What you need to know about bioterrorism drills in the Denver metro area

What you need to know about bioterrorism drills in the Denver metro area
Posted at 11:38 AM, Oct 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-04 13:38:26-04

DENVER – Emergency planners in the Denver metro area will be participating in a two-day, full-scale BioWatch exercise Wednesday and Thursday designed to test a response to a biological agent release. 

Here is what you need to know:

Agencies participating: Responders from Denver, Arapahoe, Adams, Douglas, Jefferson and Boulder counties, as well as the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, will be participating.

The program: The BioWatch program, led by the Department of Homeland Security, is designed to detect the presence of biological agents that have been intentionally released into the air. This early warning system could ensure potential victims receive life-saving treatment as quickly as possible.

How it works: BioWatch Monitors the air for biological agents likely to be used in a bioterrorism attack. If a detection occurs, public health and other local, state and federal officials use the information to coordinate emergency response, including prompt medical care and other actions to protect public health and safety.

Quick facts:

  • There are more than 30 BioWatch jurisdictions across the United States. These areas may be composed of one or more cities, counties, or states.
  • The air-monitoring collectors draw air through filters for 24 hours, 365 days a year.
  • BioWatch has operated since April 2003 and is currently managed by the Office of Health Affairs.
  • Jurisdictional readiness is among the program's best practices for a timely and efficient response following a detection.