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Postal Service Plans Major Drug Delivery Drill

The U.S. Postal Service on May 6 will again test its capacity to deliver antibiotics to a large number of potential anthrax attack victims at their homes, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on Monday (see GSN, Oct. 6, 2011).

The exercise calls for in excess of 300 mail delivery workers to drop off small, empty drug containers at the homes of close to 40,000 residents of the Minnesota cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul, Robbinsdale and Golden Valley. The test would be larger than previous drills in Boston, Philadelphia and Seattle.

While infection-fighting antibiotics would primarily be delivered at fixed locations following an anthrax incident, authorities have looked to the Postal Service as a means to providing the countermeasure to those who might be unable to leave their homes. The results of the upcoming exercise would be studied intently to assess if the idea would actually function as intended during a major crisis, the newspaper reported.

The May 6 drill, "Operation Medicine Delivery," is being organized by the Postal Service and the Minnesota Health Department. The U.S. Health and Human Services Department is providing financial support for the event (Amanda Bankston, Star Tribune, April 23).


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