Bioterrorism and Health System Preparedness: Addressing the Smallpox Threat: Issues, Strategies, and Tools [open pdf - 190KB]
This document is an issue brief on the threat of smallpox by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality under the United States Department of Health and Human Services. "A bioterrorist attack using smallpox would pose a significant threat to public health in the United States. The reintroduction of the smallpox virus--which has not infected anyone in the world for nearly three decades--into an unprotected population could cause substantial morbidity and mortality and overwhelm public health resources. While the threat of such an attack is of national concern, it is at the local level that public health officials and health system planners must be ready to respond. On March 3, 2003, an audioconference sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) examined the implementation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) smallpox vaccination program and strategies to assist public health officials in responding to a potential smallpox outbreak. Following presentations by the panelists, listeners were invited to submit questions during a question and answer period. This issue brief reviews vaccination efforts and identifies tools to help hospital administrators and emergency responders prepare for an outbreak of smallpox and other deadly diseases that can be caused by biological or chemical attacks."
Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality: http://www.ahrq.gov/
Bioterrorism and Health System Preparedness (January 2004), Issue Brief No. 1