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New guidance issued for first responders collecting suspected biothreat agents
Date:11/24/2010

health response, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and law enforcement, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The primary concern of this assessment is protecting the public while preserving the chain of custody if the incident is a confirmed biothreat event and material is used as evidence in a criminal investigation.

"The new guidance explains that first response agencies should do the legwork now to establish relationships they will need in the event of an incident," says Jayne Morrow, an environmental engineer at NIST who led the revision project. "For example, it provides recommendations regarding who should be at the planning table, and it even recommends creating a laminated card of phone numbers for expert support to enable first responders to effectively address one of these situations.

"What first responders tell us they like about this guidance is that it's appropriate for any jurisdiction, regardless of its size and resources," says Morrow. "And the key message is that, through response coordination and communication, we can effectively deal with an event in a timely and appropriate manner."


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Contact: Jennifer Huergo
jennifer.huergo@nist.gov
301-975-6343
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert

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