U.S. Postal Service workers were able to deliver empty tablet containers to roughly 95 percent of the homes included in a biological attack response exercise in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy has reported. Earlier this year, participating mail distribution personnel dropped off the containers and informational brochures to some 33,000 residences around the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, according to an assessment of the bioresponse exercise issued in recent days by the Minnesota Health Department.
The exercise was part of a broader U.S. government effort to make ready for a feared bioterror attack that could involve weaponized anthrax, smallpox, or other highly lethal disease agents. In the event of a such an attack, volunteer mail carriers would be mobilized to quickly deliver stockpiled medical countermeasures to residents in affected areas. The deliveries would complement distribution of countermeasures at fixed location centers.