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Medical News & Perspectives
June 11, 2003

Bioterror Exercise Tests Agencies' Mettle

JAMA. 2003;289(22):2927-2928. doi:10.1001/jama.289.22.2927

Chicago—If terrorists released plague bacteria in a metropolitan area containing more than 6 million people, one could reasonably expect fear and panic among the masses once people began turning up sick.

So when national, state, and local health and safety officials staged mock terror attacks and responses in May in Chicago and Seattle, it was difficult to see what relevance the exercises had to real events, as role-playing "victims" relaxed and joked while being treated for whatever evils had befallen them.