Israel’s National Emergency Authority has begun the largest-ever exercise meant to train security forces on the proper response to a citywide biological attack.
The drill began with the arrival of dozens of people presenting a multitude of symptoms at hospitals – including Ichilov, Tel Hashomer and Wolfson – throughout the center of the country. The hospitals will not be informed beforehand of who the impersonators are, requiring them to identify them and the cause of their symptoms.
The impersonators will be presenting symptoms of a biological attack, with the IDF Home Front Command working to clear the infected area in conjunction with the Israel Police and Magen David Adom.
“We need to be ready for everything that can happen,” one senior official involved in planning the drill told The Jerusalem Post. “There are crazy people running around the world who, with the right materials and access to the Internet, can carry out such an attack.
“This is terrorism. There have been cases like this in the world and we need to make sure that the Israeli system works well and knows how to deal with such attacks.”
Officials noted that victims of an anthrax attack would not display symptoms for several days. Those symptoms would then include high fever and fatigue, similar to the flu.
“The trick is for the hospitals to be able to distinguish between the regular seasonal illnesses and the people who are suffering from a biological attack which requires special treatment,” the official said.