In the wake of September 11th and recent anthrax events, our nation s bioterrorism response capability has become an imminent priority for policymakers, researchers, public health officials, academia, and the private sector. In a three-day workshop, convened by the Institute of Medicine s Forum on Emerging Infections, experts from each of these communities came together to identify, clarify, and prioritize the next steps that need to be taken in order to prepare and strengthen bioterrorism response capabilities. From the discussions, it became clear that of utmost urgency is the need to cast the issue of a response in an appropriate framework in order to attract the attention of Congress and the public in order to garner sufficient and sustainable support for such initiatives. No matter how the issue is cast, numerous workshop participants agreed that there are many gaps in the public health infrastructure and countermeasure capabilities that must be prioritized and addressed in order to assure a rapid and effective response to another bioterrorist attack.
National Research Council. Biological Threats and Terrorism: Assessing the Science and Response Capabilities: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2002.
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