(CIDRAP News) – In passing a bill to create a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) this week, Congress left the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in charge of most bioterrorism preparedness and civilian biodefense research programs—to the relief of medical research and public health groups.
(CIDRAP News) In response to a US senator's speculation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there is no evidence that bioterrorism has played a role in the spread of West Nile virus to and within the United States.
(CIDRAP News) – After the Sep 11 attacks in New York City, health officials quickly launched a program of syndromic surveillance—the classification and counting of emergency department cases according to whether or not they initially looked like a disease potentially caused by bioterrorism. The goal was to provide an early warning of any biological attack.
(CIDRAP News) Federal officials say that devices for quickly detecting Bacillus anthracis spores in the environment are not reliable and should not be used in assessing possible bioterrorism threats.
(CIDRAP News) Confirming earlier unofficial reports, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson today named infectious disease expert Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, as the new permanent director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She becomes the first woman to lead the agency.
(CIDRAP News) Caught between the unknown risk of a smallpox attack and concern about adverse vaccine reactions, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) yesterday recommended that only healthcare workers assigned to deal directly with a smallpox outbreak be vaccinated against smallpox.
(CIDRAP News) President George W. Bush yesterday signed a far-reaching bioterrorism bill designed to strengthen the public health system, tighten controls on dangerous pathogens, and protect the nations food and water supplies.
(CIDRAP News) A lengthy report by an expert panel on anthrax generally echoes treatment and prevention recommendations made by federal health officials last fall while highlighting how little is known about the epidemiology of the disease, especially how many spores it takes to cause infection.
With only 6 months elapsed since the anthrax outbreak of 2001, at least six states have passed legislation expanding their power to cope with public health emergencies, including the power to require people to be vaccinated, treated, or quarantined.
Many emergency response workers feel they don't have adequate safety equipment and training for situations like the Sep 11 attacks and the subsequent anthrax attacks, according to a new federal report.