Anthrax is a serious disease caused by bacteria that live in the soil in many parts of the world. People can be exposed to anthrax when they touch infected animals or products such as hides or hair. Anthrax can also be used as a biological weapon. Anthrax is not known to spread from one person to another.
Steps you can take
1. Be prepared to stay at home
Be prepared to shelter in place for a minimum of 72 hours. Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit and let family members know where it is stored.
2. Know where to go for up-to-date information
Keep these telephone numbers and web addresses handy for quick access to up-to-date information:
- Dakota County Public Health Department: 651-554-6100
- Minnesota Department of Health: 651-201-5000, www.health.state.mn.us
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)
- American Red Cross: 612-871-7676, www.redcross.org
3. Keep your eyes open
Contact your police department if you see a suspicious package or envelope that contains a white powdery substance.
4. Stay informed
Sign up for Dakota County’s Emergency Alert Program telephone notification system.
If an anthrax attack occurs, listen for official news and instructions that will be broadcast over radio and television or through the emergency telephone notification system.
Dakota County’s role in anthrax attacks
Dakota County provides information and resources to help you and your family prepare for anthrax attacks. The County also works with federal, state, and local officials to plan and coordinate responses to anthrax attacks by training emergency personnel, amassing medical supplies, and educating health care providers and residents.
Dakota County partners with local communities to provide the Dakota Communications Center with information which it distributes through the Emergency Alert Program notification system and provides 911 assistance.
The County also assists the Minnesota Department of Health in monitoring the health of residents and ensuring that residents receive up-to-date information and medication as directed by health officials.