Missouri county to test drive through antibiotics distribution

On June 28, disaster experts in St. Charles County, Missouri, plan to test a drive-through method of distributing antibiotics in the event of a large-scale biological attack.

An effective disaster plan includes the dispensation of antibiotics in a timely manner. Those exposed to anthrax or other air-released spores develop symptoms within 48 hours and must be hospitalized after symptoms occur, which is usually within 72 hours, STLBeacon reports.

Parts of Illinois have tested the drive-through distribution method but it has not yet been attempted in the metropolitan St. Louis Area. Five hundred drivers will be used to assess the plan, St. Charles County Community Health Director Gil Copley said.

"If we have enough people to come to the exercise, we can test our plan to find out what works and doesn't work, and what sort of works and needs to be fine-tuned," Copley said, according to STLBeacon.

Participants in the distribution test will receive a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich. The St. Peters location is providing 500 lunches for citizens who complete the drill.

Anthrax is considered a major threat because it can be easily produced in vitro and aerosolized. In 2001, letters containing anthrax were mailed to two Democratic senators and several news offices, infecting 22 and killing five.