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Volume 8, Number 10—October 2002
THEME ISSUE
Bioterrorism-related Anthrax

Bioterrorism-related Anthrax

Laboratory Response to Anthrax Bioterrorism, New York City, 2001

Michael B. Heller*, Michel L. Bunning†Comments to Author , Martin E.B. France‡, Debra M. Niemeyer§, Leonard Peruski¶, Tim Naimi†, Phillip M. Talboy†, Patrick H. Murray#, Harald W. Pietz†, John Kornblum*, William Oleszko*, Sara T. Beatrice*, and Joint Microbiological Rapid Response Team1New York City Anthrax Investigation Working Group2
Author affiliations: *New York City Department of Health, New York, New York, USA; †Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; ‡Warfighting Concepts and Architecture Integration Division (J-8), The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C., USA; §Joint Program Office for Biological Defense, Falls Church, Virginia, USA; ¶Naval Medical Research Center, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA; #Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro, North Carolina, USA;

Main Article

Table 1

Comparison of the New York City Bioterrorism Response Laboratory requirements before and after October 12, 2001a,b

Before October 12, 2001 After the surge of specimens
Specimen load 1 every 2–3 months 2,700 nasal swabs/2 weeks
3,200 environmental specimens/2 months
Laboratory space One room 10 laboratories
3 evidence rooms
4 support areas
Command center (suite of offices)
Separate storage area for supplies
Staff 2 people rotating on call schedule >75c
Technology Basic microbiology capabilities
• γ phage
• DFA Rapid PCR assays with conventional basic microbiology capabilities
Supplies General laboratory supplies 6 tons flown to NYC from CDC
Miscellaneous No database
1 stand-alone computer Clinical database
Environmental database
30 computers linking all areas of the building

aWhen the first letter tested positive for spores of Bacillus anthracis was received.
bPCR, polymerase chain reaction; DFA, direct fluorescent antibody assay; CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; NYC, New York City.
cFrom the NYC Public Health Laboratory, CDC, NYC Department of Health, and Department of Defense.

Main Article

1 The Joint Microbiological Rapid Response Team consisted of the Biological Defense Research Directorate, Naval Medical Research Center, Bethesda, Maryland: F. Baluyot, M. Boyd, and T. Hudson; 4th Medical Support Squadron, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, USA: L. M. Bayquen and L. Galloway; and 7th Medical Support Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas: L. De Los Santos and C. Sekula.

2 The New York City Anthrax Investigation Working Group consisted of Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Fort Collins: May Chu, David Dennis, Kathleen Julian, Anthony A. Marfin, and Lyle Petersen; CDC, Atlanta: Mary Brandt, Richard Kanwal, Kristy Kubota, Els Mathieu, Steve Ostroff, John Painter, Dejana Selenic, Allison Stock, Linda Weigel, and William Wong; New York City Department of Health: Neal Cohen, Laura Mascuch, Denis Nash, Sarah Perl, and Don Weiss; New York City Public Health Laboratories: Alice Agasan, Jay Amurao, Josephine Atamian, Debra Cook, Erica DeBernardo, Adeleh Ebrahimzadeh, Philomena Fleckenstein, Anne Marie Incalicchio, John Kornblum, Ed Lee, William Oleszko, Lynn Paynter, Alexander Ramon, Chiminyan Sathyakumar, Harold Smalls, George Williams, Marie T. Wong, and Ben Y. Zhao.

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