High school in Connecticut plays host to bioterrorism drill

A bioterrorism drill was staged in Milford, Connecticut, on Tuesday at Joseph A. Foran High School, playing out an anthrax scenario and the provision of proper antibiotics to healthcare facilities, neighborhood groups and condo associations.

The drill, which began at 9 a.m. with a mock delivery of antibiotics, had been planned for eight months. A plan for mass distribution was originally tested at nearby Platt Technical High School in 2006 and the Milford Senior Center in 2009, the Stamford Advocate reports.

"Public health emergencies can be protracted, lasting weeks or even months," Dr. A. Dennis McBride, the city's health director said, according to the Stamford Advocate. "This exercise reveals the importance of getting medications to the public using alternative means."

The Foran site was set up like a “drive-through” dispensing point where cars picked up the appropriate medicine for their assigned location while the on-site nurses determine what medication to dispense. In reality, around 1,400 cars would be coming to the high school to pick up medications for the housing developments they represent, the Stamford Advocate reports. The 5,000 individuals with state-issued handicapped placards on their rearview mirrors would also pick up their medications from the school.

The event was reportedly a success according to public health nurse Tara Mustakos.

“Milford in general would be fine,” Mustakos said, the Stamford Advocate reports.