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Training for Bioterrorism Attack

The real thing could happen. That's why they were busy dealing with a simulated anthrax attack in south Georgia. What started as a summertime celebration in south Georgia ended in chaos and fear after festival-goers fell victim to an anthrax attack.

Percy Chastang, an anthrax "victim,” said, "I'm feeling kind of worried. I think the biggest thing is the nervousness from seeing what's going on. I don't know what's about to happen to me.”

Hundreds of victims were ushered to rallying points, then shuttled off to a dispensing site to receive proper treatment against the bioterrorist attack. Fortunately this was only a test.

Danny Edwards, Tift County EMS Director, says, "If it had been an actual breakout I think you would have seen probably a lot of chaos, a lot of excitement in the real world. What we are doing today is a prophylactic treatment type thing."

Law enforcement, emergency management, and public health officials from around south Georgia teamed up for the widespread practice distribution of medication to treat the anthrax victims.

Jennifer Steedley of South Health District says, "We are a smaller area, thank goodness. We're not metro and we're not trying to deal with millions and millions of people at one time."

Reducing response and distribution times is making south Georgia emergency crews better able to respond to any type of bioterrorist attack.

Tuesday's exercise was the first time the Southern Health District has tested its dispensing plan for the strategic national stockpile.


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