CDC To Brief the Public on Responding to a Nuclear Attack

The health agency said that such an event is unlikely, but 'planning and preparation can lessen deaths and illnesses.'

As the war of words between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un escalated this week, stoking worries about nuclear conflict, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a briefing later this month on the public health response to a nuclear detonation.

“While a nuclear detonation is unlikely, it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps,” the CDC said in a statement yesterday promoting the Jan. 16 briefing, first reported by STAT news.

“Despite the fear surrounding such an event, planning and preparation can lessen deaths and illness. For instance, most people don’t realize that sheltering in place for at least 24 hours is crucial to saving lives and reducing exposure to radiation,” the agency said.

The event will feature speakers from CDC, the Food and Drug Administration and the Georgia Department of Health, who will discuss “preparing for the unthinkable,” response plans, public health resources and related issues. It is part of CDC’s virtual Public Health Grand Rounds series aimed at educating health professionals.