Homeland Security Terrorism Drill Brings Mock Mystery Illness to Chicago

Homeland Readiness
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People pretending to be stricken with a mystery SARS-like illness streamed into Chicago-area hospitals Tuesday, the second phase of a five-day bioterrorism drill.

The exercise is designed to test the readiness of local, state and federal authorities. Seattle is also participating.

In Chicago the Federal Emergency Management Agency says 14 of the fictional patients had died by late afternoon today, and another 145 to 160 were exhibiting the flu-like symptoms associated with the outbreak.

According to the drill's script, the same mock terrorist organization responsible for a “dirty bomb'' explosion in Seattle also released a deadly plague in Chicago on Saturday.

By the end of the week, officials are supposed to have traced the Chicago illnesses to the release of pneumonic plague.