Health officials practice bio-terrorism procedures

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JACKSON, MI (WLNS) – Bio-terrorism. It’s a frightening possibility that all communities need to prepare for just in case. So, in Jackson County today officials walked through their plans for dealing with that type of attack.

These health officials are wearing green vests in case disaster strikes.

“There are always threats out there everyday. We don’t really think that’s an issue for us here in Jackson County but being prepared and able to protect the public health is what this is all about,” said Jackson County Health Department Health Officer Richard Thoune.

It’s a threat serious enough for the Center for Disease Control to have an entire website dedicated on what do in bioterror situations.

Thoune said, “even though it’s unlikely and a remote, low risk probability that we would end up being subjected to a biological attack intentional or otherwise, we have to be prepared for it and this helps us prepare for it.”

And, by preparing for it these health officials practice with each other and the public through various health tests.

Jackson County Health Department Health Educator Marsha Hills-Hoxie said, “it’s very very important for us to all be prepared in the event that something happens that we all know what we can do to best provide for our community.”

But, if something like this happens it requires a team effort.

“We’d have to act quickly and, this kind of an event in a real life situation is going to involve major response to the community. All first responders will be notified, the FBI would get involved, state police, all law enforcement and we would probably request that the county open up their emergency operations center to help coordinate and make sure we have the resources to get this done,” said Thoune.

Meaning they will be prepared to keep you safe. Health officials say they began these drills after getting funding in the wake of 9/11.

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