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Center for Law and the Public’s Health


Model State Emergency Health Powers Act
In the weeks following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the CDC asked the Center for Law and the Public’s Health to draft a model law that could empower state public health agencies to respond quickly and effectively to a bioterrorist emergency. The result is the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act, which addresses topics such as procurement, due process for quarantined/isolated persons, state use of private property, and other issues that may arise in the hours, days, and weeks following the declaration of a public health emergency.

In a recent JAMA article, the drafters discuss the purposes and implications of the Act.

  Emerging Infectious Diseases
Emerging Infectious Diseases is a new journal published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available both in print and online editions, EID presents the latest research on emerging and reemerging infections around the world. EID recently compiled a list of bioterrorism-related articles from its archives, all of which are available free of charge.

  Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies
Co-founded by smallpox eradicator D.A. Henderson, the Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies at Johns Hopkins is one of the leading organizations dedicated to issues surrounding bioterrorism. The Center maintains a sizable library of bioterrorim-related resources, including testimony of director Tara O’Toole before Congress.


General Accounting Office Reports
The General Accounting Office (GAO) has published numerous reports over the years concerning national strategies and preparedness for a bioterrorist attack. Several of these reports describe in detail the implications of a bioterrorist threat on the nation’s public health infrastructure. New reports are added periodically, and the full text of all reports published since the mid-1990s may be searched via GPO ACCESS. Particularly relevant to public health are:

Bioterrorism: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Role in Public Health Protection (November 15, 2021)

Bioterrorism: Public Health and Medical Preparedness
(October 6, 2021)

West Nile Virus Outbreak: Lessons for Public Health Preparedness (September 11, 2000)

  West Nile Virus in the United States: A State of the Art Assessment of Law and Policy
Authored by James G. Hodge, Jr. of the Center for Law and the Public’s Health, this report outlines the legal responses to West Nile Virus in light of current epidemiological knowledge. Included in the report is a case study of New York’s City’s approach to this emerging infectious disease.





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