Gibson County now has a new bioterrorism coordinator.
The health department tracks certain diseases and illnesses. As part of a state program, they are preparing for what a smallpox or anthrax outbreak might look like.
"We have lots of programs that increase awareness related to natural disasters, but it could be a disease outbreak," said Jennifer Tuley with the Gibson County Health Department.
Joshua Shearer is the new bioterrorism coordinator. Shearer served in the Army for years working in logistics and preparedness. Now, he is drawing up prevention and reaction plans for the Gibson County Health Department.
"This gives us a program where we can go out and educate the community and our partnerships to increase that awareness for disease management and control," Tuley said.
After recent cases of West Nile and Salmonella in Gibson County and Meningitis and Hepatitis A in Evansville, health experts say they need to prepared for any disease, especially anthrax or smallpox that have the ability to spread quickly.
It doesn't stop with Gibson County, Shearer is also working with neighboring counties.
"We work together so not one county has to reinvent the wheel," Tuley said.
"If Gibson County needs to help Knox or Pike County, we're all on the same page, as to how our plans work," Shearer said.
This new bioterrorism position was made possible by a $20,000 state grant.
Copyright 2012 WFIE. All rights reserved.
1115 Mt. Auburn Road
Public File Contact: