Source Newsroom: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Newswise — This year marks the tenth anniversary of terrorist attacks on American soil, as well as the mailing of Bacillus anthracis-laced letters. At The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), faculty members are available to comment on developments in emergency preparedness and anthrax research since these catastrophes.
Emergency preparedness lessons learned from 9/11
Robert Emery, Dr.PH, vice president for safety, health, environment & risk management at UTHealth and associate professor of occupational health at The University of Texas School of Public Health, which is a part of UTHealth, said 9/11 did more than impact security at the nation’s airports. More individuals now stock additional supplies in their homes in the event of another catastrophe. The same can be said of their employers. One of the biggest boons to emergency planning since 9/11 has been advancements in notification systems – some of which incorporate social media. Emery has 30 years experience in safety and risk management.
Better awareness of anthrax poisoning among caregivers
Theresa Koehler, Ph.D., interim chair of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the UTHealth Medical School, believes there is greater awareness of the symptoms of anthrax infection among caregivers than there was 10 years ago. In addition, there are national stockpiles of antibiotics and vaccine. Scientists in her lab are studying the ability of Bacillus anthracis to cause anthrax in humans and animals in the hope of developing enhanced treatments and detection methods. Her lab is investigating the physiology of the bacterium and its response to host signals during infection. Koehler has studied anthrax for about 30 years.
UTHealth faculty members also are available to discuss the psychological impact of the attacks on children and adults, as well as to discuss the impact on emergency care.