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Bioterrorism Preparedness

Coordinating the Countywide Response to a Biological Attack


Bioterrorism is a form of terrorism using biologic agents that are harmful to humans. This form of terrorism involves

the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs (agents) used to cause illness or death in people, animals,

or plants. Biological agents can be spread through the air, through water, or in food. Terrorists may prefer to use

biological agents because they can be extremely difficult to detect and do not cause illness for several hours to several


The Emergency Preparedness and Response division of the Will County Health Department plays the leading role in

coordinating the countywide response to a real or potential biological attack. To this end, our organization works

with local first responders, hospitals, schools, and government agencies to establish protocols for investigation of

and response to any suspicious communicable disease outbreak or potential biological attack. In the event of an

actual biological attack, the Health Department will coordinate a countywide response with the above agencies,

provide updated information to the general public, and facilitate medical management of exposed persons. Planning

by government agencies however, no matter how competent, is no substitute for enhanced citizen awareness of the

dangers of bioterrorism. The links and information on this page are designed to help every citizen become aware of

the signs that a bioterror attack is imminent or occurring.