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Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, federal agencies have faced the challenge of protecting sensitive information from terrorists and others without a need to know while sharing this information with parties who are determined to have such a need.
In 1999, the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began funding jurisdictions' efforts to prepare for bioterrorism attacks through the Public Health Preparedness and Response for Bioterrorism program.
Recent challenges, such as the SARS outbreak and the anthrax incidents in the fall of 2001, have raised concerns about the nation's preparedness for a large-scale infectious disease outbreak or bioterrorism event.
Following the bioterrorist events of the fall of 2001, there has been concern that the nation may not be prepared to respond to a major public health threat, such as the current outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the subsequent anthrax incidents, there has been concern about the ability of the federal government to prepare for and coordinate an effective public health response given the broad distribution of responsibility for that task at the federal level....