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Ann Emerg Med. 1998 Aug;32(2):214-23.

Medical preparedness for a terrorist incident involving chemical or biological agents during the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

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Headquarters, United States Marine Corps, Washington, DC, USA.


During the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, unprecedented preparations were undertaken to cope with the health consequences of a terrorist incident involving chemical or biological agents. Local, state, federal, and military resources joined to establish a specialized incident assessment team and science and technology center. Critical antimicrobials and antidotes were strategically stockpiled. First-responders received specialized training, and local acute care capabilities were supplemented. Surveillance systems were augmented and strengthened. However, this extensive undertaking revealed a number of critical issues that must be resolved if our nation is to successfully cope with an attack of this nature. Emergency preparedness in this complex arena must be based on carefully conceived priorities. Improved capabilities must be developed to rapidly recognize an incident and characterize the agents involved, as well as to provide emergency decontamination and medical care. Finally, capabilities must be developed to rapidly implement emergency public health interventions and adequately protect emergency responders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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