(From the “I wish this was not on my mind” department)
Some useful information on Airborne Anthrax: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention – Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response; American Medical Association – Disaster Preparedness and Medical Response; Officials: Tests Show Presence Of Anthrax In Second Florida Man And At Newspaper Building (via the AP); JAMA Consensus Statement: Anthrax as a Biological Weapon Medical and Public Health Management (from May 1999, it’s excellent and runs down the issues); AMA Statement to Physicians on Anthrax; Further articles from JAMA.
Personal comment: This makes me wonder if my skills as a Respiratory Therapist will be needed in the event of a mass casualty situation. I think though, that aerosol deposition is hard to do and hard to get right. One of the things RTs do is administer medicine in aerosol form. From that I know that to get deposition of drug in the lungs particles in an airborne form it must be carried in aerosol particles of just the right size. I’m not trying to minimize the threat (my sudden, intense need to research this certainly puts me in the “scared witless” category) but I will say that the threat is not on a mass scale, but rather in small outbreaks in small places. Of course, the prediction game is a dodgy one just now. Anyway, read the articles and make your local health care agencies aware of the CDC and JAMA statements.