Houston biosecurity: building a national model.

Ward Casscells, Parsa Mirhaji, Scott Lillibridge, Mohammad Madjid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


On September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda terrorists committed an atrocity when they used domestic jetliners to crash into buildings in New York City and Washington, DC, killing thousands of people. In October 2001, another act of savagery occurred, this time using anthrax, not airplanes, to take innocent lives. Each incident demonstrates the vulnerability of an open society, and Americans are left to wonder how such acts can be prevented. Two years later, Al Qaeda operatives are reportedly regrouping, recruiting, and changing their tactics to distribute money and messages to operatives around the world. Many experts believe that terrorist attacks are inevitable. Every city is vulnerable to an attack, and none are fully prepared to handle the residual impact of a biological or chemical attack. A survey conducted by the Cable News Network (CNN) in January 2002, studied 30 major US cities, ranking them based on 6 statistical indices of vulnerability. Thirteen cities were deemed better prepared than Houston, 10 were in a similar state of preparedness, and only 6 were less prepared than Houston. We will discuss the protective measures that have been put in place in Houston, and future steps to take. Other cities can model Houston's experience to develop similar plans nation-wide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-417
Number of pages13
JournalTransactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Houston biosecurity: building a national model.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this