Health Department

Health Department


Past Events

  • Anthrax letters (September/October 2001) - Anthrax-laced envelopes are mailed to media outlets and U.S. Senators. Seventeen people were infected, and five died. Dr. Bruce Ivins was suspected of sending envelopes, though no formal charges were ever filed against him.
  • The Dalles, Oregon (November 1984) - The food at 10 restaurants is poisoned, and more than 750 people contract salmonella. Two high-ranking officials with the Rajneeshee political group eventually plead no-contest after an investigation revealed they plotted to incapacitate rival voters before Election Day.

Cities Readiness Initiative

Cities Readiness Initiative is a federally funded program designed to enhance U.S. cities' ability to conduct "prophylaxis" (dispensing medicine) during a large-scale public health emergency. Participation is reserved for the nation's largest metropolitan statistical areas.

During public health emergencies, local health departments will need to ask their state governments to request medicine from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention. Once the medicine is requested, local health departments are expected to provide medicine to their entire city within 48 hours. Cities Readiness Initiative develops plans and infrastructure that can help local health departments achieve this goal.

Points of Dispensing

Public health emergencies may require the Cincinnati Health Department to activate points of dispensing so that all members of the community who do not have symptoms can receive medicine within 48 hours. Alternative care will be provided for people who display symptoms.

The Cincinnati Health Department's Head of Household policy allows an individual to receive medicine for up to 20 other people. However, the individual must provide required medical information (allergies, vaccination records, current weights, etc.) for every person they wish to receive medicine for.

Prepare For Bioterrorism

  • Make a preparedness kit. Periodically check that all items work.
  • Develop and practice a plan.
  • Gather your family's medical information and update it regularly.

Advised Action During A Bioterrorist Attack

  • Listen to (battery-powered) radio to stay updated of unfolding events.
  • Follow public health authority's instructions.