(CIDRAP News) In a brief statement today, President George W. Bush announced that the government will begin giving smallpox shots to military and other government personnel in high-risk areas and to willing front-line healthcare workers.
(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) – 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) 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.
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.
(CIDRAP News) A bioterrorist attack that caused mass casualties would very likely lead to shortages of medical resources, so preparedness planning must include a careful look at how to ration those resources fairly, an emergency medicine specialist told a conference audience in Minneapolis this week.