N.D. public health department receives perfect anthrax readiness score

Cass County Public Health in North Dakota recently received a perfect score for its preparedness in the area of emergency readiness.

The workers for the health department prepared for an anthrax attack, but the training for the bioterror attack could be used for other emergencies as well. The group was judged on 12 separate categories, including a dispensing exercise, WDAY reports.

"It does feel very good but there's a lot of effort that goes into that, a lot of teamwork, a lot of building with partners in the community." Doug Murphy, the emergency preparedness coordinator for Cass Public Health, said, according to WDAY.

The public health department needed to receive at least 69 percent to continue to receive federal funding.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anthrax is a disease caused by the spore-forming Bacillus anthracis bacterium. The bacterium can infect humans in three different ways - through the skin, the lungs or the digestive system. Humans can become infected with anthrax by eating undercooked meat from infected animals, breathing in spores from infected animal products or by handling infected animal products.

Humans can also become infected when anthrax is used as a weapon, which occurred in 2001 in the United States when anthrax was spread deliberately through the postal system resulting in five deaths.