Clinton County, N.Y., holds anthrax drill

The Clinton County Health Department ran a simulated anthrax training drill on Wednesday at the Senior Citizens Council in Plattsburgh, New York.

The drill, which ran from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., was meant to test how the health department could handle the influx of Clinton County residents in the event of an actual emergency. During a real anthrax event, the health department would need to dispense life-saving countermeasures to all 82,000 residents in the county, the Press Republican reports.

Senior citizens were targeted for the drill and volunteer participants were asked to register online before the event.

The pre-registration gave the health department the opportunity to use the New York State Clinical Data Management System. The database determines the type of medication that would be given to individuals based on several medical screening questions, the Press Republican reports.

Individuals were given candy as opposed to actual medicine, according to Peggy Labombard, a representative with the department.

"In case of a real (anthrax) attack, those people exposed would go through a 60-day treatment," Labombard said, according to the Press Republican. "We will give out a five-day supply (of candies) during the drill. In a real event, everyone would be required to come back (for their next dose of antibiotics)."

Approximately 30 staff members from the Clinton County Health Department participated in the drill, in addition to representatives of the Medical Reserve Corp. The drill also featured 75 simulated victims who registered for the event.