County's bioterrorism attack response to be tested

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Clark County Public Health staff will hold a three-day exercise next week to test their response to a simulated bioterrorism attack.

The exercise is part of the Washington State Annual Bioterrorism Exercise taking place May 21-23. The exercise is designed to test readiness among public agencies and community organizations should terrorists unleash a biological agent, such as anthrax, in Southwest Washington.

Clark County Public Health will be closed May 23 due to the event.

The first day of the exercise, May 21, will test public health's ability to identify the agent and the source of exposure. On day two, an incident management team will handle the continuing investigation and plan for a medical response. On the third day, public health will set up a medication center at Clark College and distribute imitation antibiotics.

Other participating organizations and agencies include: Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties; local and state emergency operations centers; hospitals; local, state and federal law enforcement; local fire agencies; and community volunteers.