Emergency response to an anthrax attack

Emergency response to an anthrax attack

By
Lawrence M. Wein, David L. Craft, Edward H. Kaplan
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. April
2003, Vol. 100, Issue 7, Pages 4346–4351

We developed a mathematical model to compare various emergency responses in the event of an airborne anthrax attack. The system consists of an atmospheric dispersion model, an age-dependent dose–response model, a disease progression model, and a set of spatially distributed two-stage queueing systems consisting of antibiotic distribution and hospital care. Our results underscore the need for the extremely aggressive and timely use of oral antibiotics by all asymptomatics in the exposure region, distributed either preattack or by nonprofessionals postattack, and the creation of surge capacity for supportive hospital care via expanded training of nonemergency care workers at the local level and the use of federal and military resources and nationwide medical volunteers. The use of prioritization (based on disease stage and/or age) at both queues, and the development and deployment of modestly rapid and sensitive biosensors, while helpful, produce only second-order improvements.