New Jersey hospitals on high alert for biological and chemical terrorism

When the terror alert level was raised, New Jersey's Department of Health placed all of the state's hospitals on high alert for biological and chemical terrorism.

All hospitals are being asked to test their emergency equipment and to report any unusual skin and respiratory problems. Some hospitals have been holding practice drills on responding to possible outbreaks.

The commissioner of the Department of Health and Senior Services is also checking the state's hospital communication system. The system was put in place last year so New Jersey's 82 hospitals could stay in constant contact without power or phone service.

Commissioner Clifton Lacey says the state also has a medical response team. He says the team can be deployed to contain a medical emergency anywhere in the state within minutes of receiving the call.

Related story:Hospital staff planning emergency disaster drills

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