Threat of a biological terrorist attack on the US food supply: The CDC perspective

Jeremy Sobel, Ali S. Khan, David L. Swerdlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Deliberate contamination of food with biological agents has already been perpetrated in the USA. The US food supply is increasingly characterised by centralised production and wide distribution of products. Deliberate contamination of a commercial food product could cause an outbreak of disease, with many illnesses dispersed over wide geographical areas. Dependent on the biological agent and contaminated food, such an outbreak could either present as a slow, diffuse, and initially unremarkable increase in sporadic cases, or as an explosive epidemic suddenly producing many illnesses. Preparedness for a bioterrorist event affecting the food supply, therefore, entails augmentation of the traditional public-health infrastructure to enhance disease surveillance, accelerate capacity of laboratory detection, rapidly investigate and control outbreaks, and develop capacity for response to mass-casualty disasters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-880
Number of pages7
JournalLancet
Volume359
Issue number9309
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 9 2002

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Food Supply
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)
Disease Outbreaks
Biological Factors
Mass Casualty Incidents
Food Contamination
Food
Disasters
Public Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Threat of a biological terrorist attack on the US food supply : The CDC perspective. / Sobel, Jeremy; Khan, Ali S.; Swerdlow, David L.

In: Lancet, Vol. 359, No. 9309, 09.03.2002, p. 874-880.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sobel, Jeremy ; Khan, Ali S. ; Swerdlow, David L. / Threat of a biological terrorist attack on the US food supply : The CDC perspective. In: Lancet. 2002 ; Vol. 359, No. 9309. pp. 874-880.
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