New York prepares response to anthrax attack

NEW YORK – The City’s Department of Health tested its readiness to respond to an anthrax attack with an antibiotics and vaccine distribution drill this week at a Lower East Side school.

Volunteers and city workers played the part of New Yorkers standing on line to receive antibiotics.

"This is aimed at getting medication to a large number of people as quickly as possible,'' said city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley at the model POD, one of 200 such “Points of Dispensing” that would be activated following a real bioterrorism attack.

The emergency response plan calls for 100 health professionals, volunteers and city workers to man each POD, distributing medication, medical screening forms, etc.

New York experienced its first anthrax outbreaks after the September 11 attacks when five Manhattanites were killed, and several sickened, by anthrax pores sent through the mail.