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How the CDC Mobilized to Research Anthrax

Today's New York Times contains an article about the Centers for Disease Control's approach to investigating anthrax cases in New York City, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. The article begins telling the story from the time the second case of anthrax was discovered until now. It's an interesting article, but, it does not have technical details that would be interesting to our readers in the medical field.

One question that keeps rising out of descriptions of how governments operate public health agencies is how much of their information gathering involves the use of modern information technology? On the basis of things that are said in this article (such as, "But in the initial stages of the inquiry, communication among team members was difficult because some epidemiologists in the field were not privy to information gathered by colleagues...."), we think it is fair to ask that question.

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