CDC and Tennessee county conduct countermeasure delivery drill

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently conducted Tennessee's first door-to-door medicine delivery exercise with the help of local health officials.

The CDC worked with the Shelby County Health Department to test the viability of its distribution processes in an urban environment. County officials said the exercise was not conducted with a specific threat in mind, but acknowledged that in case of a bioterrorism attack, the system would be used to get needed countermeasures to residents, according to the

SCHD Emergency Response Director Kasia Smith-Alexander said that the volunteer delivery crew consisted of nearly 60 people and made phenomenal time delivering the empty pill bottles used to represent the countermeasures. Residents were also asked to fill out a questionnaire to help evaluate the exercise and the citizens' comfort level with the distribution process.

"It will give us an idea of whether or not this is something people would like us to do," Smith-Alexander said, reports. "Do they trust us to come to the door? Stuff like that.

"Say we have an anthrax attack and it's worst-case scenario. We have to hurry up and push out medication. Do we want people getting out to find us or should they stay in their homes and have the medication come out to them?"

The department plans a careful review of the drill in the coming days, but Smith-Alexander said that regardless of the results, the county is better prepared for a disaster than it was before the exercise.