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ISSN: 2157-2526

Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense
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Research Article

Review and Analysis of Reported Anthrax-Related Military Mail Security Incidents in Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area During March 2005

Joseph P. Dudley*

Science Applications International Corporation,Rockville, MD 20852, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Joseph P. Dudley
Science Applications International Corporation
Rockville, MD 20852, USA
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: September 21, 2010; Accepted Date: October 19, 2010; Published Date: October 22, 2010

Citation: Dudley JP (2010) Review and Analysis of Reported Anthrax-Related Military Mail Security Incidents in Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area During March 2005. J Bioterr Biodef 1:101. doi: 10.4172/2157-2526.1000101

Copyright: © 2010 Dudley JP. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

A series of four suspected anthrax contaminated mail incidents occurred at military and civilian facilities in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area during the period between 14-18 March 2005. These incidents precipitated high level biodefense emergency response operations at four different sites in the Washington D.C metropolitan area, including two military installations (the Pentagon, Bolling Air Force Base), a U.S. Postal Service mail processing facility and a commercial office complex. Neither of the two commissioned studies of these incidents conducted by the Rand Corporation and the Government Accountability Office contains a summary of the all the bioterrorism response operations that occurred during this period. The present analysis, however, provides a summary and timeline of the events connected with all four of the interrelated biological agent emergency response operations conducted during March 2005, within a broader contextual framework that allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the spatiotemporal interrelationships between the various biodefense response operations that occurred during this period. Although follow-up investigations did not confirm the presence of anthrax spores at any of the facilities involved, these incidents revealed challenges to effective communications and coordination. The scope and range of the public and private sector emergency operations and entities involved in the response serves as an example of the complexity of this kind of event, particularly in areas such as the Washington DC metropolitan, where coordinated responses by a highly complex area of different entities and jurisdictions are required (military, civilian, federal, state, local). Additionally, the scale of the prophylactic antibiotic treatments of military and civilian personnel conducted during this event (at least 1,100 persons), further emphasizes the importance of recognizing the importance of these incidents for improving capabilities for conducting more coordinated and effective biodefense and bioterrorism emergency response operations.

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