BURKE, Va. (WDVM) — As part of an exercise required by the CDC, Fairfax County and other jurisdictions in the National Capital Region simulated an Anthrax breakout on Friday.
Anthrax can be used as a biological weapon and requires a fast response. In 2001, letters laced with the bacteria were sent through the U.S. mail. Five Americans were killed and 17 were sickened. The FBI calls it “the largest and most complex investigation in the history of law enforcement.”
Residents around the county volunteered their time to test out the county’s response. This drill is repeated every five years, but Public Health Emergency Management Coordinator Jesse Habourn says Fairfax County participates in some sort of test every year.
“In the past 15 years, we’ve prepared tremendously to [respond] in a more efficient way and in a larger scale, in the event that we’d have to dispense life saving medication to the 1.1 million residents in Fairfax County,” said Habourn.
Volunteers arrived at Lake Braddock Secondary School, filled out a form with allergies to medications, and waited in line to be “dispensed” the proper Anthrax treatment.