plans, and participates in the training exercises.
What can I do to protect myself?
- Be prepared
- Stay calm
- listen for and follow instructions
Although there are no specific recommendations specific to bioterrorism preparedness at this time, we do recommend that families formulate a disaster plan for any event, i.e. flood, tornado, blizzard that includes these emergencies supplies:
- Three day supply of water
- Three day supply of prepackaged, ready to eat dry goods
- Clothing, blankets, and sleeping bags
- First aid kit including current 3-day supply of prescription medications
- Battery-powered radio and flashlight with extra batteries
- Sanitation supplies
- Special needs items for infants, the elderly, or disabled family members
CDC Public Response Service and Phone Number
As a result of the Anthrax outbreaks following the September 2001 U.S. terrorist attacks, American Social Health Association and the CDC combined efforts to establish a new call and e-mail center to address the concerns of the American public. The CDC Public Response Service began operating in October 2001 and provides CDC approved information to the general public about biological and chemical terrorism. The service provides information on anthrax, small pox, botulism and other biological and chemical agents. The service is also available to respond to concerns about other emergency public health issues.
Health Communication Specialists offer clear, concise, up-to-date information and referrals to the public through hotline and e-mail services. The service works with the general public, public health professionals and emergency response teams. This service is available for English and Spanish speakers and for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Hours of operation: Mon-Fri, 8am – 11pm (ET) and Sat-Sun, 10am – 8pm (ET)
Toll-free Numbers: English 1-888-246-2675
For additional information cruise these selected websites:
Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) at http://www.bt.cdc.gov
Homeland Security website at http://www.ready.gov