Study: Doctors not ready for bioterrorism

Sep 26, 2005

A Johns Hopkins University study in Baltimore indicates many U.S. physicians are ill-prepared to diagnose or treat bioterrorism diseases.

The researchers said more than one-half of 631 physicians tested were unable to correctly diagnose diseases caused by agents most likely to be used by bioterrorists -- smallpox, anthrax, botulism and plague.

However, test scores improved dramatically for the same physicians after they completed an online training course in diagnosing and managing diseases caused by bioterrorism agents.

"Most American physicians in practice today have never seen any cases of these diseases in their practice," explained Dr. Sara Cosgrove, a faculty member in Hopkins' Division of Infectious Diseases. "Preparation will be key to dealing with a major catastrophe, such as a major bioterrorist attack."

In the study, physicians at 30 internal medicine residency programs in 16 states and Washington, D.C. were tested on how to recognize and treat bioterrorism-related diseases before and after taking an online course in bioterrorism disease. Correct management of such diseases in the pretest averaged 25.4 percent. Upon completion of the course, correct management averaged 79 percent.

The study is detailed in the Sept. 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Earlier Stone Age artifacts found in Northern Cape of South Africa

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Revisiting the anthrax attacks

Jan 22, 2009

When anthrax was sent through the U.S. Postal Service in 2001, an overwhelming majority of postal workers elected not to be inoculated with the available vaccine because of confusion and distrust, according to a University ...

Recommended for you

Affirmative action elicits bias in pro-equality Caucasians

1 hour ago

New research from Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business indicates that bias towards the effects of affirmative action exists in not only people opposed to it, but also in those who strongly endorse equality.

Narcissistic CEOs and financial performance

20 hours ago

Narcissism, considered by some as the "dark side of the executive personality," may actually be a good thing when it comes to certain financial measures, with companies led by narcissistic CEOs outperforming those helmed ...

Election surprises tend to erode trust in government

20 hours ago

When asked who is going to win an election, people tend to predict their own candidate will come out on top. When that doesn't happen, according to a new study from the University of Georgia, these "surprised losers" often ...

User comments : 0