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Surgeon General and Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defense, United States Office

Surgeon General and Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defense, United States Office

Among its many responsibilities, the Office of the United States Surgeon General serves as a clearinghouse for information on what is known as "medical NBC"that is, the biomedical effects of nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons and agents. Through the World Wide Web, the Surgeon General's office keeps physicians, as well as the general public, informed of dangers associated with anthrax, weapons of mass destruction, and other threats that became a part of public discourse after the terrorist attacks of September, 2001 and the subsequent war on terror.

The Office of the Surgeon General of the United States dates back to 1871, when President Ulysses S. Grant established the position. Appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate, the Surgeon General serves a four-year term and reports to the Assistant Secretary for Health, principal advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on public health and scientific issues. The Surgeon General holds the rank of vice admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, a uniformed service.

The Surgeon General Medical NBC Server was established after September 2001, to provide a reference and learning source on medical NBC matters. Although it is directed toward physicians, much of the information on the site (http://www.nbc-med.org) is accessible to citizens without medical training. The site was intended to supplement the Army Medical Department Center and School Distance Learning effort, and to coordinate with existing initiatives to provide Internet access to all medical facilities, both stationary and in the field. The Medical NBC Server also provides health advisories from groups that include the Food and Drug Administration, HHS, and even the U.S. Postal Service.

FURTHER READING:

ELECTRONIC:

Medical NBC Online Information Server. <http://www.nbcmed.org/> (April 2, 2003).

Office of the Surgeon General. <http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/> (April 2, 2003).

SEE ALSO

Anthrax, Terrorist Use as a Biological Weapon
Biological Warfare
Biological Warfare, Advanced Diagnostics
CDC (United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Public Health Service (PHS), United States
USAMRICD (United States Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense)
USAMRIID (United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases
Weapons of Mass Destruction

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