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Bioterrorism: New Threats Perspectives on Preparedness from the US and Israel

It is new to Americans, but it is certainly familiar to Israelis, inured to war and forced to defend themselves from the threats from near and far, since the founding of the state. For some twenty years, hospitals around the country have routinely been conducting drills testing their staffs' preparedness for conventional and unconventional war.

This readiness has been in force especially since the attacks of Scud missiles hurled at Israel by order of Iraq's Saddam Hussein in the winter of 1990-1991. A bystander in the Persian Gulf War and pressed to sit quietly by then-President George Bush as the US bombed Iraq, Israel made special preparations in the months before the Scud attacks: gas-mask kits, complete with an atropine syringe in the event of exposure to nerve gas. With trepidation, parents sent their children to kindergartens and schools, where emergency drills were practiced. Once the dozens of Scud missiles landed in Israel fortunately killing only one person but causing significant physical damage in Ramat Gan and other areas women who gave birth were not allowed to leave the hospital without taking a "mamat", a plastic and aluminum tent to protect the infant during a missile attack. Licensing exams for medical and nursing school graduates now regularly include questions regarding treatment of patients exposed to chemical - and biological weapon attacks.

And terror has, sadly, become a part of daily life in Israel, especially during the last fifteen months, when more than two hundred Israelis have been killed in suicide bomb attacks, shootings and stabbings.

Then came September 11, when terrorists toppled the Twin Towers of Manhattan and a wing of the Pentagon two major symbols of America's might. Israelis watched their TV sets in horror and disbelief. The sight of the smoke, fire, shocked faces and body bags created a certain deja vu feeling for them.

The additional anthrax scare, emphasized the dangers and need for preparedness in case of anthrax, bubonic plague, botulim toxin, tularemia, Ebola, and smallpox; as well as the chemical substances including organophosphate nerve gases, mustard gas, cyanide, and phosgene, while weapons involving radiation can also cause severe biological damage.

In the wake of these recent events and the actual attacks in Israel today, it was decided to arrange a Seminar in NYC : Bioterrorism: New Threats Perspectives form the US and Israel", to discuss the preparedness in case of any of these possibilities. The seminar will be held Tuesday, April 30th, 2002 at 6:00 pm at The New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue , New York, NY 10029.

This meeting will be unique and of high impact, as it will bring together

This is also an important occasion for two senior New York Physicians, (Drs Rodney Leibowitz and Douglas King of First Responder Inc.), who will be awarded the Maimonides award, for their personal role on September 11, and thereafter.

Regimedia USA, coordinates all this with

Around 400 respected physicians are expected to attend. It is an opportunity for physicians of the Tri-State area, to participate and to learn from experts. The registration form printed herewith is an opportunity to attend the meeting. By filling out this specific form, physicians do not have to pay the $ 140 registration fees.

The website that will give more information on this event is at:

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