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Bioterrorism Readiness Plan. Shands Hospital at the University of Florida 2001. Tokyo Train Station. Aerial view of anthrax production facility. Where and when will bioterrorism hit next?. Biological Weapons?????. Bioterrorism Readiness Planning Subcommittee.

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Bioterrorism Readiness Plan

Shands Hospital at the University of Florida


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Bioterrorism Readiness Planning Subcommittee

  • Sub committee of Infection Prevention and Control Committee

  • Chair: Kenneth Rand, MD

  • Multidisciplinary Membership

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Infection Control Staff

Hospital Epidemiologist


Infectious Disease Physicians

Emergency Medicine Chief and other ER Physicians


Emergency Department Nurse Manager

Safety Director

Public Relations

Respiratory Care


Facilities Operations

Public Health Administrator & other agencies

Materials Management


Multidisciplinary Membership

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Bioterrorism Readiness Plan Purpose

To be a:

  • Reference on bioterrorism

  • A practical and realistic institutional response for a real or suspected bioterrorism attack

  • Plan that incorporates local and state health agencies recommendations

  • A branch of existing disaster preparedness and other emergency plans

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Bioterrorism Readiness Plan Components

  • Infection Control Activities

  • Laboratory Policies

  • Public Inquiry

  • Disease Specific Information

  • Appendix

    • FBI Field Offices

    • Telephone Directory of State and Territorial Public Health Directors

    • Relevant Websites

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Indications of a Possible Bioterrorism Event

  • Unusual illness in a population

  • Large number of ill persons with similar disease

  • Large numbers of cases of unexplained diseases or death

  • Higher morbidity or mortality in association with a common disease or syndrome

  • Single case of unusual agent

  • No illness in persons not exposed to common ventilation system

  • Threat received indicating exposure

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Bioterrorism Readiness PlanBasic Premises

  • In a case of suspected/real bioterrorism related event or outbreak

    • All personnel are responsible for immediately reporting suspected event.

    • The Shands Disaster Plan shall be activated in conjunction with this Bioterrorism Readiness Plan.

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Bioterrorism Readiness Plan Authority to rapidly implement prevention and control measures

  • Administration

    • Director On Call

  • Infection Prevention and Control

    • Hospital Epidemiologist

    • Chairman

    • Director or designee

  • Safety and Security

    • Director or designee

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Bioterrorism Readiness PlanCommunication Network

Shands Operator


Infection Control & Safety and Security




Public Health

Public Relations



Local and State Authorities

( EMS, Police, Fire Departments)

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Bioterrorism Readiness PlanStaff Education

  • Initial special program to introduce plan

    • Video tape and module

  • Ongoing education incorporated into orientation and annual Infection Control and Safety programs

  • Bioterrorism Preparedness Drills

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Bioterrorism Readiness PlanSection I: General Recommendation for any Suspected Event

  • Reporting Requirements and Contact Information

    • Internal

    • External

  • Potential Agents

    • Syndrome Based

    • Epidemiologic Features

  • Patient, Visitor and Public Information

  • Pharmacy

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Bioterrorism Readiness PlanSection I: General Recommendation for any Suspected Event: Infection Control Practices

  • Isolation

  • Patient Placement

  • Patient Transport

  • Cleaning, Disinfection and Sterilization

  • Discharge Management

  • Post-mortem Care

  • Post Exposure Management

    • Decontamination of Patients and Environment

    • Prophylaxis and post-exposure management

    • Triage

    • Psychological Aspects of Bioterrorism

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Bioterrorism Readiness PlanSection I: General Recommendation for any Suspected Event: Infection Control Practices

  • Laboratory Support and Confirmation

    • Obtaining diagnostic samples

    • Criteria for processing

    • Transportation of clinical specimens

    • Management and handling of criminal investigation specimens

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Bioterrorism Readiness PlanSection II: Agent Specific Recommendations

  • Anthrax

  • Botulinum Toxin

  • Plague

  • Smallpox

  • Ricin

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  • Transmission:

    • Inhalation

    • Ingestion

    • Skin contact

  • Associated with infected animals such as sheep, goats, and cattle (Woolsorter’s disease)

  • No person to person transmission occurs from patients with respiratory disease caused by anthrax

  • Direct exposure to cutaneous anthrax lesions may result in secondary cutaneous infections

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Anthrax: Mode of Transmission for Bioterrorism

  • Spore is durable

  • Delivered as an aerosol= inhale spores

  • Ingestion of contaminated food

  • Cutaneous contact with spores or spore-contaminated material

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  • Incubation Period

    • Range 1 day to 8 weeks (average 5 days)

  • Period of Communicability

    • A person infected with the respiratory form of anthrax can not spread it to others.

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AnthraxClinical Features

  • Pulmonary

    • Non-specific flu-like symptoms

    • 2-4 days after symptoms

      • Abrupt onset of respiratory failure

      • Widened mediastinum on chest x-ray

    • High mortality almost 100% if treatment initiated after onset of respiratory symptoms

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AnthraxPreventive Measures

  • Standard Precautions

  • Antibiotic Therapy

    • Ciprofloxacin

    • Levofloxacin

    • Ofloxacin

    • Doxycycline

    • Amoxicillin for exposed children

  • Vaccination

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  • Clostridium botulism

    • Present in soil and marine sediment

  • Foodborne botulism most common disease

  • Inhalation botulism may also occur

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BotulismClinical Features

  • GI symptoms for food borne disease

  • Responsive patient with absence of fever

  • Blurred vision

  • Symmetric ( on both sides) descending weakness and paralysis

  • Respiratory failure- inability to breathe

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Botulism: Mode of Transmission

  • Mode of Transmission

    • Ingestion of toxin-contaminated food

    • Aerosolization of toxin

  • Incubation Period

    • Neurologic symptoms from food borne botulism begin 12-36 hours after ingestion

    • Neurologic symptoms of inhalation botulism begin 24-72 hours after aerosol exposure

  • Not transmitted person to person

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Botulism: Exposure Management

  • Preventative Measures

    • Vaccine

  • Standard Precautions

  • Prophylaxis and Post exposure immunization

    • Botulinum antitoxin

  • Patients may require mechanical ventilation

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  • Causative agent:

    Yersinia pestis, a gram-negative bacillus

    • usually zoonotic disease of rodents

    • usually transmitted by infected fleas

      • Bubonic plague - Lymph system infection

      • Septicemia plague - Bloodstream infection

    • Bioterrorism exposure are expected to be airborne resulting in a pulmonary variant, pneumonic plague - Respiratory Infection

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PlagueClinical Features

  • Pneumonic Plague

    • Fever, cough, chest pain

    • Hemoptysis (Bloody sputum)

  • Bubonic Plague - skin and tissue disease form

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  • Transmission

    • Normally from an infected rodent to man by infected flea

    • Bioterrorism-related = dispersion of an aerosol

    • Person to person transmission of pneumonic plague is possible via large aerosol droplets

  • Communicability

    • Via Productive cough

    • Droplet Precautions until 72 hours after initiation of effective antimicrobial therapy

  • Incubation: 2-8 days due to fleaborne disease or 1-3 days for pulmonary exposure

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PlaguePreventive Measures

  • Droplet Precautions

    • Private Room or put cases in together in a room(cohort), doors closed but no special ventilation needed

    • Maintain isolation for 72 hours after antibiotics are given

  • Vaccine not practical since requires multiple doses over several weeks and post exposure immunity has no utility

  • Post exposure Prophylaxis - See your doctor

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Last known person with smallpox in the world

Public Health Quarantine Sign

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  • Causative agent:Variola virus

  • Eradicated clinical smallpox from world

    • Two WHO labs store virus

    • Severe morbidity if released into non-immune population

    • Single case is considered a public health emergency

  • Can be aerosolized or contaminated items can be used to deploy this virus as a biological warfare agent

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SmallpoxClinical Features

  • Acute viral illness with severe skin lesions

    • Can have fever and aches for 2-4 days before rash

    • Rash most prominent on face and extremities Rash scabs in 1-2 weeks

    • Variola rash occurs all at once in contrast to varicella’s “crops” of lesions

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  • Mode of transmission:

    airborne, droplet and contact.

    • Person to person spread

  • Incubation Period = 7-17 days (ave. = 12 days)

  • Period of Communicability = Variola becomes infectious at onset of rash and continues to be infectious until their scabs fall off which is approximately 3 weeks

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SmallpoxPreventive Measures


    • Negative air pressure room, doors must remain closed, verify ventilation

    • Mask, gown and glove for entry into room

    • Limit transport

    • Handle all surfaces and supplies as contaminated

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SmallpoxPreventive Measures

  • Smallpox vaccine

    • Vaccinia virus is used for vaccine(not smallpox virus)

    • Does not confer lifelong immunity

    • Must be given within 7 days post exposure to be effective

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  • Causative agent:

    A biological toxin (poison) derived from the castor plant and castor oil.

  • Exposure routes:

    • inhalation (breathe it in)

    • percutaneous (injection or contact with skin, eyes, and mucous membranes)

    • ingestion (eat it!)

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RicinClinical Features

  • Weakness, fever, cough and fluid in lungs occur within 18 hours after inhalation(breathe in toxin) exposure

  • Progresses to severe breathing trouble and then death from hypoxemia within 36-72 hours

  • Diagnosis: signs and symptoms found in large number of a geographically clustered group and/or lab tests

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  • Treatment:

    support patient, manage symptoms and keep comfortable

  • Prophylaxis: None available

  • Prevention

    • Protective mask to prevent inhalation

    • Standard Precautions

      • Weak hypochlorite solution (0.1% sodium hypochlorite) and/or soap and water can decontaminate skin surfaces

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Know how to locate policy

Review Executive Summary of Plan for inclusion in Disaster Manual

Access Specific Departmental Policies



Use Information Sheets for Patients and Public

Learn about bioterrorism by completing module.

Get your questions answered by experts

Coordinate plan with state and local authorities

Steps in Preparing for a Bioterrorism Event