Anthrax: What Every Clinician Should Know, Part 1
(October 18, 2001)
(View the webcast on the University of North Carolina School of Public Health site.)
Segment 1 of 6
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
<< contents | next >>
Dr. Ed Baker (moderator):
Hello, I’m Dr. Ed Baker. I serve as director of CDC’s Public Health Practice Program Office, and I’d like to welcome you to this special Public Health Training Network program on “Anthrax: What Every Clinician Should Know.” We are broadcasting today from the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in Atlanta, and doing this program in collaboration with our partners at the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association. Participating today are physicians, nurse clinicians, and other healthcare providers, and many other colleagues working in a variety of settings and communities throughout the country. We appreciate your interest in what has become an important topic for us all, and anticipate that today’s program will help to ensure successfully coordinated efforts between the medical community and public health practitioners in addressing suspected anthrax exposures.
As you have read in the program fact sheet, the goal of this program is to provide physicians, nurse clinicians, and other healthcare providers working in private offices, hospitals, and public health settings with an update of how to correctly recognize, test, diagnose, treat, and report cases of suspected anthrax exposure. To accomplish this, we have 3 main objectives for this program. First, to describe the critical role the front line medical practitioners play as an independent and essential part of the public health system surveillance of anthrax exposure. Secondly, to describe the proper clinical practice for early recognition, testing, diagnosis, treatment, and reporting of anthrax exposure. And finally, to provide accurate and relevant information about anthrax and the risk it poses to individuals and the community.
We have the pleasure of having with us today the Honorable Tommy Thompson, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Secretary Thompson will speak to us first, followed by Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, Director of the federal Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and ATSDR. We have with us CDC staff members Dr. David Stephens, Dr. Bradley Perkins, who will then present an overview of clinical guidelines and procedures for the early recognition, testing, diagnosis, and treatment of this condition.
Before we begin, we would like to express CDC’s gratitude to key sponsors that have made this program possible: the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the University of North Carolina School of Public Health. I’d also like to thank the many public, private, subscriber, and military networks that are assisting us in making this program available across the nation. Thanks to all of you. And now we would like to hear from Secretary Thompson.
Secretary Tommy Thompson:
Hello. Who is on?
Dr. Baker (moderator):
Secretary Thompson, this is Dr. Ed Baker at CDC with Dr. Koplan and Dr. Stephens and Dr. Perkins.
Dr. Baker (moderator):
And we are broadcasting live to our network.
Well, that’s wonderful. First, let me thank you all at CDC for the job you are doing. Can I start out and then turn it over to you, Jeff?
Dr. Jeff Koplan:
Okay. Are the doctors and the hospital associations both on the line?
Dr. Baker (moderator):
All right. Good afternoon, everyone. I am very pleased to be with you today and I certainly appreciate the leadership that all of you on this teleconference have taken on this very critical issue. I first want to thank Dick Davidson of the American Hospital Association, who has issued a wonderful call to action in which he has urged all of you to both get back to work and also care for the needs of patients as you continue to wrestle with illness and disease. To me, it is exactly the right tack to take, Dick, and I thank you for it, and the hospital association, I commend you for carrying it out. The American Medical Association, I believe, has put out some tremendously helpful information on disaster preparedness and anthrax information. Both of your organizations who are on this teleconference call this afternoon, I appreciate it and thank you for taking your time out to hear from CDC and myself as Secretary. I believe you are both organizations that are doing outstanding work.
The Department of Health and Human Services, which is the agency which I lead, is the lead federal agency for the public health response to any biological or chemical attack. We are working vigorously with our federal partners to coordinate domestic preparedness, and I believe we are doing as good a job as can be under the circumstances, and I hope to continue to do so with your support and partnership.
We moved the bioterrorism preparedness efforts into my immediate office upon my being selected as Secretary of Health and Human Services. I appointed Dr. Scott Lillibridge of the Centers for Disease Control, one of the nation’s leading experts on bioterrorism, to head the Office for National Security and Bioterrorism. His office is on my floor in the HHS building right across from my office. I have also assembled a team of experts from throughout the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies that are working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in a conference room a few steps from my office to coordinate the intel that is coming in, as well as the department’s activities in responding to the public health needs. I announced several weeks ago that I was creating an advisory committee that was going to be headed by Dr. D.A. Henderson (as all of you know, he is the physician who led the successful fight to eradicate smallpox), and he is on board almost on a daily basis. The president has now requested an additional 1½ billion dollars to combat terrorism to strengthen our ability to prevent and respond to a bioterrorism attack. The request is, of course, more than a sixfold increase of the current budget. A big share of that is going to be for the purchase of pharmaceuticals, namely the antibiotics that deal with anthrax but also 509 million dollars to speed the development and purchase of 300 million doses of smallpox vaccine.
We are going to also add 4 more push packs to the current 8. We have 400 tons of pharmaceutical supplies right now. This will raise it by an additional 200 tons and we will then be able to have even closer response time to locales throughout the country. We are also putting in 88 million dollars in partnerships to assist at the local level and to strengthen laboratory analysis, as well as to strengthen the local needs, which of course I think have been largely underfunded for several years. I also believe (and I’ve asked Congress—this is my request, it’s not the president’s, and not in the president’s package), I have also requested that at least one federally funded epidemiologist who has graduated from the Epidemiology Intelligence Service Training Program at CDC be placed in every state health department and every regional office. We are also putting an additional 50 million dollars in to strengthen our metropolitan medical response system, and we will go from 97 communities to 122. These are the things that I think are pertinent to our discussion today, but I know that you have questions that you may want to ask of me, or more particularly and probably more importantly, of that of CDC led by Jeff Koplan. I would like to just add that I think CDC has just done an exemplary, fine job throughout this whole thing. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate their support and partnership and the professionalism by which they have conducted their work. And I also want to thank all of you for your efforts and so on.
Now I have got a request and am looking for some help, and that is, at the present time we have had 6,000 requests that have come into our state health departments and our laboratories, and they are just overrun by requests and analysis of stuff that has been sent and so on. They’re so overwhelmed that I am wondering how we might be able to use your associations to assist us in trying to reduce this number and also be able to help our other laboratories. I throw that out because it just came to my attention that the state labs are really stretched thin at this point and time, and I am trying to figure out a way how we might be able to buttress them and help them get the necessary resources they need. We may have to go in and get some extra money—I don’t know, but I appreciate any comments.
I also would ask of your associations, please try and knock down this fear factor that is epidemic across America. As professionals, you know that anthrax can be treated and treated very effectively by antibiotics. We have to somehow get the American public to understand that. I’ve been trying, but I need your medical professionalism to assist me to accomplish this.
So with that, I will now be more than happy to turn it over to Jeff Koplan for his remarks and then we will open it up for questions. Once again, before I do, I would just like to take this opportunity to thank the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association for being such wonderful partners in this very perplexing and troublesome time in our country’s history. Jeff?
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
<< contents | next >>
- Page last updated March 25, 2002
Get email updates
To receive email updates about this page, enter your email address:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333
TTY: (888) 232-6348
- Contact CDC-INFO