CDC Logo Tuberculosis Information CD-ROM   Image of people
jump over main navigation bar to content area
TB Guidelines
Surveillance Reports
Slide Sets
TB-Related MMWRs and Reports
Education/Training Materials
Ordering Information


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


This is an archived document. The links are no longer being updated.

TB Notes 1, 2002

DTBE Staff Called to Respond to the Terrorist Attacks and Bioterrorism Threats

The September 11 attacks to the World Trade Center and Pentagon and later bioterrorism attacks required a prompt, extensive response from all public health officials. The response from CDC was massive, and persons from all over the agency were deployed to assist in public health efforts relating to these events.

After the September 11 attacks, all four of the division Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officers were in the first wave of CDC responders. McKenzie Andre, MD, Puneet Dewan, MD, Lisa Nelson, MD, and Lorna Thorpe, PhD, traveled to New York City to assist. During this deployment, the officers worked 12-hour shifts in selected hospitals conducting surveillance for disaster-related injuries. With the long shifts at the hospital and sometimes commutes of up to 3 hours, the officers had time for little else besides their work.

Shortly thereafter, with the anthrax attacks, additional DTBE personnel were enlisted to assist with public health efforts. Some personnel were assigned to work in the Emergency Operations Center at CDC in Atlanta, while others were deployed for field work in Connecticut, the New York City area, or Washington, DC. DTBE personnel who were involved in emergency assignments either in Atlanta or the field include the following:

  • Communications and Education Branch: Gaby Benenson, MPH, Regina Bess, Nick DeLuca, MA, Ann Lanner, Wanda Walton, MEd
  • Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch: McKenzie Andre, MD, Lauren Lambert, Scott McCombs, MPH, Peter McElroy, PhD, Renee Ridzon, MD, Philip Spradling, MD
  • International Activities office: Tracy Agerton, MPH, Paul Arguin, MD, Alicia Fry, MD, Kayla Laserson, ScD, Elizabeth Talbot, MD
  • Field Services Branch: Phillip Finley, Judy Gibson, MSN, RN, Darryl Hardge, Michele Thomas, Peg Tipple, MD
  • Office of the Director: Joe Posid
  • Research and Evaluation Branch: Lorna Bozeman

Work in Atlanta consisted mostly of answering the many public inquiries and other assignments in the CDC Emergency Operations Center. Even in-house, DTBE staff contributed to bioterrorism-related efforts. Under a very tight time schedule, several staff members of the Communications and Education Branch prepared educational materials for persons exposed to anthrax and taking a 60-day course of antibiotics: "What You Need to Know About Anthrax," and "Questions and Answers for People Who Are Taking 60 Days of Antibiotics to Prevent Inhalational (Lung) Anthrax," and fact sheets on doxycycline and ciprofloxacin.

In the field, division staff assisted with environmental sampling and epidemiologic studies. DTBE's staff expertise in aerosol transmission of infectious agents, respiratory protection and engineering controls, and adherence with long-term antimicrobial medications proved useful in assistance with the CDC response.

All DTBE staff were affected by these events, even those who were not deployed. Staff members who were not assigned emergency duties worked long hours to cover work duties for colleagues who were deployed. Although work on these events has been completed, DTBE staff remain willing to assist with further emergency public health efforts, as needed.

Reported by Renee Ridzon, MD
Chief, Outbreak Investigations Section
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination -

Please send comments/suggestions/requests to:, or to
CDC/Division of Tuberculosis Elimination
Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch
1600 Clifton Rd., NE - Mailstop E-10, Atlanta, GA 30333