Public Health Response to Biological and Chemical Weapons: WHO Guidance

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3, Public health response to biological and chemical weapons: WHO guidance Edited by J P Perry Robinson. Published by the World Health Organization, Geneva 2004. Second edition. Paperback 340pp. ISBN 92-4-156286-2 Free to download from www. who.int/csr/ delibepidemics/ biochemguide/en/

Thirty-four years have elapsed since publication of the first edition of this book. During this period, the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention have come into force and, in 2002, the World Health Assembly asked the WHO Director-General to continue to issue international guidance and technical information on recommended public health measures. This second edition is the result. It is neither a manual nor a handbook in the conventional sense, but it is certainly a source of valuable guidance.

Like the first edition, it is aimed, ambitiously, at a wide readership, and it will be particularly of interest to those dealing with health protection and consequence management strategy.

The format of the book reflects the fact that the book is a report, comprising six chapters, supported by seven technical annexes. This works reasonably well, although the material in the annex that deals with the principles of protection would be better in the chapter that addresses the principles of public health preparedness and response. …