February 5, 2002
A story in the February 2002 edition of Stateline, an
Internet news source, reported that Hawaii is leading the nation in
bioterrorism law making. Stateline.org focuses on innovative
public policies taking place in the U.S., and places Hawaii at the
forefront of the fight against bioterrorism.
Stateline reported, "Many states deal with outbreaks of flu,
meningitis and lately, diseases like West Nile virus. But Hawaii health
officials see numerous cases of more exotic ailments like dengue fever
(a tropical disease spread by mosquitoes) and Hanson's disease (a form
of leprosy). Sicknesses like these occur because of the island state's
tropical climate and proximity to Southeast Asia.
Because its public health authorities regularly confront diseases
that most people have never heard of, Hawaii is at the forefront of the
fight against bioterrorism. Officials from multiple state agencies and
organizations—including the legislature, Department of Health,
Department of Public Safety, Attorney General's office and Healthcare
Association met following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon to draw up an emergency preparedness plan.
Addressing bioterrorism was "on the back of everyone's desk.
September 11 brought it to immediacy," says Bart Aronoff, a planner
with the Department of Health and primary author of Hawaii's new
To see the entire story go to www.stateline.org
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