1. Perry, William MA, RN

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The Internet has brought the spirit of global communication and collaboration to nurses and other healthcare professionals in ways never before believed possible. These resources are offered to expand your opportunities for discussion, reference, education, and research.


Anthrax. Bombing. Terrorism. These are familiar words now and are far more real than a short time ago. We are concerned, frightened, and unsure how to tell children about what is happening around the country. We see teams of men and women in hazardous materials suits called to an office because a letter contained an unknown substance.


In my daily dose of spam, I received instructions on creating my own "secure box to open your personal mail" and ads for germicidal wipes. A Google search on "anthrax" yielded more than 500,000 hits and one on bioterrorism, more than 95,000.


One measure of self-defense against the unknown is to get information from a reliable source. The following sites are from expert sources and hopefully will serve as a starting place to find out what is happening, what precautions if any you should take, and place risks into perspective. Equally important, the information from these sites may provide ways for you to talk with children, adolescents, and each other about feelings, fears, and ways of healing


Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response


This is a primary source of information for both the public and healthcare professionals on emergency public health issues and bioterrorism. If you have questions or concerns about anthrax or any aspect of healthcare issues surrounding bioterrorism, check here first.


The Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies


A comprehensive site covering anthrax, botulinum toxin, plague, smallpox, tularemia, and other organisms. Of special note are 2 areas dealing with the analysis of the "Dark Winter" bioterrorism exercise held in June 2001 and a preparedness list for healthcare facilities and personnel.


Center for the Study of Bioterrorism and Emerging Infections


This is a part of the St. Louis University School of Public Health. Lots of information here, including links to other sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.


U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases


The US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases has a fairly extensive education area. In its reference materials section ( there are several excellent books for downloading as .pdf files. These publications are aimed at healthcare personnel rather than the general public.


The American Red Cross


This Web site has many printable patient education materials dealing with disasters. One of these publications is called "Terrorism-Preparing for the Unexpected." In it you'll find measures that individuals can take to prepare for any type of emergency, from making sure you have copies of important documents to the family first aid kit to where to seek help.


National Institute of Mental Health


The National Institute of Mental Health has information on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), helping children cope with violence as well as anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns.


The American Psychological Association


This site has a collection of Web pages called "Coping With Terrorism" located at There are sections on coping with traumatic events and a special section on the needs of children.


The Aftershocks of National Tragedy


In addition to links for both adults and children on coping information and techniques, this Web site has links to antidiscrimination resources as well as lesson plans for teachers to use in classrooms. No reason why they can't serve as a vehicle for home discussion as well.


NOVA Online


If you didn't watch the eye-opening November 2001 program on the history of biological weapons and bioterrorism, visit NOVA Online, the companion Web site. Information links include History of Biowarfare, Future Germ Defenses, Interviews with Biowarriors, Global Guide to Bioweapons, Making Vaccines, a Resources section with Frequently Asked Questions, links and books, and a Teacher's Guide with "before and after watching" ideas. The video is available for purchase through the online store.