The Bureau of Public Health Preparedness is responsible for developing plans for the public health response to man-made and natural health emergencies. Examples of such health emergencies include bioterrorist events and pandemic influenza. Medical surveillance for evidence of a bioterrorist event or communicable disease outbreak is conducted in coordination with the Bureau of Epidemiology and Disease Control.
In the event of a public health emergency, risk communication messages will be developed by the Health Department and disseminated to the general public through various media channels and community organizations. These messages will include the potential risks from exposure, signs and symptoms people should be aware of, and steps the public can take to reduce their risks from the health emergency.
In some public health emergencies, it will be necessary to distribute medication or vaccine to people exposed to the health threat. For example, in the event of an anthrax attack, it will be necessary to dispense antibiotics to individuals who may have been exposed to the anthrax. Suffolk County may open one or more Point of Distribution (POD) clinic sites in order for people who may be at risk to receive medication after receiving the appropriate registration, education, and screening.
For useful links related to bioterrorism preparedness, please check the Bioterrorism Preparedness Page.
In order to contact the Suffolk County Department of Health Services during normal business hours, please call (631) 854-0333. In an emergency, after normal business hours and weekends, please call (631) 852-4820.
To contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, please call (404) 639-3534 or (800) 311-3435.