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2003 News from Mecklenburg County

November 11, 2003


Charlotte, NC - The Mecklenburg County Health Department will be participating in an on-going exercise to test its plans to distribute large quantities of medication after a bioterror event. The Health Department's role in the exercise is to establish a distribution site for drugs in response to a disease outbreak.
Volunteers at this site will act as residents potentially exposed to an infectious disease.  Participating staff will then practice moving them through the distribution system in real time based on their pre-scripted symptoms and patient histories.
"By participating in this exercise, we want to test what we've put on paper to be better prepared should this type of response ever be needed," said Dr. Stephen Keener, medical director for the Mecklenburg County Health Department.
This is the second phase of the "Triple Play" exercise being conducted by the state Division of Public Health's Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHP&R).   The first phase of the exercise took place in October and the final, third phase will take place December 10 - 12.  Phase I of the exercise simulated identification of a disease outbreak and the activation of the local and state response.  Phase II of this exercise focuses on the state's request for support using the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).
The Strategic National Stockpile is a national storehouse of antibiotics, chemical antidotes, anti-toxins and other medical and surgical items.  The Strategic National Stockpile is designed to supplement and re-supply state and local health departments in the event of a national emergency.
Mecklenburg Health Department
As part of this exercise, the Mecklenburg County Health Department will receive and distribute a simulated supply of drugs from the state to respond to a suspected biological attack.  In keeping with the exercise, the state will have ordered and received the simulated drug shipment from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through its Strategic National Stockpile program.

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