Inhalational Anthrax Due to Bioterrorism: Would Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines Have Identified the 11 Patients with Inhalational Anthrax from October through November 2001?
A panel of 10 physicians used the nominal group technique to assess the ability of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) interim guidelines for clinical evaluation of persons with possible inhalational anthrax (IA) to retrospectively identify the 11 patients with IA seen during the October 2001 bioterrorism outbreak. The guidelines would not have identified 10 of 11 of these patients, primarily because the guidelines were designed to address only those patients with a known history of exposure or clearly identified environmental or occupational risk. The panel suggested revisions to the guidelines, primarily consisting of broadening the criteria for evaluation to include either known exposure or environmental occupational risk, or to include clinical symptoms consistent with IA. These extensions of the guidelines retrospectively identified 8 of 11 of the patients with IA from October 2001.
Mayer TA, Morrison A, Bersoff-Matcha S, Hanfling D, et. al. Inhalational anthrax due to bioterrorism: would current CDC and prevention guidelines have identify the 11 patients with inhalational anthrax from October through November 200l? Clinical Infectious Disease, 2003; 36(10):1275-83. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/374843