Seattle tests postal employees as vaccine couriers
| 11.14.2006 | 03:57:24 | Views: 3260 | ID:
November 14 '06: Seattle state and local officials are floating an idea to help spread valuable medicines in the event of a bioterror attack by using mailmen and mailwomen as couriers of vaccines, the Seattle Times reported last Friday. Over the weekend, more than 38,000 households were used as testing sites for the distribution test.
Dorothy Teeter, the interim director of Public Health for Seattle & King Counties told the Seattle Times, "If there were a bioterrorist attach in Seattle, a large number of people would need medications quickly to keep them from becoming sick. ... This is to test our capacity to deliver the medications."During the test, mail carriers were to place boxes in mailboxes theoretically containing vaccines for anthrax, plaque or tularemia among others. During the test, the boxes were empty. "After an actual attack, such deliveries by postal carriers would add to drug distribution by about 12 centers that would be set up in schools, community centers and other locations in King County," the Seattle Times reported. 41 mailmen and mailwomen delivered the "test boxes to home mailboxes or drop slots in an area" predetermined by ZIP codes. Police officials accompanied the couriers to provide safety and security for the postal employees. In other Seattle-related news, the Department of Homeland Security reported that the Seattle-Tacoma Airport will begin to test air cargo for explosives and other harmful materials that could be used to stage a terrorist attack. The new screening program will focus on expediency and efficacy while experts at DHS will look at new ways to develop x-ray technologies and screening methods.
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