Louisville postal carrier to carry antibiotics in the event of bioattack

More than 300 postal carriers in Louisville, Kentucky, have volunteered to carry antibiotics to nearby residents in the case of an attack using an airborne biological agent.

Louisville and Minneapolis-St. Paul were chosen to take the lead in a demonstration project program aimed at using postal workers to deliver supplies of the antibiotic doxycycline to residential addresses within 48 hours of an emergency, according to Courier-Journal.com.

Edward Gabriel, the principal deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said that the Louisville project could serve as example to other cities seeking to be better prepared for a biological attack.

"Other cities across the country will be watching closely to learn how to apply this model in their own communities," Gabriel said, Courier-Journal.com reports.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, the U.S. Postal Service and HHS are expected to officially announce the program soon.

"Creating a safer city and a healthier city are two top priorities, and this agreement puts us at the cutting edge of national efforts to protect our citizens," Fischer said, Courier-Journal.com reports. "Louisville will become the national model in that our plan includes door-to-door delivery to citizens in both urban and rural ZIP codes."

Louisville was chosen because of its experience as a testing site for other disaster drills. So far, nearly 70 percent of available couriers have volunteered for the program.