SAN FRANCISCO: The California Medical Association (CMA) is
spearheading a statewide initiative to educate doctors, media, and the
public about anthrax, and to organize communication in case of a
"Our role is to make sure that all physicians in California are
prepared, and that every area has a disaster plan in place," said CMA
spokesperson Ron Lopp.
The CMA is asking broadcast stations to partner with the organization to
produce PSAs featuring doctors explaining the risks of anthrax and the
dangers of stockpiling antibiotics.
The organization's three-person media department is also closely
monitoring all anthrax-related press, and contacting journalists to
correct mistakes that could increase public fears.
A statewide plan aimed at creating a "universal, single approach" to an
attack was also announced. That plan will create a communication path
between doctors, county health officials, local government, and state
health groups. Part of that effort is the creation of a web-based
"bioterrorism resource center" that will act as a source of information
on regional initiatives.
The association also announced two educational campaigns for medical
professionals. The first is a day-long seminar to be held in both
Northern and Southern California that will explain how to treat the
disease, how to spot multiple cases, and encourage doctors to refuse
Cipro prescriptions - the favored treatment for anthrax - unless
The second campaign is a continuing medical education effort that offers
bioterrorism seminars around the state. State doctors will also receive
e-mails and letters asking them to enroll in emergency response
The CMA, funded solely by members' dues, has not set aside special funds
for the projects, and will do all work in-house.