Heightened Surveillance for Bioterrorism
Representatives of south Florida county health departments and the Bureau of
Epidemiology participated in a conference call on Thursday, October 4, to plan
and coordinate heightened surveillance for bioterrorism-related diseases in the
aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The following counties and Bureau of Epidemiology staffers were represented:
From the Bureau of Epidemiology:
Don Ward, Surveillance
Kathryn Snavely, Surveillance
Jodi Baldy, Investigations
Carina Blackmore, regional epidemiologist
Roger Sanderson, regional epidemiologist
Dolly Katz, regional epidemiologist
Zuber Mulla, regional epidemiologist
South Florida counties:
Okeechobee (not on call, but contacted later)
Representatives from each county agreed to contact their local emergency
rooms, infection control practitioners, and infectious disease physicians and
ask if they have seen any patients since September 11 with fever, shortness of
breath, and x-ray evidence of a widened mediastinum. Cliinicians will also be
asked to be alert for any new cases with these symptoms.
Each county will contact Dolly Katz with the results (negative or positive)
of this survey before the end of the day on Friday.
Contact information for Dolly Katz:
Phone: 305-243-2206 (preferred) or SunCom 473-2759
Toll free pager: 1-877-636-7176
Roger Sanderson will be on call this weekend for emergencies. His contact
Phone: 813-974-6305, SunCom 574-6305
Toll free pager: 1-877-653-0885
Gram-positive bacilli isolated from the blood, cerebrospinal fluid, or
respiratory fluids of any patients with these symptoms should be sent to our
Tampa or Miami branch laboratories or our Jacksonville laboratory, whichever one
the county normally uses. Contact persons to be alerted at these labs are:
Jacksonville: Phil Lee; 904-866-1712, SunCom 791-1712
Tampa: Phil Amuso; 813-974-8000, SunCom 574-8000; pager 813-883-6136 or
Miami: Segaran Pillai; 305-324-2432; SunCom 473-2432.
We will have a conference call at 3:30 p.m. Friday to update the counties on
our findings and share any new information. The conference call number is (850)
921-2470 or SC 291-2470.
Attached is an Excel file to use in collecting information about symptomatic
patients. If you fax this information to Dolly Katz, please telephone first and
make sure she is there, because this is not a secure fax.
Health departments are receiving many calls from the public about protecting
themselves against anthrax and other exotic diseases. These persons can be
referred to the CDC website, which has excellent information for both the public
and clinicians. For information on anthrax or any other disease, go to
www.cdc.gov, click on the words "Health Topics A-Z," which can be
found at the top, bottom, and side of the page, and then click on the topic of
Any requests from the media should be referred to the public relations staff
in Tallahassee. The contact person is Frank Penela at 850-245-4111.